Wanstead news roundup, 14.5.11; Driving, sauna, parking

• Wanstead driving test centre has the lowest pass rate of any centre in the country, says the Wanstead Guardian. It’s not quite true – figures from the DSA show Thornbury centre to be marginally worse – but it’s still very very low. The paper says low incomes are to blame, but that doesn’t seem to ring true somehow. Other explanations welcome.

• The bosses of the Wanstead Sauna have been jailed for a total of three-and-half years for conspiracy to control prostitution.

• A campaign against proposed parking changes on streets in central Wanstead has been launched. Details on poster below (click image for larger version).

Wanstead news roundup, 5.1.11; Booty, bags and late-night massage

• 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.

Wanstead’s massage surprise

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 what’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 £80… Highly recommend the place and no smut at all.

Wanstead news roundup, 24.11.10; After the sauna? Plus more UFO madness, and Christmas

• Wansteadium reader Jana writes:

Has it reopened? The ‘Wanstead Sauna‘ sign has recently been replaced by one that says something like ‘Men’s Grooming Centre’… Now, I might be reading too much into this.. but… hmmmm. Perhaps a male Wansteadium reader can pop along to see what’s on offer and report back!

• Internet apparently consumed by Wanstead UFO madness, which you read about here first (or possibly second).

• Chemical spill was sugar

• Photos from the Take Back Wanstead Flats event held on Sunday are on Flickr here.

• A shrewd move from Wanstead children’s clothes and shoe shop Knock Down Ginger – from the New Year it will be offering children’s haircutting too. Meanwhile, the Robins Pie and Mash shop has reopened after being attacked by arsonists.

• The Wanstead Christmas lights are being switched on this Friday evening at 4.30pm on George Green (outside Wanstead Tube). Children, a tree, the Salvation Army band, and even (according to current forecasts) the possibility of some snow.

World’s oldest profession in Wanstead?

The Wanstead Guardian now has a story about the raiding and closure of the Wanstead Sauna, due (as Wansteadium pictured last week) to a magistrates order following “activities relating to one or more specified prostitution offences”.

Regular commenter on the paper’s stories, Rubbernecker of Walthamstow, comments:

Not that I have been there, honest, but I am told by a friend who also has not been there that this place has been there for over 40 years and if this is an example of ‘swift action’ by police to stamp out crime we have no hope!

He raises an interesting point – just how long has Wanstead Sauna been in business? Anyone who knows can e-mail in confidence to wansteadium[at]gmail.com