Last Christmas?

What could be the final Christmas carol service to be held while Wanstead’s 800-year-old St Mary’s is a fully operational church is to be held on Sunday evening.

For the congregation, who are desperately hoping the church authorities allow them to keep worshipping at the Overton Drive site, it is likely to be a poignant event. While the proposal would allow a handful of services to be held through the year, it means an end to weekly services which have been going on since the 13th century.

The service of Nine Lessons and Carols  by Candlelight will be held at 6pm. 

  • A full list of Christmas church services in Wanstead will be published here on Monday.

£10k fine for Wanstead landlord

The landlord of a house in Cranbourne Avenue has been fined £10k for illegally renting it and allowing 12 people to live there.

Redbridge Council enforcement officers raided the four-bedroom house and took subsequent legal action. The council issued a report which reads:

A managing agent must pay £10,000 for renting a property without a licence as the council continues to clampdown on rogue landlords.

The financial penalty was imposed on Station Estates Ltd by the council after enforcement officers raided an illegally rented property in Cranbourne Avenue, Wanstead to discover 12 people living in the 4-bedroom house.

Licensing of a house in multiple occupation is mandatory for landlords and those that do not comply face being prosecuted or fined up to £30,000.

As well as being unlicensed and severely overcrowded, the property was unsafe and did not meet the standards required for a HMO including mandatory fire safety measures.

Station Estates Ltd, of Whitebarn Lane, Dagenham, initially appealed the financial penalty but then accepted the four breaches of HMO regulations and a £10,000 fine.  

Earlier this year, the company was prosecuted and heavily fined for failing to licence a HMO in Barking. 

Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Cllr Farah Hussain said: “We will not tolerate any landlord or managing agent who causes misery for tenants and puts them at risk.  All HMOs must now have a licence and this financial penalty sends out a clear message that we will take tough action against rogue operators who break the law.  We will continue to knock on the door of all suspected HMOs as part of our proactive plans to root out unscrupulous landlords and improve standards in the private rented sector.”   

As well as mandatory licensing for HMOs, the council has introduced a selective licensing scheme covering 79 per cent of the private rented sector in the borough.

Good 2018 performance by Wanstead primary schools


Wanstead primary schools have performed well in the 2018 key stage 2 results, published by the Department for Education.

Nightingale did best overall, as the figures below indicate. Full results can be seen on at this address.

Department for Education. (Tap/click to expand. )


The traditional boom in mistletoe which takes place on the edge of Wanstead and South Woodford is back, demonstrating beautifully the parasitic character of the plant (it lives on other trees, having been planted there in bird poo). If you see it, point it out to a child.

(Rumours that the word ‘mistletoe’ comes from words for dung + twig seem not to be true – more likely is that it comes from sticky + twig, describing the way the berries stick to the host tree.)

Respect for Ronnie

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A respectful doff of Wanstead’s cap should go to Ronnie O’Sullivan, former Wanstead High School pupil, who on Sunday won the UK Snooker Championship for a record seventh time.

O’Sullivan – also five times world champion – is one of the greatest players in the history of snooker, and has his tweets demonstrate, still an occasional visitor here from his home in Chigwell.