Damon Albarn’s first solo album, Everyday Robots, which will be released soon includes songs based on memories of his childhood in Leytonstone (21 Fillebrook Rd) including ‘Hollow Ponds‘ and ‘Mr Tembo’, a track which features the choir from the Pentecostal City Mission Church on the corner of Kingswood Road and Colworth Road.
In the programme Damon Albarn talks of the positive influence that his childhood in Leytonstone had on his music.
Undeterred by yesterday’s fire, the boats were back on Hollow Pond today and people were out enjoying themselves in the albeit cloudier weather, but the scenes of devastation made it clear that this was by far the worst fire to have hit this part of the forest for very many years.
Fire damage was not confined to one area but affected parts of the forest near Snaresbrook Road and the former lido, and a much larger area from the main pond past the small pond and down towards Snaresbrook Court (some media reports yesterday described this incorrectly as Wanstead Flats — slightly confusingly this part of the forest is formerly known as Leyton Flats due to it being historically part of the old Borough of Leyton and Leytonstone).
The Hollow Ponds area was evacuated by police this afternoon as fires broke out and smoke engulfed the pond and surrounding forest. Rowing boats were called in and people were asked to leave as fire engines moved in to tackle the fire towards the north end of the main and small ponds.
Fire engines had already attended a fire earlier in the day by Snaresbrook Road causing the road to be shut off to traffic and further traffic disruption was caused along Whipps Cross Road and surrounding roads as a result of the later fire.
The cold snap is coming to an end, with luck for the rest of winter, but for anyone who likes photos to remember the snow here are some of Hollow Ponds/Epping Forest in Leytonstone (though also known as Leyton Flats and Whipps Cross!).
A sign usefully reminds people that barbecues aren’t allowed, even though by British standards it seems perfectly acceptable barbecue weather. Hollow Ponds look like ice rinks but on a serious note they should not be used for skating, the ice is really dangerous and melting.
Click on any photo to see a slideshow.
The Paralympics starts next week with the torch relay coming to Leyton on Wednesday evening to coincide with the reopening of the former Marsh Lane Playing Fields as the Jubilee Park. Entrance is free and there will be lots of activities to take part in.
If the weather is nice — and some sun is promised for the weekend — taking a boat out on Hollow Ponds is always a good way to enjoy the weather and you can buy teas, coffees, ice creams and quick food from three places by the pond or pop over the road for a full meal at the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel.
Leytonstone shops, restaurants and cafés would also welcome your custom, with a wide range of food on offer including English, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Romanian, Turkish/Greek/Mediterranean in the town centre, not forgetting the stylish Horizon Patisserie, through to the new Lithuanian Shepherd’s Inn pub right next door to a traditional East End Eel & Pie House in Harrow Green. And lots more besides.
Although the Stone Space is closed for a summer break until 29 August, there’s a four week art exhibition in the temporary space outside Leytonstone tube called ‘Present’, so if you haven’t been already don’t miss it! The exhibition runs from 20 August to 17 September.
Saturday 25 August
The Lion Heart Market
… will be outside the Red Lion again this Saturday. The Lion Heart Market offers vintage, craft and hand-made and ‘not on the high street’ products from local people. The market is open from 10am to 6pm, and it costs nothing to browse! There’s wheelchair access to the pub and garden, a ground floor disabled toilet.
Sunset Tours at St John’s Church
The sun is setting earlier now so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views from St John’s Church on their Thursday evening tours.
Sunday 9 September, 2-4pm
Launch of Church Lane Community Garden
Church Lane Leytonstone, between the footbridge stairs and 111 Harold Road.
A chance for local people to come and see the proposed site and to contribute their ideas and sign up to get involved.
Sunday 16 September
The annual Leytonstone Car Free Day is organised by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and will be on Sunday 16 September. There will be a mix of entertainment, local stalls and a French market.
- See the London Borough of Waltham Forest website for more details
- If you want to book a stall email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pictures of Car Free Day 2011
Have a great Bank Holiday!
Hire a boat on Hollow Ponds, pop into a Leytonstone pub or restaurant for a meal or …
Wandering Rocks exhibition
Check the Stone Space website for opening days and times. There’s also a new display in the Slate gallery window next door.
Now until 12 August
International Peace Quilts
The Stone Space Projects Gallery (outside Leytonstone tube)
The International Peace Quilt project will be on display in The Stone Space Projects Gallery, Station Forecourt, Leytonstone from July 28th to August 12th with a special viewing on August 3rd at 3.pm. Gary Hall jr winner of 10 Olympic Swimming medals and recently joining the U.S. hall of fame is to view the project during his time in London for the Games.
More information on Facebook
Thursday 2 August
Sunset Tours from the Tower
St John’s Church
The forecast for this Thursday is looking good at the moment, so if you’ve not yet seen the wonderful views from the top of St John’s Church Tower, this week must be a hot favourite for your diary while the Olympics is still on. You’re asked to book in advance: see St John’s Church website for details.
Thursday 2 August
William Morris Gallery reopening
It’s not in Leytonstone, but as it serves the whole borough including Leytonstone they deserve a mention. After a period of closure for refurbishment, the William Morris Gallery is reopening on Thursday 2 August.
When the gallery reopens there will be more of this unique collection on display, including new interactive displays.
The gallery will now be fully accessible and there will be a new special exhibition gallery, an improved shop and a tea room with wi-fi where you can admire the views over the newly-refurbished Lloyd Park.
3 August deadline
Voting for the Forest Film Fest
The final event in the Council’s Big 6 programme, is now open and residents are being asked to vote for the films they want to see on the big screen.
There are seven categories to vote in:
- Children’s Disney and Pixar
- Alfred Hitchcock and horror
- Sports related
- General and action
- James Bond (probably not including any royalty …)
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August
The 2012 Festival of Sport
The fifth of the Council’s Big 6 events programme, takes place at Waltham Forest Town Hall on Saturday and Sunday. Watch the Olympic Games on the giant screen, master a sport of your choice, speak to professionals for advice.
Sunday 5 August
A 10 metre high puppet of Godiva, powered by cyclists, will travel through the borough, starting at Ridgeway Park in Chingford, through the Crooked Billet roundabout and onto Waltham Forest Town Hall as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Friday 3 August
Raj against the machine
More information: www.skiddle.com
Summer Daze schools summer fun
There are activities and events in over 50 schools across the borough this summer for children, young people and their families during the school summer holidays running from Monday 30 July to Friday 24 August. See the Council’s website for more information.
- www.walthamforest.gov.uk or phone 020 8496 3000
Tuesday 14 August
Woodhouse Players: play choosing meeting
Looking ahead, The Woodhouse Players are meeting on the 14th to choose their Christmas Panto, if you want to take part, see their website for more details:
If trekking into town to stand at the back of the crowds failing to see any of the Jubilee celebrations doesn’t take your fancy, or perhaps you’re staging a republican boycott, there’s plenty to do in Leytonstone this weekend, and it’s not so far to get home if (I think, when) it rains!
The Woodhouse Players have their production of Honour at the Welsh Church Hall by the Green Man on Friday and Saturday (and again next weekend).
There’s always something lively happening at the Luna Lounge, and What’s Cooking at the Birkbeck Tavern, there are street parties, some of which are listed on the Queens Jubilee page. Not to mention the many other pubs and restaurants in the Leytonstone area.
The Lion Heart Market will be outside the Red Lion pub again on Monday and Tuesday, with the market on Monday and Tea Party on Tuesday. Take a look at their new website which I helped them set up: Lion Heart Market. The Red Lion itself is having a weekend of fun with its ‘Right Royal Knees Up’.
A new exhibition What’s Going On, opened at the Stonespace gallery this week and St John’s Church has a Bank Holiday Open Day on Monday, including a chance to climb the Tower. It’s also the final day of the Leytonstone Museum exhibition of photographs in Leytonstone library.
If the weather holds out a rowing boat on Hollow Ponds, lunch from the Lakeside Diner or Log Cabin or a drink and a meal at the Sir Alfred Hitchcock hotel make a relaxing day out.
Just when you think the Bank Holiday is over, Leytonstone Film Club are screening Mid August Lunch on Wednesday 6 June 2012 at Leytonstone Library.
Have I missed mentioning your event? Add it at the bottom of the Queens Jubilee page.
Whatever you do, have a good Bank Holiday.
The last week or so has seen the finishing touches to the building work that has been going on the length of Leytonstone High Road, in the town centre and along Whipps Cross Road to give Leytonstone a new and brighter look ready for the Olympics.
I haven’t managed to get photos of everything, the weather has not been so kind, but I’ve added a collection of photos showing most of the work and I’ve summarised some of the other main changes that have happened in the last year or so on New Look Leytonstone.
A lot has happened, new pubs, a market, an art gallery and more and all against the backdrop of one of the most horrible recessions in living history.
So, if you know someone thinking of moving to Leytonstone, investing here, or who just has a view of the area which is second hand or out of date, please share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, by email or however you can and send them to this page, it might just help!
It’s been quite a week in Waltham Forest.
‘Hollow Pond’ is also one of the most popular searches on this site, so for anyone thinking of taking out a boat, it’s good news that the boats are back every afternoon, though they do sometimes close in bad weather.
The good weather held, too, for the Queen’s visit to Walthamstow Town Hall yesterday, where she and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a lunch for community leaders and was entertained by bands and choirs from local school pupils. Students from Waltham Forest College helped with the preparation and serving of the lunch.
Read more about the visit on Waltham Forest Guardian.
Are you organising a community event in Leytonstone for the Diamond Jubilee? You’re welcome to advertise it, or post photos after the event on this site. See the new Queen’s Jubilee page for more details.