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First Wanstead snow pic of the season


Wanstead weekend photo, CXIII

Geoff Wilkinson writes on Wanstead Daily Photo: “I think this may be the sort of view of earth that astronauts have from the space station, perhaps as they pass over the Alps or the Himalayas. Ranges of mountains, areas of snow and ice, darker areas that look like the shadows of clouds… Of course it’s actually dear old Wanstead and the roof of my car on Saturday morning, there was a very heavy frost  that night…mmm I think I prefer to think of it as the more romantic view from space.”


Christmas stamps



An unofficial public service announcement on behalf of the loyal traders of Wanstead and Snaresbrook: there’s still time to collect stamps for the Christmas reward card which – as well as supporting the health of the High Street – also gives chances to win prizes. And while there are hundreds of items which will qualify for a stamp, Wansteadium was much taken with the item pictured (left).


New cartoon series in (or at least near) Wanstead

ClaysGeneral 001

You may find a new series of online comedy animations set in the “Wanstead/South Woodford/West Essex area” diverting. The cartoons are about a family of villains who have relocated from their old East London base to kind of round here, where they are trying to go straight.

The series, known as The Bruvs, are written by longstanding comedy writer Ian Brown and drawn by Eoin Clarke (the second Eoin on Wansteadium this week – what are the chances of that?). Ian Brown says: “They are embracing frothy coffees, cargo shorts and cafe society, but are struggling to leave their past behind. Any violence is now generally between the main characters.”

He adds: “People in this area might recognise elements of the characters but we’re not mocking anyone. We love these folks… particularly Chanterelle our West Essex Girl.”

The films are being released one a month, and are being made on “less than a shoestring budget”. Brown adds: “It seems amazing that America can produce hit cartoon series like The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers and in the UK we don’t really have anything that has taken off in the same way. It would be crazy to compare TheBruvs to those hit shows, but we would like to develop these characters and possibly make longer films in due course.”

You can see the films at TheBruvs.com, get more info on Facebook or Twitter, or indeed watch the first of the cartoons below.

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Welcome, Eoin Mason

Welcome to you. We have a tradition in these parts – newcomers usually buy twelve dozen cupcakes and distribute them on the High Street to strangers. Just thought we’d mention it.


The generation game

Guerrilla gardener Marian Temple writes:

“At Wanstead Station, we cut down, potted up and brought inside, geraniums for overwintering on the station window ledge. They’ll be happily frost free and will be planted out next April to give Wansteadians another blast of vermillion all summer. These are wonderful old-fashioned plants and were originally bought about 20 years ago from a little nursery which we enjoyed for a couple of years on the site of the block of flats next to the old Chocolate shop cottage, now a travel agents’. I was given my first one a few years ago by an elderly Wanstead resident. So… impecable Wanstead credentials. They get taken in every winter and last about four years. Cuttings taken and the descendants now blooming in our street patches. They make a lot of growth every year – about 3 foot 6 inches height and round. When we cut them down to bring them in, we didn’t want to waste them. So, they were put in a bucket outside the Wanstead station entrance with a notice “Please Take” and info about what to do with them. You can keep them in water all winter. The leaves are attractive and have that lovely geranium smell. They throw out the odd vermillion flower, very welcome in the depths of winter. By Spring, they will probably be sending out roots and can be potted up and planted in the garden. This way, geraniums will be taking over the world. (Better than some take overs I could think of.) HANDY TIP. To stop the water going manky, take off all leaves and bits that will be below water level and put a few drops of bleach or disinfectant in the water.”


What? ANOTHER trendy bar?

IMG_5777It’s all a matter of taste, of course, but for fans of trendy East London pubs the renovation going on at the former Bar Room Bar seems like it could be very good news.

The new establishment – believed to be just over a week away from opening – is to be called Luppolo and describes itself as “a buzzing neighbourhood pizzeria with an obsession for amazing craft beer”. It’s being run by Declan Perkins who is the fellow behind the Lauriston in Victoria Park and the Hanbury Arms and the Regent, both in Islington.

Among the beers on offer will be Luppolo Pale Ale, made especially for the bar by the Hackney Brewery, along with other craft beers. It will also serve the Wanstead-based Hawkes ginger beer. It gives the impression too of wanting to make the most of its opportunity to sell good fresh pizzas.

The name Luppolo is, we’re told, Italian for hops – a crop Wansteadium has never particularly associated with Italy. This article backs that up – saying hops are not common in Italy and that beermakers there rely on the grain or even grapes. Never mind – the combination of beer and pizza will no doubt be popular if done well and affordably.

It’s amazing to note that this time last year, the Duke and Manor House were still unrefurbished and the Wanstead Tap a mere railway arch. It’s like London buses. (Or autobus di Londra, as Google Translate says they say in Italy.)


Exclusive! The return of Evergreen Field

Wind back a couple of years and the future of the Evergreen Field – the piece of fenced off overgrown land in the middle of the High Street – was THE topic of conversation in Wanstead. Regular readers of this site may remember some of the controversies, which we will not go back over now.

But although things have been quiet it turns out (Wansteadium can reveal) that conversations have still been going on between the owner of the land and an informal working group of Wanstead people. Some of this group are professionals in the worlds of design, landscape and property, and council planners too are being kept informed of the discussions, which appear to be friendly and constructive.

evergreencoverBut there remain unanswered questions about what should happen with the land, which has stood empty for 50 years since two houses on the site were demolished. The working group is inviting Wansteadium readers to take part in the process which will help to form an “options paper” for Evergreen Field. It has no proposals yet – just some issues and ideas.

So readers are invited to read this draft PDF (which you can click here to download) and submit comments using the form below. Or, if you prefer, you can use the email address evergreen@wansteadium.com – emails to that address will not be published but will be passed on to the working group.


Well… Christmas tree lights CAN be tricky…

So the scene was set, but just like the story so far of this year’s Wanstead Christmas tree, not everything went as expected.

But then…

#christmaslights fail in #wanstead

A video posted by tizzipicbook (@tizzipicbook) on

All ends happily