The Cultural Hotspot that is Leytonstone

Leytonstone in East London is ideally located with excellent transport links into and out of the city of London. Via London underground central line you can be in the City or West End within 30 minutes while the road network links well with the M25 and M11 motorways. Leytonstone itself, while being a London suburb, is surrounded by open space. Epping Forest lies to the north, Wanstead Flats and Park to the east, with Hackney Marshes and the Olympic Park to the south and west.  In the middle of this green space Leytonstone forms an island of largely Victorian terraced housing resulting in an area with a strong sense of identity.

Leytonstone Tube Station North By Northwest Mosaic

Within Leytonstone you will find:

  • Leytonstone Film Club
  • The Woodhouse Players Amateur Dramatic Company
  • The Stone Space and Mind The Gap Art Galleries
  • Leyton & Leytonstone Historical Society
  • Local Markets featuring local made/produced items
  • The Alfred Hitchcock Society – Alfred Hitchcock of Leytonstone Society
  • Several Active Residents Associations
  • Stone Rangers – Leytonstone Branch Women’s Institute
  • The East Side Jazz Club – East Side Jazz Club hosts the best musicians in London
  • Wanstead Flats Parkrun
  • News From Nowhere Club – monthly talks covering a wide range of topics
  • A regular Makers Market
  • An annual festival
  • Many great pubs and restaurants offering food, music and a wide range of other activities

This is a flavour of what Leytonstone has to offer. For a fuller list with links see our Lovely Leytonstone page.

Forest Glade Autumn Litter Tidy Up- Saturday 27th October 2018 /10-11 am

Foggy autumn in Forest Glade

. Meet at the corner of Poppleton and Forest Glade (behind St.Andrew’s Church) . Pickers, gloves, bags, collection etc. provided courtesy of Open Spaces and Constable Ian Greer (Corporation of London) Good Saturday morning workout! and it makes a huge difference to the environment. Just turn up for whenever or for as long as you can spare! We suggest considering sturdy footwear and long sleeved trousers and tops and perhaps a snack or beverage.

Snippet from the Leytonstone Arts Trail July 2018

There were many excellent arts events during July in Leytonstone and sadly I was not able to visit them all. However, I would like to share my reflections on one entitled ‘Identity’ held above the Birds pub in Leytonstone High Road. Three artists Ellie Cox, Olmo Ramella and Paolo Ramella contributed works around this theme.

Viewing this exhibition brought to mind the framework or lense through which we visualise and make sense of the world. Very interesting ideas emanate from this concept. Here are some of the pieces that caught my eye.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”3″ gal_title=”Art Show July 2018″]

To find out more about the exhibition and the artists see

For more on the other exhibitions in Leytonstone in July see

St. Andrew's

Forthcoming events at St Andrews Church

1) Sunday 4th March, midday. Free Chamber Music Concert , midday, performed by the popular viola quartet altoTune. Their concert, lasting about 50 minutes, will feature arrangements of well-known classical favourites by JS Bach, Mozart and Handel, some familiar popular pieces as well as new works.
This is the first in our new series of Music for All: Concerts at St Andrew’s, which aims to present good quality and varied concerts to our local community in the fine setting of St Andrew’s church performed largely by local musicians. If you are on Facebook, please share this concert with your friends, and we look forward to welcoming you on Sunday 4th March.

2) Saturday 10th March Fairtrade Funday and Feast at St Andrew’s Church Leytonstone.
Fairtrade Market and activities 3 – 6pm (all welcome, free entry)
6pm Middle Eastern Cookery Workshop presented by Syrian chef Ismail, a member of a refugee family recently welcomed to Waltha Forest
7pm Fairtrade Feast featuring guest speaker Marcial Quintero from a fairtrade banana cooperative in Panama.
Book for workshop and Feast here or by contacting, or 8257 9985.

For details of the full range of events at St Andrews see St Andrews Website

FORA social evening at the Star of India

FORA members were treated to a lovely evening at The Star of India restaurant Leytonstone on Monday night. FORA members and friends enjoyed the wonderful food and warm atmosphere of this ever popular local restaurant. It was great to see local historians Mark Smith and David Boote in attendance alongside Ros Kane of News From Nowhere Club as well as two of our three ward councillors. Well done to FORA Chair Vaseem Gill for organising the evening and a big thank you to Shah from Star of India for welcoming us as host.

News From Nowhere Club has just published its planned talks for 2018, these will be online shortly. David Boote will be leading a free walk on the winter solstice – see below for details

Winter Solstice Walk
Thursday 21 December 1.30pm from the Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook Road (by W12 bus stop SM near junction with Rivenhall Gardens) 3pm from outside the Cottage Café, Leyton Green Linear walk to Lea Bridge (Princess of Wales pub); 1st part includes muddy and uneven ground; 2nd part on firm surfaces but includes a footbridge.   For other walking events lead by David see Waltham Forest Walks David is also Chair of our local history society

Lea Marshes

FORA visit to Lea Marshes

On a beautiful autumn afternoon FORA members were treated to an informal guided walk to Lea Marshes. Our three experts chipped in with insights into different aspects of the marsh lands which adjoin the river. Claire Weiss, John Rogers and David Boote led us on a journey through time and space as we explored human activities in the Lea Valley from pre-history to the present. The Lea was an important route for people in prehistoric times as well as roman, medieval and the modern era.  The talks ranged from Viking river boats to the struggles of A. V. Roe, a pioneer of aircraft design who used the marshes for experimental flights from 1909. 

The  growth of suburban London in the late Victorian era led to a renewed importance for the marsh lands. Being a floodplain the land retained much of it’s natural heritage in both animal and plant life. It also became increasingly important to the growing urban population as an open space offering an antidote to the urban sprawl. Local people have fought over generations to retain the marshlands for public enjoyment in the face of waves of developers seeking to encroach upon the land for profit. This struggle continues to this day and several areas of marsh are currently under threat of development.      

If you would like to find out more see:-

David Boote Leyton and Leytonstone Historical Society and Waltham Forest Walks

Claire Weiss Save Lea Marsh

John Rogers The Lost Byway

Lea Marshes

Viking Riverboat Waterworks Nature Reserve

Lea Valley Park – Nature Reserves and Open Spaces

FORA Litter Pick 1

FORA Spring Litter Pick

On Saturday 18th March 2017 lovely local volunteers generously gave their time to clean up Forest Glade Woods. Much rubbish was collected and we hope this encourages you to get out and enjoy the lovely woodland around Leytonstone.

FORA Litter Pick 2 18032017

A good job well done

First World War Day 6th May 2017

East London Branch Western Front Association & Vestry House Museum

Western Front Association





A First World War Open Day

Saturday 6 May 2017 from 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Come to Vestry House and St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, to learn about The Great War and its effects on Waltham Forest. As well as exploring the wonderful exhibits and archives kept at Vestry House and the memorials in the church, you will be able to:
  • meet Great War experts
  • meet some First War soldiers, ask them about their experiences and hear about a Tommy’s life at the Front
  • visit the local parish church with its War Memorials
  • hear about local people’s experiences and about the many casualties buried in local
  • hear the stories of how people’s ancestors fought and survived the war
  • discover the major contribution local industry made with the ‘B’ buses which
    carried to the troops to the Front
  • learn about two forgotten local heroes; J. B. McDowell, one of the men who filmed ‘The Battle of the Somme’ and Haydn Mackey, the war artist whose work hangs in the Imperial War Museum
  • find out how to build your own First War memorabilia collection
  • learn how to use local research to create a First War blog
  • meet locally based authors (subject to availability) including Peter Doyle, Phil
    Sutcliffe; Steven Jenkins; Alan Simpson; Graham Millington; Malcolm Doolin who
    will be signing copies of their books
  • find out about the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the
    Royal British Legion
  • have your medals valued by Antiques Road Show expert, Mark Smith;
  • read about medical support at the Front
  • see why local schools still value the importance of visiting the Western Front
  • search for your First War ancestors on line
  • explore the local Roll of Honour
  • read local newspapers from the war years
  • hear the music of the time
  • buy second hand books
and more…….
During the day, a series of talks will be given in the Community Room and the church including:-
1. Waltham Forest during the Great War by Graham Millington
2. The Walthamstow built ‘B’ type London buses which took troops to the Front by   Neil Houghton
3. Haydn Mackey, M.M., war artist and other medal winners by Mark Smith
4. Recording local casualties in the Waltham Forest cemeteries and the stories behind them by Roy Berg, Katherine Partington, Barbara Durack, Lissa Chapman, Jacqueline and David Baker
5. The Walthamstow Roll of Honour by Chris Hunt
6. How to build a Great War Artefacts Collection by Neil Pearce
7. A Tommy’s Life by Peter Doyle
8. Nobody of Any Importance: A Foot Soldier’s Memoir of World War I, the story of his father’s war, by author and journalist, Phil Sutcliffe;
9. My father’s service in the Tank Corps by Pauline Girling
10. Researching local First War History and building a blog by Alistair McLennan
11. The Walthamstow man who filmed The Battle of the Somme by Malcolm Doolin.
Visitors can come for all or part of the day. The event is free with collections for linked charities. Refreshments will be available for a small donation.
If you would like further details of the event or would like to take part, please contact the organiser, Malcolm Doolin on or 07710877072.
Vestry House Museum is in Vestry Road, Walthamstow, a short walk from Hoe Street and the railway, underground and bus stations. St Mary’s Church is a two minute walk from Vestry House.
‘The Battle of the Somme’, the historic 1916 film made at the Front before and during the first day of the Somme campaign by Geoffrey Malins and Walthamstow film maker, J.B. (Jock) McDowell, will be shown at 7.00 p.m. on Thursday 29 June 2017 at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Forest Road. The film will be accompanied by the modern orchestral score composed by Laura Rossi for the film’s 90th anniversary in 2006 and preceded by talks from Laura and Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Imperial War Museum, who led the restoration of the film.


Steven Saxby

News From Nowhere Club FREE Talk – Sat. February 11th 2017 @The Epicentre E11 4LJ

More Anglican than Anarchist: Christian Socialism and the Labour Movement

Speaker: Canon Steven Saxby : Waltham Forest’s very own Red Vicar will speak on the role Christians, including Anglicans, played in the formation of the Labour movement and the Labour Party. The Church Social Union, the Guild of St Matthew and the Church Socialist League all made important contributions to Labour. Stewart Headlam and Conrad Noel, notorious radical clerics, were leaders of a movement which challenged the Church and challenged the Party and was hugely

Steven Saxby

Steven Saxby

important to George Lansbury, sometime Labour leader. With reference to how the churches related to other Labour strands, including those inspired by William Morris, Canon Saxby will consider how the churches helped transform the UK at the turn of the last century and how they might again contribute to the social movement politics required to bring real change to Britain today.

Founded in 1996, the News from Nowhere Club challenges the commercialisation and isolation of modern life.
Meetings are monthly on Saturday evenings.

News From Nowhere 2017 Programme

At the Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone E11 4LJ

7.30pm Buffet (please bring something if you can)
8.00pm Talk & discussion till 10pm & back to buffet 
Travel and Access
• Stratford stations & 257 bus
• Leytonstone tube (exit left) & 257/W14 bus
• Overground: Leytonstone High Road, turn right, short walk (from about Feb 2017 – best to check)
• Disabled access
• Car park / Bikes can be brought in
• Quiet children welcome.
• Phone to confirm the talk will be as shown
• Meetings open to all – just turn up
• Enquiries 020-8555-5248
Free entry: voluntary donations welcome