Wanstead property update: G&Ts, Wanstead films, and good news for property obsessives

Wansteadium’s property blogger George C Parker writes:

During the bubble years, many speculators seemed to forget that a house is first and foremost a place to live. Nowadays it seems people are buying houses for the ‘right reasons’, and are more inclined to improve or extend them as their requirements change. For those planning a Spring project, now is a good time to be researching recommendations from friends and neighbours. Never be shy to ask! People seem to like discussing domestic construction work – it is one of those engrossing and emotive subjects like surviving a plane crash, or live-donating an organ.

When we extended the current Parker Towers into the loft space, several of our neighbours were extremely generous with their time and advice, passing on invaluable “dos”, “don’ts” and “not with a bargepoles”. Naturally these discussions took place in convivial surroundings, which always helps. To paraphrase the advert: Smoothing out the design, planning (if you’re in one of our Conservation Areas) and actual build experiences over a friendly g&t – priceless!

Perfect information
The very observant among you might have noticed that the Wansteadium top brass have been trying out something new in the line of property information. We’ve had it hidden away a bit, but from today, and thanks to our chums at Nestoria, we are offering you on our front page an up-to-date list, with pictures, of houses and flats on the market in Wanstead. For those of us who are mildly obsessive about the subject it is a bit like crack. I hope you enjoy it all as much as I have – any reactions welcome – georgecparker@wansteadium.com should reach me just fine.

Congratulations to local cineaste Helmie Stil! The silver screen is a passion of mine, and I’ve enjoyed discovering Helmie’s blossoming career online

Maybe one year Wanstead will support its own Film festival – possibly outdoors like the Stella Screen events – who knows?! George Green I’m looking at you!

Anyway, as our latest auteur continues to garner awards and critical acclaim, I’m beginning to wonder if the pavement outside the former Kinema should be inset with golden stars and cemented hand prints.

Pride of place would go to local lad Alfred Hitchcock. Mike Leigh also shot Another Year in Aldersbrook, as hardened readers will remember.

And late intelligence reaches me that movie scouts are going round some of the model 1930s semis on the Nightingale Estate, looking for a house to set a new film in. In my humble opinion, they’re nice enough roads round there – some houses still look perfectly preserved as 1930s examples, though low interest rates are leading to many a loft conversion. It’s not quite the Counties, naturally, but can feel like a slice of pure England there. I shall furnish you with more information about the film as I get it.

Harking back a couple of years, my erstwhile golfing buddy Robert Mitchum used Wanstead Park in his 1977 vehicle “The Big Sleep”. SeventiesRatPack.com!

I suppose I could say the movie looks dated now, but then its director might pass the same comment back at me! Michael Winner, Joan Collins, Edward Fox and Oliver Reed in Wanstead – those were the days. The High Street was like the Kings Road that golden summer. Of course it would be indiscreet of me to recall if Ollie had the odd skinful in the George, or if Winner was obnoxious to any local restaurateurs! Maybe I’d reveal all in Helmie’s next blockbuster biography of a Wanstead property tycoon and blogger …

Wanstead News roundup, 16.12.10; Harry, Year, Windows

• It may seem like ancient history, but the case of former Leyton and Wanstead MP Harry Cohen, who was censured after the MPs’ expenses scandal, is not over. New evidence has come to light, the House of Commons Standards and Privileges committee has said, meaning Mr Cohen could yet claim a £65,000 award usually made to MPs who step down. More details

• The Mike Leigh film Another Year, which is set in Wanstead, is one of the films of the year as chosen by the New Statesman’s excellent film critic, Ryan Gilbey (who is also set in Wanstead).

• Who would have thought some new windows in flats above a shop could be interesting? Wanstead’s Smarter High Street campaign, now with an introductory video, below, tells the tale behind the new frames above Judith of Wanstead.

The Smarter High Street Campaign for Wanstead from Smarter High Street on Vimeo.

Wanstead news roundup, 15.11.10; Swings, Paphitis, Stone

• Up to £14K could be spent renovating the stone on the corner of Hollybush Hill which historically gave Leytonstone its name. The money would be spent on cleaning the stone, putting a plaque next to it explaining its history and, perhaps strangely, removing the pedestrian safety barriers nearby.

• Campaigners are holding a Take Back Wanstead Flats event next Sunday at which they plan to stake out the area proposed for the police’s Olympic base. Meanwhile one campaigner, Kevin Blowe, says in 2008/9 Redbridge issued 16% of the UK’s fixed penalty notices for flyposting, and that 49% of them were subsequently cancelled. He says he was issued with one for a poster put on a tree on Wanstead High Street, but it was withdrawn.

• Five playgrounds in Redbridge are to be renovated with some new government money, but none of them is in Wanstead.

• Dragon’s Den’s Theo Paphitis, amid preparations for Children In Need, had his dinner in Wanstead on Thursday, (presumably at Nam Am).

• Nice things said about Wansteadium, I

Mum just let me know Mike Leigh’s new film was shot on my Nana’s old road in Wanstead 🙂 http://bit.ly/bRpEC5 (nice local London blog too)less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

UPDATE MONDAY, 2330 GMT: The plan to clean the stone at Hollybush Hill has been shelved, on the grounds of cost, reports Wanstead Guardian.

Another Year review, I

Your reviews of Mike Leigh’s new film, starring Jim Broadbent and Wanstead, are welcome. More on the film here.

New Mike Leigh Film is so well done, not to mention the wonderful views of Wanstead Flats.less than a minute ago via web

See Wanstead on film

[picappgallerysingle id=”9990618″]Mike Leigh’s new film, Another Year, which is going on release today (Friday) is set in Wanstead. The film, starring Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen, was filmed in a house in St Margaret’s Road, also using the front of the house and garden as locations, and on the allotments.

These clips on Film4 give a taster of the tone of film, which will be shown in Enfield, Holloway Road and the Barbican (full listings for Friday from Google here)

Here’s a taste of the film’s entourage on Wanstead Flats during filming last October, taken by Peter Aylmer and featured on his website. In a memorable quote which gives a vivid a taste of Mike Leigh’s film-making style, an actress on the film told him what was going on.

“It’s the new Mike Leigh film,” she told him.

“Has it got a title yet?” asked Peter.

“No,” she said, “it hasn’t even got a story.”

Leigh himself told the Guardian last week:

“I remember when we were shooting the scene in Happy-Go-Lucky where Poppy goes to visit her pregnant sister in Southend. I said to Dick Pope, my director of photography, ‘This is the last time I stand outside a suburban house.’ But then came Another Year and we were shooting in Wanstead. Dick turned to me and said, ‘I thought you said that was the last time you’d shoot outside a suburban house.'”

So, as is Wansteadium tradition, your reviews of the film are welcome, especially if they focus on the role Wanstead plays. To kick off, here’s Wanstead stalwart @dollycreative ‘s verdict.

Wanstead is perfect for a bitter-sweet Mike Leigh film set in a nice house in a conservation area, but still in E London http://is.gd/gIsoaless than a minute ago via web