Friends sponsor restoration of furniture at Wanstead Park’s historic Temple


The Victorian table in use at a meeting of the Wanstead Park Liaison Group

Two of the lovely old pieces of furniture at The Temple in Wanstead Park have been expertly repaired by local furniture restorer Chris Rigby following an initiative by the Friends of Wanstead Parklands.

The round walnut Victorian table in the entry room and the oblong Georgian table in the Andromeda room get a lot of use and had been showing signs of wear, so Chris restored their wobbly legs and gave them clear polycarbonate protective tops to protect them from scratches.

Chris Rigby was born in South Yorkshire and now lives in Aldersbrook. He studied at the London College of Furniture (now known as The Cass at London Metropolitan University). As he found he enjoys fixing things, in 1980 Chris started work for John Chambers, the well-known London furniture restorers. In the 37 years since then, Chris has worked for the Royal Society, many exclusive London clubs such as the Garrick, the Carlton Club and the Turf Club, and Guilds such as the Carpenters (appropriately) and the Apothecaries, for whom he repaired four throne-like state chairs. He has done a lot of private work for well-known people such as Peter Cook. He has repaired Dickens's Chair and Walter Scott's Chair. In fact, during his working life, he has repaired an awful lot of old chairs!

Furniture restorer Chris Rigby at work.

Chris lived opposite Wanstead Flats for ten years before moving to Aldersbrook seventeen years ago. He and his family love the Park. He says, 'It has been a pleasure to give something back to the local area and especially the Park, which we have enjoyed for so many years'.

The restoration work was sponsored by The Friends of Wanstead Parklands, using the proceeds from a series of successful events held at The Temple in recent months. Next time you visit, take a good look at the restored tables - they were beautifully made, and the repairs mean they will withstand many more years of being leaned on!


Collection of Wanstead images goes online

In recent years, local historian Richard Arnopp has built up a large collection of historic images of Wanstead Park, Bush Wood and Wanstead Flats. At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands, the audience was given a preview of what Richard describes as a “treasure trove” of material, which he has now placed on eHive for all to see. eHive is an online resource used by museums, societies and private collectors worldwide to catalogue and publish their collections. Continue reading Collection of Wanstead images goes online

Lakes and Bluebells walk

On Sunday 23 April 2017 members of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands led a free walk around Wanstead Park. A gentle stroll over about two miles, the main purpose of the walk was to explain the history and construction of the lake system in the park, which dates in its present form from the first half of the eighteenth century. Continue reading Lakes and Bluebells walk

Water levels in Wanstead Park

Latest statement from the City of London -

The City of London own four lakes at Wanstead Park. These lakes, along with one owned by our neighbours, comprise a five lake cascade that formed the centrepiece in one of England’s most significant gardens. Low water levels at two of the lakes at Wanstead Park have been a concern for some months. Below is an update on the current situation. Continue reading Water levels in Wanstead Park