Pass Go, collect £200, land on… Wanstead?

Wansteadium welcomes our new regular property blogger, George C Parker, who writes:

What colour would Wanstead be on the Monopoly Board?

Young and old will remember squabbling over late rent or parking fines one Boxing Day or other. Speculate, accumulate, buy, sell, shuffle deviously, give Granny the wrong change when she lands on your Northumberland Avenue (Aldersbrook reference!) etc.

Since Monopoly originated in the time of the Great Depression, books have been written on the game’s best strategies, the best house rules, and the longest games ever played (70 days, according to Guinness).

Maybe your kids may one day learn that once upon a time ‘property’ was not even a dirty word! Or perhaps their kids – who knows?

Anyhow, this is Wansteadium, and as the 5,000 people who visit this site every month know, Wanstead is a charming and green suburb of East London with unbelievable access to Central London, the City and Canary Wharf, to say nothing of Stanstead, the Olympics or the oodles of green space on our doorstep.

If the venerable board were redrawn again, where would Wanstead fit in?

Looking closer at our best cards:

Housing – premier cru. Wanstead’s avenues and red brick fortifications are a bastion of respectability and desirability.

Primary schools – sought after. Major high school – probably not an academy specialising in the green cross code ..

High Street – Could go either way, though my sunny optimism makes me feel things are about to take off. Four months from the opening of Westfield, residents aspire to a rearguard action from Wanstead landowners and commerce. Nattier shop fronts are needed, and those clever 30 and 60 min parking spots like they have in Sydney (though the council’s plans aren’t popular). We could have more alluring nicknack shops proffering wares unimaginable in the homogenous bowels of the great conquering retail beast .. couldn’t we?

Christchurch Green – Ostensibly one of the crown jewels propelling Wanstead into the dark greens or at least yellows. Realistically on some mornings,  a neutral observer might assume it was some kind of recycling centre for the world’s greatest litter pile (Rats? Kids? Yogi Bear? Theories differ as to who is responsible for the mess.)

But back to the game .. as die is cast and banknotes distributed, what colour would you expect to find Wanstead in? And would you build your hotels there?

Finally what would be the Community Chest and Chance Cards? “Support local butcher/baker (currently no incumbent candlestick maker) premium £50?” Or maybe “Visit Wanstead Sauna pay £100 fine .. (for parking on double yellows outside of course).” At least we are handy for Snaresbrook County Court after landing on Jail…

You can contact George via georgecparker[at]