Still time to get baking and making

There are just 11 days left to prepare for the inaugural Wanstead Village Show. Like something from Ambridge which has been going on for generations, it will pit runner bean against runner bean, jam against jam and cupcake against cupcake. Competition is expected to be tough, especially in the baking categories.Horticultural activities have been somewhat impaired by the weather, of course.

Many will hope this village show, dreamt up by 13-year-old Felicity Hepworth, marks the start of a new tradition within Wanstead.   Sadly, Wansteadium’s suggestion that bakers should compete in a cherry pie category were too late to be included, though if the event is a success, next year is a possibility.

(Our reasoning was simple – the 1752 “Cherry Pie Stone” on the side of the George pub, which celebrates a particularly memorable pie. Though the story behind the stone is not known for sure – some such as historian Winifred Philips think it the result of an unrepetant bit of thieving. Others think it merely celebrated a good feast. But  the inscription – “That day we had good cheer/I hope to do so maney a year”- is tantamount to an exhortation to future generations to respect the tradition. We undertake to play our part – any good tips on cherry pie-making, please do share them for the greater good.)

The show is to be held at Christ Church on 22 September. Full details and competition rules are available from, or can be picked up from Petty Son & Prestwich, Christ Church or St Mary’s Church, or can be downloaded here. Categories include tomatoes, runner beans, potatoes, corn on the cob, mixed fruits, unusual shaped fruit or vegetable, pot plant in bloom, dahlias, chrysanthemums, flower arrangements, fruit cakes, jam, Victoria sponge, chocolate cake, cup cakes, chutney, photographs of Wanstead, creative writing about Wanstead, drawing of Wanstead and Lego model.  Some of the proceeds will go to the Gulu Blind School in Uganda with the Reverend John Ochola, who is visiting Wanstead this month.

• Entrants in the photography category will be invited by the organisers to have their entry published here at Wansteadium. And if we’re lucky, so will the owners of the unusually shaped vegetables.