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2017 Programme

The venue for our meetings, myplace, Harold Hill (photograph from London Borough of Havering)

The venue for our meetings, myplace, Harold Hill (photograph from London Borough of Havering)

Our 2017 programme of evening talks is now available.

Sadly, the future of the Society is in some doubt due to a declining membership (as well as rising costs). We have therefore taken the decision not to schedule a full year of talks at this stage – although we hope to be in a position to add more as the year progresses.

Nonetheless, we do have an interesting and entertaining programme of talks planned for the first few months of the year, and we do hope you will join us.

To view the programme, click here – then add the dates to your diary!

Volunteer in Local Studies Centre

A message from Havering Libraries:

Building on the successful volunteer led Digitisation Project, Havering Local Studies Centre has three new and exciting roles for volunteers: Local Studies volunteer; Family History Volunteer and Publicity volunteer.

Just click here for more information and complete the registration form at the top left of the web page to tell us which roles you might be interested in. All volunteers will receive training as part of their role.

(More) Havering History Cameos

Since 2012, Professor Ged Martin has contributed a regular local history column to the Romford Recorder.

He has collected together around 130 of these columns into a book-length file, Havering History Cameos, which is available (for free) here.

Subsequently, Professor Martin has published a further 25 columns (which first appeared in the Romford Recorder between November 2015 and June 2016) as More Havering History Cameos, available here.

Alternatively, got to, click on Martinalia and scroll down to find the links to the collections.

Each column was written to around 540 words, and designed to stand alone, so the collection can be dipped into.

Both collections can also be searched by key words to locate stories about districts within the Borough.


Raphael Park 1901–1905

Raphael Park 1901–1905: The Making of Havering's first Public Park

Raphael Park 1901–1905: The Making of Havering’s first Public Park

On Wednesday 20 July, Simon Donoghue, Havering Libraries’ Local History Librarian, will be giving a free illustrated talk entitled Raphael Park 1901–1905: The Making of Havering’s first Public Park.

The talk will take place at 2.00pm in the Community Room next to Raphael Park lodge.

Space is limited, so please book your place by ringing Havering Parks and Open Spaces on 01708 434743 or emailing


Romford Football Club Volume 3: 1945–1959

Romford Football Club Volume 3: 1945–1959

Romford Football Club Volume 3: 1945–1959

This third instalment of John Haley and Terry Felton’s monumental history of Romford FC begins with its rebuilding after World War Two and goes through to the decision to turn professional in 1959.

We re-live the most glorious day in the club’s history – appearing in the 1949 FA Amateur Cup Final against Bromley at Wembley in front of over 94,000 spectators.

Statistics include first team, reserve team, A team and minor team results, line-ups, goal scorers, league tables, attendances and gate receipts. Club archives such as minute books, annual reports and photographs give us behind-the-scenes news and views.

Plus a 24-page 1949 Amateur Cup special feature.

We discover:

  • How speedway nearly made it to Brooklands in 1948 – scuppered by just one vote! We also find out about 1930s speedway team the Romford Rommers.
  • Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal ‘A’ teams all beaten as Romford lift the East Anglian Cup amid euphoric scenes.
  • Romford’s FA Cup giant-killing over Gillingham on live TV in 1948.
  • Brooklands closed by the FA due to hooliganism.
  • A record crowd of over 17,000 at Brooklands for a Cup replay.
  • The big question debated in the boardroom – stay amateur or turn professional?

(Text from the back cover.)

Available from Swan Books Upminster,  Amazon and ‘all good bookshops’.

Hornchurch and ANZAC Day

Hornchurch and ANZAC Day.

Hornchurch and ANZAC Day.

Hornchurch and ANZAC Day exhibition – A display of images of the New Zealanders in Hornchurch during the First World War marking the centenary of the first ANZAC Commemoration Day can be seen in the Local Studies display case on the 1st Floor of the Central Library, Romford during normal opening hours from 21st April 2016 to 31st May 2016.

In January 1916, soldiers from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force began to arrive at the Grey Towers Camp in Hornchurch , newly established as their headquarters in England. Soon the camp became a convalescent hospital for the New Zealanders, and a relationship was established with Hornchurch residents which lasted to the end of the war and continues to this day.

On Easter Sunday, April 23rd 1916, a special church parade of New Zealand soldiers took place at St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch. One of the columns near the chancel was draped with a New Zealand flag. On the flag was placed a laurel wreath with the inscription on purple ribbon “To the immortal memory of those who died for the Empire, Anzac 1915”.

On Tuesday 25th April, ANZAC Day, which honoured the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli, was celebrated for the first time and a special ceremony at Westminster Abbey was attended by the Hornchurch depot.

The New Zealanders at Hornchurch sent a special message to “their comrades of the Imperial Forces who took part in the Anzac operations at Gallipoli, on this the Anniversary of our great adventure, may we the New Zealanders tender our tribute to the immortal and glorious valour of the Battalions of your Regiment whom we have the honour to claim as comrades in arms”.

Cancellation of March meeting

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be able to hold our Society meeting at myplace on Monday, 21 March.

Mr Peter Liddle, myplace Duty Manager, advises that, due to an exciting rebuild of their reception lobby area, the building will be closed on Monday 21 March & Tuesday 22 March 2016 for essential building work.

Our next meeting will therefore be on Monday, 25 April.

The postponed AGM will take place at the beginning of this meeting, lasting only a few minutes, and we will then hear John F Phillips who will be talking on Victorian Cranham and the Boyd School.

We look forward to seeing you at the April meeting.

Explorers and Traders – Essex Connections

Our 2016 programme begins on 25 January with Georgina Green speaking on the subject of Explorers and Traders – Essex Connections. Georgina Green is a well known and respected speaker whose talks are always well researched and interesting.

Please do join us. Non-members are very welcome. The Society meets in myplace in Harold Hill – for information about meeting times and how to find us, click here.

2016 Programme

The venue for our meetings, myplace, Harold Hill (photograph from London Borough of Havering)

The venue for our meetings, myplace, Harold Hill (photograph from London Borough of Havering)

Our 2016 programme of evening talks is now available. These cover a range of historical subjects, with a particular emphasis on our local area. We do hope you will join us. To view the programme, click here – then add the dates to your diary!