A huge amount of water has fallen in the past few days, leading to the River Roding being higher than it has been for a long time.

But anyone travelling down Hermon Hill or Wellesley Road would have been faced with quite severe flooding during the storms – in spite of the very spot where the flooding happened having been dug up about 10 times over the past couple of years.

The story of this blighted junction continues…

Reader Michelle Rawlings intriguingly adds:

I have been living in Wanstead for 45 yrs … but never seen it so bad than for the past 10 yrs . I am concerned that one of the underground water streams  usually flowing down the first part of Wellington Road  had to deroute itself due to construction/extensions and tanking cellars ..nothing to do with drains etc ..  this is purely a logical & historical witness observation .

A week of events in Wanstead focusing on well-being starts on Monday – part of an ongoing movement to help people’s resilience during coronavirus.

The week includes events targeting physical and mental health and is taking place both online and offline.

Elsa Arnold, one of the organisers and someone who, for a young person, has a long history of helping the Wanstead community, said: “Wellness week in Wanstead this year has been launched to coincide with World Mental Health day on the 9th October.

“The aim of the week is to promote an overall awareness of our health and well-being and highlight the importance of taking time out to care for ourselves, particularly in the current climate. The week will also aim to open up relevant conversations and support charities doing vital work in these areas.”

The events are free but are ticketed – you can get tickets from Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/wellnessweektickets.

Wanstead is getting its own bookshop – cunningly named Wanstead Bookshop.

For the time being it’s an online shop, but it is planning to hold events, champion local writers, and raise money for community causes like the Wanstead Community Gardeners.

The shop already has hundreds of books available, many of which should be available for next day delivery if ordered before 3pm Mon-Fri, and it is building its range quickly.

Apart from the excellent Oxfam Books and Music, now 10 years old, we don’t think Wanstead has ever had its own bookshop. And so – in the interests of full disclosure – the team which brings you Wansteadium decided to do something about it and has set up this new venture.

For each order over £10, Wanstead Bookshop is donating £1 to one of four good causes, for whom this could be an additional stream of income. As well as the Community Gardeners, it is giving customers the choice of the Wanstead Fringe, the Wanstead Cricket Club and the Corner House Project which is giving practical help to homeless people. Other good causes can be nominated too

The shop is offering free delivery on orders over £25.

You can see what Wanstead Bookshop has to offer here, and if you want to get regular emails about new books, local book events and other offers, you can sign up here.


    You will receive a sign-up confirmation from Wanstead Bookshop.

    It can also be followed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    The strange saga of irregular name plates on benches, which in 2018 saw a tribute to Saddam Hussein being screwed to a bench on Wanstead High Street, has continued with more plates appearing on other benches in London.

    The Wanstead bench itself, though, has seen better days – it’s suffering from a broken arm. Not looking good.

    Redbridge’s overcrowding is one of the problems causing its spike in coronavirus cases, the leader of Redbridge Council has said, and a ban on people from different households mixing should be considered.

    Redbridge had 58.6 new cases per 100,000 last week, making it the worst affected London borough. But the picture could be worse than that, Councillor Jas Athwal told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme on Monday, because it had lost 44% of its testing capacity due to issues at the national laboratory.

    Cllr Athwal said he welcomed the introduction of fines for people who disregarded instructions to self-isolation following positive tests or who had been warned they had been exposed to people with the virus.

    “We’ve all got to do our bit and the way to do our bit is to isolate and make sure we stop the spread from getting any worse,” he said.

    Hear the full interview – Cllr Jas Athwal speaking to Mishal Hussein on BBC Radio Four. More details here.

    PS. If you’re from the BBC and object to us embedding your audio, please get in touch with us here. (And also perhaps ask yourself why the BBC doesn’t make this kind of content available for embedding, because it really should, and actually used to.)

    (Pic: Nick Affleck)

    For the first time in 150 years, cows are roaming freely in Wanstead Park as part of a two-month experiment to see if their presence can help improve the grassland.

    The animals are wearing GPS trackers which emit a warning sign to the cows when they get near boundaries, avoiding the need for electric fences.

    Volunteers are among those who will be keeping an eye on the animals to make sure everything goes smoothly with the trial (including dissuading people from approaching or feeding them).

    Graeme Doshi-Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest & Commons Committee, said: “Our grazing pilot is helping us identify better ways to protect Wanstead Park’s historic views at the same time as conserving a wide range of species and supporting an even better ecological balance at the site.

    “Grazing is used as a natural way to manage grasslands and meadows across Epping Forest. As part of the programme we have prevented encroachment by scrub and more vigorous grasses in favour or rarer plants and herbs, benefitting a whole range of insects and birds.

    “It is exciting to be grazing heritage cattle here in this East London park, right on the edge of our capital city.”