Ilford coat of arms unveiled

AN HISTORIC coat of arms representing Ilford was unveiled at the Ilford Hospital Chapel by Mayor Cllr Jim O’Shea.

The arms, which date back to 1926, portray the Abbess of Barking and a forester, along with a tree, representing Hainault Forest.

Ian Dowling, from the local studies and archive department at Central Library, Clements Road, Ilford, has spoken about what the arms show.

He said: “The Abbess, who signifies Barking, and the forester, who signifies Hainault, are holding up Hainault Forest, which is represented by the tree in the picture.

“The forest animal, above the shield, is holding a Seax, which is an early form of sword, this represents the county of Essex.”

Redbridge was split into three boroughs – Redbridge, Ilford and Wanstead and Woodford, until 1965.

To signify this, the three coats of arms were put onto the current Redbridge Arms, which is displayed in the Redbridge Town Hall chamber.

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The newly unveiled arms will stay at the hospital chapel in Ilford Hill, Ilford.

“The arms are historic,” Mr Dowling added. “Although Ilford is no longer a borough, this document is interesting as it shows how the borough came to be as it is today.”