Tuesday, 28 February 2012

River Ching - Hale End

River Ching
The River Ching flows westwards

The Great Eastern Railway Line from Liverpool Street to Chingford runs northwards from Wood Street Station, through Highams Park Station and onwards

Post to the east Woodford Green
Post to the west Walthamstow Stadium
Post to the south Walthamstow
Post to the north Chingford Hatch

Castle Avenue
Built on the site of Castle Field, also called Castle Cold William. Sold in 1877 to become the Haile Park Freehold Building Estate.
Hale End Library. Built in 1963 on the site of a house which had previously been used as the library by Drummond Clapp. Some of the structure of the original house was retained. Done up 2007.

Cavendish Road
Baptist Church. This began in 1913 as a mission in a local school which was set up as a church in 1915. There was a building here in 1917 but the present church, with a simple red brick front, dates from 1932.
The Fellowship Hall adjoining was opened in 1956.

Church Avenue
An area of semi-detached interwar houses with some Art Deco features.
All Saints Church. Built in 1897-8 by J. Lee and Sons in red brick.  It was provided to meet an increased population in the area as a mission church from a Walthamstow parish. It was originally called St.Matthews but the name was changed to allow for legacy which has stipulated money only for ‘All Saints’ church. When the other nearby All Saints church was demolished this became the parish church.  It includes the war memorial from the other church.

Hale End
This area was a clearing in the forest called ‘North End’ or ‘Wood End’. In 1285 a Water de la Hale lived there but ‘Hale End’ became used as the name only in the 17th when a Thomas Hale lived there. 

Hale End Road
As the ground rises the houses get posher
Regal Cinema. This opened as the Highams Park Electric Theatre in 1911 by Oscar Watling and designed by W.A. Lewis. It was re-named Regal in 1928. It was partly rebuilt in 1935, by Howes & Jackman with an Art Deco facade and foyer. There was a cafe was added in the circle and Rutt Theatre organ built by Spurden Rutt of Leyton. It closed in 1963 and converted to bingo but soon reopened as a cinema until 1971 when the bingo came back. The stalls became a snooker hall and this continues while the bingo has closed again. The organ is now in a museum.
Parade of Arts and Crafts style shops
420 County Arms. This dates from 1908 and belonged to the Herts & Essex Public House Trust Co, and was thus called the Trust House. It was re-named the County Arms in 1909.
Swallow Court. Site of Beech Hall Farm House, latterly used as a working men’s club and since demolished. It had been home to Robert Halfhead and before that Edward Forster, banker.
Hale End Village Green is the triangle of land in front of the Royal Oak at the junction with Oak Hill.
Royal Oak, a jolly pub which was rebuilt in 1906.

Handsworth Avenue
Handsworth Avenue Primary School
Highams Park School. The school was originally the Sidney Burnell School opened in for infants through to 14 year olds. Sidney Burnell was Director of Education for the Borough of Walthamstow in 1920. In the late 1940s, it became a secondary modern school. In 1965 it became a comprehensive school named Burnell School and pupils from 14 to 18. In 1974 the name changed to Highams Park School. In 1997 it became a specialist school College and in 2011 it became an Academy. It is a Large, plain Essex County Council Secondary like many others built between the wars

Hickman Avenue
Rolls Sports Ground – Rolls being the name of a local estate.

Larkshill  Road
Previously called Jack’s Green Lane
British Xylonite bought Jack’s Farm in 1897 and made plastic goods branded as Halex. the trade name was Xylonite known as cellulose nitrate products and was originally used by Daniel Spill for his improved version of Alexander Parkes' Parkesine. British Xylonite Co was incorporated in 1877 and made cellulose nitrate sheets in Homerton. In 1897 a factory was built and opened at Hale End making products as Halex, which included the head office of British Xylonite Co. The material itself was made in Brantham. By 1939 as part of Distillers Co. The Hale End works became the centre of production of the group's plastics goods, such as combs and toothbrushes. They had a monopoly on table-tennis balls with the secret Snell process. Snell also introduced injection mouldings, the use of new materials polystyrene and polyethylene – and revolutionary concepts like round washing up bowls. The works remained a “family firm” under the Merriam family but in the late 1960s it was taken over by Union Carbide, they introduced American methods and the factory eventually closed. A small plastic factory remained on the trading estate which replaced it and there is a memorial plaque on that from the Plastics Historical Society ‘On this site 1897-1971 stood the Halex factory of the British Xylonite factory. A war memorial which was on site had been removed but its memorial plaques have been located and are in a local public building. The sailing barge Xylonite is still afloat in private ownership.

Malvern Avenue
Highams Park United Reform Church

Selwyn Avenue
Selwyn Schools. Selwyn Avenue Senior Mixed School opened in 1904. The boys’ school was at the far end of Selwyn Avenue, the girls’ school was nearer to the junction with Haldan Road and the mixed infants’ school was on Cavendish Road. The group was reorganised in the 1940s by H. Prosser, architect to Walthamstow Education Committee. It is a group of schools, all very similar with a tall main range with a bell cote and lower classroom ranges behind
Housing on the site of All Saints church.  Built as a parish church in 1912 but it proved too large. Demolished in 1978.
Housing on the site of the Church Hall. Said to be one of the buildings from Chingford airfield. Demolished

Sky Peals Road
Sky Peals, name of local fields and a house, since burnt down.

The Avenue
Highams Park Station.  Opened in 1873, it lies between Chingford and Wood Street Stations. Built by the Great Eastern Railway it was originally called Hale End. The line extended here from Bishopsgate and Shernhall Street in 1871, and was electrified in 1960. Second platform opened in 1878 and renamed Highams Park (Hale End) in 1894.The station originally was a weather boarded hut with a felt roof. It was rebuilt in 1900 and designed by W. Ashbee. A subway under the line was added in 1909.  It was renamed as Highams Park in an attempt to advertise a housing development of that name. At one time it used to win the best kept station competition every year.
Goods yard on the down side which got custom from British Xylonite. Opened in 1873 and closed in 1965.  Marshalling yard
Level crossing
Signal Box, later controlled from Liverpool Street.  The box was built in 1925 with signs declaring saying ‘Highams Park’. It stands on the Greenwich meridian. The original brick box dated from 1878. The current box controlled the level crossing gates until 2002.
Clock tower - Millennium Clock pout up by the council in 2000

Vincent Road
Joseph Clarke School for the Visually Impaired.  In 1918 The Myopic Centre was opened at the William Morris School was opened and in 1920 moved to Wood Street and then in 1940 to Hale End Open Air School. It moved again and again but in 1971 this purpose built school was open and has been extended since.

Wadham Road
The land on which much of the area was built was previously owned by the Master and Wardens of Wadham College, Oxford. Wadham Lodge Farm was here and the site is now a sports ground.
The Peter May Sports Centre is a former Inner London Education Authority site previously known as Wadham Lodge Sports Centre, which was acquired by the Foundation in 1991. It has an indoor cricket hall, artificial turf pitch, health and fitness club and `new changing rooms.

Winchester Road
Methodist Church. Opened in 1904 and bombed in the Second World War. It was designed by G. and R.P. Baines in Brick.
Community centre and Sunday schools built in the 1950s plus the Memorial and Hodgson Halls in 1960. In the Memorial Hall is a plaque which says “This Hall Is Dedicated To The Glory Of God And To The Memory Of Those Men Of This Church Who Gave  Their Lives For Their Fellows 1914-1918”

Sources
Walford Village London
Field Place names of London
James  The Chemical Industry in Essex
Dunhill. A History of Highams Park and Hale End
Highams Park Society website
Plastics Historical Society web site
Grace's Guide web site
All Saints Church web site
Cinema Treasures web site
Highams Park School web site
Hale End Methodist Church web site
Peter May Sports Centre web site
Joseph Clarke School web site
London Railway Record articles
Signal box forum web site
Pond.  The Walthamstow and Chingford Railway

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