Buried treasure between Fairlop and Hainault?

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 August 2017

Fairlop Station in the 1930s. Photo: London Railways

Fairlop Station in the 1930s. Photo: London Railways


Hainault resident Derek Hall recalls more memories of the Blitz in east London.

My mates and I kept two of the bullets from the crashed German fighter in Hainault, one each, and decided we might try to fire them.

We went into his father’s shed and put one into a vice, with me holding a six inch nail, and him holding the hammer.

We tried to hit the firing pin but the nail slipped and we fell about laughing.

Then his older brother , who was in the garden, came to see what was going on – when he saw what we were trying to do he went mad.

He threw us out of the shed saying, “are you trying to kill yourselves?”

Of course, we didn’t realise the consequences of firing a bullet like that, it could have ricocheted around the shed and killed both of us.

I did have one trophy left, I found a beautiful parachute flare, it had copper thread running down it from the pilot’s silk parachute, but with no actual flare attached.

Police were now coming round looking for any items that had been thrown from the plane.

They said if anyone was caught withholding anything they would be put in prison.

I think they were just trying to scare the living daylights out of us.

I thought “they’re not getting my parachute”, so when the police had gone I grabbed my father’s shovel, tied it to my bike and cycled to the park, to an area between Hainault Station and Fairlop.

There was a line of trees and some large concrete blocks called Tank Traps – these were put in place in case of invasion by the German army.

I counted out from one of the tank traps and then from one of the trees and dug a hole to put my trophy in. I thought I would leave it there until the hoo-haa had died down.

Four weeks later I went back to the tank trap to reclaim my treasure, full of expectation. I counted out the steps but it wasn’t there.

As there were 30 tank traps, and as I was so terrified of anyone seeing me, I must have miscalculated which tree and which tank trap I was counting from, and so my great trophy from the war was lost, never to be found.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories


A former-gang member who was stabbed as a teenager and went on to transform his life speaks to EMMA YOULE about the impact of rising knife attacks on young people in Redbridge, in the first of a special series on knife crime

Yesterday, 16:15

The MPs for Ilford have backed our homelessness campaign and encouraged others to consider making the winter a little warmer for those who need it most.

Yesterday, 15:16

The family of Sanjeev Kumar, who died on the streets of Ilford, had no idea of his death - or that he was homeless.

Yesterday, 13:15

Poorer Redbridge residents could be set for a sooner-than-expected increase in their council tax.


You don’t have to make the trek to the North Pole to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Oaks Park High School Year 8 student Rhia Gondhia likes to make people feel welcome.

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now