wansteadshops

… wait for it… Churchill’s. Yes, Wansteadium can exclusively reveal that the East London estate agent which seemed to be a fixture in the office on the corner of Wanstead High Street and Woodbine Place – and which shut up shop during the credit crunch -  will be making a comeback over the summer. It is expected to return at the end of August.

And though another estate agent is hardly going to add to the diversity of Wanstead High Street, which has taken a battering in recent weeks, it is at least an indication that the housing market is picking up and that despite having offices in South Woodford, Leytonstone, Walthamstow and other nearby spots, Wanstead is still worth treating as an entity in its own right.


It looks dramatic – smoke billowing out of the Boots shopfront on Wanstead High Street, while people huddle on the pavement not knowing what to do.

But it’s not quite what it seems. For the second time in two months, a security system which pumps dry ice into the shop to befuddle intruders has gone off, making passers-by think something disastrous is going on. But all’s well – the ‘smoke’ cleared and the shop opened as usual.

Exclusive: Trendy gift shop Horsfall and Wright is moving out of Wanstead, Wansteadium understands. It is planning to relocate in bigger premises in a busier High Street, though it is not yet clear where that will be. The move is expected within the month.

The shop, which came to Wanstead High Street three years ago, has been opening less frequently lately as preparations are made for its move.

Last year its minimalist chic earned it a nomination in the Wanstead Society’s best shop front competition, when it was commended for a “well thought-out design” and for being a “smart injection into less-favoured end of the High Street”.

The news will come as a blow to shoppers as well as other retailers, and comes just a few weeks after it was revealed that delicatessen The Olive Branch had been put up for sale. Hardened Horsfall and Wright fans will still be able to buy online.


UPDATE: Tweet from Mark Bentley: Andrews Builders Merchants to close in Wanstead. Too many people coming in for just a washer, it would seem. Sad though, been there forever.

(To get in touch with Wansteadium, e-mail us at wansteadium[at]googlemail.com.)

Former Devon House Interiors on Hermon HillAs 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.)

The Co-op, currently an increasingly tatty-looking Somerfield, has applied to put new signs on its shop. The question of what kinds of signs Wanstead shops have is a vexed one, especially for the Wanstead Society, which ran a competition last year to encourage a “smarter High Street”.

Artists' impression of how Wanstead Co-op will look, part of the planning application, © futurama.ltd.uk

The Co-op’s designs are available to view on the Redbridge-i website
, and though much larger and (literally) greener than the existing Somerfield signs, will not be illuminated plastic boxes – they will be lit with spotlights. This may be cheering news to those who thought the High Street was in a spiral of aesthetic decline.
The council is inviting comments on the application now.