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Sunday, 5 February 2012

Aldborough Hatch: The village in the suburbs

This evening I led a service of Holy Communion at St Peter's Aldborough Hatch where I took the photos above. Ron Jeffries, a local community activist and historian, is a member of St Peter's and has written a book about the history of Aldborough Hatch:

"This book is the culmination of many years of delving into the life and lives of a unique community on the edge of the Green Belt in the London Borough of Redbridge. Born here, the author is one of many who have campaigned locally to keep the countryside of Aldborough Hatch open for all to enjoy.

This is not an official nor is it an unofficial history of Aldborough Hatch. Rather it is a lively, often amusing and sometimes revealing journey across the centuries – from the time when the forest of Essex covered much of Fairlop Plain to the present day when the traffic on the A12 on its southern boundary roars past on its way into mainland Europe and far beyond. If St. Peter’s Church features large in this book, this is because it has been at the very heart of Aldborough Hatch for the past 150 years and much local history is tied up within its walls.

But this is no dull catalogue of the past, for the pages bring to life little-known facts such as that Aldborough Hatch had its own “Lover’s-walk”, that the Dick Turpin has its roots in a Beer House in a cottage, that diarist Samuel Pepys visited, and poet John Donne and politician George Lansbury lived here, that Lulu’s Boom Bang-a-Bang started life here, that in 1862 villagers hereabouts spent the evening engaged in “rustic sports”, that the first lady Churchwarden at St. Peter’s was elected in 1915 (three years before women had the vote) and that actor, producer, director and author Bryan Forbes lived here and Hollywood superstar Rock Hudson visited a home here.

Published in 2012 to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of the Consecration on 6th March 1862 of St. Peter’s Aldborough Hatch, the book includes maps dating back to 1777 and in addition to the history of Aldborough Hatch Chapel, St. Peter’s and St. James, the stories behind Cuckoo Hall, St. Chad’s Well, the farms in Aldborough Hatch, Fairlop Airfield, Fairlop Waters, Newbury Park Station and the Ilford War Memorial Gardens."

Aldborough Hatch
The Village in the Suburbs – A History
120pp in full colour with 143 photographs, 13 illustrations and 10 maps
Publication March 2012 ISBN 978-0-9561877-2-7
£14.99 plus £2.50 postage and packing in UK
Pre-Publication Offer £12 (plus £2.50 postage if sent by mail in UK)
Please make cheques payable to Ron Jeffries
Available direct from the Publisher: Ron Jeffries - Tel: 020 8599 7250; Email:


The Members - Sound Of The Suburbs.

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