Revealed: The line-up for the biggest Wanstead Fringe yet

The programme for this year’s Wanstead Fringe has been published – and it’s by far the biggest in the nine-year history of the Fringe.

This year it will include THREE plays – one coming directly to Wanstead from the Edinburgh Fringe.

There is also the inaugural Wanstead Book Festival which will feature poet Hannah Lowe (winner of the Costa Book Award), the BBC’s Justin Webb, and controversial historian Otto English.

There is also comedy, live music, opera, a brass band, a blow-up planetarium, talks, masterclasses, pottery, the ever-popular Jumble Trail, and more besides.

All listings and tickets are available now at

This is the ninth Wanstead Fringe, which is organised by the Wanstead Fringe Association, a group of residents. It has been built entirely without public money, and is funded by ticket sales and by its generous sponsors who this year include Petty Son and Prestwich, Edwards Duthie Shamash, THP Chartered Accountants, The Wanstead Society, Eton Manor RFC and The Duke.

Let us know what you make of the line-up of events – you can use the comments box below.

Farewell to the Wanstead oasis

During the hottest days of this summer, one patch of Wanstead remained verdant and lush. It now too has dried up.

The oasis on Elmcroft Ave – also known as the Sinkhole, and the Elmcroft Marsh, was until last week green and thriving, thanks to a leaky pipe buried beneath the grass. That has now been fixed (good job too when water restrictions are just around the corner) and the patch has been made good.

Sadly for the grass seed put there, there’s no sign of rain. Just a few pigeons filling their bellies.

Last few days for Wanstead branch of Ikea

The Wanstead branch of Ikea, which is technically in Edmonton, has just two weeks left before it closes – with an uncertain future for what will take its place.

The Swedish company decided to close the branch following the rise in online sales, and also said the local council’s plan to increase the number of houses in the ‘Meridian Water’ development influenced its decision – though that logic is not immediately clear.

But from many a Wanstead Billy Bookcase owner come the thanks to the 450 staff who will be losing their jobs.

Actual good work on the troubled zebra crossing

The redevelopment of the zebra crossing on Wanstead High Street is complete, and we think the solution that the relevant traffic planners have come up with is pretty good.

You’ll remember the problem, which we highlighted in January following another accident on the crossing – it is that the trees could possibly obscure people about to cross. Solutions discussed at the time were that the crossing should move, that the trees should go, or that traffic lights should be installed.

The solution eventually gone for was to build out the pavement outside the Corner House, and introduce a raised platform for the crossing. This means cars are slowed, that pedestrians are on the road for less time, and – crucially – that the visibility of people waiting or about to cross is far more obvious for drivers. The trees survive, and the flow of traffic isn’t slowed down by the constant red lights of a pelican crossing.

So, we think, good work all round.