Letter to Wansteadium: Keep ‘Toytown’

Wansteadium reader Roger Estop writes:

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There was a vigorous discussion on this site last week about the possibility of Wanstead losing I&K Brown’s garage. Several people have now objected to the plans, though others have questioned whether it’s a building worth saving. I believe the garage is one of those semi-precious buildings that makes a place special. This ‘toy-town’ repair garage is a delightful feature of the Christchurch ‘village’, along with the picturesque cottage opposite, the old fire station and the old police station. What is the point of a conservation area? Remove quirky, non-conforming, slightly shabby personalities and homogenise it? Or adapt the old buildings to something new and vital? Losing the distinctive building front damages character; the proposal is as lifeless as graph paper and does precisely nothing to enhance anything. Walk from Tarzy Wood to Christchurch – enjoy the variety and surprise while you can. This is Wanstead.

3 Comments on "Letter to Wansteadium: Keep ‘Toytown’"


  1. Well said! It’s tragic to lose such characterful buildings, they’re part of our local history


  2. My thoughts exactly. The wedge opposite Snaresbrook station looks as lifeless as ever. We need affordable housing. I suppose more people must make their opinions heard to give this building a chance for survival.


  3. I felt precisely this about ‘Dark Alley’, the little lane (still there but renamed with a boring nymber) which runs from the High Street to Wanstead Place. Used to have a fabulous junk shop, a garden centre (now dreary flats) and two old (possibly eighteenth century) shops, one of the the delightful Truffles. The owner illegally demolished both, but was not charged with anything, so long as he replaced them with nondescript buildings of the same size. Another slice of Wanstead trashed, like the beautiful ‘Woodbine’ pub, which stood nearby.

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