ba-obj-14682-0001-pub-print-lgWanstead House by Richard Westall (1765–1836). Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Emilia-Hitching-photoEmilia Hitching

Local student’s play at the National Theatre

A student from Bancroft’s School in Woodford Green has been shortlisted for the National Theatre’s annual playwriting competition for 14- to 19-year-olds, and will have her play read by professional actors as part of the New Views Festival on 2 July. Emilia Hitching’s original play To Charlie was one of nine plays shortlisted from 350 entries across the UK by a panel of judges including playwright Chris Bush and NT Associate Director Lyndsey Turner. “New Views has been a creative outlet for me during a fairly taxing first year of sixth form and I have cherished the hours that I spent working on my script. It has been gratifying to have something which is solely mine, that I can pour all my creative energy into and...

Screenshot 2019-06-25 14.38.17Jumble trail

Community invited to local jumble trail

A jumble trail will take place on 6 July as residents of Chelmsford Road – and several surrounding roads – turn their front gardens into temporary retail spaces and invite their neighbours and the wider community to browse their pre-loved goods. “With more than 20 homes already signed up to participate, and more set to join in as the event approaches, this should be a great community event for people to meet neighbours, declutter and reuse other people’s unwanted items,” said organiser Natalie Macatonia. The trail – which is sponsored by Portico estate agents and will be raising money for Haven House Children’s Hospice – will run from 9am to 1pm, with maps highlighting the houses taking part to be distributed to local homes and...

Sainsbury's©Geoff Wilkinson

Changes to parking regulations at Sainsbury’s

The new parking rules that came into force at Sainsbury’s on 7 May were modified in June following customer feedback. Drivers were originally provided with 15 minutes of free, unvalidated parking, but this was subsequently increased to 30 minutes, with stays of up to two hours requiring a £5 minimum spend. A petition against the restrictions – which has received 1,700 signatures – was launched by Suzanne Bennett of Sid & Evie’s children’s boutique, whose shop, along with neighbouring Cardcraft, is also able to issue parking vouchers. Sainsbury’s manager Mark Twell has expressed a desire to find a way to ensure the car park continues to serve the community. To view the petition, click here. To contact Sainsbury's South Woodford, call 020 8989 8224....


Woodford Town FC design Pankhurst-inspired kit ahead of return to local area

Woodford Town Football Club has released design ideas for their new kit ahead of the club’s long-awaited return to the local area. The Essex Senior League team – who finished sixth last season, playing home games at the Harlow Arena – looked to influential people from the Woodford area for inspiration for their new kit, and settled upon former resident Sylvia Pankhurst. “The club hit upon a diagonal sash design, a nod to Sylvia and her involvement with the suffragette movement,” said a club spokesperson. The team – who currently play in a kit of a yellow shirt and blue shorts in honour of their Brazilian football style – hope to relocate to a new facility on Ashton Playing Fields off Chigwell Road in time...

hand-3666963_1920Independent living

Help for elderly and disabled residents to adapt their homes

Redbridge Council has been awarded over £2m to help elderly and disabled residents adapt their home so they can live independently and safely. The government funding can be used to alter the homes of people who require assistance, including handles near stairs and doors, stair lifts and specialist showers. “This will have a hugely positive impact on our residents who really need it.  We want help people live in their homes as long as they can and this funding will help ensure residents get the support they need to live independently and comfortably,” said Barry Francis, Operational Director of Civic pride. Call 020 8708 7333....



The Friends of Elmhurst Gardens are appealing for young volunteers to help keep the Green Flag award-winning park tidy. Kaede Harding – who completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award earlier this year – explains why she was proud to help In recent months, I have spent an hour of my Saturday mornings clearing up as much rubbish as I could from Elmhurst Gardens. The reason I did this was part of my three-month volunteer section for my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. As I approached the time for volunteer work, I thought about how I wanted to do something meaningful that wouldn’t be a half-hearted job just to get an award. Elmhurst Gardens in South Woodford is my local park. I’m a resident of...


The art trail

For local resident Shelagh French, the pathway to a career as an artist was not straightforward. Now, as a member of the Woodford Arts Group – which will be unveiling its first art exhibition at the end of May – she is keen to see where the path will take her next It wasn’t until going to university to study BA Fine Art at the age of 40 that I discovered I’m dyslexic. It was instantly obvious to my tutors that the written work and research elements of the course were proving to be extremely difficult for me, so they encouraged me to get assessed. This understanding my tutors had towards learning difficulties was not around in my schooldays during the seventies and eighties. Dyslexia...


Green with worry

South Woodford resident Bernice Butcher doesn’t consider herself to be an eco-warrior, but she is worried by two issues impacting the local environment, and ultimately, our health I started thinking seriously about environmental issues in the late 80s when my children were small.  Reflecting on the effect of a road-widening scheme on the character of the area in London where I grew up, I had a sort of epiphany. It hit me that we were sacrificing our health and wellbeing for progress. The car had become our master rather than our slave. Then I got onto the subject of recycling and the wastefulness of so much packaging ending up in landfill. I campaigned about this, as well as the problem of air pollution, as a...


Time to help

Volunteering is rewarding and changes lives, says Rose Meredith of Vision RCL, who is encouraging residents to come and experience the joy of helping others at South Woodford Library this summer This year, Volunteers’ Week runs from 1 to 8 June. This is when we thank volunteers for all they do and their contributions to volunteering in Redbridge Libraries. Redbridge libraries are run by Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure, and we recruit volunteers in Wanstead and South Woodford libraries to assist the public with all kinds of activities: from individual computer help, such as assistance with filling in online forms, to volunteering to deliver books as part of our Home Library Service for housebound readers, and volunteers enjoy being part of our children’s programme of activities,...


School run/walk

Following concerns over traffic, parking and child safety issues at Churchfields Junior School, Councillor Rosa Gomez (Churchfields, Labour) explains why she would like more children to arrive on foot Many parents have contacted me to say how concerned they are about child safety outside Churchfields Junior School. The road itself is very busy with lots of traffic. Unfortunately,  some parents are adding to these risks by driving up to the school gates and parking dangerously as they drop off children. In response, I organised a morning visit outside the school with Head Teacher Julie Anderson and colleagues from Redbridge Council’s Highways Department so we could see exactly what the situation is like and discuss solutions. I also spoke to parents so I could better understand their concerns....


Bags of enthusiasm

Elaine Atkins and Louise Burgess were among the volunteers who helped give South Woodford a spring clean in March, removing 30-plus bags of litter from our streets #GBSpringClean invited volunteers to spruce up their local communities up and down the country between 22 March and 23 April, and during the first week, nine community groups and five schools organised litter picks in partnership with the Neighbourhood Team across Redbridge. We were delighted to see so many people turn up for our South Woodford event. You never know who’s going to be there, and it was great to see families, our councillors and groups of friends, as well as people by themselves – we even had a picker in a pushchair! Everyone was speaking to each other within minutes and it...

IMG_0533The GoodSAM app shows the location of defibrillators

Heart of the matter

London Hearts is a charity placing defibrillators in communities across the country. Kimberley Lloyd encourages South Woodford businesses and venues to apply for a life-saving device of their own The biggest killer in the UK is not smoking, alcohol abuse or even road traffic accidents; it’s cardiac arrest, an electrical malfunction of the heart that results in over 100,000 deaths each year. When a cardiac arrest occurs, time is of the essence. The patient needs to be stabilised and kept alive until the ambulance arrives.  Unfortunately, the stats are not in the patient’s favour, as for each minute lost after arrest there is a 10% loss of life expectancy, and as the average UK ambulance arrival time is eight to 10 minutes – well, you...