December 2018


Last month, I used this space to indulge in showbiz gossip. With rumours rife Sir Elton John would be leading the John Lewis Christmas TV ad campaign, the opportunity to open our November issue with a 'step into Christmas' pun was too good to miss. But now the rumour has been confirmed and piano sales are set to rocket, I wonder if I've peaked too soon with Elton song wordplays... let's find out.

As editor, I tend to take my first annual step into Christmas1 a little earlier than many others, planning some festive content as far back as August October2. Seasonal spreads this year are as diverse as an Elton playlist, with the Wild Wanstead team continuing to help us avoid an empty garden3, the Redbridge Brass Band uniting strangers4 in Aldersbrook with a festive performance and a local artist encouraging us all to gaze up at an empty sky5 and look out for Santa and his... cows (I need you to turn to6 pages 18–19 to make sense of that). Wanstead certainly is a town of plenty7.

Of course, by the time you read this, I will have already taken a step into January8. And as Wanstead welcomes the launch of its environmental charter, it is worth remembering it wasn't that long ago (January 1959, in fact) when dense smog and thick smoke brought London to a standstill. Sixty years on9, much has changed but, as the charter encourages, we should all continue to do our bit to ensure pollution levels come down in time10.

So, despite my focus now being the New Year issue, it's time now for me to take a step back into December and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a final goodbye11 for 2018 (I promise, that is the last song12 pun of the year).

1. Step into Christmas (1973)
2. August October (1970)
3. Empty Garden (1982)
4. Strangers (1978)
5. Empty Sky (1969)
6. I Need You to Turn To (1970)
7. Town of Plenty (1988)
8. January (1997)
9. Sixty Years On (1970)
10. Come Down in Time (1970)
11. Goodbye (1971)
12. The Last Song (1992)