Armageddon hits Wanstead on Wednesday. No cause for alarm.

It will look bad. There will be smoke billowing from the tunnel under George Green. Fire engines, police and ambulance will be there, as will people looking like casualties. But the incident – due to happen in Wanstead on Wednesday night – will really be nothing.

The smoke will be “cosmetic”. The emergency services will be real, granted, but on a training exercise. And the victims, despite bandages and stretchers, will be actors from the Casualties Union (“The original and best in casualty simulation“). So there will really be no cause for alarm.

Nearby residents are to be warned of the event on Tuesday, while the council switchboards have been alerted that people may be calling to report the event.

So in short the message will be “move along, please, there’s nothing to see here”.


Wanstead news roundup, 1.02.11; Stump, Hacking and Overheard in Wanstead

• It’s not looking good for Wanstead’s best-known heirloom, the chestnut tree-stump which until last September sat with a certain grace on George Green. It became clear that the grace was actually wood rot, and the Corporation of London removed it for renovation. It seems, though, that it might be beyond repair – the corporation is asking anyone who knows anything about restoring to get in touch. (People once sang to this tree..)

• Interviews for volunteers for London 2012 begin on Tuesday morning.

• Wanstead High Street update: Just weeks after Wanstead Beauty Clinic celebrated its 25th anniversary, two new beauticians are opening – one in the former Horsfall and Wright shop, and one in the rather magnificently redeveloped Cuckfield Garage. A positive sign, perhaps, but not exactly ideal for the diversity of the high street.

• Mark Stephens, Wanstead’s most celebrated lawyer (and Julian Assange’s brief) is waiting to find out if he is one of the people whose voicemail was hacked by the News of the World. He says he “certain that many of my clients have, and indeed some of them have been in to ask what they can do about it”.

• Overheard in Wanstead: Friday morning, inside Santander branch on Wanstead High Street: woman says thank you to cash dispenser.