• How to spend 300,000 on Wanstead High Street – a question exercising the minds of administrators after it became clear that the money was to be allocated from central grants. The more hardline advocates of Wanstead improvement would say that investment money needs to be matched with strict planning rules to have the desired effect.
• ‘Fake’ charity clothing collection bags are being distributed in the area again. Wansteadium reader Graeme says he has received a bag from CSS, pictured, which last year Redbridge Trading Standards warned was not the registered charity it claims to be.
• The mystery over the successor to former brothel, Wanstead Sauna, continues. The new outfit in the premises bills itself a “male grooming centre”, and one Wansteadium reader told us last month that he had received a perfectly respectable sports massage there. Now reader Jack writes: “A male grooming centre that’s open at 02:30 AM on Monday 3rd January 2011??!!” Curiouser and curiouser.
Last week, Wansteadium reader Jana pointed out that the former Wanstead Sauna, which was closed earlier in the year after a police raid on the grounds that it was actually – as everyone knew – a brothel, had now reopened as a “Male Grooming Centre”. Ever-so slightly suspicious, she wondered what was really going on there, and asked: “Perhaps a male Wansteadium reader can pop along to see whatâ€™s on offer and report back!”
Stepping up to the mark is Gordon, whose public service Wansteadium has decided to take at face value, though further corroboration would be welcome. Gordon reports the following:
I am always up for a challenge and pleased to report back to the Wansteadium readers about my recent visit. I noted they offer sports massage as an avid golfer my back is not as good as I would like. The place is clean with what looks like a Tardos sunbed, I pre-booked my massage and can say the lady was very professional and knowlegable about sports matters. The massage was 1st class although a little on the pricey side at Â£80… Highly recommend the place and no smut at all.
In one of the worst nights of bombing Wanstead faced during the Blitz, on this night in 1940, German planes dropped high explosives on
- Number 73 and 89 New Wanstead, causing fire and the collapse of the side of a house
- Spratt Hall Road, damaging water and gas mains and causing a fire
- Wanstead High Street, injuring four people and breaking electric cables, and
- Fitzgerald Road.
Wanstead’s Â Smarter High Street campaign Â – which among other things assesses the visual impact of shopfronts – has got its work cut out this weekend.
Firstly, Wanstead Pharmacy has put behind it its Reginald Perrin days, when a falling letter from its sign spells a different name each day. It’s got a smart new sign at last.
Then, slightly further down the street, what is normally a sign of de-gentrification: the addition of shutters, this time to Robins Pie and Mash shop. But since that shop suffered three firebomb attacks in three days last week, no-one is going to think the owners are over-reacting. Unattractive they may be, but no-one is going to criticise.
And finally the covers are off the new face of Hadley House. Tasteful, sober, but not quite Italian chic. L’infinito – purveyors of fine Italian food and Google Translate signs – is now open for business. As is traditional here, anyone who experiences Wanstead’s new gastronomy is welcome to send a review.
When the shop left Wanstead High Street earlier this year (a move first revealed by Wansteadium), many wondered what the future held for Horsfall and Wright. The answer is that it’s reopened in Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, where co-owner Steve Horsfall went to primary school. Â The Berkhamstead People blog seems to know it’s on to a good thing – and if you like you can still order from them online.