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.

Leytonstone Community Groups Come Together

Following a recent FORA committee decision, Martin Sepion & Tony Fernandes recently set up an inaugural informal meet up of representatives of local resident associations and groups such as:-


We would like to include other Leytonstone groups in future including:-
FARA , Leytonstone Transition , BARA, Friends of Langthorne Park, Francis Road Group to name only a few.

The Purpose

To get to know what sort of dis/similar issues others might be facing, to connect and share resources and connections to improve the overall quality of life in and around E11, whilst still doing what each does in their own patch best.

Work together using the power of critical mass leverage to collaboratively and more effectively harness citizen power via campaigns, media etc. to progresss solutions to issues affecting us all , especially since council election are due in May 2018

To develop a platform for capturing and acting upon input feedback via a proper online /offline forum

A steering group for E11 such as can be described under such potential names as#RebrandDestinationLeytonstoneE11 #Leytonstonia #MyLeytonstone #CatalystLeytonstone # .The simpler and punchier the better . Your thoughts are welcome as always


Raise profile of Leytonstone
Support local business /discount schemes /affiliation and cross utilization of same
Improve appearance and image of E11.Smarter .More welcoming. Using Hitchcock as an icon as also others Damon Albarn, David Bailey, Talvin Singh, Jonathan Ross, Derek Jacobi etc.
Leverage critical mass for campaigns such as

Looking into the strategic town plan for E11 Big Picture if any?
Using the wisdom of the crowd to inform planning decisions rather than mostly parachuting them in via planners etc. who do not necessarily live here ?
To work with the people of Leytonstone to reboot E11 whilst working alongside local govt towards a better quality of life, joined up thinking and resources.


Some issues mentioned include
CPZ Controlled Parking Zone
Local transport/Traffic management
Parking for local businesses #ShopLocalCampaign
Local business mix and shopping planning
Contract management
Parish council concept and appropriateness for E11? Political or community driven or a mix of both ?

NOTE : FORA as a residents association has no political or religious affiliation and that will not change

Mini Holland –implementation and value/delivery /costs –bang for buck

Need for free or pepper corn rent /low cost venues access for local groups non profit ie film club etc. , social prescription remit etc. which by reducing isolation etc. can save money by reducing the need for people to go back into the NHS, mental health services


Looking at a Leytonstone Business Directory plus resources such as done by Wanstead Village Business Directory produced by Lee Marquis as also for Snaresbrook and South Woodford
Pan E11 /East London Discount scheme expansion potentially digitial and the need for a common logo etc. in shops windows and such to recognize them visibly and act as reminders and enticement to join up your local resident associations etc.

Support local charity groups to achieve by co-working, publicizing and utilizing under or unused resources in the community , which may be owned by local Govt or similar
Examples :Church and Harrow Green Libraries, soon to close Leytonstone Job Centre + , Ols Police Station , Old Learning Link by Birbeck Tavern and such
Need for a Lidl/Aldi type store to compete with the likes of Tesco Superstore etc. especially for those who don’t use cars etc. to shop elsewhere such as Morrisons in Wanstead and such
Using the wisdom of the crowd to inform planning decisions rather than parachuting them in from planners etc. who do not live here
Joined up thinking
Political education /Safe seat apathy / being taken for granted except at election times
To make local agencies of govt etc. to sit up and take notice of the power of consolidating our powers, reach and critical mass leverage to be more effective in getting things done in the borough etc
What are the coverage by numbers of various local resident associations and online groups
Promoting and publicising local initiative such as Hitchcock’s Home Pop Up’s Hitchcock Museum /Here’s to Hitchcock of Leytonstone Foundation. Leytonstone Festival etc .

Eco-heritage trail to include Wanstead, Hitch House, St John’s, Vestry House, Walthamstow Wetlands, etc.

Some models to look at?

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

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 

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

100 years since the first day of the battle of the Somme

One hundred years ago today the battle of the Somme began. The first of July 1916 was the worst day in the history of the British Army with 19,000 dead and 38,000 wounded for advances of between 1 and seven miles. It is quite startling to think that on that day Britain suffered higher casualties than the Suez, Falklands, Northern Ireland, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts combined. The battle of the Somme was one of many such battles in World War One or the Great War as it was known. During four months of the Somme offensive 420,000 British, British Empire and Dominion troops, 195,000 French and 650,000 German troops were killed. The offensive was finally called off in November 1916.


Laying wreaths

Thousands of soldiers from Leytonstone served in the First World War and many did not return. You can find out more about these men and where they lived at the Leytonstone War Memorial Project.

Preparing to lower the flag 1st July 2016

Preparing to lower the flag 1st July 2016









Like many villages, towns and cities across the country London Borough of Waltham Forest held a service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Somme. The service was attended by the Leader of the Council, Mayor and members of the public. The Western Front Association provided a display of artefacts from the period and blew whistles used to signal the men to go over the top. The Vestry House Museum provided additional documentary material.

Leytonstone War Memorial

Leytonstone War Memorial

Words and pictures by Martin Sepion

Inspection of Whipps Cross Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. They register, monitor and inspect services to make sure they provide safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care, and encourage them to improve.
CQC will shortly be inspecting services provided by Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes:
Services delivered at –
Mile End Hospital
Newham University Hospital
The Royal London Hospital
St Bartholomew’s Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital

CQC are interested to hear if you have any feedback about the services delivered by this Trust.
See the attached poster for how to contact the CQC

Plenty of food and food for thought at FORA AGM

Forest Residents Association AGM and 10th birthday celebration got off to a great start with an excellent meal provided by the Star of India.

FORA Committee Members Najma, Frances and Tony make sure nobody goes hungry

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds








Corporation of London Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield gave a fantastic talk on managing the forest. They shared their many years experience and knowledge of the special nature of the forest land and the management plans in place to safeguard its future. They took time to answer the many questions local residents had for them while explaining recent developments and plans.

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Robert Barnstone from HACAN East talking to Leytonstone residents who are living under City Airport’s flight paths about campaigning to stop city airport. John and Rob explained the current consultation and the airport’s plans to grow further. Their talk was followed by a lively discussion of how to gain support for residents and HACAN from politicians and decision makers.


FORA is 10 years old this year. The occasion was celebrated by an overview of FORA’s achievements by Chair Vaseem Gill who also highlighted the 10 events FORA ran last year and forthcoming events planned for this year.  New and long serving FORA members shared drinks and cake to celebrate our first 10 years.

AGM Cake

We would like to thank all those who attended with special thanks to Cllr Shabana Dhedhi, Cllr Gerry Lyons, Writer John Rogers, Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield, HACAN East campaigners John Stewart and Robert Barnstone for contributing to the event. A big thank you also to FORA committee members June, Alan, Frances, Najma, Tony, Martin, Heather, Trevor and Vaseem for planning, organising and delivering this excellent event.