Loughton in the 1930's and 1940's
By Richard Cresty
Loughton eighty or so years ago was a very different place, yet there is something essentially familiar about the scenes that Richard Gresty describes of his childhood in the 1930s. His text is accompanied by 30 illustrations, many of which have not appeared in print before. Together, they give a charming and first-hand impression of the Loughton of small shops, steam trains, and simple pleasures that is now passing completely out of memory.
SAVING EPPING FOREST: WILLIAM GEORGE SHAKESPEARE SMITH (1837–1903)
By Richard Morris, OBE
The many histories and articles describing the fight to save Epping Forest from enclosure in the 1860s and 1870s, include references to W G S Smith, who in 1871 became the Hon. Secretary of The Forest Fund, and organised the protest meetings throughout East London, the Forest and in the City of London over the following seven years. We are fortunate that Smith kept two scrapbooks recording events between 1867 and 1882.
The scrapbooks show how efficient Smith, a solicitor by profession, and his colleagues were in keeping the public informed with regard to events, inviting both local and national newspapers to visit the Forest to see both its beauty and the problem of enclosures, and liaising with the Commons Preservation Society in promoting the objectives of The Forest Fund in Parliament.
The scrapbooks also contain correspondence from 1866 to 1869, concerning the fight to save Wanstead Flats from enclosure, Details of these important letters have not been published before.
The book is extensively illustrated in both black and white and colour.
LOUGHTON AIR PARK – ABRIDGE AERODROME
by Alan Simpson.
This is the story of a little-known and now long-gone aerodrome in the south-west corner of the county of Essex. During its brief life in the 1930s, Loughton Air Park was a hive of activity and the location for many ‘flying circus’ air displays. From the aerodrome, scheduled services were projected to ‘all other parts of the world’, and three flying clubs taught hundreds of people to fly there, including the ‘flying busmen’. Teachers included the country’s only one-legged flying instructor, and another who was later to disappear in a crash in the English Channel. Among their pupils were a ‘society girl’ parachutist, who went on to become a glider pilot of international renown; and Britain’s youngest female pilot, subsequently awarded the MBE for her wartime flying activities. It was also the location of the King of the Gold Coast’s first flight in an aeroplane. The aerodrome had a darker side too, its final year seeing the tragic deaths of two young airmen, and ending its days as the scene of a thwarted smuggling attempt involving some of the decade’s most notorious confidence-tricksters.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF BUCKHURST HILL
by Lynn Haseldine Jones
Pictures of this well-heeled suburb, particularly in Edwardian times, taken from the postcards that were the e-mails or Instagrams of the age, arranging for business meetings, giving birthday greetings, setting up assignations, demanding deliveries of dog biscuits and all the minutiae of life. The people who sent the cards had little inkling that more than a hundred years on, Lynn Haseldine Jones would be able to compile such a comprehensive record of Buckhurst Hill as it once was from their halfpenny correspondence.
ISBN 978–1 905269–23–5
THE CHARTER OF THE FOREST 1217
by Richard Morris
Magna Carta (‘The Great Charter) of 1215) contained two clauses relating to forests, but many promises made during the negotiations concerning the extent of the forests and the harsh forest laws were omitted.
The introduction of the Norman Forest system in England was hated and resented, and pressure against it led to a separate Charter being issued in November 1217.
The Charter of the Forest required the king to rein back the extent of the forests, and the severity of many of the harsh forest laws was reduced. It provided common rights for common people, and put the forest law into a legal framework, albeit still separate from the common law.
This short book explains the fight to contain the king’s arbitrary powers to create and impose harsh forest laws in the 12th and 13th centuries.
There was a royal forest in Essex by 1104, and it probably spread over most of the county at that time. By the end of the 14th century the Forest of Essex was limited to the south-west of the county and was known as Waltham Forest. Epping Forest remains today the last fragment of the once great Forest of Essex.
CLUES IN FICTION: AN ESSEX COUPLE’S SECRET TIES
A remarkable group of artists and scientists lived at Loughton in the pre-1914 period. With extra sources becoming available, it has been possible to piece together the stories of more and more of these figures, and how they interacted. In this book, Imogen Gray researches the lives of Horace Newte and Vera Keen, a singular literary couple who lived most of their brief married life at Upminster, Theydon Bois, and Loughton. Though Horace is now mostly overlooked, he was a very widely read novelist in his time, and, after his marriage ended in a sensational divorce, developed into an acerbic, not to say cantankerous, popular newspaper columnist.
A HISTORY OF ST NICHOLAS’ CHURCH, LOUGHTON, ESSEX
EDITED BY RICHARD MORRIS
This short history of the church of St Nicholas from its beginnings in the 12th century to the Memorial Chapel built in 1877, seeks to put together in one volume the story of the church and churchyard, and to add some biographical details of the people who contributed much to the history of the village and town of Loughton. The Stonnard, Wroth and Maitland families each possessed the manor of Loughton for considerable periods. In the case of the Stonnards and the Maitlands, several members of the families are buried in the churchyard. With the departure of the Maitlands from Loughton Hall in 1946, the chapel was renovated and St Nicholas became a ‘daughter church’ of St John’s for public worship.
RRP - £6
LOUGHTON AND ITS TREES:
COMMUNITY TREE STRATEGY FOR LOUGHTON
by Tricia Moxey
A 104 page, full-colour account of the trees of Loughton, their history, and what they contribute to the town, as well as a management plan to conserve and enhance them for future generations.
RRP - £8
LOUGHTON SURVEYOR AND
SUPERINTENDENT OF EPPING FOREST 1876–1879
by Richard Morris, OBE
In the fight to save Epping Forest from enclosure, the City of London Corporation had by 1876 purchased 2,750 acres of forest from the local lords of the manor. The Corporation decided to appoint a Superintendent to take charge of the land, and appointed William D’Oyley, a land surveyor who had lived in Loughton since 1854.
William D’Oyley was Superintendent for only three years but he used his professional skills to create new paths through the Forest and to drain swampy areas, so that by the time of the Epping Act of 1878, the obligation to conserve the Forest for the recreation and enjoyment of the people was beginning to be realised.
D’Oyley came from a family of land surveyors, who were all known for the many detailed maps and plans of the Forest and south-west Essex that they compiled , and which are today in the collection of the London Metropolitan Archives. The book is illustrated in colour, including some of D’Oyley’s maps.
RRP - £5
FOREST FOR THE PEOPLE
GEORGE BURNEY (1818–1885)AND HIS FIGHT TO SAVE EPPING FOREST
by Richard Morris, OBE
George Burney,an iron-tank manufacturer from Millwall on the Isle of Dogs in East London, achieved some notoriety in the 1870s, in the fight to save Epping Forest from enclosure, when he organised the pulling down of fences on pieces of forest land which he believed had been illegally enclosed. His involvement in helping to save the Forest was, however, much greater than just pulling down fences. This monograph seeks to explain his wider activities in this respect, and to give some background to his family and business in east London. Burney & Company Ltd became known internationally for its iron products and was sole supplier of iron water tanks to the Royal Navy.
RRP - £3.50
GRAND COMMUTERS:BUCKHURST HILL AND ITS LEADING FAMILIES
by Lynn Haseldine Jones
Very little has been written about Buckhurst Hill for the best part of 50 years. From time to time, articles have appeared in the LDHS Newsletter and in local papers, but this is the first time the LDHS has been able to offer to residents a substantial volume on any aspect of its history. Lynn Haseldine Jones has spent some years researching the families who effectively ran Buckhurst Hill. They were major employers in the town, they were influential in politics and religion locally, and their influence can be discerned even today. For the most part, their ample houses have disappeared, to be replaced, particularly in the 1960s and 70s, by smaller ‘executive residences’ and blocks of flats. But their names live on, and Lynn in this book has documented something of them and of what they left to Buckhurst Hill. We owe her much for filling in this gap in our local history.
RRP - £4.50
A CENTURY AND A HALF OF LOUGHTON IN PICTURES
by Chris Pond
This book is published to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Loughton and District Historical Society. The Society has a large and miscellaneous, photographic collection, built up from gifts from various donors over the previous 50 years.
There are no very early photographs of Loughton. There are engravings and watercolours, but the camera seems to have arrived relative late.
This book is a photographic record, covering the past 140 years, of how Loughton was, and thus how Loughton has changed. It is not a complete record, because many landmark buildings were demolished and do not seem ever to have been photographed. There are a few pictures of landscapes and fields before development, modes of transport, and a few of the Forest, but it is the townscapes and buildings that most readily seize the imagination. There are some of Loughton people, but rather more of the life and work of various institutions in the town.
A colour section includes tinted Edwardian postcards as well as scenes from thirty or forty years ago that are now as much a part of the town’s history as older scenes.
‘This book will be a worthy addition to bookshelves both locally and far and wide.’
Heather, Lady Murray of Epping Forest
RRP - £12.50
| SOME L&DHS BOOKS PUBLISHED EARLIER
THE BUILDINGS OF LOUGHTON& Notable People of the Town (2010)
This is the second revised and enlarged edition of this book first published in 2003.
By Chris Pond
Loughton has a great variety of buildings, and is especially strong in late nineteenth and early twentieth century houses. It was a place where moneyed and also artistic people came to seek a retreat from the city. In this book is to be found perhaps the most exhaustive study of the built heritage of any English suburb, and also of the society that gave rise to the buildings of this picturesque corner of Essex, set among the unequalled sylvan scenery of Epping Forest, yet within easy commuting distance of London.
RRP - £7.50
THE LIFE AND ART OF OCTAVIUS DIXIE DEACON
The 19th century sketched in Loughton, London, and Essex by a talented eccentric
By Chris Pond & Richard Morris
OCTAVIUS DEACON was an advertising agent, publisher, and amateur artist who was born in Bow, and lived in Hackney and Loughton for much of his life. After one of his last descendants died in Surrey a decade ago, albums of watercolours and drawings of places near his homes and further afield, painted by Octavius Deacon, were put up for auction.
This book presents a selection of 47 Deacon paintings and sketches from those albums – a charming, whimsical, and evocative picture of village and London life 120 and more years ago. The authors have researched Deacon fully and explored his writings, so as to present a biography of this singular – and rather cantankerous – artist, as well as to describe and explain the places he drew, and their inhabitants as he saw them.
RRP - £7.50
ARTHUR MORRISON – THE NOVELIST OF REALISM IN EAST LONDON AND ESSEX
By Stan Newens
ARTHUR MORRISON is sometimes styled the English Zola. He was a journalist and general-purpose writer who developed a genre quite unlike that of his contemporaries in Britain. His setting consisted of the dingy and poverty-ridden streets of inner East London in the late nineteenth century, to which the contrast applied was the sylvan retreat of the Essex Forest, not a dozen miles away. The descriptions of the Forest Morrison offers are as beautiful and elegiac as anything in literature, and serve to offset and throw into focus the profound physical and mental destitution of east London.
In this fine study, Stan Newens sets out a great deal of hitherto unknown information about Arthur Morrison, including the degree to which Morrison could go to disguise his origins in Poplar.
Like Thomas Hardy, Morrison gave up writing novels, then devoting himself to the collection and study of oriental art, on which he became an acknowledged international authority.
Dr Fred Stoker and the Lost Garden of Loughton
By Richard Morris and Chris Pond
Fred Stoker was a surgeon, who came to live in Loughton about 1920. He first lived at Oak Lodge (later No 56) Baldwins Hill, but subsequently purchased an adjoining plot of land of almost five acres in the apex between Baldwins Hill and Goldings Hill, with the Potato Ground allotments as the southern boundary. Here he built a house which he called The Summit, and over the following 15–20 years he and his wife, Mary, developed a garden that became known nationally and internationally.
Dr Stoker died in July 1943, but his wife continued to live at The Summit until her death in 1964. The land was sold in 1971 and an estate of 41 houses built. However, tree preservation orders were imposed on many of the large trees in the garden and it is still possible to identify some of them.
Essex’s Excellency: The Election of two Knights of the Shire for the County of Essex at the General Election of August 1679.
By Richard Morris, OBE (2008)
This booklet describes events at Chelmsford in August 1679 during the election to Parliament of two Essex knights of the shire. These events provide an insight into post-restoration politics and religion in England and the disorder at the election contest was by no means unique. The three elections were carried out in a crescendo of excitement and reflected principally the religious dissension of the day and also disenchantment with corruption in Parliament. The period saw the beginning of political parties and election contests as we know them.
MERCHANTS, MEDICINE AND TRAFALGAR: THE HISTORY OF THE HARVEY FAMILY
By Richard Morris, OBE (2007)
Thomas and Joanne Harvey’s seven sons were all born in the first Elizabethan era. Five of the sons followed in their father’s footsteps and became successful merchants in the City of London trading in silks and spices, principally with the Levant. The profits from the business were used to purchase land and houses in several counties in southern England, at which succeeding generations enjoyed their leisure pastimes.
The eldest son of the first generation was William Harvey, who pursued a career in medicine and became the celebrated physician who discovered the circulation of the blood in 1628. He was a physician to Charles I and was present with the King at the battle of Edgehill in 1642. Harvey is remembered today as the greatest of England’s early experimental scientists in laying the foundation of physiology.
Five generations later the Harveys produced one of the heroes of Trafalgar, when Captain, later Admiral, Sir Eliab Harvey, commanded the Temeraire at the great sea battle. Eliab’s foul temper and other eccentricities in his later life have led some to suggest that he was insane, however, the book concludes that he was a hero but with flaws. Other members of the family led distinguished careers in the army and as Members of Parliament.
The principal house in which six generations of Harveys lived was at Rolls Park, Chigwell, in Essex. Although the exterior was undistinguished, the interior has been described as one of the most richly decorated in the country in Georgian times. The Harveys inherited through marriage, a fine collection of mainly Italian Renaissance art, but including twelve marine pictures by Willem Van de Velde and his son. The collection was dispersed after the Admiral’s death in 1830, however, many of the pictures can be seen today in public galleries in the UK and overseas.
In his extensive research into the Harvey family Richard Morris has found important new material, including previously unpublished letters about Eliab Harvey’s role at Trafalgar, and his daughter, Louisa’s, relationship with the Duke of Wellington.
The book is extensively illustrated in black and white and colour.
PDF with illustrations and more about this book.
Out of print and no longer available.
POST-WAR LOUGHTON 1945 - 1970
BY TERRY CARTER (2006)
With the publication of this book, Terry Carter has filled a gap from 1945 to 1970. Loughton now possesses an almost complete library of reminiscences dating back some 145 years.
Personal memories are very important to local history and, when combined with reference to documentary sources, they are a most valuable instrument, which can illustrate the realities of life in the past that a learned study derived from books cannot.
Terry Carter’s narrative, is a full account of post-war Loughton: the privations of rationing and the practical steps Loughtonians took to remedy them; the Festival of Britain; aspects of the town’s two carnivals, and the attitudes to the newcomers to the Debden LCC Estate are thoroughly rehearsed here. There are also many photographs illustrating the changes that have taken place over the years.
Terry Carter says that this narrative is in some ways a repayment of the debt he owes Loughton, but Loughton is in Terry’s debt, for chronicling, so faithfully and in such detail, its history in our times. The RRP is £8.50.
ISBN 1 905269 05 6
The Loughton Railway 150 Years On
by CHRIS POND, IAN STRUGNELL & TED MARTIN (2006)
In August 1856 the Eastern Counties Railway opened a branch railway to Loughton in rural Essex. Over 150 years this developed into the Underground line we know today. This book, published to mark the anniversary, is an anthology of various aspects of the railway’s past, and its effects on Loughton.
An overview of the branch’s 150 years is followed by a look at early proposals for railways in the area. The effect of the railway on Loughton is then covered, showing how the railway drove and controlled development.
Complaints received in the early days, a passengers' rebellion and a brief history of Loughton's three stations, from the temporary ECR terminus to the art deco 1940 station, are followed by an essay on Loughton's first station and a piece on the Recreation Ground. The staggered platforms and crossings of the early days are also discussed.
Engines, engineers and rolling stock are dealt with, trying to determine what was used and who was responsible for it. What can be seen from the window relating to the railway’s history on a journey taken today is also the subject of a contribution.
Finally there is a short biography of Edward Johnston, who had local connections and was the designer of London Transport’s typeface, Johnston Sans, and of the roundel or target logo.
The book also includes plans, maps and photographs. The RRP is £9.00..
ISBN 1 905269 04 8
by SUE TAYLOR (2005)
Lady Mary Wroth is one of those figures
Loughton figures who is often mentioned in the history of the town,
but about whom relatively little is known. She is nevertheless a
notable figure in English literature, one of first women authors
in our language, the first female author of a sonnet sequence. Modern
commentators have given serious attention to Lady Wroth as a significant
writer. She was also the first of a significant number of Loughton
based authors. Her connections in the courtly circles of Jacobean
society were wide.
Sue Taylor has taken the opportunity
here to record and distill what is known about Lady Mary Wroth from
a range of of sources and in doing so, she adds significantly to
our knowledge of this early Loughton writer. The RRP is £2.50.
ISBN 0954 2314 81
Maynard's Concise History
of Epping Forest 1860
EDITED by RICHARD MORRIS OBE
This booklet originally published at Theydon Bois
in 1860 by the author, has been reset and reprinted as the first
history of Epping Forest and the first counterblast in print against
the arguments of those who wanted disafforestation and enclosure
at that time.
Hardly any of the original copies have survived and photostat copies
produced by Brian Page, Hon Editor of the Wanstead Historical Society
Journal, are no longer available.
A new preface and a life of the author have been added to explain
the background to this fascinating historical document which is
of particular interest to Essex historians and all lovers of Epping
The Harveys of Rolls Park,
by RICHARD MORRIS OBE (2004)
The Harvey family came to live at Rolls Park, Chigwell
in the middle of the 17th century. Several members of the family
established themselves as merchants in the City of London, trading
mainly with Turkey and the Levant. Others members achieved success
as lawyers, in government service and in military careers.
Much of the history of Essex has been shaped by the sea, and the
Harvey family provided one of the heroes of Trafalgar, when Captain
Eliab Harvey (1758-1830), later to become Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey,
commanded the Temeraire at the famous battle in 1805. Most heroes
have a streak of eccentricity in them and, to judge from the letters
of Eliab's wife, Louisa, to her eldest daughter, the Admiral was
The interior of the house at Rolls Park must have been one of the
most richly decorated in the country in Georgian times. Fortunately
a photographic record was made of the house in 1918, before its
sad decline during and after the second world war, which led to
its demolition in 1953; only the orangery, stables and old cottage
The book is illustrated with portraits of the Harveys, together
with photographs of the interior and exterior of the house, and
scenes from the Battle of Trafalgar, the 200th anniversary of which
is celebrated this year.
A paperback book with 12 pages of plates, 8 of which are in colour. Out of Print. (see publications).
ISBN 0954 23149 X
The Verderers and Courts
of Waltham Forest in the County of Essex
by RICHARD MORRIS OBE
Verderer of Epping Forest
A NEW HISTORY of the Royal Hunting Forest in Essex from medieval
times to the present day. Epping Forest is the remaining fragment
of Waltham Forest, which for over 700 years was one of the royal
hunting forests of England, where the monarch had the exclusive
right to hunt deer. Even earlier, Waltham Forest had formed part
of the Forest of Essex which covered most of the county.
The book explains the judicial system of Forest courts which existed
until the middle of the 19th century, presided over by the Verderers,
before which offenders against the Forest laws were brought.
The Verderers were often well known landowners, merchants, lawyers
and military men in the county, and included representatives from
the Stonards and Wroths of Loughton, the Harveys of Chigwell, the
Conyers of Copped Hall, the Hervey Mildmays of Dagenham, and the
Fanshawes and Gascoynes of Barking.
The role of the Verderers changed with the passing of the Epping
Forest Act of 1878, when the Corporation of London became Conservators.
The Verderers no longer had any judicial authority, but their influence
on the management of the Forest was still significant. The Buxtons,
Sir Antonio Brady, Andrew Johnston, Sir William Addison and others
have, in the past 125 years defended the Forest against encroachment
and the effects of surrounding urbanisation.
The hardback book is over 200pages and has an additional16 pages
of colour plates and many black and white illustrations, together
with a comprehensive index. The RRP is £14.95, with
the usual discounts for bookshops, libraries, schools and universities.
ISBN 0954 231465
Only a few copies remain. Please email.
LIFE IN LOUGHTON 1926 - 1946
By Peter Woodhouse (2003, Reprinted 2014)
Loughton between the wars was changing. The leaders of the community
envisaged a time when all its open land other than the Forest would
be built over. But for those who came to live in Loughton, it was
still an open, semi-rural, middle-class place, mostly village, only
part suburb. In this book, Peter Woodhouse tells the story of that
Loughton of private schools, tennis clubs, steam trains, pirate
buses, and dancing lessons, the Loughton of the 1920s and 30s; a
charming cameo of Loughton life in the past. £5.00
ISBN 0954 231457
2014 Reprint now available
LIFE IN LOUGHTON (1873 - 1962)
By Gertude Green (2004)
Gertrude Green wrote her 'notes' in longhand on scraps of paper
and bits of
writing pad in 1959, 1960 and 1961.
Here is that rarest of documents, a complete biography and family
working-class people before the days of the tape-recorder. Gertrude
her life in Loughton; her story was unprompted, it was
written by a cottager from the poorest part of the affluent town,
Lane, and its memories are both accurate and wide-ranging.
Here, then, is an account of Loughton life, not 50 or 75 years
ago, but up
to 125 years ago. It is a very valuable document, and eminently
ISBN 0954 2314 7 3
Out of Print.
Powells in Essex and their London Ancestors by
Richard Morris. (October 2002)
The story of the philanthropists and antiquaries who came to live
in Hackney, Tottenham, Walthamstow, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill
in the nineteenth century. Hardbound book with 16 pages of colour
ISBN 0954 231422
Only a few copies remain. Please email.