Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott
SOCIAL HISTORY
Hainault Forest in the Thirties

 Foxburrows Farm 1938  from Dog Kennel Hill. The lake is in the top middle - left of the picture

Close up showing School room and sleeping huts (removed in 2015). This part of the forest was within Dagenham boundary prior to the London Borough changes in 1964. Close up showing the Forge, the Pillared Barn and the Boat swings

Pillared barn where Mrs Lucas ran a refreshment room. Photo Victor George

Foxburrows Farm 1938  showing Foxburrows Farm road and the Farm pond in the bottom left of the picture and 1-4 Foxburrows Cottages in top left of the picture.  More details below.

Farmhouse and well stocked cottage garden. This was demolished in the 60's to make way for changing rooms for the many football pitches on the   grassland. The changing rooms are now derelict

  Unknown building on the grassland opposite the barns. Any ideas? 

  Could it be a toilet or a pen for geese which appear to be in the field?

A family taking tea in the forest in the 1930's. The farmhouse table is set with a teapot, water and milk jugs and cups and saucers and a small tablecloth.  Other forms and tables can be seen in the picture. It is known that a Mr and Mrs Lucas that lived at No 2. Foxburrows cottages used the Pillared barn to serve refreshments for many years and to do birthdays and wedding catering in the barn.  Lottie Harvey  who was born at No 4. Foxburrows Cottages explained    " In the Foxburrows barns Mr and Mrs Lucas, who lived in one of the cottages, had a teashop. There were long tables covered with white tablecloths. They served set teas, there were slab cakes, jellies, and jam sandwiches, or a high tea could be provided. Tea was poured from large teapots. Wedding receptions were catered for and two of Lottie's brothers had their receptions there. Sweets could be purchased there. Mrs Lucas made Christmas cakes and the Harvey's had one every year. Around the walls were stuffed animals and antlers and outside on a tin roof real monkeys were chained. Under the eaves the swallows made their nests every summer."  Even in 2017 the light blue pillars are present in the pillared barn.

More pictures of the thirties family in the forest.

Doreen Phillips from Chadwell Heath remembers the proprietress of the Tea room - a Mrs Lucas who kept live monkeys in cages in the tea room in addition to  the stuffed animals and deer antlers.  Mrs Phillips can  still  recall the horrible smell of the monkeys!

The thirties family cycle in the forest

Gus from Sussex wonders what happened to the old Tea room that he visited in the early forties. It was full of stuffed Pike and Perch in glass cases, deer heads, antlers, stuffed foxes and other animals. He used to fill sandbags with chestnuts, hang them over the pannier on his cycle, and cycle back through the forest. At the Tea room he sat in front of a very nice open fire roasting chestnuts with a couple of friends, putting logs onto the fire, before cycling over Hog Hill for home. "On one occasion in the summer I was on the top of Hog Hill with a friend and we thought we would collect some blackberries. We pitched the cycles up against the bramble hedge and climbed up on them picking blackberries. On the way down I stepped onto the crossbar and slipped, dislocating both my arms and shoulders. My friend went to the Tea room to summon help. A policeman came and there was an army lorry approaching which he stopped. He made them take me to Oldchurch Hospital as an emergency since I was in quite some pain. They put my cycle in the back of the lorry. I learned later that they had an unexploded bomb in the back which had just been defused!!"

Hainault Lake 1938 looking from the south-west

Hainault Lake 1938 looking South towards the Romford Road. See below right for Legend.

 Legend for Hainault Lake 1938 looking from the south-west (top above)

Legend for Hainault Lake 1938 looking South towards the Romford Road

On Cabin Hill  c.1936-8

Back: Sid Williams, Isabella Williams nee Underwood, Unknown lady.

Front: Iris Huckstep, Elizabeth Williams, Barbara Huckstep, Unknown boy. Photo: Barbara Oliverio, daughter of Elizabeth (above).

Hainault Baptist Church members photographed at the same place in April 2010.