• There was a nasty-sounding van-jacking in Snaresbrook when a driver was threatened with a gun. According to the Wanstead Guardian, though, the driver, a former doorman, seems to have been more traumatised by being made to take off his trousers by his attacker.
It’s hard to stay calm when you’ve got a gun held at your head. But you’ve got to do it. It’s when you panic that you get problems. At the time I just kept as calm as I could. I’ve had knives waved at me before when I used to do the doors – but a gun is different altogether. I was a bit confused when he asked me to take my trousers off. I thought ‘if he tries anything funny here he’s going to have to start shooting.
• Wansteadium noted two weeks ago that the Redbridge council elections had turned out to be a mirror-image of the national election result. To make the parallel even more apt, the Tories and Lib Dems have formed a coalition in Redbridge too. Wanstead councillor Thomas Chan, who was the first Chinese mayor in Britain, has now finished his term as mayor.
The Wanstead Society has decided to oppose new plans to demolish the historic Kinema building. Its owner wants to build eight flats and a restaurant, but says the plans would be sympathetic to the style of the High Street.
• There’s another flag on a tree.
As Wansteadium noted last week, the “Opening Soon” posters completely covering the windows of the former Devon House Interiors on Hermon Hill are pretty successful at building a sense of anticipation: it’s a large shop, great setting, lots of people passing… what could it be? A restaurant, perhaps? A new cafe? A bookshop even?
Underwhelming as it might seem, Wansteadium has reason to believe it’s going to be a kitchen and bathroom showroom. (Sound of hopes being dashed.)
Road safety plans costing Â£165,000 have been agreed for New Wanstead, which has an accident rate 30% higher than other equivalent roads in Redbridge. The plans will include a new pedestrian island, new lighting and a new road surface. Details at Wanstead Guardian.
Pot Idol update: Redbridge Council has allocated Â£250,000 to repair more than 8,000 potholes across the borough. (See more Pot Idol here)
Tape preventing access to the apparently poisoned Wanstead Flats lake, where 80 birds and a dog died last week, has been torn, according to a complainant to the FixMyStreet website. On the site, which forwards complaints to the appropriate authorities (and excerpts of which can be seen on the right hand side of Wansteadium pages), the report reads:
The contaminated pond has warning barriers around to stop people walking near it. These however have been broken and I have witness people walking dogs right next to the pond.