Pop legend Feargal Sharkey paid a visit with friends to Wanstead Cricket Club on Friday. And since it was junior training night, some sort of pun like Teenage Cricks might be in order. Or, preferably, much better via the comments form below please.

Wanstead geography student Ben Harris is attempting to become the first person to kayak solo the entire length of the world’s longest lake.

Ben, 21, started on 3 July and has now completed the first leg of four, avoiding crocodiles among other threats. The map below demonstrates he has a way to go – his progress is marked in blue.

On his site he explains his mission: “My aim is to kayak the entire length of the lake, from its southernmost tip in Mpulungu, Zambia to its northernmost tip in Bujumbura, Burundi, becoming the first person to complete this voyage solo. This entails close to 750km of kayaking, and will take me over a month to complete. The trip will be unsupported, low budget and I will be travelling light.”

He has form – he has previously cycled unsupported from Wanstead to Barcelona, has canoed and hiked in Canada’s remote Yukon region with the Inuit people, has mountaineered in the Alps and spent five months of solo travel across South America.

His current mission is to raise money for Centrepoint to support homeless young people. He’s sharing details of his trip on Instagram, and is inviting donations via this link – he’s already raised more than £6,000.

Image: share.garmin.com

Walk-in vaccinations are now being offered at Wanstead Pharmacy, from Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm (excluding 1pm-2pm).

From coronavirus.data.gov.uk

Wanstead has been doing well for vaccination rates, as this map shows (the darker the area, the greater the vaccination rate). But there is still some way to go.

First doseSecond dose
Wanstead79.567.7
Snaresbrook78.765.7
All Redbridge68.152.3

Redbridge Council has compiled a useful list of FAQs about vaccination, including links to versions in different languages. It is available here.

A total of 746 people in Redbridge have died within 28 days of a positive COVID test.

If you’re on this site, you’ll be aware that we like to note new signs on shops in Wanstead. We make no apology for this (so if your reaction, having come to this site, is to object to us writing about a new sign, then you really should take a look at yourself rather than add a comment to this post which says something like “Have you got nothing better to be interested in? You’re utterly pathetic” We’re not. YOU are).

So nice to see the new sign over the beautician now known as Polished, and even nicer to note that it complies completely with the rules for signs on High Street shops (which state that it should not be “internally lit”, a rule which seems to be more honoured in the breach than the observance).

And for those keeping count of Wanstead shops which have French names, please remove Click Beautique from the list.

(Just FYI, the list currently includes: Beauté Parfaite, Provender, Café Brasserie, Jo Jo Maman Bébé, Le Marmiton, La Bakerie, and Le Voyage.)

Woe betide anyone who needs to make a phone call while out in Wanstead and doesn’t have a mobile with them. The absolute state of the phone box – which has actually deteriorated since these photos were taken – is a disgrace. The phone itself is useless, the cubicle is a health hazard, and the noble idea of providing public access phones seems to have lost its point.

This is a nice bit of unsung social action… Wanstead estate agent Dabora Conway is marking three years since it started supporting The Hygiene Bank, an organisation which helps women and families who suffer from domestic abuse by providing basic items such as toothpaste and deodorant.

The High Street office collects new, unused, in-date personal care and household cleaning essentials including deodorant, shower gel, shampoo/conditioner, sanitary pads and tampons,  face wash and wipes, disposable razors and shaving foam, nappies, soap, toothpaste/toothbrushes, body and face lotions, make-up, beauty gifts and toilet roll.

A Hygiene Bank co-ordinator said: “Women and families in our community are suffering horrendous domestic abuse.

“The ways in which this abuse is inflicted is often via withholding household funds to buy basic items such as toothpaste and deodorant so the women feel too ashamed to go out in public and therefore stay in the house where they can be controlled.

“Complete denial of access to sanitary items is another obvious and degrading way to exercise ultimate control over a woman’s (& daughter’s) freedom on a regular basis. 

“These women and their children seek support and advice at a local refuge but they are often not in a position to escape their abusers.

“Also, hygiene poverty is not being able to afford many of the everyday hygiene and personal grooming products most of us take for granted. The reality of low income is that it restricts people’s options, leaving them caught between being able to heat their homes, pay the rent, eat or be clean.”

Donations have unfortunately dropped off during the pandemic – so anyone who is moved to help is invited to drop in suitable items to the Dabora Conway office on the High Street.

Further information can be found at thehygienebank.com