Village London

  • Walthmstow-Pitch_cr.jpg
    Not a cricket pitch but a basketball court


    Village hall

    Orford Road houses the old town hall, now the Happy Child Day Nursery. There’s also a half-timbered ‘hall house’ opposite the church which dates back to the fifteenth century. 4/10

    Cricket pitch

    Of course not. But there are iron cricket stumps and a short pitch in the tarmac’d playground on East Avenue, which also boasts basketball hoops. 1/10

    Village green

    Church Common, by St Mary’s, was sold to developers in the 1890s. You can see trees but barely a patch of grass in the village. Your nearest bet is the lower end of Epping Forest, a ten-minute walk. 0/10

    Local pub

    The vaguely bohemian Nag’s Head (9 Orford Road, E17, 0871 426 2544), with its house cat and Sunday jazz sessions, is the focal point of the village. There’s also the cosy Village (31 Orford Road, E17, 020 8521 4398). 8/10

    Post office

    Walthamstow High Street

    Yes, an appropriately quaint, narrow, old-school post office-cum-stationery shop. 7/10


    St Mary’s Church is a huge Norman church, started in the twelfth century and expanded over the years. Local legend tells us that the graveyard is haunted, although that’s probably the muggers who hang out on Vinegar Alley. 10/10

    Annual fête

    The Walthamstow Village Residents’ Association has an annual fête at the Vestry House Museum in July. The bigger Walthamstow Festival also takes up most of Orford Road every August. 7/10

    Village idiot

    Local stuntman Terry Cole can be found in the Walthamstow Guardian most weeks, riding 20km on a Space Hopper or some such. He now holds more than 200 world records. 10/10

    Village people

    A mix of families and low-key professionals (City clerks, university-educated key workers). ‘You can’t move for teachers,’ says one resident. ‘Which is a bit annoying – they win all the pub quizzes…’ 8/10

    Local's verdict

    ‘It is surprisingly quiet and rather more gentrified than some other bits of Walthamstow. And people do tend to know their neighbours, which is a rarity in London. It’s not really a village, though, is it?’ Colin Fleming, 36, local residentTotal 58/100


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