Wanstead News roundup, 21-02-2010: Celeb historian, Subo’s cat, powercuts…

Passengers were stuck for two hours in a Central Line train outside Liverpool St on Wednesday. The Evening Standard reported that the driver couldn’t even contact control to inform them the train was stuck.

A power cut in Wanstead on Monday left High St shops, doctors’, dentists and a nursery without power for seven hours. Shopkeepers want compensation, but EDF says they don’t qualify, Wanstead Guardian says.

The story that Susan Boyle’s cat is now living in Wanstead became an internet meme, spawning links and reports on Twitter and beyond.

The Labour party has published its shortlist for candidates for the Leyton and Wanstead constituency. On it, according to the Labour Home website, are

John Cryer, former MP for Hornchurch who lost his seat in 2005 and is now political officer for union Unite
Tristram Hunt, historian and broadcaster
Sophie Linden, a Hackney councillor and former special advisor to David Blunkett
Terry Paul, chairman of the West Ham Labour party.
Roxanne Riaz
Ahmed Shazad, Chair of BAME Labour

Four architects firms have plans for converting the United Reformed Church halls on Grosvenor Road, after they were bought by the owners of Woodbine Place’s Treehouse Nursery. They plan to use it as an after-school club.

The first person to apply for an ID card from the government was Peter Fawcett, 21, of Wanstead. He said: “If you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Plans have been published for the empty row of shops opposite Snaresbrook Tube (see them here on Redbridge council site). They are to be knocked down and turned into flats.

What the new flats would look like

Parking dispute becomes a row. Almost.

Wanstead blogger Mark Samuels has recounted in literary style his dispute with the South Woodford Waitrose over a £25 parking fine he received for overstaying the two hour limit – even though he spent all of that time in the shop.

But he writes that even though it’s left him “angry and push[ed] me to write a load of stuff on my blog about how disappointed I am”, he’s not going to change his shopping habits. “I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face; I like your shops,” he tells them.

Wanstead Pot Idol update

Great to see the Wanstead Guardian has noticed Wanteadium’s Pot Idol competition. It’s a few weeks ago now since those first photos were published – it was just after the worst of the snow (this BBC story explains graphically why snow and frost cause potholes) – and to give credit where it’s due, the council has now patched them up. There are still some nasty examples around Wanstead that you wouldn’t want to come across on two wheels, though. If you want to nominate any cases, either leave a comment here, on our Facebook page, or put it on Flickr with a tag “wanstead”.

Only for the hardy: Nelson Rd hole now filled

And if you are feeling really constructive, you can use the MySociety FixMyStreet service to report to the council any potholes needing repair.

Wanstead power cut in pictures

Five hours after the power went out on the park side of Wanstead High Street it still wasn’t on. Which wasn’t good news for lots of shops, the doctors and dentists, and Starbucks. But good news for the Olive Branch.

Wanstead Hairdressers


UPDATE 1530
: Some details here now at the Wanstead Guardian.

UPDATE 1800: Guardian now reporting power all restored.

‘Enjoying Wanstead life. No bookshop though.’

He certainly has a point. zzgavin writes the following on Twitter:

Walk through forest, now local cafe for pastries and coffee, then to butcher and greengrocers, enjoying wanstead life. No bookshop though

It would take a feat of imagination to think anything could change about it now – the Times reported last week that three independent bookshops around the country were shutting each week – so who would bet on one opening in Wanstead in a hurry? But in other news, the Christian bookshop in South Woodford, which, as we reported here, churchgoers were rallying to save, has now been taken over by a charity and will continue selling Christian books. It might even expand to include a cafe, they say.