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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.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 13-Oct-12 19:31:01

We've been owners in E5 for 15 years and are looking longingly over the Marshes more and more for a bit of house price sanity. It's gone INSANIO around here recently. I love my area; I love the community and the just get on with it, friendly nature of the people round here. I just can't believe how much people are willing to pay to live here now though.

I'm so sorry for your family's loss 0lson.

MrsDeVere Sat 13-Oct-12 19:31:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

herbaceous Sat 13-Oct-12 19:57:26

<waves latte from village borders>

I seem to mainly hang out in one thread, bemoaning advancing crepiness. But have lately made forays into the property forum for avice on kitchens. Tho maybe I should raise my sights and pop a tower block in the garden.

Mimi66 Sun 14-Oct-12 14:42:40

The cake shops are North African coffee shops. Yes, there are a surprising number of them, but then there are lots of North African families in Walthamstow - five children of Algerian background in my son's class, including him.

psimonk Tue 16-Oct-12 07:45:33

Olson, really sorry to hear your news. Big E17 virtual hugs from over here (and feel free to vent away!).

And sorry ppl were offended by my use of "Stokeys" - mainly abbreviating as typing on phone. Would say Stowites or E17ers just as happily also...

And as I said before, know ppl w boys who have gone through local secondaries just fine. But that is not the norm for middle classes here.

BemusedIsuream Tue 16-Oct-12 09:23:27

What is the 'norm for middle classes round here' then? Do they just leave the area? I'm interested in this because, as I'm sure you're aware as a local resident, of the plans for a new free secondary school in the area. It is now more important than ever that the middle classes DO support the local secondaries. And it's certainly what I plan to do when the time comes.

psimonk Tue 16-Oct-12 12:15:05

Bemused, I'm with you on staying - I think it's really important for middle class folks to engage with the schools near them. And as I said, I've seen several local parents send their boys (and girl) locally and have done just fine.

But the general norm I see among parents with older kids is to get all panicky around 9/10 and then eventually either a) leg it to Herts/Kent/Essex etc. or b) send their kids out of borough to a grammar (someone mentioned Latymer for instance, in Edmonton).

That said, my eldest is only 5 - so long time yet - secondary system may well be very different by time mine are old enough to go - and that may force me to reappraise. Doubt it though.

Bikegal Wed 17-Oct-12 10:49:24

Ive lived in Walthamstow for 9 years and think it is a warm, friendly, interesting place. It has a great community feeling with people from all walks of live living here. I agree with maisoncupcakeblog, as a mother of two boys one of whom is due to start secondary school soon, there seems to be a mass exodus to leave when nearing to secondary school decisions. The secondary education for boys is not going to get better if everyone moves away. I for one have seen some pretty good schools when I have looked around. Frederick Bremer will only get better, Willowfield is a "good" school with a great community feel and is due to be totally rebuilt for 2015 and Leytonstone another good school has also been awarded funding from the govt. If everyone is so happy here but the only thing making them move away is schools, then I don't think its a good enough reason. Schools are only a part of life, good community, friends, variety of amazing museums,parks and events mean a lot to. Kids that have been bought up in London are being whisked away when they are getting to an age when they will be able to explore for themselves the amazing things London has to offer. I for one will not be leaving London or Walthamstow for that matter.

BemusedIsuream Thu 18-Oct-12 11:00:03

Bikegal - I totally agree with you. I'm not sure this is allowed on Mumsnet, I expect it isn't, but do you know about the campaign to defend our local schools, specifically against the proposals for a new free school?

DianaVreeland Thu 18-Oct-12 13:46:34

Hi BemusedIsuream- I am supporting the new free school being proposed. So many people love Walthamstow and want to stay here - me included - that I have signed up to the free school. There's going to be a 300 minimum place shortfall by 2015 and personally, I want to stay here and have my children educated here. If the school opens then not only will there be places for our children at Frederick Bremer, Willowfield, The Academy etc, there will also be places at the free school.
All the currently existing secondaries are already oversubscribed. Why do they need defending when so many apply already and don't get a place?
My children's primary has been expanded from a one form intake to a three form intake - those 60 extra children per year are going to need a secondary school place.
And this primary school isn't the only one being expanded - they ALL are. Please read the link below - LBWF are creating an additional primary 5000 places - where are all these children going for their secondary education?

The conclusion is, if you love living in Walthamstow and want your children to stay here, then you should support the free school as it will improve the chance of your child attending their chosen school.

BemusedIsuream Thu 18-Oct-12 19:04:20

I'm not sure this is the right thread for this discussion, but since you asked DianaVreeland...
I am against this proposal because it has absolutely nothing to do with community. It smacks of 'what about my child?', not 'what is good for this community?'. That aside, and the fact that I think the Free School policy is a horrific one (probably not enough room for me to go into this one here!) - oh and let's not forget that this particular proposal plans for a school partnered with an evangelical Christian organisation - no-one seems to be presenting evidence for a massive shortage in secondary school places in the long term. The local authority have figures which do, yes predict a bulge peaking in 2014/2015 and 2015/16 but this then tails off year on year.
I am completely aware of the shortage of primary school places in the borough in the last couple of years and it seems to me that this is being used to create fear among local parents. If you'd like to know about this you can go here: defendwalthamforeststateschools

tricot39 Thu 18-Oct-12 19:15:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:40:33

And if you can't find a garden there are loads of allotments in Walthamstow and the waiting lists aren't huge.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:41:53

OP why are you called MrsN11 when you live in Hackney?

smile just wondering.

DianaVreeland Thu 18-Oct-12 22:22:46

BemusedIsuream, I am sure I must know you as you live near to the village - I would love to meet you for a tea or a drink . IF you are up to meeting someone who lives in the village - apparently we don't mix much!!
Oasis is a Christian organisation in the same way that Traidcraft is - what an evil organisation that is!! Their schools are not evangelical, they are secular. There's a rumour flying around that they want to teach Creationism - do we live in the Mid West states? Are our men allowed to take 3 wives? about scaremongering....
As for the bulge, even if by 2019 the population were to plateau or decline, we'd still need an additional 300 places min, which means a new school. The NUT rep admitted it, with no solutions offered just a vague request that the LEA should 'do something'.
And speaking as someone who grew up in a council home, that means a new school for everyone, not just the privilidged few. I will be in the Castle Friday night for a drink, care to join me to discuss?

Lexilicious Thu 18-Oct-12 22:36:22

I'm a sort of an E17 landlord... not of the backyard bungalow type, but the accidental BTL type.

We lived on Albert Road for about 18months until DS was 6m and we needed to live close to where I went back to work. I loved it, mostly. I tried to like the Village, but it was only half open any time I went there (that bakery on the corner of Orford Road often disappointed me, not in products or service but availability!). I really liked the daily market, saw a lot of human life there. I loved how you could walk up Hoe St, to the square and down the high st, under the railway line and over to Queens Road... and never seem to hear the same language spoken twice!

The people living in our flat have just got married and seem to like it there. They had loads of friends come and stay for the Olympics and paralympics so I like that they are really getting all the fun of the borough.

Bikegal Fri 19-Oct-12 00:16:00

I think I would also like a school that is a real mix up of people, as a midlander living in London for 20+ years who is also heavily into the arts I don't feel I
fit into a particular class. The idea of a school that's all white, all middle class, all black or all asian is cerrtainly not anywhere I would want my child to be. I love London for the fact it's not that.

Bikegal Fri 19-Oct-12 00:37:24

If primarys are already being expanded then secondary schools will too. it doesn't stop at primary's. Most people are happy with the level of primary education so why shouldn't it extend to secondarys.

DianaVreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 11:50:16

Hi Bikegal
I know you too! This is making me genuinely unhappy it's caused such a divide and there are so many people very angry about this, when there are so many other things in this world to campaign against or for......
The team who are campaigning for the free school are black, Malaysian, Asian, Indian...also white. In fact the exact representation of families from all backgrounds across Stow, not just the white own children are mixed race and I don't want them singled out.
I am going to stop here as I really don't believe in people arguing online as it solves nothing, plus actually we all want the same thing which is to stay in Stow and educate our children here.
Come to the Castle tonight and I will buy you a drink.

BemusedIsuream Fri 19-Oct-12 13:57:00

Thanks for the offer of the drink, DianaVreeland smile I'm not around tonight but in any case I think the reason I feel happier in some ways discussing this online is because it's such a divisive issue and I expect I have local friends on either side of this argument - in fact, I know I do. I'm not going to change my view about free schools, though. In some ways, the religious link is a little bit of a white elephant. If I'm absolutely honest it's a fundamental political belief that stands in the way of me supporting this proposal.

BemusedIsuream Fri 19-Oct-12 13:59:51

And I don't have anything against people in the Village - I think that was a rather silly point made by a few people further up the thread - I've friends from all over Walthamstow. The only people who benefit from the sneering about the village are the wretched estate agents if you ask me.

DianaVreeland Fri 19-Oct-12 14:36:04

I know I wouldn't convert you, the more the merrier down the pub as far as I'm concerned!

MrsN11 Fri 19-Oct-12 21:03:03

Thanks everyone for all your comments!

Really encouraging to hear that walthamstow has got a strong community vibe, and that there is more to E17 than just "the village."

Achillea - your comment made me laugh - I'm not quite as switched on as you! 11 is my lucky number, otherwise you're right, I should have called myself MrsN16. But maybe I'll become MrsE17......I feel much more positive about E17 now than I did 2weeks ago. Comments about it being community orientated have really sold it for me.

Now the next question (or thread) will be: schools?? (Although I see some people have already touched upon this).

Eileithyia Wed 21-Nov-12 21:25:53

Yeah I'm behind the times, you've probably moved here already by now, but just wanted to add that I love living in Walthamstow and I had my doubts when we moved from Islington five years ago. Have made great friends, actually think the primary schools are very good compared to lots of the rest of London (depends what you're looking for) and have always felt safe and part of the wider community. Transport into central London fine and quick (usually - as good as anywhere else really), got an allotment, lovely interesting neighbours, really so far all good. Could do with better cafe up Higham Hill way - bacon jam definitely hasn't made it here :-) - otherwise I'd recommend and I'm surprised more people don't move here.

walthamstowdad - very good, laughed a lot

abooton Fri 07-Dec-12 16:22:46

I would not move to Walthamstow at any cost, AVOID WALTHAMSTOW!!! It is a hellhole, dirty, dangerous, uncouth, uncultured, uncivilized, really really poor schools, just maximum urgh shudder quotient. I lived there for 5 years, down off Forest Road at first, in one of the pokey little Warner flats there, 50 yards away from where a Terrorist cell was uncovered; my flatmate of the time was mugged twice walking back from the tube, I was stabbed near the local hospital, omg, Walthamstow, horrible place. You could buy in 'The Village' and the bit of civility that offers, but where would you send your kids to school? They'll struggle to have any real education as one of a minority speaking English as a first language, and that would be only the start of their troubles, mixing in with kids at school who see educational attainment as a sign of elitist thinking ergo a cause for bullying, if they manage to not get stabbed before they're 12 that is. I am so grateful to providence that I don't have to live in that hellhole anymore and my child has a chance in life and I live somewhere with a genuine sense of community.

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