Thursday, 28 November 2013

Walthamstow's Chapel End Ward

Home to some of the area's most well known landmarks and green spaces, Chapel End is brimming with artistic charm. The imposing art deco Assembly Hall, the Town Hall and Lloyd Park are all found here, as is one of Walthamstow's best pubs, an award winning artisan cafe and a strong sense of community spirit.

A perfect example of this can be found at Chapel End's best loved cafe, Arts and Crusts. Located on Victoria Road, Arts and Crusts offers much more than artisan breads, cakes and coffees, though these are all awesome. It's one of the places that the local community gather. From showcasing local artists in their pop-up gallery space, to working with aspiring young artists from local schools, Arts and Crusts has built an excellent reputation in this local community.

Top left, Appetite window graphic painted by art students from Chapel End's Frederick Bremer secondary school;
bottom left, local customers add some musical entertainment; bottom right, an Appetite Festival event hosted
in Arts and Crusts' Fox Office, pop-up gallery/events space

During the past year their pop-up gallery/events space has hosted a wide range of events from local designers and artists, including Chapel End based textile designer, Petra Green, of Room 39, as well as hosting literary events including a Georgian Sunday Roast, accompanied by the poetry of Keats, as part of Words Over Waltham Forest.

Cup Canopy by Walthamstow Dad in the Fox Office at Arts and Crusts

There is also a very family friendly atmosphere present here too. The cafe was recently shortlisted for London with a Toddler's award for most child friendly cafe. Owners Andrew and Carol both live in Chapel End, and with children of their own, wanted to provide a welcoming environment for the whole family. Children's toys sit in the front of the cafe waiting to be played with. "We love our community" said Carol, and based on our Vox Pop twitter survey, the community loves them back. Here's what a few of their customers had to say:

Another place with a great community vibe is the Bell pub. Found on the corner of Forest Road and Chingford Road, it skirts the outer boundary of Chapel End. The pub was taken over by new owners at the end of 2012 and has undergone a substantial refurbishment. The Bell is classically cool, with many nineteenth century features. It also pays homage to the father of Walthamstow art, (no, not Walthamstow Dad) William Morris, with one wall adorned with his signature-style wallpaper.

          The Bell received a very positive review when it featured in Time Out earlier this year. Thumbnail dog at Bell ©Ben Rowe

Like Arts and Crusts, the Bell supports local artists, hosting regular events throughout the year. As part of a series of collaborations between artists and charity Eat or Heat, local photographer, Alex Bell, recently showcased her latest project, E17 Under My Skin, at the pub.

The food at the Bell has gained a very good reputation. Their Sunday roast in particular has received top reviews. You will also often find live jazz served up on Sunday afternoons. The next big event at the Bell is New Years Eve. Its free entry and open until...

So, you've had some tasty artisan bread and coffee, you've eaten your Sunday roast. Need somewhere to walk it off?

Why not take a stroll through lovely Lloyd Park (most of which resides within the Chapel End Ward). The William Morris Gallery, also in Lloyd Park, is so special it has its own Ward, aptly named the William Morris Ward.

Lloyd Park first opened under it's current name on 28 July 1900, but historians believe that the estate to which it was once a part dates back to the 16th century. Following a significant refurbishment in 2011, the park has a wide range of facilities for young, old and everyone in between.

In no particular order there are tennis and basketball courts, outdoor table-tennis, a skate park, an outdoor gym, grass and synthetic bowling greens, formal gardens, open fields and a dogs off leads area. As well as the William Morris Gallery, there is also the Winns Gallery and community room at the Aveling centre, as well as a cafe.

Lloyd Park also hosts events throughout the year. The photo above (courtesy of Annika, was taken during this year's Soul Picnic event. For more details on Lloyd Park; stunning photos and upcoming events, check out the lovely website from Friends of Lloyd Park.

Also based in Chapel End and made up of a wide collection of local artists and makers is the Chapel End Arts and Crafts Association.

Their last event was a September Arts and Crafts Fair, which was held at the Wadham Bowling Club in Chapel End. They will be or were (depending on when you read this) represented at the E17 Designers Christmas Market and Eat or Heat Christmas Fair on 29/30th November. For more details take a glance at their facebook page.

Another brilliant project that was born in Chapel End is, Grow Your Own Theatre (GYOT). Started by Sarah Chase with support from local MP Stella Creasy, and in part with funding from the Chapel End Ward Forum, GYOT offers drama classes to local children and puts on performances at venues around the area. Their first was at Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre Pub. Another performance entitled, 'You Win', was hosted by, yes, Arts and Crusts. The cafe became a fortune tellers caravan for the evening.

The GYOT production of 'You Win', inspired by the Olympics and hosted by Arts and Crusts

Just a few more things left to mention...

Chapel End also has an amazing Supper Club. Damn Good Curry hosts culinary events throughout the year that will set your taste buds racing. These are held at Wadham Lodge on Brookscroft Road.

I suppose we can't write an article about Chapel End, and talk about art, without mentioning one of the area's most accomplished artists, Grayson Perry. After many years working out of his studio on Spruce Hills Road, he has now departed for another secret location. His studio is (at the time of writing) for sale with planning permission to convert into a residential home. For more details check out the Currell Group website.

We've heard about a new Chapel End pub. The William Morris (formerly the College Arms) is currently being refurbished, but the twitter chatter suggests its set to open very soon. One to watch!

So, there you have it. A little snapshot of just some of what's in and what's happening in Chapel End. 

Approximation only.
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  1. Chapel End is lovely. The new William Morris pub on Forest Rd is open now and it's fab! Look forward to seeing the other Walthamstow area guides. Which one are you doing next?

  2. Thanks for the comment. We'll be shining a light on the High St ward next.