Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by Brian Ecott

The Eastern Counties Railway  line built 1836 passed through Ilford to the London terminus at Shoreditch. Various lines were appearing throughout Essex and Middlesex.  In 1862 by an Act of Amalgamation  the various railway companies in The Eastern Counties  were merged to form the Great Eastern Railway (GER) terminating in Shoreditch, London. 


Memorabilia - Uniform buttons and cap badges

Split pin uniform Pewter buttons 17mm., 22mm. and 29mm. diameter. General issue.

A dragon wing features on the buttons which comes from the Supporters of the City of London civic arms.



Uniform buttons "golden" were probably for management or supervisors 17mm and 22mm diam.

GER Luggage and Freight labels.

Old Ticket stubs:  Aug17 1907                                   1896                                                    July 6 1907

Bicycles and Perambulators were carried up to 75 miles for 1/6d on April 25th 1903


GER Shoreditch Terminus

moves to Liverpool Street in1871

"Destruction" of the City of London Theatre.   Illustrated London News October 28 1871


Ruins of the Worship Street Gas Works        Illustrated London News October 28 1871


View from Liverpool Street of new City station at Broad Street    

Illustrated London News October 28 1871

Liverpool Street Stn.

Early  postcard view of Liverpool Station with horse and cabs awaiting passengers arrival.

Men with bowlers, pipe smokers, top hats, Edwardian ladies and chocolate machines

at Liverpool Street Station

The complex Great Eastern Railway Logo  showing the Counties and Towns served affixed to the iron railings outside Liverpool Station 2018.

Below are the civic arms featured in the above logo.

City of London,          Essex,             Maldon,                     Ipswich,                  Norwich,

Northamptonshire,      Cambridge,        Hertford,            Huntingdon

A fifties picture showing platforms 12 and above which still serve Local services, Norwich,

and East Coast resorts.

Liverpool Street Station J69 0-6-0 68619 pulling goods.

Early picture of Bishopsgate Goods entrance.

The Great Eastern Hotel, Liverpool Street

Postcard of Hamilton Hall, postmarked July 5th 1905


Interior of Hamilton Hall today (2018).  Beautifully maintained and now used by J D Wetherspoon

Liverpool Street was the arrival point for Jewish children,  refugees from Europe who docked at Harwich.

Kindertransport was the name given to the mission which took thousands of children to safety ahead of World War Two (1939-1945). It helped 10,000 children to escape from Adolf Hitler's reign of terror in parts of Europe controlled by the Nazis. It is called this as 'kinder' means 'children' in German.

Sir Nicholas George Winton MBE
born Wertheim; 19 May 1909 1 July 2015) was a British humanitarian who established an organization to rescue children at risk from Nazi Germany.

The Stratford Works 


G E R Cap Badge Stratford (London) Works 57mm wide.


The Decapod 0-10-0 Class A engine was built in 1903 at Stratford and tested at Chadwell Heath. The threat of electrification at this time prompted faster steam engines


Arrival of GER  Locomotive 564 Class Y14  0-6-0 at Holt Station, North Norfolk Railway 29th May 2019


I couldn't resist leaping on to this engine at Sheringham Station, Norfolk while holidaying there in 2019. I was eleven years old when the LNER Ilford - Woodford Loop Line was closed, and the Central line opened.

This engine was built at Stratford, London Works 1912.    Logo of the Great Eastern Railway Co. 

Stratford Works yard.


The Fairlop Loop Line 1903 - 1948


Ilford Station

Visitors to  Ilford Station will no longer see the current station, and the older structures seen in the following pictures. The station buildings were demolished early 2020 to make way for the Elizabeth Line (Part of Crossrail) and much of this section should open by the summer and complete at the end of the year.                                             http://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/eastern-section/ilford-station

Ilford Station early views.

  Ilford Ticket stubs   Sep 1928                                   16 June 1928                                6th June 1949

The engine just visible behind platform 5 is for the local train for the Hainault Loop. The engine has two tracks at the platform where it can couple and uncouple the carriages, but no turntable.
On New Year's Day 1915 the 7.06am express train from Clacton was running late and missed the danger signals at Ilford Station where a local train was crossing in front of it. Casualties and more stories can be found online. This eventually resulted in a viaduct carrying trains over the fast line.


An Underground map of 1939 shows plans for electrification of the line from Liverpool Street to Epping and Ongar, and additional underground stations built at Wanstead, Redbridge and Gants Hill linking Leytonstone, and severing the Ilford - Newbury Park line. Work was almost completed on the underground section when war broke out in September 1939.



The almost completed Central Line tunnels proved useful during the war years when Plessey munitions factory was able to secretly occupy the space until electrification was complete for the opening in 1948.



Newbury Park Stn

Tunnelling for the Central line.  Stainforth Road, Newbury Park is in background.

Newbury Park station in Hatch Lane, which became the A12 after redevelopment of the area. Later view where the modern bus station can be seen.


Views of Newbury Park Bus Station which won an Award of Merit in 1951 organised by the Festival of Britain.

Current station entrance in the covered bus station, 2019.

The original GER roof awnings cover both platforms, but the bridge now carries

the A12 Eastern Avenue

The original ornate columns and roof supports showing the GER logo, 2019.

 The abandoned line is now used for allotments.  View taken from an old bridge in Wards Road.  2019.

Barkingside Station
An ex GER 2-4-2T locomotive and train arriving at Barkingside from Hainault, in the 1930's
Barkingside station 1960. View towards Newbury Park.   B. Brooksbank
Former Staff Railway Cottages
Funeral of Doctor Barnardo arriving at Barkingside Station for the Children Home.

Dr Thomas Barnardo died in his home in Surbiton, Surrey on 19th September 1905. His funeral cortege left his home for Liverpool Street on 27th September where he was carried to Barkingside.

This poster was put up at Barkingside Station timetabling the special bus service after the closure of the LNER December 14th 1947 and the Central Line electrification and services Commencing in 1948.

The Great Eastern Logo G E R is still seen supporting the platform roof on many stations on this line following electrification in 1948.

Third class CHEAP DAY ticket issued 29th July 1933 Barkingside to Liverpool Street via Ilford.

Fairlop Station

Train ticket 3rd class Fairlop to Grange Hill 1d. 30th March 1907. A one penny coin 1907. Both the penny and the train ticket were 30mm in height. 12 pennies = 1 shilling, and 240 pennies = 1. A 4lb loaf of bread cost 5d or 6d. in 1907. The d. for a penny stood for the Roman denarius

The station entrance at Fairlop has little changed since 1903. The original entrance to Hainault station was built to the same design.

Forest road looks rural  here and the low bridge still causes many high loads to crash into it.

Hainault Station
The ticket above from Liverpool Street to Grange Hill or Fairlop was issued 15th November 1929. Although the main station on the loop line, Hainault Station closed on 1st October 1908 five years after opening and didn't reopen until 1930.  

View taken from the bridge over New North Road in the early thirties when Hainault Station was reopened.  Passengers seen here are walking down New North Road from Henry Hughes new factory (later Kelvin Hughes and Smiths Industries Factory now demolished for housing) in the background. Around 1935 building work started developing Thurlow  and Franklyn Gardens.
Two views of the Station entrance built in the style of Fairlop. There were two platforms prior to electrification in 1948. See below the view towards Fairlop. I remember the last steam train to leave Hainault around midnight when the staff affixed fog signals which went off bang as the train passed over them. I was 11 and lived in Franklyn Gardens.

Although trains arriving at Hainault for Ilford had small carriages, a visionary in 1903 must have foreseen the need  for much longer platforms by the 1950's

 Munya stands by the WW2 Tank Traps protecting Hainault Station 2010.  Some of the pillboxes and tank traps can be seen. One pillbox near Fairlop has been sealed to provide a bat sanctuary.

St. Francis of Assisi Church, Barkingside.  Services have been held in the Parish since February 1934 when the first service was held in the waiting room of Hainault Station. In 1938, two halls were built on the existing church site at Fencepiece road with one acting as the temporary church until 1956, when a brick building designed in a traditional style by J. J. Crowe, was built and consecrated.

Modern station entrance. The road was lowered in the fifties to allow double decker buses to pass under. Recent years have seen lifts installed to access the platforms.
Grange Hill Station

Grange Hill towards station from Bald Hind. 8th November 1912

Detail from the above postcard. The railway line goes under the road bridge on which the station is built in a similar style to Chigwell. This was damaged during the war and a new station was rebuilt.  A very tall signal can be seen from the track on the left. An Edwardian lady and two gents  are walking uphill. The Horse and Cart is carrying coal and bears the name J & H GIRLING.

Advertisements from 1869 and 1874 for J.& H. Girling. 

View towards Bald Hind and Woodford. Carriages await at the station.

The tall signal can be seen in the cutting right. Function unknown but could be for the ticket office to know a train was approaching.

The station sign Grange Hill for Chigwell Row, which was over a mile away. Horse and carriage and taxis served the local villages.

Ex GER 2-4-2T locomotive and train passing under Grange  Hill Station ticket office towards Hainault.

G.E.R. Nursery between Grange Hill and Chigwell Stations

A Great Eastern Railway Nursery was set up between Grange Hill and Chigwell Stations to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for The Great Eastern Hotel.  The produce was carried down the embankment by horse and cart and the train was shunted from the main line into the siding. The signal box controlling the line and the siding can be seen in this old picture from 1910. Picture taken from the footbridge. At the top left of the picture a row of chimneys indicate the houses in Hainault Road, Chigwell

Chigwell Station

The sign above the door shows G.E.R. Chigwell. Horses and carriages await passengers.

Later LNER Chigwell shows a Tea shop and a Midland Bank 1935.



Chigwell. Experimental Automatic Tube trains were used on this stretch of line.                       5th April 1960

Roding Valley Halt

When the loop was constructed a simple Halt was put in place, to allow passengers to alight before the line joined the Epping line to Woodford.   A shop, a footbridge, a ticket office and a cow complete the scene.

Passengers awaiting the train.  A W.H.Smith booth is an addition to the meagre facilities.


A J15 Steam engine hauling the train to Woodford during electrification of the line at Roding Valley.

Two modern signals can be seen on platform 2 to Chigwell

Woodford Station

Level crossing in Snakes Lane controlled by a station official. A lone engine has just crossed the road.

Carriages await their fares. A poster advertises Stephens Ink, and watch where you walk - only horse power here.

LNER (Ex GER) locomotive 7785 2-4-2T in June 1938 entering Woodford Station from sidings to form a train to   Fenchurch Street via Fairlop..

Thanks to Raymond Small for additional memorabilia and research.