Highams Park Forum
A group of local people all interested in the betterment of life in their area.

Seen locally (Current - 2014)

Following the planned closure of the Forum at the end of 2019 this website is now mothballed. It will not be updated further but remains as an interesting archive and can be browsed as normal. All Forum functions have transferred to the Highams Park Planning Group. Click here for details

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Seen locally (Current - 2014)

This page contains a selection of photos taken out and about in Highams Park. The only criteria are that they should be interesting, informative or amusing in some way.

Please send us yours to the email address shown in the "Contact us" link. We'd be pleased to receive any photos taken on mobile phones or digital cameras that capture local scenes and fit the above criteria. Please include a two line description saying where the photo was taken, the date and time, and your name (which we won't publish if you don't want us to).

For older "seen locally" items, click here: "Seen locally" archive

8th July 2019 - Stunning wildflowers around Humphry's in the Park

Earlier in the year, the council's parks department dug up the grass around Humphry's café in The Highams Park (the park next to the lake) and they planted wildflowers in the space. For quite some time it looked like the plants had not taken and the large beds just looked rather sad and muddy. But we should have had faith. The recent sun and rain caused the beds to exploded with growth and a stunning display of wildflowers has erupted. Its worth taking a stroll to see them before the season finishes.

Mass of wildflowers around Humphry's café in the Park

A close up of some of the flowers with grateful insects

30th March 2019 - Spring birds by the lake

A pair of Egyptian Geese have set up home at Highams Park Lake. Below is a still from a short video of the pair. If you click the photo the video will run, showing them "displaying". They seem to like the camera as they can be seen photobombing the resident swans in the swan photos below.

Egyptian Geese pair by the lake - click photo to run video

Egyptian Geese photobombing swan (1 of 2)

Egyptian Geese photobombing swan (2 of 2)

26th April 2018 - Bluebells in a Sunbeam

Onna snapped this photo of bluebells in the forest surrounding Highams Park Lake. This was after having one of the first cups of tea at Humphry's in The Highams Park. This Community hub and Cafe opened for the first time on 26th April 2018.

Bluebells in a sunbeam

1st March 2018 - Beauty and "The Beast"

The horrible weather has created misery for many, but every cloud ...
There was fun to be had and much beauty, as evidenced by the pictures below.

Sledging in The Highams Park

The sun setting over a snowy Highams Park Lake

29th December 2017 - A Christmas visitor to the land of Highams Park

Q: What's that in the lake?
A: Don't tell him!

OK, yes its a Pike. [I think you can tell someone's age by whether they think that's funny.]
He was caught in Highams Park Lake over the Christmas period and was seen to be very healthy, which is a good sign for the lake which has suffered a bit since the dredging disturbed the balance of plant life. Rest assured that his visit to dry land was only temporary and he is now back patrolling the depths of the lake.

Pike temporarily making an assisted visit to the land beside Highams Park Lake

17th December 2017 - Video: 17th Pals' Battalion Band - Xmas Fayre 2017

On Sunday 17th December 2017 the 17th Pals' Battalion Band performed two sessions at the Highams Park Christmas Fayre 2017. The first session was outside the station and they then marched to Signal Walk (outside Tesco) to perfom a second session there. The link below takes you to a video of the event.

The 17th Pals' Battalion Band was initially formed in 2012 as an 'Old Boys' Band' for former members of our BB Company. However, due to the ongoing work undertaken by Steve Jenkins on the story of Clapton Orient's major contribution to the Footballers' Battalion (17th Middlesex) in the Great War, it was agreed that the band would represent both the 17th Waltham Forest Boys' Brigade, as well as the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

Click this link to see the video: 17th Pals' Battalion Band

The 17th Pals' Battalion Band in Signal Walk

2nd June 2017 - Abbotts Crescent Community Garden in bloom

The small public garden in Abbotts Crescent (at the junction with The Avenue) is maintained by local residents. It currently has an impressive display of flowers which are much appreciated by local bees.

Abbotts Crescent Community Garden

The garden in close up

26th May 2017 - Handsworth Avenue turns into a country lane

The very leafy trees and a quiet Sunday afternoon make Handsworth Avenue appear like a country lane in these two photos:

Handsworth Avenue on a sleepy Sunday

11th May 2017 - Adopted Tree Bases

Some residents have been turning the bases of street trees into mini gardens with impressive results. Here are 3 examples.

Some adopted tree bases

2nd May 2017 - Fisher on the roof

A Herron taking a break to admire the view from the top of a roof in Abbotts Crescent.
Photo by Oona.

A Herron admiring the view in Abbotts Crescent

23rd February 2017 - Doris causing trouble

Storm Doris made a nuisance of itself in The Avenue. As a result the council team with chain saws had to work quickly to move the fallen tree. Photo snapped by Oona.

The result of a visit by Doris

6th October 2016 - Unintended signage

A very observant Oona Kelly sent us this photo. I stared at it for a while before the penny dropped :-).    Its amazing what you notice when your nose isn't buried in a smartphone !

The photo was taken outside our newest shop in Highams Park at 7a The Avenue.

Very Low Trees :-)

3rd September 2016 - Highams Park Shop Local Day

Highams Park's "Shop Local Day" took place on Saturday 3rd September. This major event was organised by The Highams Park Planning Group and was a great success. Highams Park's shopping centre covers a surprisingly large area involving many different roads. As a result, people can be unfamiliar with shops in the roads where they don't normally travel. The Shop Local event set out to change this by arranging a myriad of activities in all corners of the shopping area to encourage residents to see what's there.

Roger Torode photographed a number of the events of the day. Two of his photos are below. More photos can be seen by clicking this link: Shop Local 2016 Photos

The event was even featured in a national newspaper. Click this link to see a page of The Guardian (look at the photo in the centre of the page): HP Shop Local in The Guardian

Jazz on the street
Stunning Artwork on The Cube (created during the event)

26th August 2016 - Highams Park Lake in Pathe News (1960)

An eagle eyed resident recently spotted this old (1960) Pathe News video on YouTube. The video features a motorcycle side car called "The Canterbury Belle" that turns into a boat. There are many references to it on the internet. The interesting thing, from the perspective of Highams Park residents, is that the video shows them trying out the boat on Highams Park Lake. In the ride to the lake, the roads look very familiar.

I wonder if Harry Hill saw this video and took some inspiration. :-)

Click this link: Canterbury Belle on Highams Park Lake

Canterbury Belle at Highams Park Lake (1960)

16th July 2016 - Highams Park Day 2016 - Video

The 9th annual Highams Park Day took place on Vincent Green in Vincent Road on Saturday 16th July 2016.

The event, organised by The Highams Park Society, was a great success. If you would like to get a feel for the event, Malcom Shykles has posted a video on YouTube which you can see by clicking the link below.

Click this link: HP Day 2016 Video

Highams Park Day 2016

8th May 2016 - Highams Park Spring Festival - Vikings in the Park !

Sunday 8th May 2016 saw the first ever Highams Park Spring Festival in the park next to the lake. The event was organised by The Friends of The Highams Park and The Highams Park Planning Group and was regarded as huge success by all who attended. The weather was good, the people in the arena were crazy, and the people outside the arena were delightful.

In addition to numerous well patronised stalls, there were Viking reenactments, Falconry Displays, Sword Dancing, musical performances and more.

The Vikings had an encampment and were selling Viking "accessories" so it was not uncommon to see strange headgear on audience members.

The sword dancers were surprising. They circled to music whilst holding swords above their heads, slowly interweaving them until they formed a shape that naturally stayed together. Each was held up at the end of a section before being unwoven to music in the next section.

A couple of photos are posted below but lots more and a video are available via the links below:

Photos on the HP Planning Group Website: Spring Festival 1
Photos on Facebook: Spring Festival 2
Video on Facebook (Courtesy of the Waltham Forest South District Scouts) : Spring Festival 3

Battle in progress
Preparing to charge at the audience

6th February 2016 - Elephant & Tortoise unveiling

This evening, the long awaited Elephant & Tortoise artwork was unveiled in Signal Walk, Highams Park (outside the Tesco store). Large numbers of Highams Park residents turned out on a cold and windy evening to witness the long awaited event. The creator of the work, local (and internationally renowned) artist Barnaby Barford, performed the unveiling and thanked all those who had made it possible.

The work is made of stainless steel and the pattern has been cut by laser. The subject is a modified version of an early trademark of The British Xylonite company (BXL - later Halex) which used to occupy the site of the Tesco store. BXL were an early plastics manufacturer and made imitation Ivory and Tortoiseshell (hence the animal images). The myriad circular holes in the work represent ping pong balls which were manufactured here and at one time it is thought virtually all the world's table tennis balls came from Highams Park.

The work was chosen by Highams Park residents from a short list by various artists and received overwhelming support. It was paid for by "section 106" monies set aside for public art by the developers of the Tesco site as a condition of the planning consent.

Below are three photos which give a feel for the event, but local resident John Avis recorded the whole event with a set of 39 photos. These, plus an explanatory document, can be viewed by clicking here: John Avis Photos

Crowds gather by the wrapped up artwork
On cue the automatic lights turn on at dusk
In all its glory. The light reflecting off the mirror-like surfaces

11th July 2015 - Highams Park Day 2015

Highams Park Day 2015 took place on 11th July and was a great success. The biggest yet. If you missed it, Malcolm Shykles has compiled a brief video showing some of the days events. You can view it by clicking the link below:
Highams Park Day 2015 - Video

28th September 2014 - Signal Box Open House - Pictures and video

Highams Park's iconic Signal Box at the level crossing was open to the public on the weekend of 20/21 September. It was a historic day for our signal box as this was the first time it has been open to the public since.... well, since "ever".

It was participating in the London Wide "Open House" weekend where buildings not normally open to the public throw their doors open. Our humble signal box was included in the brochure of buildings, alongside such giants as Lloyds of London and The Gherkin.

Signalman Richard King used to work in the box when it was functioning and attended for part of the open day to answer questions. Richard took some photos and a video to remember the day. You can see them by following the links below:

Richard's Photos
Richard's Video

For more information on the signal box, see here: Signal Box Page

16th August 2014 - I Love Highams Park board at Highams Park Day 2014

Highams Park Day 2014 took place on 12th July and was a great success. In the Forum's tent there was a display board on which visitors were encouraged to write what they loved about Highams Park. A photo of the board at the end of the day is shown below. If you would like to see it a bit larger, click the image and it links to a larger copy.

The "I Love Highams Park" board

For older "Seen locally" items, click here: "Seen locally (2013 - 2012)"
For "Seen locally" archive, click here: "Seen locally" archive

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