Monday, January 25, 2016


Exploring the Central line from East to West this is the 14th station out of 49 that I have visited.
This station is part of a loop on the line. It is a 6.5 mile ring of railway built by the Great Eastern Railway in 1903. The iron roof supports have the initials of GER woven into the design.
It was the Metropolitan Railway that came up with the idea of the railway looping into the countryside of Essex to create suburban growth. Although it took longer than expected there was a huge increase of house building along the railway route throughout the early 20th C.

This station has a grander look to it than others on the loop. It is said that it owes its ornate look to the many Royal visitors who came to admire Dr Barnardo's Garden Village being built in Barkingside.

The station is now a Grade II listed building meaning it is a structure of architectural significance.

The name Barkingside was first recorded in 1538 and is derived from its location on the Barking side of Hainault Forest.

Alongside the station  is Redbridge Football stadium(big word for small stand) and training ground.

It is a short walk from the station to Dr Barnardo's Village and church. The church was built between 1892-3 to serve the Barnado's Girls' Village Homes. It is the only remaining children's church in the country with lower pews and child themed stained glass windows. The children visited the church 3 times a week, 10.30am and 6.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm on Wednesday for Bible Study.
I was very disappointed to find the church closed and found no information on opening times. I will endeavour to find out more details about the church as I would dearly love to see inside.

In 1873 Dr Thomas Barnardo and his wife Syrie were married and set up home in Mossford Lodge, a property in the village of Barkingside. A 21 year lease on the Lodge had been a wedding present from a wealthy stockbroker. Having previously worked with destitute boys he started the first home for destitute girls near Mossford Lodge. His father-in-law bought them 13 acres of land on which his village homes were built. He had the idea of providing individual cottages for girls of different ages. Dr. Barnardo believed that orphaned children would be much happier living in smaller groups in houses surrounded by attractive gardens and space rather than the large dormitories that existed in orphanages.
The cottages were actually large 6 bedroomed houses and were supervised by a house-mother. Each house provided a home for 15-20 children. The houses were built around a green and by 1880 around 26 houses or cottages as they were known had been built. The cost of the houses had been met by individual donors and different organisations.
The first cottages were all named after flowers, Honeysuckle, Forget-me-not, Daisy, Rose, Primrose and so on.

By the 1930s boys were also admitted to the village. At its height, the Garden Village had 64 cottages surrounding 3 different greens over a 60 acre site and was accommodating approx 1500 children. The girls were trained in cooking skills; washing and laundry; dressmaking and knitting.Their future lay in working in service as maids, housekeepers etc or emigrating to Canada or Australia.

In 1964 it was decided to
reduce the number of children to 100 and to house them in small family groups. By 1986 there were only 44 children living in the village and in 1991 the village officially closed as a children's home as it was said to be outdated in terms of modern childcare.
Finding my way into the village had not been easy. Next to the church were huge boards around a building site advertising luxury homes in Barnado's Garden Village.

I walked all the way around the hoardings until I found a way into the village. The area now has a number of private estates with no public access. When I did find an open gate I was pleased to find that part of the village is still here and a village green still remains. It was a dull, drizzly day when I visited and the Green was empty. It was easy to visualise the children walking across from their houses to the Church.

The benches sporadically placed on the Green, all had small metal plaques on them in memory of a member of staff or resident of one of the cottages. I felt saddened by the change. No orphaned children here now enjoying the opportunities and love of being part of the Barnardo family.

With thanks -Albert -Kathleen- Mary - John - Geoffrey Swann. All ex-members of Barnados' big family.

The Cairns Memorial House in the Garden Village was erected in 1887 in memory of the first President of Dr Barnardo's Homes.

Dr Thomas Barnardo died in 1905 and his ashes were buried near Cains Cottage.

A memorial was built in the Village by Sir George Frampton . It is a 6 metre high granite monument topped with a bronze statue of 'Charity' sheltering two children. Below that is a portrait of Barnardo and 3 seated children who were modeled on children at the home.

Many of the old buildings have now been demolished and have made way for new developments. However the site has been designated as a conservation area,consequently, the church, Cairns House and the fountain have been renovated.
Close to the Village is the new Headquarters of Barnardo's charity

Across the road from Barnardo's Head Ofice is this row of  Cottages. Pert Cottages were built in the mid nineteenth century as artisan's houses. They are probably the oldest surviving residential buildings in Barkingside and are now Grade II listed.

In stark contrast to the beautiful Pert cottages is this ugly Brutalist structure built of pre-fabricated concrete in the 1960s. It is Barkingside Magistrates Court. 

Nearby is the police station, another building  lacking character. Although it does have the traditional blue lamp outside.

 Queen Victoria House is currently used as the Redbridge Registry Office where all births, deaths and marriages within the area are registered. It was built in 1903 as a 'Quarantine Home' for new arrivals to Dr Barnardo's Garden Village. In 1928 it became a training home for girls before they emigrated to either Canada or Australia.

This large pub was built in 1937-8 when it was thought that Fairlop Airfield was going to become an international airport. The Doctor Johnson pub has a bit of a mixture of styles and the interior is listed as of national significance. However it is currently closed and looks as though it has been closed for a while

Barkingside cemetries (there is one on either side of the road) have had a long association with Barnardo's Village Home and in 2008 a memorial was erected dedicated to the memory of 600 Barnardo's children and staff interred on the site.

Next to the cemetery is the Holy Trinity church built in 1839-40.

By now the rain was pouring down so it was time to return to the station and make my way home. I really enjoyed Barkingside and finding out more about Dr Barnardo's Garden Village.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016


Fairlop station is on the loop section of the Central line. Opened in 1903 it became part of the electrified Central line in 1948 and is the 13th station I've visited on this line.

Looking back along the lines you can just see the previous station of Hainault which is a 65 sec train ride away.

There are no lifts or escalators down to the exit so not an accessible station for disabled people.
The first thing I noticed as I left the station was a mural on the wall opposite.

The first section shows everyone at Fairlop Waters

The middle section represents the tube which takes people into central London.

The final section shows people on their way into Barkingside Town centre.

I decided to follow the mural and walked the short distance to Fairlop Waters

The first entrance I came to was the pedestrian entrance, marked by an archway with pillar blocks depicting the historic ages of Fairlop Plain.

Across the road is a Victorian farm building.

You can't miss the main entrance into the Fairlop Waters country park which covers an area of 120 hectares. It has lakes, ponds, woodland and grassland. It also has leisure facilities including golf, bouldering, sailing and cycling. In 1915 it played a role in World War 1 with the opening of an aerodrome here. It was used as a Royal Naval Air Station Training School.
During WW2 it was known as RAF Fairlop and had Spitfire and Barrage balloon squadrons here. It was thought that after the war it would become a major new international airport for London but that didn't happen and the area was landscaped to become the Fairlop Country Park.

In the centre of the lake is  a little island. I watched a flock of lapwings circling before landing on the island. It seems this is a popular place for bird watching.

The artificial climbing boulders.

After walking around the lake I walked back along Forest road, passed the station and on to Fulwell Cross. The first thing I noticed was a very impressive building by the side of the roundabout. I thought it was a church.

But this is not a church it is a library. The circular design of the library mirrors the roundabout. Opened in 1968 it is part of Modernist civic buildings which include the adjacent leisure centre. Designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd who said that every town need a 'crown', it would appear that this was the crown he had in mind for here.

At the front of the leisure centre is the Town Square used for events and markets. The Square is named Ken Aston Square after a local resident who was a professional football referee famed for inventing the red and yellow card system.

In the centre of the roundabout is an oak tree. This tree was planted in 1951 to celebrate the Festival of Britain. The ancestor tree it commemorates stood on a site close to the boathouse on the sailing lake at Fairlop Waters. This 'King of the Forest' was almost one thousand years old when it was finally blown down in a heavy gale in 1820. Fairlop Fair was held under the tree. The Fair was started by Daniel Day who had a small estate near Fairlop Oak. He visited the tree every year on the first Friday of July to receive his rents and to entertain his friends and employees. By 1725 this private party had grown into a regular Fair. It grew in size over the years until 200,000 people were recorded attending the event with its many side shows and activities. The last Fair of any size was in 1900.

On the other side of the roundabout is the Fairlop Oak pub where this plaque is situated.

The revival of the Fair was held in July 2013 at Fairlop Waters and attracted 2,500 visitors and will no doubt increase in numbers year on year.
2015 Fairlop Fair

This art deco building used to be the cinema, built in 1938 it is currently used as a bingo hall.

Returning to the station I had a clear view of the tube trains travelling across the bridge on their way into Fairlop station.