We’ve never thought of Christchurch Green down as a Bermuda Triangle, but this Marie Celeste (spotted by Wansteadium reader Magali) means we may have to think again…

Wanstead writer and poet Victoria Richards will be the guest at the Wanstead Social Distance Club on Friday lunchtime at 1pm, speaking about her work and performing some of her poems. Please note, some of the poems are not suitable for children.

The Wanstead Social Distance Club is open to all Wansteadium readers (and is our attempt to help keep community life alive in these weird times). All you need to do is click this Zoom link at some time before 1pm on Friday 24 April and join us for the event, which will last 30 minutes.


About Victoria

Victoria Richards is a journalist and writer. In 2017/18 she was shortlisted in the Bath Novel Award and the Lucy Cavendish College Fiction Prize, was highly commended for poetry in the Bridport Prize and came third in The London Magazine Short Story Competition. A collection of her poetry was published in May 2019 alongside two other poets in Primers: Volume Four, with Nine Arches Press, and in 2020 she came second in the Magma Poetry Competition. Find her at www.twitter.com/nakedvix or www.victoriarichards.co.uk.

Bravo to the families staging the Wanstead Bear Hunt.

The idea is beautiful. In houses across Wanstead, bears are being displayed in front windows, visible from the street, alongside a letter of the alphabet.

Families out walking are invited to spot the bears, note down the letters, and then when they’ve collected all 45, decode a message.

The houses are around Leicester Road and Hereford Road but go as far as Warren Road, Gordon Road and Rodney Road. You can download the PDF for your answers right here.

The project is online here

Among the most impressive projects to come out of the lockdown has been built by Wanstead resident Shea Donovan, an artistic director who in normal times divides her time between E11, New York and LA.

Shea conceived and developed a project which asked 154 participants to transform Shakespeare’s sonnets into personal creative acts. People from all over the world responded to her invitation, and the resulting films have been compiled into a magnificent collection which are now being streamed online.

She said: “In these uncertain times, the work is interested in exploring how to link individuals and communities in isolation, and how to generate creative work outside of our typical models of in person rehearsal and collaboration. While many artists are unsure of what the immediate future holds, this project aims to ground them in a global artistic community and encourage the creation of new work in crisis.”

Shea moved to the UK with her fiancé, who works in Loughton. As well as performing, she is studying for a Masters at UEL in Stratford. “Wanstead was the perfect location and had the charm and the sense of community we were after,” she said. “I’ve actually recently started participating in the Flamingo Fairs at Wanstead Library selling vegan baked goods (my other love besides theatre!) so I have really enjoyed getting more involved in Wanstead life.”

With garden waste and recycling not being collected, it’s tempting to think about a garden bonfire. But Redbridge is appealing to residents not to go there.

A statement issued by the council said: “With the limited ability to enjoy fresh air at the moment, we all want to be able to get the best out of our gardens. We are asking residents not to start fires and, particularly, not to burn rubbish.” It’s also reminding people that unreasonably polluting fires can be reported to the council’s pollution team.

Wansteadium’s heart swelled with pride at the 2,000th subscriber to our email newsletter. The email contains that day’s items plus – in normal times – listings from the Wanstead Events Calendar (though obviously there aren’t any events at the moment). We only ever send one a day, and send no spam.

If you don’t already subscribe, you can join the coolest gang in Wanstead by signing up here.