Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and with Photographs by Brian Ecott

Social History

  Early Transport in the Forest Villages


Thomas Rowlandson 1815



Londoners en route to the Fairlop Fair, held annually between 1725 and 1900

Horses, Oxen, Covered wagons and Stagecoaches

George Shillibeer  1797 -1866



George Shillibeer's original horse bus

July 4 1829 London



The route went from Paddington via Marylebone Road and City Road to The Bank (of England), carrying 16 - 18 passengers inside.  Despite his initial success, George was forced out of business by the railways and competition. He later came up with a design for a hearse and mourners carriage.

During his lifetime he obtained in perpetuity, 50 acres of land in Hainault Forest for the inhabitants of Chigwell Row and Lambourne End in Essex. This land is still well cared for as Chigwell Row Recreation Ground and Local Nature Reserve.

He died in 1866 and was buried in St. Mary's Church, Chigwell. His name is remembered in a road at Chigwell Row as Shillibeer Walk.




from THE GRAPHIC a weekly newspaper

Saturday September 10 1892



"Chigwell, my dear fellow, is the greatest place in the world.

Name your day for going.

Such a delicious old inn facing the church! Such a lovely ride!

Such fine scenery! Such an out-of-the-way rural place!

Such a sexton!

I say, again, name your day."


                                                        Charles Dickens letters.

The "Telegraph" Epping Forest Coach  at the Kings Head May 20th 1893 from The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News.

Contrast with the photograph below taken by George Palmer 1905



People arriving for the opening of Hainault Forest in July 1906 on horse drawn carriages. London Metropolitan archives.



Grangehill Station to Hainault Forest and back.

6d. (2p) each way

Passenger carriage standing outside The Beehive, Lambourne End.

These carriages were seen outside many of the pubs in the villages and were the local "taxi" service

Left: Leaflet of the London General Omnibus Company published in 1920

Above: Enlargement of Hainault Forest Routes.

Blind of 101 Omnibus below.

Chigwell Row, Grange Hill, Woodford Br., Hermon Hill, Blake Hall Rd. Aldersbrook Rd.

High Street North East Ham, High Street South North Woolwich.

Open top bus from North Woolwich to Lambourne End (outside The Beehive Pub - now The Camelot). Crowds patronised the many tea rooms in Chigwell Row and Lambourne End including Boxalls and The Chestnut tea rooms.




Enlarged Bus tickets of Route 101 of the London General Omnibus Co. Ltd.

Service ran between North Woolwich and Lambourne End


In 1903 the Great Eastern Railway opened a loop line from Ilford Station to Newbury Park. Barkingside, Fairlop, Hainault, Grangehill, Chigwell and Woodford Station.  Hainault Station opened as part of the loop line from Ilford on 1st May 1903 but was closed on 1st October 1908  due to insufficient patronage. Hainault reopened on 2nd March 1930 when building of the surrounding areas commenced and Kelvin Hughes factory opened in New North Road.

The photo left was taken 6th December 2013 and shows the Great Eastern Railway GER logo on the station roof supports at Barkingside. There is a complete series here and some of the other stations retain a few, including Grangehill and Fairlop.

Train Ticket from Liverpool Street to Grange Hill or Fairlop. 

The Essex Newsman Saturday 10th June 1933 reported that Whit Monday last, beat all records for visitors. By bus alone 23,000 people travelled to Hainault Forest and nearly as many tickets were given up at Grangehill Railway Station.

Ilford Broadway August 1932. Covered Tram for Barkingside outside The White Horse .

Open topped Tram at terminus in Barkingside outside the Chequers Pub and the Police Station. From a postcard posted on Apr 25 1905. The route was between Barkingside and Ilford Broadway. Covered Ilford Corporation Tram by Ilford Station. The White Horse Pub is on the right, and the Super Cinema with its colonnade roof, now occupied by Wilkinson's store. Undated postcard.



Barkingside Tram in Tanners Lane outside H.L.Hawes Undertakers

alongside The Old Chequers Inn


Barkingside, Horns Road, Ley Street, Ilford Broadway.




Ilford Broadway tram

outside The Old Chequers Inn, Barkingside

Note the village atmosphere on Barkingside and the lack of shops which were built in the 30's





Tram outside Tram (and later Trolleybus) depot

Ley Street / Perth Road




Boys at Abridge standing by a motor cycle and wicker sidecar.

Many of these motor cycles were used in WW1 (1914-9)

Buses pass the Fairlop Oak and turn into a terminus just behind where the Maypole, Barkingside was situated. c1920's


Two buses stand outside the Maypole, Barkingside. c1920's

This area is now occupied by the Fullwell Cross Health Centre.

The Maypole was demolished and rebuilt as The Old Maypole

at the crossroads of Fencepiece Road and New North Road in the   1930's when the original Fairlop School and much housing was built.

down to and beyond Hainault Station.




Bus 25a passing the Chequers, Barkingside

early thirties

Bus 26a to Victoria

in Cranbrook Road, Ilford

Card published by W. Hornby, Post Office, 7 Cranbrook Rd.


Trolleybus Route 691 ran between Barkingside and Barking Broadway passing through: Horns Road, Ley Street, Ilford and Ilford Lane.
Service introduced on 6 February 1938 - Ceased on 18 August 1959. On the left is the Plant Nursery (formerly the Police Canteen) and The London Co-operative Society. Space now occupied by Macdonalds, and Iceland.

Trolleybus 691 to Barking Broadway

from Barkingside passing through Ley Street, Newbury Park

Note the sign for wartime public shelter.

The trolleybus is in Bournemouth livery, lent to London

Buses for Trolleybuses.

Note in pamphlet: The trolleybuses in this area are about 20 years old and are now being replaced by diesel buses. The change is being made because the buses can go anywhere, and will enable London transport to give you a better service. (The 169 terminated at Barkingside and did not serve Clayhall, the Glade).

25A Bus from Victoria to Lambourne End.

Most buses terminated at The Old Maypole, near New North Road. A few served Lambourne End. This one is standing outside The Beehive, Lambourne End.

Route 25a served Old Maypole, Barkingside to Ilford and Victoria Turning point and bus stand was on ground now occupied by flats opposite The Old Maypole, Barkingside. Picture early 40's.  A London Transport Museum photo.

1st blind: 25a to Victoria Station.      Bond St. Oxford St. Holborn, Bank, Aldgate, Bow, Ilford Broadway.

2nd blind: 25a to Ilford Stn. Ley St.   Bond St. Oxford St. Holborn, Bank, Aldgate, Bow, Stratford Stn. Ilford Broadway

Left and above: Bus tickets for Route 25a for 4d and 7d. between Victoria and Lambourne End. Showing the whole route/

Below: Bus tickets for Routes 25b 1d and 26 3d between Victoria and Chigwell Row.

The 25b was renumbered 26. The tickets show the whole route.





Renumbered  as Route 26 in September 1948 Ilford to Lambourne End via Manor Road, Grange hill and Chigwell Row.

Pictured left is the Route 26 for Lambourne End from Ilford (York Road).


Route 62a Chigwell Row to Barking.  Bus type earlier to the one below.

Route 62a Barking to Chigwell Row

Close up of blind above

New Route 150 from Old Maypole to Regarder Road, Hainault commenced in February 1947 then to Chigwell Row December 1947 extended Ilford  to Chigwell Row May 1948 was designed to serve the Hainault Estate being built after the war.


In May 1955 Route 150 extended to Lambourne End on Summer Sundays.

By October 1974 a regular daily service operated to Lambourne End

Weekend buses withdrawn June 1973.  Weekday buses withdraw 15th Oct 1977

All buses then terminating at Chigwell Row.


Pictured left: London Transport bus (RT 4728)  Route 150 at Lambourne End outside The Camelot (The Beehive) in 1977.


Copyright JOHN PARKIN and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence




Bus route 10 en route for Abridge

The no.10 went from Victoria to Abridge (The Blue Boar)

and is seen here outside Boardman's store Stratford.




RT London Transport buses

10 & 167A outside

The Blue Boar, Abridge

on 9th February 1972.


Photo N. Agnew 1972.

used by permission of Mike Ashworth, Flickr

mikeyashworth's photostream (5,337)




Route 62 in March 1979 at the terminus outside the Library and Baths,  Fullwell Cross. The Fairlop Oak Public House on roundabout in the distance. Bus RT1989.

Route 62 from Ilford, Gants hill, Barkingside High Street to Hainault, Chadwell Heath, Valence Avenue, Becontree, Upney Lane, Barking. This route was a long one and had a chequered history with its route and termini constantly changing.