South Woodford hit, Wanstead nervous

South Woodford was reportedly hit by looters last night, with a jewellers, and the Nationwide Building Society being hit (photos here and here). There was also reportedly a fire in a carpet shop on High Road, Woodford Green.

At 11.30 a tweet claimed a brick had hit a Central Line train at Leytonstone

Wanstead however seemed to escape any activity. Throughout Monday there were lots of jokes on Twitter and Facebook about what rioters and looters would do if they came to Wanstead (e.g. “They’ll be OK if they want olive oil/haircuts/secondhand books/etc” or “Nothing going on in Wanstead – no one knows where it is”), but there were signs of real nerves that trouble would spread, certainly after reports of Tesco in Leytonstone being targeted earlier in the day.

According to reports on Twitter, the Co-op pulled its shutters down early, the George Inn was not serving large groups, and both the George and the Cuckfield stopped serving about 9.30pm.

UPDATE – Tuesday, 1230BST

• One Twitter user who apparently bragged about taking part in looting in South Woodford has now removed his page, this tweet reports.

• Tension seems to have eased now; jokes happily reappearing

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• Redbridge Council issues statement

All Party Statement following civil disorder in Redbridge

Redbridge Council completely supports the quick and decisive action of the Police following isolated pockets of disorder in Ilford on Monday. Despite effective crowd control a number of shop fronts were damaged and shops broken into by small groups of young men.

Councillor Keith Prince, Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Bond, Deputy Leader of the Council, and Councillor Balvinder Saund, Deputy Leader of the Opposition said, “We are disgusted by the actions of these individuals and our community will simply not tolerate anyone who seeks to cause unrest with lawlessness and senseless vandalism.

“These are the actions of a small minority of criminals, and the Council will do all it can to help the Police bring them to justice. The Council are working with the Local Community ands Businesses to offer support and advice to keep our shopping centres open for business as usual.”

Plans are in place to tackle any further disorder should it occur and policing will continue in the Borough to keep the community safe.

You can contact the Police anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the new non-emergency 101 number. You should always call 999 in an emergency.


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Wansteadium reader Jane reports being turned away from the Co-op as it is closing “by order of head office”. Blush Temples florist boarding up windows, she says.


Olympic sculpture to hit Freeview in Snaresbrook

[picappgallerysingle id=”8382660″]The massive 120m Anish Kapoor sculpture to be built at the Olympic Park is going to cause disruption to the reception of Freeview TV signal to parts of Snaresbrook and South Woodford, Wansteadium can reveal.

The disruption is not expected to be massive – but could cause “ghosting” – and it doesn’t seem there is much that can be done to correct it, other than affected residents upgrading aeriels or switching to cable or satellite TV. There is no plan at the moment to fund those upgrades – they will have to be paid for by affected households.

The expected disturbance is revealed in a planning document published by the Olympic Delivery Authority. It says:

[the proposed sculpture] is likely to have a slight adverse impact on terrestrial TV services, due to shadowing of terrestrial TV signals caused by signal shadowing to Crystal Palace and Croydon transmitters, in a number of households to the north east of the development.  The affected locations may be able to have terrestrial television services restored by using one of the following methods as appropriate: installing a higher gain antenna or re-locating the existing antenna or re-pointing the existing antenna to another transmitter where possible or, if any of these solutions are unable to restore service, by installing satellite or cable TV services;

The affected areas, as detailed in this report, TV Reception Report and Appendix A – The construction of a Sculpture for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and Legacy phases, include parts of Stratford, Leyton, Leytonstone, Snaresbrook, South Woodford, Woodford Green and Buckhurst Hill. The areas are shown below, with the red line indicating disturbance from the Crystal Palace transmitter, the blue one Croydon.Comments on the application can be submitted via this page.

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South Woodford’s fake tan does it

Wansteadium reported last week that the Wanstead Guardian had tracked down Piers Pereira, who was named in a mischievously doctored Wikipedia entry about South Woodford. Mr Pereira blamed his friend Sean Preston, who has had the chutzpah to write to the Guardian this week explaining his actions (no link available). He writes that his time living in South Woodford has been “the worst five years of my life, mainly due to the lobster-like majority that inhabits the area”.

He says he’s leaving and is moving back to Zone 2, “a mythical land of opportunity and natural complexions”. He adds:

“I find the women of South Woodford to be vulgar in appearance and thus, unlikely to encourage the desire within me requisite for courtship. In short I’m too cool, dashing, intelligent and outright good-looking to find a suitable life-partner in the area.”

Parking dispute becomes a row. Almost.

Wanstead blogger Mark Samuels has recounted in literary style his dispute with the South Woodford Waitrose over a £25 parking fine he received for overstaying the two hour limit – even though he spent all of that time in the shop.

But he writes that even though it’s left him “angry and push[ed] me to write a load of stuff on my blog about how disappointed I am”, he’s not going to change his shopping habits. “I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face; I like your shops,” he tells them.

‘Enjoying Wanstead life. No bookshop though.’

He certainly has a point. zzgavin writes the following on Twitter:

Walk through forest, now local cafe for pastries and coffee, then to butcher and greengrocers, enjoying wanstead life. No bookshop though

It would take a feat of imagination to think anything could change about it now – the Times reported last week that three independent bookshops around the country were shutting each week – so who would bet on one opening in Wanstead in a hurry? But in other news, the Christian bookshop in South Woodford, which, as we reported here, churchgoers were rallying to save, has now been taken over by a charity and will continue selling Christian books. It might even expand to include a cafe, they say.