Saturday, 19 September 2009

Archive footage of Leytonstone

Ah, the 1930s - when men wore bowler hats, boys wore short trousers, and women... bustled along to do the shopping, according to the evidence.

Click here to see a film of Leytonstone in 1938.

It has a modern music track over the top (there's no sound from the film itself).

The footage shows the area around Leytonstone Railway Bridge - Lincolns when it used to be The Elms (with much grander frontage), and shopping at J Sainsbury's, which is now the Diamond off-licence.

Watch trams go up the High Road!

The film moves on to show people boating on Hollow Ponds, both rowing, and children standing ankle deep as they play with their toy boats.

Enjoy the film!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Let's Fill Leytonstone With Art!

Leytonstone Arts Trail is organising a drive to "Fill Leytonstone with Art" during the dates of the Trail: 27 June to 19 July.

To help with this, we would like members of the community to put a piece of art in the front windows of their houses. The main request is that the art is produced by someone within the household.

Children produce many excellent works of art in school, so do encourage them to put those creations on display for the period of the Trail. It will serve to brighten the streets of Leytonstone as people go about their daily business.

Although we are driving this through schools, we would encourage everyone to put their artwork on display - not just children - so please join in!

If you have any queries please contact Hilary Douse (Schools Liaison) via

Incidentally, full details of this year's Arts Trail are now online at

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Entries wanted for the FARA Photo Competition

Ferndale Area Residents Association (FARA) is holding a photo competition as part of Leytonstone Festival 2009. Anyone living, working or studying in Leytonstone can enter. Winners will be chosen at a public exhibition at Davies Lane School on Saturday 11 July.

The theme is “We Love Leytonstone” with 3 categories:

  • Best Buildings
  • Hidden Gems
  • Green Spaces.

You can enter one photo (colour or b/w) in each category.

The entry period is 21 May-21 June so please submit your entries in good time. Please feel free to pass on information about the competition to any other Leytonstone networks you belong to.

To submit digital photos by email, send them to
Include a caption of up to 20 words for each photo, your full contact details, and your age if entering as a Junior (age 12 and under).

Or send your prints (preferred size 17 x 12cm, max size A5) to FARA Photo Competition, c/o 12 Davies Lane, London E11 3DR. Enclose captions and other details as shown above.

All entries will be displayed at Davies Lane School on Saturday 11 July from 11am-5pm. Winners will be chosen by public vote at the exhibition so please make a note now to come and vote for your favourites!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Leytonstone Artists Wanted!

If you haven't yet signed up to the Leytonstone Arts Trail, it's not too late.

It's a collection of exhibitions taking place throughout Leytonstone during the period 27 June - 19 July , and more artists are welcome!

Closing date for entry is 15 May so you've got a week and a half to work out what you want to show, and either find a venue or ask us to help match you with somewhere suitable.

If you want to show it, we want to see it! It doesn't matter if you are a sculptor, painter, photographer, film maker, or something more obscure - you are welcome.

We will also be holding a craft fair on the last day of Leytonstone Festival.

So get in touch! What are you waiting for? Come and show your work to a wider audience.

More information here:

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Leytonstone Pound

It was interesting to see that Brixton is launching its own currency - The Brixton Pound as an attempt to keep money in the local community. The idea is that you exchange sterling for The Brixton Pound which can then only be spent in local shops as opposed to chains where money goes straight into the pockets of shareholders. A great way of supporting your local businesses in these straightened times. This is a scheme that has also successfully worked in Totnes in Devon.
So what chance of a Leytonstone Pound I wonder?
Read about The Brixton Pound here

Monday, 16 March 2009

Super 8 Cinefilm of Leytonstone

I'm trying to track down any old Super8 (cinefilm) of Leyton, Leytonstone and the surrounding area for a film-night showing old home-movies of the area. If anyone has some I'd love to hear from you. Please contact me via this blog.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Waltham Forest Mobility Forum

Waltham Forest Mobility Forum is a group which meets 3 times a year to discuss access issues in the borough. It's open to anyone with a disability who lives or works in the area. The chair (David Renton) and vice-chair (Flash Bristow) then report back to the Council's transport liaison group, which is well attended by councillors and staff from all public transport providers.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 18 March at 6.30pm at Walthamstow Town Hall.

The discussion topic is "Safety on public transport", and the meeting will be attended by representatives from the British Transport Police, Transport for London, and Waltham Forest Safety Board as well as council transport officers.

A buffet meal is provided, and if you need assistance with transport it can be arranged via Farzana in Committee Services on 020 8496 4211.

If you are elderly or disabled and would like to improve access in Waltham Forest, please come along - or tell anyone who might be interested!

M11 Protest Book Launch - 'Nine Miles'

'Nine Miles' is a book by Jim Hindle on anti-road protests in the 1990s.
He will be at Hornbeam on Tuesday 17th March from 7.30pm to tell us about it, read some of it and show a short film. We also have Richard Leighton who was Chair of the No M11 Link Road Campaign locally to give us some thoughts from his direct experiences of that time.
Join us to relive some of those days and consider the lessons for current road plans and protests.
Refreshments provided (first come-first served!).
Free admission but donations always welcome!
Hope to see you there.
More info about 'Nine Miles' at

A vivid portrayal of the road protests of the British Isles in the mid nineteen nineties.

It was a fight to preserve our natural inheritance, to make the case for sustainable transport in the face of powerful vested interests. In a wider sense it marked the beginning of a stand for the earth herself in a time when our lifestyles are often grossly out of balance with the natural order of things.

The story of the road protests holds much that is both relevant and sorely needed today. It speaks of what it means to stand up and be counted, to challenge the obstacles to a fairer, saner future. More than anything the protests were an incredible example of something that thrived on inspiration, that showed what is possible when people collectively act on their best intuitions, of what can happen when a culture taps into the pace of change needed if we are to see the world steered clear from disaster. Nine Miles is an honest and powerful invocation of that story. Read it and become part of something amazing.

Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street, Leyton, London,

What to do with Woolies

The Guardian has a story today about how with a buyer still not found for Woolies in Leytonstone Town Centre the building will revert to Council ownership. Cllr Pye has called for something with "substance" on the site, but offers no example, although she talks of adding "value" and improving "the food offer". I think she's after a Marks and Spencer - long seen as an indicator of middle class aspiration. 
Why does it have be a shop at all I wonder? 
Be keen to hear what you think should fill the site.

Monday, 9 March 2009

cinema history; a local history day in Walthamstow

Everyone welcome at a meeting of Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society on Wednesday (11th March), 7.30pm at Leyton Sixth Form College 'From Magic Lantern to Multiplex'. Our speaker Richard Gray will take us from the Victorian forerunners of film, through the invention of the ‘movie’, to the first purpose-built cinemas. He will describe the great heyday of cinema construction between the two world wars (the 'movie palace' era), post-war decline due to TV competition, and finally the rise of today's multiplex. He will point to examples in Leyton, Leytonstone and surrounding districts. Richard Gray has lectured on this subject from India to the United States. He is a former English Heritage Inspector of Historic Buildings, the author of 'Cinemas in Britain: 100 Years of Cinema Architecture', and is Chair of Casework at the Cinema Theatre Association. (We ask non-members to contribute £ 1.50 towards the cost of meetings.)

Our local history survives in documents and photos and by far the largest and most important collection is at Vestry House Museum. It is absolutely essential that the Council continues to recognise the huge importance of these archives. One of the ways to reinforce this is for local
history societies to have a strong relationship with the Borough's Museum and Gallery Service. We are working together on a Local History Day on Saturday 16th May at the Vestry House Museum. The staff there will be hard at work providing family activities and tours of the Local
Studies Room on top of their normal responsibilities. Volunteers will lead walks around Walthamstow Village and have stalls of publications etc. People are invited to bring an old photo or object for comment by a local expert. The oral historian and broadcaster Alan Dein will talk about the closure of Walthamstow dogtrack. We aim to make it an enjoyable event.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

The film club chose the Oscar-winning I've Loved You So Long for the screening on 6th May

Film Club meeting tonight

Leytonstone Film Club will be meeting tonight at The North Star, Browning Road to choose our films for May and June and discuss any other business and generally enthuse about film. 
Anybody interested in getting involved please come along. If you can't make it please post your film choices in the comments section.
If for some reason we're not in The North Star we'll be in Weatherspoon's

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Hello and welcome to this new Leytonstone blog that aims to bring as much information about our wonderful corner of London together in one place. 
The aim is for this blog to be authored by as many local people as possible to post your thoughts, feelings, news, observations, practical information or whatever you want about Leytonstone. 
I suppose this is partly an experiment in group-authored blogging around the common theme of a shared location.Hopefully this will range from news of the next screening by the Leytonstone Film Club (April 1st 7.45pm Waltz with Bashir) or the line-up for the brilliant 'What's Cookin' at the Sheepwalk to your observations of some particularly interesting architecture in Aylmer Road.
It is your blog. Please contact us if you would like to be involved