Redbridge clubs news: Friends of Wanstead Parklands and Ilford Chess Club

The Temple Wanstead Park. Photo: City of London Corporation

The Temple Wanstead Park. Photo: City of London Corporation - Credit: Clare Eastwood

A round of up of news from the borough’s clubs and societies.

John Meehan has taken over as chairman of The Friends of Wanstead Parklands. Photo FWP

John Meehan has taken over as chairman of The Friends of Wanstead Parklands. Photo FWP - Credit: Friends of Wanstead Parklands

The Friends of Wanstead Parklands

The friends have elected John Meehan has the new chairman of the group.

Mr Meehan has lived in Aldersbrook for 20 years and walks his two dogs in the park every day.

He also uses the park regularly for running, bird watching and cycling.

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Mr Meehan has a professional background in landscaping and has worked on the restoration of Painshill Park in Surrey and Queen Victoria’s park and garden at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.

Mr Meehan said: “I am delighted to have been elected chair of the Friends of Wanstead Parklands.

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“2016 is a crucial year for the park as the City of London Corporation considers whether to proceed with a multi-million pound bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore and improve the park’s unique historical and natural features.”

During his former position as director of Upminster’s Thames Chase Community Forest he and the team planted one million trees and he oversaw the building of the new visitor centre.

He also managed the parklands programme in Essex, spending £9.8million with partners such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Essex Wildlife Trust and the Land Trust.

Along with being chairman, he works as head of environment and flood management at Essex County Council.

John replaces outgoing chairman Dwight Wood, who had served in the position for three years.

Mr Meehan added: “I want to pay tribute to Dwight Wood for his great work.

“I look forward to working with Dwight and other officers as Friends of Wanstead Park goes from strength to strength.”

The club welcomes new members. For more information on The Friends of Wanstead Parklands visit

Ilford Chess Club

Members of Ilford Chess Club played the Brentwood team and won their latest Essex Chess League Division three match last week.

The Brentwood team arrived missing a player and quickly went two nil down.

Ilford club member Jef Page said: “My opening was ok but with a cramped position to break out of, I had to send my knight hopping from one side of the board to the other to free it.

“When I finally did so I was able to put in a queen and knight mating attack against my opponent’s open and defenceless king.”

New members are invited to join.

Members meet on Mondays from 7.30pm at Redbridge Social Centre, rear of 188/190 Beehive Lane, Redbridge. Contact Tom Barton on 0208 550 1181 or email

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