(Image: Redbridge Council)

The plans to redevelop Wanstead Leisure Centre which include a swimming pool are still on track, Redbridge Council has confirmed. After Covid put a halt to works, building is due to start again in the summer

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council told Wansteadium:

We’re currently undertaking an exciting major expansion of Wanstead Leisure Centre near Wanstead Station to provide a 25m length swimming pool and a new dance studio to complement the existing gym, badminton, and squash facilities. The work is due to be completed in late 2022.

This will probably mean much more to Wansteadium than to anyone else – but we’ve never let that stop us before. So let us just tell you that this is the 1,000th post on Wansteadium since our early prototype days in 2010. That’s all. Please don’t send flowers.

If you’re interested, and there’s no reason why you should be, this is what Wansteadium looked like in those early days. Can you believe those lapels?? And the hair?? What were we thinking?

The folk behind the new coffee shop and bakery, which is soon to take Percy Ingle’s place on Wanstead High Street, are recruiting and would like to hear from any Wansteadium readers who are interested.

They are seeking experienced baristas and chef/sandwich makers to work in the new shop, which is going to be an independent, family-run business.

More details can be obtained from info@city-place.co.uk

We wrote last year that the internet loved celebrated Wanstead journalist Ted Kessler who, as editor of music magazine Q, had had to announce its closure.

This week his next chapter opened with the launch of an email newsletter written by Ted and some of his key writers from Q. The launch has been reported in the Guardian, and it seems thousands of people have already signed up. It’s part of a boom in authored newsletters, for which subscribers have an option to pay, thus making them viable. Many of them, including Ted’s New Cue, also have a free option.

You can see a sample – and if you like it, subscribe – here.

The clear-out at Percy Ingle’s – which, as we revealed last week is to become a new coffee shop/bakery called City Place Coffee – has inspired some very sympathetic recycling.

Paper bags which were intended for cream apple turnovers are being repurposed at Harvey’s Greengrocers, next door, for broccoli, carrots, or indeed apples.

Good work people.

The site of Wanstead’s much-loved Percy Ingle is to be converted to a “high-class coffee shop” and bakery, according to a planning application which includes a patio and seating area to the rear of the shop.

The application describes the project as a “high class Coffee Shop/Cafe/Takeaway/Bakery” which would involve “Change existing layout of shop to include new shopfront, sign and blind and outside seating to front and rear. Shopfront similar to adjacent Ginger Pig but with central doorway and bifold windows at 2/3 height either side of entrance.”

If approved, the new cafe will be called City Place Coffee, another branch of which is due to open in Chelmsford. It plans to employ 10 people.

Some might think the high street had reached caffeine saturation point, but it’s in any case good to see that someone is prepared to back the long-term health of Wanstead and that things will be returning to normal.

Percy Ingle closed its chain of bakeries in June despite hopes that a smart rebranding was going to breathe life into the chain.