The Corner House – look carefully

This lovely old house (the one on the corner of the High Road and Grove Park) looks like it’s going through the mill at the moment. However, everything is on track and our old people should be returning there to their reinstated Luncheon Club in January.

Skylight windows are creeping out of the roof to give more light to the attic floor which will become a flat (with one of the nicest views in Wanstead) and wonderful things are happening internally. The poor garden is looking very sad at the moment but once the scaffolding has gone and the paths relayed, we’ll tackle it and it won’t be long before that garden is back to its old character.

The rendering with its semi-geometrical patterns has been lovingly restored. There is something of a mystery here. The patterns incised in the rendering are a mixture of wavy lines, circles etc. all except one panel to the left of the large staircase window facing onto Grove Park. Look carefully. This one has a stylised tulip, totally different from the rest of the rendering. Intriguing to think where this might have come from. Did the usual renderer have a day off sick? Maybe somebody else came along to put in a day’s work and left his own individual design so different from the rest.

Something else has appeared on the gable facing the High Street. At present, it’s shrouded in the protective netting. Jason Harris of Orient Design, the firm of architects who now own the house, had noted the empty gable and had planned to have some sort of ornamentation put there. (By contrast, the Grove Park gable has a very attractive brick and plaster design.) How serendipitous that a long time resident of Wanstead should offer his services in the making of a sundial! He had watched with great interest, the restoration of the house and since he had the expertise in the field, had offered to do the calculations and design for a gable end sundial.

Like many people, I had thought that a sundial was just something that one went and bought at Homebase or some such. Not so! Well, you could buy one at Homebase, but it wouldn’t work. Apparently, the lines on each dial have to be worked out with extreme mathematical accuracy according to where it will be placed in relation to where the sunlight strikes it. Wanstead High Street will now have a fully working sundial. Our thanks go to John Moir for this and we hope for many sunny days so that Wanstead residents can work out accurately, just how late they are!

The Cornerhouse before

PS. Offers of help for the Corner House front garden will be most welcome. We will need a working party session when we first get the garden back. No expertise needed. A bit of muscle would come in useful and for anyone interested in knowing more about cottage gardens – well here’s your opportunity. Phone no. 8989 9553.

Useful links

Wanstead House

Wanstead House is your local community centre. There’s a fantastic range of activities and classes, and membership (only £4) gives you use of the coffee lounge and fully licensed bar.

The Counties Residents Association

An organisation representing the interests of those living in the Counties estate. Lots of interesting historical information too.

Report it

Inform Redbridge of fly-tipping, abandoned vehicles, street lighting defects and any other instances regarding street cleaning and road maintenance.

Conservation Area

The map of Wanstead’s conservation area, and other information.

Planning applications

The weekly list of planning applications at Redbridge.

Planning enforcement

Use the enforcement form to report alterations that have gone ahead without plannning permission.

Explore Wanstead’s heritage

Some information on the historic sites of Wanstead.

Wanstead Parklands Community Project

A group campaigning to protect and enhance Wanstead Park. They have lots of information on the history and ecology of the park and they produce some great DVDs too.

Examples of our work

Extending the conservation area

We worked with the Counties Residents Association to present a case to include the Grove Estate in the Conservation area. The Grove Estate is the heart of old Wanstead and encompasses Grove Park, The Avenue and the Counties roads. The area, including Grosvenor Road, was awarded Conservation status in March 2009.

The Corner House
Not only was this iconic Victorian house under threat, so was the Age Concern Lunch Club, who Corner_house_small
used the ground floor. We organised a petition which made it clear to Redbridge that the future of this building was of great concern. The house is now being restored, and the Lunch Club will have its favourite venue back.

Cuckfield Garage

We presented a detailed case against the demolition and replacement of the building with an intrusive, three-storey development. So far, we get to keep this charming stable, which
used to be part of The Cuckfield pub.


Trees on The Green
Some of the trees on Christchurch Green had become damaged and diseased; we contributed funds towards new planting. Look out for the plaques which identify them.

A greener High Street
We also planted trees at the Snaresbrook end of the High Street. We lovingly watered and nurtured them and now they’re beautiful specimens, transforming
what was once a barren, grey pavement.

The Cherry Tree Café garden
The Wantead Society secured funds from a local benefactor and helped other volunteers overhaul and rejuvenate the garden.


Victorian drinking fountains
The Wanstead Society pressed for funding to renovate the grade II listed fountains at both ends of the High Street.

Wanstead Police Station

The Metropolitan Police Authority decided that the Victorian red brick building was no
longer suitable for requirements. We proved that their arguments had no
grounds, and that the building would only need minor adaptations to
continue functioning as a Police station.

It’s not all over yet… but let’s hope this building, which has parking facilities surely vital to our police, will continue to serve us.

Become a member today

Our annual subscription is £8 per household (£5 for non-working members).

Download a membership form here (PDF format).

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Members’ benefits

Keeping you informed

We will send you a quarterly newsletter, with updates on our latest campaigns, success stories and general news.

Getting together

We have an annual social evening, where members can meet the committee, local Councillors and each other. Do come along – you will find many like minded, passionate Wansteadites.

At our AGM, you will be invited to take part in the open forum, which is attended by Councillors. It is your chance to air your views.

Wanstead is an attractive place to live. Join us today and help us campaign to keep it that way.

If you’d like further information, call Derek Mathew on 020 8530 3227 or email