Author: Wansteadium

Photo: Pete Daly

A black swan has been a guest on Eagle Pond for the past few days, attracting bird-lovers. He’s doing a tour of local wetlands, and has been christened Bruce (black swans generally come from Australia). He is apparently socialising well with the mute swans of Snaresbrook, proving again that Australians are generally good company.

(Thanks to spotter and photographer Pete Daly.)

Warnings that Whatsapp messages inviting people to sign up for COVID vaccinations were fakes have turned out to be wrong, following reassurances that the messages were unauthorised but nevertheless sent in good faith.

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal warned of the messages, but the NHS commissioning groups which organise the vaccination programmes have tweeted clarifications that the messages were not in fact fraudulent.

In fact at least one Wansteadium reader, Mary, commented on our original post that she had responded to a similar Whatsapp message and successfully received a vaccination as a result.

I replied with my relevant info. I was given an appointment for today by HealthDirect (our local primary care health network). I went to Hawkey Hall and was in the system . I had a vaccination and it was all very efficient and indeed terrific. It may not have been authorised by Redbridge CCG but several hundred doses have not been wasted.

The incident does highlight the difficulties of knowing exactly where messages received on various platforms are coming from, and whether or not they are legitimate. The government’s National Cyber Security Centre has issued this leaflet, pictured below, with some specific guidance on spotting scams relating to COVID-19.

Congratulations to Wanstead Village councillor Jo Blackman, who has been selected as the Redbridge cabinet member with responsibility for the environment and civic pride. This elevates her from being a green campaigner – she was one of those behind Redbridge’s declaration of a climate emergency – to a position where she should be able to influence some change.

One immediate issue she’s going to have to deal with is controversy over Redbridge plans to ban traffic from outside two Wanstead primary schools – Nightingale and Snaresbrook – for three hours each school day. It’s part of a scheme to reduce air pollution, reduce traffic from near schools, and encourage children to walk to school. But the devil will be in the details – perhaps especially when people have become so dependent on the delivery of nearly everything.

Good luck to her in her new role.

This is becoming a more common sight in Wanstead than the W12. As a means of communication it might look blunt, but at least it’s hard for its target market (those who aren’t at home) to ignore.

And of course no one should underestimate just how powerful slogans written on the side of buses can be.

Wanstead author Joseph Elliott is celebrating the publication of his second novel, the sequel to The Good Hawk which was published last year to great critical acclaim (including being called ‘thrilling’ by the New York Times and being nominated for the Carnegie medal).

The Broken Raven is the second part of an epic fantasy trilogy which has been compared to Game of Thrones and which has a protagonist with Down’s Syndrome. It’s pitched at young teenagers.

Joseph has lived in Wanstead for the past four years, and is well known to a generation of children through his acting and writing for comedy and children’s television. He is best known for playing pirate Cook in the CBeebies series Swashbuckle.

Congratulations to Joseph – and fingers crossed that if there is a Wanstead Fringe this year, it will be possible to arrange an event with him.

You can buy copies of both of Joseph’s books from Wanstead Bookshop below.