the history of Walthamstow

Thursday evenings at Ye Olde Rose and Crown in Hoe Street E17 is a cheap workshop given by Radical History Group with Neil Houghton presenting all about what went down in E17. It is fantastic because us 50 + group of interested residents and locals have to be hands on . On Thursday we researched census returns and learnt to smash all our assumptions and to reference and record. Love it. What a history! Next week is all about the poor.

It’s not as you imagine in any which way. Neil surprises us always and we are a good bunch of people not diverse culturally (by looking) but diverse in our reasons for attending. David Boote from Walthamstow (free) Walks comes too and what with Roger Huddle there we get to know what’s coming up and what we can join.

The pub is great. Every Thursday there’s a vintage dress sale. I just like to touch; it’s like going through my mum’s sparse wardrobe in the fifties.The dresses are reasonably priced (forty quid and lowering weekly) and some are even bigger than size nothing!

Opposite the Ye Olde Rose and Crown is La Delice a favourite eaterie for many Dalstonion look alikes . Yeah I said it. It is clean and busy. Mind you I waited ten minutes for a hot chocolate. The food is great looking but I hate to open my purse sometimes and time was against me on that occasion.

Walthamstow Memories on a Friday

Early birds we were at 9 am and in the sunshine a group of we Walthamstow Memories members/staff  went to the Walthamstow Town Hall in all its glory to meet the newly-elected mayor, Cllr. Geoffrey Walker. 

  A wonderful reception we experienced at which a document  signed by us honouring both the mayor’s office and the mission of ‘Walthamstow Memories’ was presented to him and we in turn received a plaque of The Arms of Heritage of the Borough of Waltham Forest. An hour and a half later we made our way by car to the top of the Market in Walthamstow to begin our Historical walk/ stroll down and up. Was wonderful.

Back to Ye Olde Rose and Crown for our gorgeous lunch (hot dinner) cooked by Bun. Then we went on chosen visits e g Willowfield School. Pam Ray, a Plaistow woman now living in Bristol, invited me to join her on a 4- address search to feel and see where her ancestors lived. Vince was an absolute help as he took us all over. Only one of the houses Pam wanted to check out was gone, along Vernon Road. E17. We finally arrived at Lamb’s Cafe, 891 Lea Bridge Rd with which Pam had ancestral connections.

 The Lamb family went about 13 years ago and now the place is in Mr Timur’s hands. Once again we were welcomed very well, were fed and watered and then shown the glorious original 70 year old glass paintings belonging to the Cafe but secured in a back  room. This room was/is specifically for motor-cyclists and is a unique part of the building. Pam has loads of photos to upload at www.walthamstowmemories.net .

Vince carted us back then to George Monoux College where Michael Higgins was our tour guide.That college is massive and a higgledy-piggledy of old and new buildings. Was not that impressed. The olde worlde typical grammar school wood-panelled assembly hall has been space-changed into offices and a canteen area: Some of the awesome magic held in such a hall has been pushed out. The glory of “Let us now praise famous men ” plaques is minimalised  by chaotic pilings of office papers and computer terminals. I was happy to have been on the tour to at least glimpse some past relics.

 Back then to Ye Olde Rose and Crown to begin the evening episode of a packed day.  A buffet of platters of the freshest salad ever and varieties of all-sorts was attacked by we hungry souls as the evening’s entertainers set up their PA systems against the background of noisy outside rain.

What was there not to enjoy….great poetry by Alan Neville and Roger Huddle, sing-alongs with Russ Chandler on banjo and guitar,  and an Old Monovian, Sally Vinson and Rachel Ayres  with a gorgeous rendition of a song out of the Appalachian Mountains a la “O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?”.  You needed to be there!

This is the King William 1v in Bakers Arms E10 which brews beers on site!! and you can ask for a tour. Imagine.