Scenes from the end of the Fringe


So the fourth Wanstead Fringe went out in a blaze of glory with comedy, yoga, music workshops, acoustic sessions from Wanstead musicians and a sell-out attendance at the legendary Wanstead Kinema.

On behalf of the organisers, Wansteadium would like to thank everyone who took part, especially the Friends of the Wanstead Fringe (you can still join up, here), the restaurants who took part in Restaurant Week,Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure, the London Borough of Redbridge and the NELFT NHS Foundation Trust for letting the Fringe use the Cherry Tree as an HQ; Petty Son and Prestwich for continued generous support.

The traditional Sesame Street-style roll call takes place at the bottom of this post, but before that here are some of the scenes from the closing stages of the Fringe.

Isac Radu at the Fringe Comedy night – he’s an immigrant who wants one day to be considered an expat

(iPhone users tap here)




The Kinema was a sell-out and was thankfully rain free. This has not always been the case

The Duke’s BBQ in a fancy tent on Christ Church Green
The Wanstead Fringe 2016 was brought to you by the letters W, F, and by Ade Ward, Alison McCabe, Alistair MacQueen, Andy Richardson, Anya Lipska, Ben Kelly, Caroline Roberts, Chris Drew, Dan Clapton, Danielle Wilkinson, Dave Tulip, David Adshead, David Bird, Fabien Ecuvillon, Franck from Nice Croissant, Geoff Wilkinson, Giles Wilson, Hugh Muir, James Healey, Janice Hunte, Jenny Burbage, John and Jenny Wagstaff, Jon Fentiman, John Gilsenan, John Rogers, Kat Ibrahim, Kevin Murphy, Liz Adshead, Lizzie Ostrom, Lucinda Gosling, Luna Blaze, Lynsey Burke, Lynn Wilkinson, Marion Temple, Mark Foster, Maura Wilson, Maya Anaokar, Michelle Linaker, Mick Terry, Nick Affleck, Nick Bertram, Paul Affleck, Paul Drury-Bradey, Penny Wilson, Pete Black, The Recoupes, Rob Affleck, Rob Fearn, Ronnie Finch, Sherri-Lee Estabrook, Suzi Harnett, Tracey Adebowale-Jones, Vince McHale, Zoey Hiscock and Catherine Tylney-Long.

Restaurant Week was supported by Bombetta, The Lane, Sumo Fresh, Gezi Park, Luppolo, Provender, Piccolo, the Manor House, Purbani, and Long Horn. Thanks to all them for their support.




Harvey’s. Wow.

Harvey’s, Wanstead’s new old greengrocer, is now fully open, and don’t the shoppers of the High Street know it. The queue for the till snaked right round the shop on Saturday morning as people of all ages tried out the offering.

The interior is bare brick with decorations made from the old Harvey’s red shutter. Fruit and veg are piled into wooden boxes with brown paper bags on hand. There were fifteen different types of tomato, four kinds of courgette, exotic things as yet unidentified and wide range of pasta, oils and herbs. Fresh dates too. The shop is promising long opening hours which helps make this a truly exciting development. The only thing missing is some greengrocer’s apostrophe’s.

Former Barclays gets squatters

UPDATED: The former Barclays bank on Wanstead High Street appears to have acquired squatters. Sainsbury’s, which now owns the building, has told Wansteadium it is sending bailiffs to the site as soon possible.

An upstairs window at the building is open but it’s not clear how the building was entered. Police attended the scene, and according to one eye-witness, debated with the people inside and shook hands with them. One eye-witness said: “The police have been called twice and there is nothing they can do. The squatters are in now – got dropped off in a van with all their goods. They are all hanging outside the bank as they don’t have a garden.”

Squatting in non-residential property in England is not normally a crime in itself, though causing damage or using electricity in the building could lead to police action.

The former bank has been empty since July 2014, and is currently waiting for Sainsbury’s to decide what it is going to do with the site. The supermarket is reviewing its plans “and looking at a number of options for a store on the site”, a spokesman confirmed today.

The mystery of Three Loud Bangs 

Three loud bangs soon after 11pm on Sunday which could be heard across Wanstead and Woodford mystified many Wansteadium readers.

One news website suggested the bangs might have been sonic booms, but this is not confirmed. That site also had this line from the Met Police:

“We had reports from Ilford and had a look but there was nothing untoward,” said a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Service.

Other theories, including one that they might have been fireworks to mark the start of Ramadan, don’t seem to have any stop supporting voices. As of Monday lunchtime it feels like this is a mystery which might not be solved.

Even Mail Online tried to explain it, reporting that one person claimed the bangs could have been caused by a meteorite. They then reported that the Royal Observatory had dismissed the notion. They did however include a video from someone who captured the bangs.

Some of the tweets about the bangs: