Wanstead High Street gap to be filled

Work is beginning to fill the quaint gap between shopfronts in the middle of Wanstead High Street – the site for many years of Joliffe’s builders.

Planning permission was granted over the summer for the demolition of the distinctive wood-clad single storey building, and replacement with a new three-floored construction comprising seven one-bedroom flats, six two-bedroom flats and new shops.

The rear of the property, currently a yard, will lose its access to the road but will be replaced by landscaped garden.

Top: Google Streetview. Bottom: Harper Downie via Redbridge

The plans are far more modest than an attempted development in 2015 which was a mini shopping mall dubbed ‘The Cube’ and which was criticised for being out of character with the rest of the high street.

Planning officials are insisting on prior approval of bricks, roofing materials, windows and window frames, balconies and guttering, “to ensure satisfactory appearance and to comply with… the Redbridge Local Plan”.

Details of the plan are available on Redbridge.gov.uk under planning reference 0141/18.

The site as seen from above, courtesy of Google Earth


The Wanstead ’15’ to be marked at Westminster Abbey

Margaretha Pollitt Brown and Diana Forster in front of the memorial bearing the names

A historical project which traced the stories of 15 members of Wanstead United Reformed Church who died in WW1 is to be marked in the centenary events on Armistice Day in Westminster Abbey.

The project, called ‘Our 15’, pieced together the stories of the 15 members of the congregation who died. The church decided to embark on the project when it realised that only one of the families still had members in the congregation. Though the names were marked on a memorial, there were few written memories – the church decided to “attempt to turn the names in stone back into remembered lives”. With the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, their stories were reconstructed.

Margaretha Pollitt Brown, the project co-ordinator, and Diana Forster, researcher and exhibition guide, will be attending the Westminster service marking 100 years since the end of the war. They have been invited in recognition of the contribution the project made to commemorating the war.



New Abbey tenant

The former Abbey National/Santander, which has been empty for a year, is currently being redeveloped and will become NOT – as people might have feared – a fast food joint, charity shop or poundshop. Instead it’s going to be a relocation for a local lettings agent. It’s good to keep it in the family, and good luck to them. (But a branch of Daunt Books would have been really nice.)


Viral cake

Longtime Wanstead resident and prolific tweeter @Lornamedia tweeted about her birthday cake on Thursday, and got more than 40,000 likes as a result. The tweet – a thing of beauty – is self explanatory. The reactions to it were equally beautiful.
(Lorna’s mother Glenda died from ovarian cancer in July shortly after having been to the doctor with a suspected kidney infection. Lorna’s JustGiving page in Glenda’s memory is raising funds for the Eve Appeal which supports research into five gynaecological cancers. Donations can be made here.)