Thanks to Terence Manning for coming through with the listing of shops in Woodbine Place in 1963, taken from Kelly’s Directory from the time.
It gives us some more information about the shops and offices in Kerry Renshaw’s photograph, and includes the intriguing fact that the alley between Wanstead High Street and Woodbine Place is actually called Dark Alley. Who knew? Does anyone still use this name? (The name is confirmed by this Redbridge document, where its alternative name “Footpath 122” is also used.)
Dark Alley isn’t perhaps the most enchanting name, being something more likely to be heard in a police report. But it’s worth remembering that all of Wanstead used to be referred to as Sleepy Hollow (according to Winifred Eastment’s Wanstead Through The Ages).
There is another minor mystery about the alley – there is a wooden sign saying “Communicator” screwed to the wall. What’s that about?
Happy New Year to all Wansteadium readers, and thank you for continuing to read our little website.
We hope you’ve enjoyed it. And because we love traditions, here is our rundown of the year’s biggest stories. In total Wansteadium had more than a quarter of a million page views this year, with 122,000 visits.
The second power cut in a week made shops, banks and cafes on Wanstead High Street close for the second time in a week. Faulty electrical equipment led to the cut, and workers from UK Power Network could be seen outside the NatWest trying to fix it.
By early evening the UK Power website had put back its expected time of repair until 7pm, though this had been extended already several times during the day.
A similar outage on Christmas Eve also led to shops closing.
Some shops were helped to keep open by the Nationwide sharing cables with their neighbours.
Wanstead High Street as seen in 1963, thanks to Wansteadium reader (and former resident) Kerry Renshaw who lived here from 1948 until 1967.
Furniture shop Edwin Fisher, in the current Churchill’s building.
A cafe, sometimes known as the Alhambra, where Petty Son and Prestwich are now
Something called Senior Service, now the Kebab shop. Ideas welcome for what Senior Service was…
Wanstead Hairdressers, barely changed, which is what people like about it so much. Kerry says it was sometimes known as the Green Saloon.
Some Routemasters, destination imperceptible, but even then queuing at Wanstead Place.
No pedestrian crossing.
In the background, the legendary Andrew’s Builders’ Merchants.
On the left, a sign pointing to a car park, but pointing not down Grove Park but rather the other side of the Corner House. ???
If anyone can fill in any of the gaps – what was in these shops after the picture – we’d like to build up a complete list based on Wanstead’s collective memory. Please leave comments using the form below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apologies that on some devices pictures are appearing the wrong way up. They must have been working out the answer to the Wansteadium Christmas quiz. (That’s a clue.)