Free ‘Feel Good Walks ‘ in Waltham Forest

Hugely encouraging to see this initiative happening in our neck of the woods too . A fab way for folks who would like to meet up with others and get a bit of air , exercise and camaraderie all in one .  Many issues around health centre on fitness both physical and mental as they do go hand in hand . May many more such initiatives follow within communities and by communities for communities . January 2018 sees the  launch of a free  informal local support group for anyone who may have challenges with connecting with others , isolation , mental health nurturing and such caused by illness , loss of identity post job loss  or just about any area where positive thinking alternate solutions and moral etc. support  can help .

#UpBeatMeet2018 with the Extra Mile Personal Transformation people

Gainsborough - Grove Green - Kingswood Roads

Successful FORA Campaign

In 2015 London Borough Waltham Forest along with two other London boroughs were awarded 30 million pounds to pilot improved cycling infrastructure across the borough. Some of the changes have been more successful than others. One particular junction which is where Gainsborough/Grove Green/Kingswood Roads meet has been of particular concern. This junction, following redesign during the Mini Holland cycle scheme, became dangerous as cars could not turn left from Kingswood Road onto Gainsborough Road without entering the oncoming lane. We are very pleased than Waltham Forest Council has responded to residents concerns and improved the junction layout so that vehicles can now turn left safely. This is another successful FORA led campaign so well done to all who participated. FORA very much welcomes this spirit of consultation and communication between residents and Waltham Forest Council.

As you can see from this video cars are now able to turn left without entering the oncoming lane.

Thank you to Laura O’Callaghan from East London Guardian 

Adieu Roy Merrell

On a quintessentially rainy autumn English day , Roy Merrell’s funeral took place at The East London Crematorium. The funeral chapel service was conducted beautifully by Fr Paul Kennington, Vicar of St Andrew’s Church , Leytonstone 


In abundant attendance were a diverse group of family , friends and folks whose lives he had touched , influenced or mentored in so many ways. 

My interaction with him were both online and offline via social media and such . Much was discussed ,often differed amicably upon but always of calibre and thoughtfulness redolent

He was a long standing member of our FORA and wider community .Sadly the dates we had bandied about for me to go and visit him in his last weeks did not work out mutually and then it was too late .. The best laid plans of mice and men and all that …

He passed peacefully with his family around on the 14th of October 2017 .

He did not suffer fools gladly but kindness and thoughtfulness were the signature of this scholar and gentleman .

It is remarkable that one of the things he took pains to mention even in his last days , were ‘Don”t forget to ring Tony’ (myself )

Roy Merrell , you shall be missed , your legacy lives on

In deepest empathy with the Merrell family and clan

A.Anthony(Tony) FERNANDES

Deputy Chair FORA

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 members out planting bulbs

Blooming Leytonstone

Planting bulbs in Dyson Road

As part of our mission to enhance and enjoy Leytonstone, FORA members have been out participating in the Borough wide Big Bulb Weekend. Fladgate, Dyson and Poppleton Roads in Leytonstone were targeted by local residents who planted a variety of spring flowers including White Narcissus, Crocuses and the early flowering Snowdrop. Bulbs were planted around the base of street trees and will, hopefully appear next spring. So look out for a little extra colour in our community. London Borough of Waltham Forest has given bulbs out to local groups to help brighten up our streets. See Blooming Marvelous to find out more. 



Looking down Kingswood Road

Dangerous Leytonstone Junction reported on by Waltham Forest Guardian

By Laura O’Callaghan Reporter for East London Guardian Phone: 07824530130

Drivers who use a junction which was altered by the council to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians say it’s an “accident waiting to happen”.

Waltham Forest Council introduced a blended ‘Copenhagen’ crossing at the junction of Kingswood Road and Grove Green Road, Leytonstone earlier this year.

Neighbours say due to the narrowness of the junction, they are forced to either mount the pavement when turning left onto Grove Green Road, or drive onto the path of oncoming traffic.

Although the aim of the Copenhagen crossing is to slow cars down, residents say its poor design has made the junction into a hazard for walkers and drivers alike.

Everald Campbell, 60, of Poppleton Road said: “When I’m turning I either have to come so close to the kerb that I’m on the pavement or go onto the opposite side of the road.

“These are two terrible options and you don’t have a safe way in turning left.

“The traffic on the opposite side of the road comes around the bend at speed and if you’re only a second out it can cause an accident. I’m extremely concerned about it.”

Read the full article here 

Read a previous blog post on this topic here 

Residents meet LBWF Housing Officers over future use of Wardley Lodge

Wardley Lodge, Preston Road

Wardley Lodge

On the evening of 18th September 2017 FORA (Forest Residents Association) members met with London Borough of Waltham Forest Housing Officers to discuss future use of Wardley Lodge 63 Preston Road, Leytonstone, E11 1RB.

In the past Wardley Lodge was run by East Thames Housing Association who provided accommodation for people with alcohol dependency issues. While local residents sympathise with people suffering from alcohol and related issues a number of concerns were expressed over the management of some of the tenants. Local residents observed drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, threatening behaviour, begging, and jaywalking. The police were often called and there were times when the management of the tenants appeared to be lacking.

FORA met with Christine Ogbonda (Head of Temporary Accommodation) and her staff at Wardley Lodge to find out future plans for the facility. Christine shared the following information:

• The facility has been leased to LBWF for 15 years from East Thames Housing Association
• It will be managed directly by LBWF
• Wardley Lodge has been refurbished to provide 23 single room units with communal areas such as kitchens and playrooms for children
• The aim is to provide medium to long term accommodation for homeless people
• Likely residents will be single parent families, older people or people escaping domestic violence
• The Council is only able to house those with the very highest need from the waiting list
• Residents have contractual obligations to abide by the law and housing rules
• Those who do not comply will be given three warnings and then their tenancy will be terminated

Christine is available to discuss any issues local residents experience and has passed her contact details on to FORA. She is committed to ensuring Wardley Lodge is well managed and does not adversely impact upon the lives of people living in the area. 

To help the new tenants of Wardley Lodge become integrated into the local community it was suggested to Christine that a list be compiled of local groups such as Doctors, Churches, Nurseries etc. A good place to start might be the FORA website where there is a page listing local groups and services

CPZ letter p3

Colworth Road Area CPZ Consultation Result

Waltham Forest Council carried out a consultation over the implementation of a CPZ (controlled Parking Zone) in the streets around Colworth Road Leytonstone E11. On 15th September residents were sent a letter with the results of the consultation. (see below).

Overall residents rejected the implementation of a CPZ  in the area (40% for 60% against) however there were considerable variations in different roads. Some roads voting, albeit from low response rates, in favour by 100%.    

The council has decided, in the light of these results, to implement a CPZ in part of the area. 

Points for consideration

  • Clearly some roads have greater parking pressure than others. 
  • The council makes considerable money from parking and has aggressively pushed CPZs across the borough
  • This is the second time residents have rejected a CPZ in Upper Leytonstone
  • Once implemented residents have little power to stop councils increasing residents parking permit fees above inflation
  • Non car users will affected too. They will have to buy books of parking tickets if they have family or trades people who might visit them
  • Implementing the CPZ partially will place greater pressure on those roads who have voted against the scheme
  • Having a parking permit does not guarantee you a place to park in your own road
  • Visitors to the hospital park in local roads outside the hours of the proposed parking restrictions
  • Implementing a CPZ encourages other areas to adopt CPZs so that over time the majority of roads in the country will have a CPZ.  You may therefore find it difficult and expensive to use your car to visit relatives and friends elsewhere
  • The introduction of CPZs is part of the wider council policy to reduce car use
  • Air pollution is a major problem in London and the south east
  • Most car journeys are short (average 0.75 mile)
  • Walking and cycling are better for the environment, your health and the health of others

Please let us know your thoughts on the council proposals to partially implement a CPZ in the area by commenting below or getting in touch via

CPZ letter p1

CPZ Letter Page 1

CPZ letter page 2

CPZ letter Page 2

CPZ letter p3

CPZ letter page 3

Proposed CPZ Charges

Council seeks to implement a CPZ in Upper Leytonstone for second time

London Borough of Waltham Forest seeks consultation to implement a controlled parking zone in the streets around Colworth Road E11 after residents rejected a CPZ in the area following the 2012 Olympic Games.  

You can find the consultation document via the following link:- 

Please note the council have given only two weeks notice for residents to consider and respond to the consultation. The deadline for response is 30th June 2017.  

Please comment below or let FORA know your views via 

Questions to consider:-

  • Will the charges go up each year?
  • Will non car owners incur extra charges to allow friends, relatives, contractors to visit them?
  • Will car owners be guaranteed a parking space?
  • What if car owners cannot park in their designated zone?