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Christchurch Green (Google Streetview)

Redbridge Council has announced it is planning to build a café kiosk on Christchurch Green which will, it is likely, be open from 9am until twilight each evening.

The kiosk will be a single storey unit, built behind the existing toilet block on Woodbine Place, and will offer tea and coffee, cakes, fruit, and sandwiches. It will also serve alcohol but only for special occasions.

The council says the kiosk will “work with local groups and residents to host a range of activities in the park – like children’s storytime, poetry readings, outdoor book clubs, and potentially small film screenings”.

There will some seating around the kiosk, but the area will not be floodlit.

The application, which has been posted around the park, has been causing some consternation among people living nearby, who are concerned about the effect on residents’ ‘right to peace’.

This is the first time the Council has given greater detail on its plans, however. The proposal is likely to raise eyebrows among some Wansteadium readers who believe Wanstead has already reached saturation point for cafés.

It is also the case, though, that Wanstead has lacked the equivalent of a town square where small events can easily take place, and this proposal could make those more possible.

Cllr Kam Rai, Cabinet Member for Finance, Culture and Leisure, said:
“With summer approaching, we want to support local people to enjoy our parks and green spaces as much as possible.

“Wanstead benefits from such an active, creative community, and our council wants to engage with local people and groups to help organise activities from craft workshops, talks, Sunday afternoon Jazz all the way to puppet shows and school choir performances, all centred around a small café space serving locally sourced products.”

A spokesman added: “To support the café kiosk and small events, there will be a daily staff presence on-site, additional bins located around Christchurch Green, and litter picking patrols will be expanded.

“The café kiosk will have an alcohol licence providing a limited offering, allowing the kiosk to complement events. All staff will be fully trained in managing public behaviour to ensure the Green remains a welcoming family-orientated space.”

The council says the position of the kiosk had been chosen to minimise the impact on the users of the Green, and that deliveries could be made easily. Its design will be in keeping with the Green, it says, and would comply with Wanstead Conservation Area requirements.

One Wansteadium reader, Toni, said – before the new details had been announced – that she and other residents of Spratt Hall Road were ‘very concerned about plans to extend the licensing… which may impact on local residents’ right to peace’.

(Pic: Thanks, Shane)

Full disclosure: Regular readers will know that Wansteadium is deeply involved in the Wanstead Fringe which each year organises several events on or near Christchurch Green, including the annual Wanstead Kinema.

So the Wanstead Kinema isn’t  taking place after all. In spite of extensive social distancing procedures being in place, the Fringe had to cancel Friday night’s event because of the government’s new regulations on public gatherings in England. Tickets are being refunded.

If things had been different this would have been a wonderful Fringe week, with good weather for the Jumble Trail, photowalks, the Duke Street Party and the Wanstead Festival itself. Wanstead folk would have been filling venues for theatre, comedy, demonstrations and so on.

But 2020 had other thoughts. With thoughts now turning to a socially distanced Christmas, we can just hold out for things to get better in 2021.

Dan Woodley, who is demonstrating his sculpting skills at Images in Frames on Saturday

It’s the biggest day ever for the Wanstead Fringe today, following what has undoubtedly been its biggest week.

The Jumble Trail kicks off with more than 100 stalls around Wanstead (see the live updated map at including a central starting point at the Corner House car park on the High Street.

It will be worth stopping by Images in Frames, next door to Tesco’s, to see sculptor Dan Woodley demonstrate his skills. A Wanstead resident, he is by day a sculptor for Madame Tussauds and will be showing what it takes to create a likeness – in this case, of his son Henry.

Tonight’s Kinema show is completely sold out [STOP PRESS – MORE TICKETS JUST RELEASED], but there are still things to see – including one for all the family.

The Railway Children musical has two performances today – 3pm and 7pm – and one on Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are still available online and on the door.

We Must Throw the Cows Down the Ravine has a performance tonight following a hugely successful show on Friday night. Tickets are here or again on the door.

More tickets have been released for the children’s comedy gig on Saturday afternoon – Bam Bam, star of BGT, is on Saturday afternoon. Tickets here.

And of course there’s the Wanstead Festival on Sunday with the forecast looking great. But for the time being, here are some more scenes from the past couple of days:

With multiple Fringe events on Wednesday and Thursday and the theatre, music, comedy and Kinema coming at the weekend, these really are the days of our lives.

On Wednesday there is Improv Comedy at the Wanstead Tap, a Ukulele workshop (sold out) at More Italy, a talk from expert snappers Geoff Wilkinson and Stefan Rousseau (couple of tickets left) and a masterclass in making choux pastry at La Bakerie (four returned tickets now available).

On Thursday there is a double headlining comedy night from Chris McGlade and Gerry K, a Dixie-land jazz concert in the majesty of St Mary’s Church, a breadmaking masterclass and singer-songwriter Davey James at Luppolo.

For the weekend, there are still some Kinema spaces available, and also the highlight of this year’s Fringe, our attempt to turn Wanstead into theatreland: The Railway Children, The Border and We Must Throw The Cows Down the Ravine (Fri and Sat).

These are just some highlights – the full programme is at Don’t miss out. Meanwhile here are some scenes from the fringe so far…

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Well, today was the first day of the Wanstead Fringe Festival and what a day it was! There was kindness with Elsa Elsa Mark Arnold Mountney there was an amazing street party at the Duke Wanstead The cows even cane back to Wanstead courtesy of Karen Humpage. Whodunnit? – We found out with Isabelle Grey’s Crime writing session. As darkness fell the high powered telescopes came out at the cricket club for a bit of stargazing. After all that thank goodness it was time for Aperitivo Italiano at More Italy – we needed a beer! Thanks to all the people who worked so hard on their Fringe events today. You did us and Wanstead proud! #wansteadfringe #community Check out and get your tickets for the other amazing events this week

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So another busy day at the Fringe and another amazing line up to fill Wanstead with music and light. The Cuckfield managed to combine great music and raise a shedloader money for Haven House (it’s the name of the band performing ok, I couldn’t resist!!!) Arnold the Wanstead cow moved to his temporary home at Majestic and The Jazz Vespers were just frankly wonderful. The Spreading kindness crew are now firing up the kiln for all the kindness messages, which you’ll find on the kindness tree at the festival on Sunday. We had a great comedy night with Jason Simmons the comedy hypnotist, we’d love to report on it but we can’t remember what happened. Woof! Thanks once again Wanstead for supporting the Wanstead Fringe. Remember get your tickets for the rest of the events at #wansteadfringe #community #music #fun

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Day 4 in the Wanstead Fringe House. Great to see so many of you at the Garden in the Sky event! Wanstead could look very different next year. Our king of comedy is 20 year old Aldersbrook comedian Matt Winterbotham ex Wanstead high pupil who won our best new act competition. A worthy winner, the standard was amazingly high so a real treat for all attendees. Don’t forget we have lots more events coming up this week so make sure you book your tickets and get it in your diary. Bring out your dead, sorry sort out your jumble, it’s nearly time for the Jumble Trail. There are loads of jumble stops and you’ll see by the Petty Son & Prestwich boards where they are. Alternatively get the map from the Wanstead Fringe site or pick up a printed copy from the Cornerhouse. There are some stalls there this year as well as maps. Keep supporting the events people are putting on and support your fringe. If you keep coming we’ll keep going #wansteadfringe #community #greatplacetolive

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The full programme for the 2019 Wanstead Fringe has now been unveiled, and is being distributed all over Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook. Already tickets are selling furiously and some events have even sold out.

As in previous years, the Fringe is a combination of comedy, live music, masterclasses about food and photography; there’s the Jumble Trail, the open air Kinema, and the centrepiece of the whole Fringe, live professional theatre.

There are three plays on this year – with The Border promising to be an uncannily timely production. When the programme was being put together it looked like there would be a degree of certainty around our national boundaries, but now, well who knows what’s going to happen. The play is going to be right on the button – and you can get tickets below. If you know or have children 13+, do them a favour and plan your outing now.

Tickets for all the events with the full lineup (many events don’t need tickets) can be found on the Wanstead Fringe website which is here. Or look for a copy through your door.

If you don’t like buying online, the box office will be open at the Larder on Saturday and at the Farmers’ Market on Sunday.

fullsizeoutput_15b6A reminder to save the dates for the Wanstead Fringe – this year running from 7 to 15 September. It will feature more theatre than ever before, top comedy, live music, talks, demonstrations, lots of favourites and some exciting new events too. The Jumble Trail will take place on Saturday 14 September, as will the open air Kinema. Details of events will be released here on Wansteadium over the next few weeks

If you want to run an event, there is still – just – time to get in touch with the Fringe organisers to be part of it. Email

And if you want to advertise in the Fringe programme, which will get your advert seen by thousands of Wanstead residents AND do your bit to support culture and the arts in Wanstead, then please get in touch with us here: