Wanstead Festival Success

Wan Fest 2018

Wan Fest 2018The sun shone brightly for our annual outing to the Wanstead Festival which helped pull in record crowds too! The festival has been going, in one form or another, since 2003 and this was our chance to meet lots of new members and experience a great community get together. We must be one of only a handful of areas within London that has their own fringe and festival. But we have a lot of local talent to showcase and this event, now in its 15th year, marks the end of a week Wanstead based activities called “the Wanstead Fringe”. Well done to everyone who took part and long may this local gem continue.


2019 Calendars fly off the shelf

Each year the Society produces a calendar with photos generously supplied by Galley 84’s Geoff Wilkinson. Each year the calendar has been sponsored by Petty Soon and Prestwich which means any profits we make are our own.

This year we took a batch to the Wanstead Festival, and promptly sold out. The new black and white images of Wanstead proved an arty success and were thank both Geoff and Petty Sons for their support.

If you would like a Wanstead Society 2019 calendar there are some still on sale in Bennet’s the Newsagent – but hurry, they are running out fast. Alternatively, please contact info@wantseadsociety.org.uk for more info.

Helping out in the heat

bedsIts been a along hot summer so far and this has meant our plants and trees need a bit of extra care. Are you able to water your nearest street tree? take a watering can over to some public beds? Its vital that we do what we can to keep our wildlife ticking over. This dry spell not only means fewer plants, but less food for bugs and birds.

We are encouraging anyone who can to fill a can and just water the nearest tree or plant bed to help out.

If you would like to contact the gardening club please e-mail info@wansteadsociety.org.uk


Anne Barlow Remembered – by her partner, Geoff Horsnell

As some of you may remember, Anne Barlow was chair of the Wanstead Society until her death in 2010. Anne died of secondary bone cancer, so my immediate reaction was to approach Cancer ResearchUKin order to make a donation to funding directed at research into bone cancer. I was most surprised to learn that there was no money going to that particular form of the disease. Cancer ResearchUksuggested that, if I could think of a suitable project, then they would open a fund stream for me.

 Anne liked her music. In fact there were two pieces of music directly associated with Anne. The first is a setting of a poem written for the two of us by my sister when Anne first fell ill and subsequently set to music. The second is a rather obscure piece of Vivaldi, called “Ah ch’infelice smpre” from Cantata RV684 “Cessate omai cessate”, which Anne heard on the radio at the end of 2009 and had wanted to include in her singing lessons. Unfortunately, cancer caught up with her before she could start to learn the piece. I proposed to record these two pieces and sell the resulting CD single with the proceeds going to Cancer Research. They, in the meantime, had set up “The Anne Barlow Cancer Fund” to receive the funds.

The money will go towards clinical trial of a new class of drugs called bisphosphonates which, it is believed, might stop bone cancer in its tracks for some people – a worthwhile cause indeed.

Burglary up 15% in Redbridge – Wanstead, Snaresbrook & Aldersbrook vulnerable


Crime in Redbridge has risen by 3.7% since January 2011 with burglary seeing the largest increase with a 15% rise.

Wanstead is the second highest place for burglary in the borough, and it looks set to increase.

Sources told the Wanstead Society that, with heightened security in Stratford, criminal gangs from those areas are fanning out into neighbouring areas – namely Wanstead, Leytonstone, Ilford and Barking – as it has become too dangerous for them to operate near the Olympic site.

Of course, all of this coincides with a general reduction in police numbers across England. The number of police officers in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level for a decade with just 135,838 police officers in September 2011 – 6,012 fewer than the 141,850 there had been a year earlier. Police civilian numbers have also fallen by 11% over the same period.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead for workforce development, told the BBC that it was “not surprising” to see a fall in the numbers of officers as most police forces had seen significant cuts.

“We will shortly enter the most difficult financial year for policing in living memory but forces have the plans to cope with what will be a most challenging time,” he said.

With crime up, police numbers falling and Wanstead Police Station still under threat, the outlook for Wanstead, Snaresbrook and Aldersbrook looks grim.

What makes this issue so topical is that there is a Mayoral election on 4th May this year. Who ever wins will have financial control over London’s police force for the next 4 years.  Whilst there is a lot of focus on the Olympics – which is only right – what happens after? Police budgets are going to be even tighter than they are now, and the MET will be looking for a saving.

When the political candidates come knocking on your door – ask them this: “Do you intend to keep Wanstead Police Station open, with a staffed counter service if you win?”

Listen to what they say. It might just influence how you vote.