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Family History

 

The name Ilford is Saxon. It comes from the old name for the River Roding, The Hyle. It was Hyleford.

It is said that the name Seven Kings comes from a meeting in that area of seven Saxon Kings.

The Red Bridge, after which the borough is named, and which spans the Roding between Ilford and Wanstead, was also known as Hockley's Bridge, probably after a local family. red Bridge is marked for the first time on a map of the environs of London dated 1746.

On Ilford Hill, south side, stands the old hospital and chapel of St Mary and St Thomas. This building is the oldest surviving link of the town's association with Barking and its Abbey. The hospital and chapel were founded in the 12th century. The building was greatly altered in the 19th century.

In 1599 Will Kemp, a Morris dancer, came through Ilford on his way to Norwich to perform his famous dance.

South of Ilford at Uphall there was once an Iron Age fort or emcampment of the first or second century BC, alongside the Roding.

By 1740 there was a daily coach service from London to Ilford. In 1748 there were two daily coaches to Ilford. There were offices for receiving mail in Ilford by the 1790's. The first main post office was in the High Street in 1863.

By 1891 the population of Ilford was about 10,913. By 1911 it had reached an estimated 78,188.

A local industry was brickmaking. Mark Gibbard, a plasterer and bricklayer was granted a lease by Bamber Gasgoyne (patron of the hospital on Ilford Hill) to develop land for building, and in 1771 to develop Spittel Field, Ilford Lane, as a brickfield.

Two names figure in the early housing development of the area, one was A. Cameron Corbett, who later became Lord Rowallan. In 1894 Corbett began work on the Grange Estate. He also built homes at the Clements, Downshall and Mayfield Estates. By 1903 he had built over 3,000 houses in Ilford. Another developer was Peter Griggs, a local councillor, magistrate, and Member of Parliament. He built the Cranbrook Estate.

St Mary's church, High Road, was built 1829-31. It was the parish church until 1902 when the larger St Clement's church became the parish church.

On the site now occupied by the telephone exchange at Ilford Hill was once the ilford house Academy, a private school which started about 1824. The first school board in Ilford was formed in 1890.

Ilford Town Hall was completed in 1901. The building was enlarged in 1927 and 1933.

As the railways expanded, so did Ilford, which had become a popular area for city gentlemen and by 1931 the population had grown to about 131,000. Houses were being built all over the available land and in 1930 some new homes on the Wanstead Lane Estate, Evanston Gardens, were reduced in price to sell the few remaining. A freehold house priced at 885 pounds was offered at 800 pounds. In 1935 a house on the Valentines Park Estate could be purchased for 645 pounds.

Until the rapid expansion started farming was the main occupation, but later other industry came to Ilford. The firm of Ilford Ltd was founded in 1879 by Alfred H. Harman who acquired a house in Cranbrook Road, which he named "Britannia Works". Later the business was in Roden Street.

In 1924 the Plessey Company opened a factory in Ilford and by 1939 it employed 6,000 people. The Ilford Gas Company was formed in 1839 with a capital of 1,500 pounds. In 1901 an electricity power station was opened in Ley Street.

The first public baths in Ilford were in Roden Street, built 1894-5. The High Road baths were opened in 1931. Ilford was constituted a parliamentary Borough in 1918 and in 1926 became a Municipal Borough.

During the second World War 313 houses were destroyed in Ilford and 9,410 badly damaged.

The Odeon Cinema at Gants Hill was opened in 1934 as the Savoy. Matinee performances cost sixpence, ninepence and one shilling and sixpence.

In 1954 a survey of industries in Ilford revealed that there were some 76 manufacturers of different types.

The London Borough of Redbridge came into being as a result of the re-organisation of London government in 1964.

     

Games can be as simple as throwing a ball to each other and having to do forfeits if they drop it. A forfeit can be something like standing on one leg and saying a nursery rhyme, or turning round in a circle with your eyes shut.

 

One child hides while the others hide their eyes. Then everyone tries to find the hidden child. Very young children enjoy hearing an adult talking loudly about how difficult it is to find them, and 'could they be under here' or 'might they be over there?'

 

A centuries old game from when thimbles were in constant use. A thimble is a little metal finger-cap to protect someone's finger while hand-sewing. All the children go out of the room while one person hides a small object, like a thimble. Then the children come in and try to find it.

It can also be played the other way round, with a child going out of the room while the rest agree where the object is to be hidden. Then the child comes in and starts to look for it, with the rest saying, "You're getting warmer," when near the object, or "You're getting colder," when moving away from it.

 

One child stands facing a wall and turns round quickly every so often trying to catch the movement of the rest of the children who are trying to creep up and touch grandmother on the shoulder. The child who succeeds then becomes the grandmother.

 

A Victorian parlour game in which one child is blindfolded and stands with arms outstretched trying to catch the other children as they run past in the room. Whoever is caught wears the blindfold next.

 

An adult is needed to hold each end of a short plank of wood. A blindfolded child sits on the wood to be taken up in the air for a plane ride. The wood wobbles around so the child has to hold on tight, then a book is lightly touched on top of the child's head to pretend they have touched the ceiling. Then the adults shout out that there is an engine failure, and "get your parachute on". The child is told to jump out of the plane. The wood is only a few centimetres off the floor but most children think they are right up by the ceiling and take a big jump. They are very surprised to be so near the floor and everyone laughs. Usually the younger children go first, and are allowed to stay in the room to watch the others being fooled.

   

Everyone sits in a circle on chairs. A child is blindfolded, turned around 3 times, and given a cushion to put on the lap of someone sitting down and then says, "Squeak piggy, squeak." The person makes a noise and the child has to guess who it is. If successful, that person is then blindfolded. Once blindfolded people are then turned round 3 times, so they have no idea who is sitting where, but do not make them so giddy they fall over.

 

Some preparation is needed beforehand. A lollie or small prize is wrapped up, then wrapped in a piece of newspaper. A lollie is attached to this little parcel and wrapped in another layer of newspaper. The layers continue with a lollie in each wrapping. A forfeit can be included with each lollie. The parcel is passed round the circle of children to music, and when the music stops suddenly the child holding the parcel unwraps it and finds the lollie and does the forfeit, before passing it on again to the continuing music. An adult watches to see that all the children get a lollie, by holding up their hand to stop the music at a strategic point.

 

A big donkey is drawn on paper. A tail is made from paper or knitting wool, with a drawing-pin in it. Then each child is blindfolded in turn, turned around 3 times, and has to pin the tail on where they think the tail-end of the donkey is. This causes laughter from the other children who can see the funny places where the tail is pinned.

 

Set up a sheet at the front of the room with a collection of objects behind it. One by one, make noises with each object (e.g. zip, egg beater, spoon on dish,ballpoint pen click, bell, cellophane paper, opening a can, pouring water from cup to cup, scraping burned toast, saucepan lid on saucepan, etc) while hidden behind the sheet. The player that writes down the most correct object names wins.

By Olive Redmond

     

Each person is given half a picture-postcard or Christmas card and has to find out who has the other half.

 

Scrambled words to sort out, eg. tribdyah is birthday, and pawgrinp reapp is wrapping paper. These can be written on pieces of paper on several small tables, or pinned to the wall

 

Put a sticky label on each person's forehead or on their back. On it is written a word to guess, like an animal or occupation. Only ask questions to be answered yes or no, and one at a time. For instance, "Is my word useful? Is it a job? Is it alive? Do you find it in a house?"

   

Cut the Chocolate requires a dice, large packet of chocolate, knife, fork and plate, and several items of clothing, such as a coat, apron and pair of gloves. A dice is thrown by each child in turn, and when they get a 6 they rush to the pile of clothing, put it on, and start to cut up the large bar of chocolate on a plate on the floor, using a knife and fork - and wearing gloves! They have to cut it into the small squares marked on it, and can then eat it, as long as another child has not thrown a 6 in the meantime, and come to drag the clothes off them to get at the chocolate!

 

A pudding-basin of flour is packed down firmly, and inverted over a large plate. This is carried into the roomful of people on a tray, or with newspaper under it, to catch the flour. It is set down on the floor, and a coin placed on top of the pudding, with a knife alongside the plate. People are invited to cut a slice of pudding without letting the coin fall down. If it does, then that person has to pick out the coin with their teeth, hands behind their back, often with someone standing behind them to push their face into the flour! Usually they do not mind too much, as long as they can keep the coin.

 

Everyone in the room watches while eggs are put on the floor in various places. They are told to remember where the eggs are as they have to walk across the floor blindfolded. Usually about 6 hard-boiled eggs are used. Then all the players are sent out of the room and only brought back in blindfolded, one at a time for their turn. They do not know that in the meantime all the eggs have been picked up off the floor, and are very wary about which way they walk, placing their feet very cautiously. A guide walks alongside, telling them to be careful, which makes them even more nervous! When they reach the other side, the blindfold is removed, and they can see the bare floor, causing surprised laughter, which increases as they watch the others brought in for their turn.

 

Musical Chairs needs music and chairs! Everyone sits on a chair, then walks round the chairs while the music plays and one chair is taken away. When the music stops everyone rushes to sit on a chair, and the one without a seat is out. This goes on until there is only one chair left, and the two people have to walk round a helper at each end of the room, and run to the chair when the music stops. The winner gets a small prize.

 

Friends is a variation of musical chairs. Children sit on chairs in groups of three. However one group has only 2 people in it, and no chairs to sit on. When the music starts everyone walks around the room individually, but has to sit on the chairs as soon as the music stops. This means 2 people have nowhere to sit, and are out. Chairs are taken away a group at a time, and a three without chairs is out. So it goes on with more rushing to sit down in a threesome before the music stops, until only one 'three' is left as the winners, claiming a small prize.

 

Islands is similar to musical chairs but children step on a sheet of newspaper when the music stops, and these are gradually taken away till there is only one person left. If there are a lot of children, they can go round in pairs.

   

Everyone looks at 10 objects on a tray for 3 minutes and after the tray is taken away writes them down on paper. The objects are fimiliar things like a spoon, pen, comb, key, alarm clock, apple, ring, paperclip, matches, postage stamp, etc.

 

Set up a sheet at the front of the room with a collection of objects behind it. One by one, make noises with each object (e.g. zip, egg beater, spoon on dish, ballpoint pen click, bell, cellophane paper, opening a can, pouring water from cup to cup, scraping burned toast, saucepan lid on saucepan, etc) while hidden behind the sheet. The player that writes down the most correct object names wins.

 

Several different objects need to be prepared beforehand. They are then passed round, under a sheet, and felt by each person, but not seen, then written down. These could be such things as a matchbox, piece of cotton wool, paperclip, stick of firewood, orange, toast, comb, ring, saucepan lid, cup, etc.

 

This is a variation of Familiar Objects. Several objects are prepared well beforehand to represent different parts of Nelson's Body. The lights are turned out in the room, with only the hall light on, or a torch shining in the room, which makes it a bit scary to start with. Everyone sits round in a circle with a big sheet spread over their knees, and objects are then passed round from one to another. First comes Nelson's coat. That is all right. Then his medals, which are metal buttons or brooches. Then Nelson's shoe. Then the mud he stepped in on the way! This is a damp lump of flour and water dough. People start to squirm at this stage, and the giggling starts. Then Nelson's hat. Then his comb, and people are asked to feel for any hairs from his head, which are pieces of cotton thread glued on the comb, and any fleas, which are seeds glued on! People are reminded that Nelson lost an arm in battle, and round is passed a bone, much to the shrieks and horror of everyone. The bone is either a piece of smooth wood, or a stalk of celery, or if really well prepared, a bone from the butcher's which has been boiled or baked. A raw bone must definitely never be used. Then people are told that Nelson lost an eye in battle and the "eye" is passed around, being a peeled grape or piece of orange.

 

Only 2 people are involved, with everyone else watching. The 2 people sit opposite each other, with one the leader and the other having to copy exactly what the leader does without taking his eyes off the other's face. If they look away they are Out and do not get their little prize. Each is given a small plate, while still staring at the other's face. The leader gently rubs the underneath of the plate, and then touches his face, and repeats this action several times, with the other person copying it all carefully. What the copier does not know is that there is soot under his plate, and every time he touches it and then his face, he gets black marks on his face. The soot is produced by holding the plate over a candle till it is black. Soon everyone is laughing, especially when a mirror is brought for the copier to see his sooty face, which he had no idea was happening. The copier is awarded a small prize for being good natured. It was usually boys who are chosen for this game, not girls with make-up on.

By Olive Redmond

 
  1. I was born (full name at birth) at (time of day) on (date) at (place).
  2. My parents had lived in (place) for (many years/few weeks).
  3. My parents were (father's full name and mother's full maiden name).
  4. I had/did not have brothers and sisters. Their names were ... (Include information about any who died/stillborn.)
  5. My earliest memory was when I was ... years old. I was at (place) and remember ...
  6. My favourite things to eat were ...
  7. My favourite time of year was ...
  8. I loved Christmas because ...
  9. I looked forward to my birthdays because ...
  10. My favourite relatives were ... We saw them at (place/time).
  11. When I was a child, the clothes I wore were like ...
  12. In summer we wore ...
  13. In winter we wore ...
  14. At school we wore ...
  15. My first school was (name) where I attended from (year) to (year).
  16. Then I went to another school (name) where I attended from (year) to (year).
  17. My friends were named ...
  18. The games I liked best were ... and ...
  19. The lessons I liked best were ... and ...
  20. The lessons I did not like were ... and ...
  21. My father's work was ...
  22. My mother (stayed home with children/worked full-time/part-time).
  23. When I was ... years old I joined Cubs/Brownies, Scouts/Guides, youth club, etc.
  24. I especially enjoyed ...
  25. When I was ... years old I had piano/violin/singing/recorder lessons.
  26. I liked/did not like to practise each day.
  27. I was/not in the school band.
  28. I was/not in a team at school for sports.
  29. We did/did not go to church. (Name church.)
  30. We wore special 'Sunday best' clothes/had to sit still, won prizes for attendance etc.
  31. We had special church outings to (place).
  32. We went on holiday in the summer to (place).
  33. We travelled by train/car/bus.
  34. I loved the summer holidays because we did ...
  35. At home we had to help around the house/garden with ...
  36. In the school holidays we had extra work to do/not ...
  37. At home we had/not pets which were ...
  38. My parents had old car/new car/no car.
  39. I left school when I was ... years old and went to work at ...
  40. Describe kind of work, training, hours, pay, people, likes/dislikes.
  41. I served/not a mission.
  42. I served/not in the armed forces.
  43. Boyfriends/girlfriends/courting days.
  44. Engagement
  45. Marriage and family.

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