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What's it really like to live in walthamstow?

(171 Posts)
MrsN11 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:27:37


I'm looking for some advice from fellow 'stow MNers who live in the area.

I put up a post ages ago asking for suggestions about where DH and I should live. We currently live in Stokey and have approx 450k to spend on our next property. I work east & DH works west! We love Stokey, but realise that Walthamstow would offer us more space for our budget.

So what is 'stow really like to live in? Dodgy? Safe? Fun etc? We've visited the area & the "village" is pretty but also tiny - does it feel claustrophobic being there? Queen's park is another option (need to be close to tube) but some parts look tired. But first impressions can be wrong!

Everyone says it's up-and-coming, but has much changed there in the last 5 years?

Be great to hear your thoughts! Thank you.

evilesther Thu 11-Oct-12 19:09:48

Yummy mummies in search of organic cafes please get back in the car and carry on driving until you reach the home counties. People willing to invest their time, energy and spirit in to places and people outside of Walthamstow Village we welcome you (after all that's what Walthamstow means fact fans!).

And for those of you moaning about Walthamstow Dad, since this thread started we have in fact made him Mayor.

MonkeysAhoy Thu 11-Oct-12 19:30:57

(sorry - message cut off early. Darned phone typing)
Love the easy access to the market, the marshes, the mill community centre, decent Playgrounds and schools and transport). If you are looking for that magical London diamond, of great housing but affordable with perfect shoPs, no crime, and polite teens who are all Oxbridge bound, you aren't going to find it anywhere. My son starts school next year and we are firmly and happily staybg put in the midst of neighbours we always chat to and a good network of friends and community. I don't want to leave London, and frankly wouldn't mind staying in my walthamstow community I've found for a good long while.

tricot39 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:32:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

psimonk Thu 11-Oct-12 22:41:55

Erm, I hesitate to mention this. But this is why WalthamstowDad rules: Warning: may contain swearing and Nazis!

Adair Thu 11-Oct-12 23:38:36

Ah, WalthamstowDad, that video is so mumsnet. You can fight it but you belong here really wink

MrsN11 Fri 12-Oct-12 00:02:38

Whoops, I see I made a typo here - I meant queen's road area, not queen's park.

And goodness, what has happened to this thread? It seems to have turned into a contest now between Team Stokey vs Team Walthamstow!

madbird Fri 12-Oct-12 10:59:55

My husband was made redundant so we left Walthamstow 2 years ago for the North - that is where his industry is. Whilst we are very happily living the country life, I do miss the Stow. I lived there for 15 years, single, married and with kids. I never had a problem with crime or safety, - just be streetwise as you should be in London. I met the most amazing people and am still in contact with great friends from then. The cafe culture is great - not starbucks, but small independents. When I was studying I used to go in to the local Algerian cafe, and the owner would ask what music I wanted to study to that day. When I was with little children, we were welcomed into all cafes, regardless of how male orientated they sometimes seemed. There are some of the organic, arty, farmers market things going on but what really made it for me is that all the people I knew just wanted to live there and put into the community as people have said above. The campaign for a cinema is a good example. Crafting in the pub with Craft Guerrilla was also a favourite night out too. It might be dirty and grimey, it is no where near as smart as other places but it has its own east end charm and is unpretentious. Certainly I would not waste money living in the village. (We found living the other side of Queens Road saved us about 70k and that was 10 years ago!)
Being able to take kids cycling down to the marshes is great and unexpectedly rural for the middle of London. Transport links are amazing. If I was to move back South I'd be there like a shot.

Meat2veg Fri 12-Oct-12 13:20:51

Jumping into your pond after hearing about this thread on twitter...

I lived in N16 for a couple of years when I first moved to London in 2007. Moved to E17 after that. It's much better. Although the estate agents are just about now starting to take the mickey and act like N16 estate agents.

The village is nice for restaurants, and if you want 'real' shops then a short walk to Wood Street brings you to many non-chain options - proper shops, I mean, not gift shops or organic cafés. Transport links are excellent rather than irritating. Stella is considerably more palatable and sensible than Diane. And if there is an element of Middle-class pretentiousness then it is admirably tongue-in-cheek and self-aware. 'Yes, I'm wearing slip-on shoes without socks. I know it looks stupid, but I'm okay with that. And no, these glasses don't have lenses'.

I actually feel like I'm in a place with a community now - the anti-EDL thing was amazing, and the ongoing cinema campaign is marvellous. I look forward to having a Dalston-Rio type cinema as soon as the stupid christians have a moment of clarity and leave it alone. It certainly puts the anti-starbucks thing in N16 to shame.

I don't have kids yet, so perhaps my perspective is not in the demographic for this forum, but E17 feels like a good place to have them. N16 felt like it was constantly worried about not being cool.

tricot39 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:05:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 19:40:06

Has anyone that has left a response actually been to Walthamstow? I'm guessing not as It's an utter shithole.
Also, saying "Stokey" makes you sound like a cunt.

MaisonCupcakeBlog Fri 12-Oct-12 20:31:53

I've lived in Walthamstow village for 8 years and it's changed a lot (for the better IMO) since we arrived.

The thing I love most if that you can walk down the road and easily bump into 3-4 people who you know. It's an area where people say hallo if they recognise you, the staff in shops get to know you and chat. I knew more people in my street after 7 days than I did in Shepherd's Bush after 7 years - certainly none of the shopkeepers on Uxbridge Road ever acknowledged me more than a grunt.

I also like that you can hop in the car and be on the M11 within 5 minutes - living in zone 2 you would just sit in the car for 40 minutes before you reached the North Circular.

The iffy side is the growing shortage of school places and poor standard boys' secondary education. Having said that, the catholic secondary school results have greatly improved year on year (which will suit us but won't benefit everyone I admit). It annoys me that virtually every white middle class family with boys seems to leave the area as soon as they're 9 years old but sadly this is what tends to happen and the area has a less diverse mix of teenagers as a result.

If you're starting a family, Walthamstow village is somewhere you can pretty much guarantee a strong support network of other parents with young families too. (The NCT nearly new sales are especially impressive!) The couple lately on "Location Location" who turned a property in the village down because it was where they saw themselves 'in 9 years time' were fools.

I've not owned property in Stoke Newington but briefly rented there and hated it because I was repeated followed about by strange men in the street (!!).

PS I am curious where all these cake shops are?! Can't say I've seen them?

Woodlands Fri 12-Oct-12 20:39:14

FFS Olsen. Do you live in Walthamstow? I bet you live in Chingford or SOuth Woodford or something and think you're far superior to us plebs here in Walthamstow.

Meat2veg Fri 12-Oct-12 21:03:26

I bet he lives in Dulwich.

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 21:57:36

It won't be a shithole for much longer though, I'm seeing more and more Hipsters moving into the area and once they're there the developers will shortly follow and before you kno

0lson420 Fri 12-Oct-12 22:00:10

w it it'll become completely faceless like the rest of East London that has fallen to the Hipsters.

E17HH Fri 12-Oct-12 22:14:17

I've been here for almost 10 years and watched the area gentrify. But I've always loved it.
There is some amazing architecture: William Morris Gallery, George Monoux College, Waltham Forest College, the Town Hall and Warner properties are my favourites.
There are some fantastic people: E17 Art Trail links together our diverse community. The village is great for a meal out and Penny Fielding is a facinating person who runs a fascinating shop and was here long before bacon jam et al.
There are some real pubs such as the Rose and Crown with beer and live music, theatre and comedy.
Transport is great with Victoria Line, Overground to Liverpool Street and to Gospel Oak and Barking.
We have two swimming pools.
We have some great organisations such as the Mill who took over a closed library and transformed it into a vibrant community hub.
Downside - people worry a lot about schools. When we moved here we were told people like us moved out for secondary schools by our nearest primary school head. People like us did move out but we've stayed and been very happy with another local initially poorly performing primary with a more hopeful head educating our gifted and talented child and we've stayed for secondary too and not left or wimped out and applied to Latymer for grammar school education down the road.
There is no cinema but two thriving local cinema groups: screen17 and mcguffin and a campaign to get the old cinema back from the UKCG and for the council to develop a new one too.
If you come to E17 please be prepared to be part of #awesomestow twitter n all.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 15:54:45

Just been to the annual local Apple Day, and it made me think of this thread. Wall-to-wall alternative types, with plenty of hand-knits, and lots of stalls for labour collectives. Just like 'Stokey' was 15 years ago.

While Olson is wrong about many things, he's right about the vileness of the term 'Stokey'.

0lson420 Sat 13-Oct-12 17:44:07

I'm sorry about my outburst last night, my wife was pregnant with twins but she lost them both on Wednesday. I can't begin to describe how devastated we both are. I'd tried to stay strong for my wife and our 15 month old daughter and put on a brave face but it finally hit me last night and I cracked big time. I unnecessarily took it out on complete strangers that didn't deserve it.
So if you can please disregard everything that I said last night as I don't mean it.
It's nice seeing people sticking up for Walthamstow. My favourite thing about Walthamstow is the dancing Lollipop Lady on Markhouse Road.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Sat 13-Oct-12 18:39:54

0lson, that's terrible. I've never experienced anything like that, I'm crap at doing sympathy on the internet, but FWIW I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a blow.

I'm sure everybody here would rather you took it out on strangers on the internet than anyone closer to home. Plenty worse things than being insulted on MN!

I wish you and your family all the best.

0lson420 Sat 13-Oct-12 18:46:54

Thank you.

tricot39 Sat 13-Oct-12 19:11:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tricot39 Sat 13-Oct-12 19:12:59

Olson. sorry. Rogue e.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 19:13:40

Hey Olson. That's just awful. I've lost a few pregnancies myself, and know the utter devastation you must be feeling. It does get better, I promise.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:28:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:29:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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