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.

More on Wanstead and Wikileaks

It was true that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had his pre-arrest breakfast in Wanstead, as Wansteadium reported last week. Mark Stephens, Assange’s lawyer, told the Wanstead Guardian that he and his client went to the Bungalow Cafe on Spratt Hall Road, rather shocking some builders (and at least one PR man, our source, tweeter @maxdaviespr).

Stephens, who has lived in Wanstead for 36 years, told the paper he believed his house was under surveillance, believing it was an attempt by someone to try to scare him. (Unusually, there is no link to the story in the online version of the Wanstead Guardian.)

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