The least religious roads in Wanstead are…

Halstead and Cowley Roads. The 2021 census data published by the ONS which measured people’s descriptions of their own religion is shown on this map, with the dark blue area being the highest response for ‘no religion’.

Map: ons.gov.uk, copyright Ordnance Survey, Open Street Map

With even only a quick glance at the data, available here, it’s obvious that it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusions about why there should be these differences in rates. That doesn’t stop it being interesting though.

New tools

Congratulations to High Street favourites Imran and Nas Asghar on the opening of their new venture, a grocer and butcher’s focusing on organic fruit and vegetables, organic/free range meat, and specialising in marinated options. The brothers moved their other shop, the Tool Box, 100m further up the high street and have employed Wajid, right, who has decades of experience as a butcher, to run the new shop, called Daniyal’s. Good luck to them all.

Wanstead pool ‘not ready until 2024’

(Pic: Redbridge)

It seems the Wanstead Swimming Pool completion has been put off until September 2024 – nearly two years later than the last expected date.

A story published in Construction News reveals that Redbridge has now awarded the £13.5m contract to Jerram Falkus Construction for the project which as well as the pool includes a three-story school building, dining hall and kitchen and new leisure centre facilities. The story says the pool should be opening in September 2024

The last update Wansteadium is aware of stated that the completion of the project would be the end of this year, which followed a delay caused by the disruption of Covid. We have contacted Redbridge for an update on the project.

Update: 30 Nov: A Redbridge Council spokesperson said:

“It was not possible to progress as planned during the COVID-19 pandemic, something that impacted many other capital projects across London.

“With the current rising costs of construction nationwide, we’ve had to reprocure to find the most cost-effective way of delivering the new facilities, which we expect to complete in 2024.”

Resurrection for Wanstead organ

A happy new life beckons for the pipe organ which was built into the front room of a house in Hereford Road, after a buyer was found. The entire instrument has been carefully dismantled and will be upgraded into its new home.

The organ was built by the late Gordon Forster, a member at Wanstead United Reformed Church where for many years he would play on Sundays. He died 10 years ago and his widow Diana decided to downsize, meaning the organ needed either to have a new home or be sold for parts, as we reported last month.

Joe Forster, Gordon and Diana’s son, writes:

The organ has been sold. It is being dismantled and taken away. This has taken two days, and three vanloads. The buyer is a Belgian organist and computer programmer who now lives in Tunbridge Wells. The organ will be built into his house there. Some parts may first go to his family firm in Belgium for restoration and modification. On seeing inside it, he said the workmanship was extremely precise and professional. It is purely mechanical, with electrical and pneumatic controls but no electronics. However in its new home it will be fully computerised, incorporating the latest control gear. The couple of hundred pipes, from a few inches to nine feet in length, and the wind delivery hardware will be the same, so the sound will be as traditional as it always was.

Now we are left with a few holes in the floor and some 1960s wallpaper on show.

Here is the organ being played by Gordon’s friend, organist Eric Doig.