Wanstead’s Robin Das batting against Hornchurch

These are great days for cricket lovers, with almost daily action to enjoy. And that goes too for supporters of Wanstead Cricket Club who are now able to enjoy video of key home games thanks to new cameras and streaming technology.

The new service includes on-screen statistics and highlights of matches which are available via the club’s YouTube channel.

There are, sadly, just a few games left for this season – there is a league fixture against Chelmsford at home on Saturday 4 September, however, and the new technology will be in use again next year.

Before and after

So the Nationwide went ahead with its plan and closed its Wanstead branch, instead advising its customers who relied on in-person banking that they could go to South Woodford, Walthamstow or Ilford instead.

Nationwide is hardly the first financial institution to close a branch on our high street (remember Barclays? HSBC? Santander?) but they are the one which promised they would not be closing any branches this year, only to do exactly that in Wanstead. And in a year when they made more than £800m in profit.

To the staff of the branch, however, thank you for your years of service.

(Previous coverage on this subject, including the Nationwide’s reasoning, is here.)

The view across Eagle Pond

Snaresbrook Crown Court has become ‘a wreck’ according to The Economist newspaper in an article which discusses English courts not coping with everyday demands.

Boarded up lodge at the pedestrian entrance

The building, designed in part by George Gilbert Scott, has been used as a court for nearly 50 years though was originally built in 1841 as an orphanage.

The article says: “At Snaresbrook, even the grand Victorian building is a wreck. The outside is covered in scaffolding; the air conditioning frequently fails, leaving everyone sweltering.” (Link here. £)

The scaffolding at the building is part of a £4m renovation programme which was announced in 2018 and which includes new a new roof.

In better times. By Nigel Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0

The first of the book events for this year’s Wanstead Fringe have been unveiled, with tickets now on sale.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s technology correspondent and very familiar figure for decades, will be speaking about the revolutions society has gone through with the rise of social media and mobile phones. His new book Always On has been very well received – Stephen Fry called it ‘delightfully insightful and intensely readable‘.

Ian Dunt is one of the most talented political commentators of his generation, and is perhaps best known for his appearances on the Remainiacs podcast. His book How To Be A Liberal is a rallying cry to those who still believe in freedom and reason in the face of rising nationalism around the world.

More events are being unveiled over the next couple of weeks. Details will be published here on Wansteadium, on the Fringe site itself and via the Fringe’s social channels.

Jay Sutherland and Lucy Quinlan

Wanstead screenwriter and director Daniel Johnson has released a lockdown project – a short comedy about someone trying to make the most of the lockdown.

The film covers the story of a struggling novelist who decides to use the lockdown to write a novel. Things don’t go to plan and it’s his girlfriend who finds herself being the more creatively expressive.

“I wanted to make a fun short film which captures the frustrations of lockdowns but does it in an amusing way,” said Daniel.

The film was shot on a very low budget, without a crew. “This is my favourite way to make a film – to have an idea and run with it, not worrying about budgets and equipment but instead just creating in a freewheelin’ and fun way.”

The film features actors Jay Sutherland and Lucy Quinlan and has a cameo from Nicole Kelleher.

The Wanstead Fringe is returning (in case you hadn’t heard), and as in previous years the Jumble Trail is going to be one of the biggest events. As with the 2019 Trail, there’s going to be an emphasis on re-using, recycling and repairing.

As well as the chance to recycle your no-longer-wanted household belongings, there will be an expert team of seamstresses offering a drop-off service to do small clothing repairs. And a plant clinic hosted by Wanstead Community Gardeners will answer any questions about indoor or outdoor plants.

To take part, book your place via the Wanstead Fringe website. Proceeds will be shared between local primary school PTAs.