Poll: Project to explore Redbridge’s London-Essex debate

The old Super Cinema in the 1950s

The old Super Cinema in the 1950s - Credit: Archant

Fifty years ago, life in and around Ilford was changed irrevocably when the 32 London boroughs were formed.

Cranbrook Road, by Beal Road, in 1951

Cranbrook Road, by Beal Road, in 1951 - Credit: Archant

The joining of the town with Wanstead, Woodford, Chigwell and parts of Dagenham led to the creation of Redbridge.

But the move triggered a decades-long debate which is set to be explored as part of this year’s anniversary celebrations.

Eastside Community Heritage is calling on residents to take part in oral history project Redbridge: London or Essex? which will take a look at how past and present residents identify with the borough.

Judith Garfield, executive director of Eastside Community Heritage, said: “Nobody knows whether Redbridge is in London or Essex and there is always confusion.

High Road, in 1952

High Road, in 1952 - Credit: Archant

“It is about people’s sense of identity.”

Judith has some experience of the debate herself as she grew up in the area.

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She said: “I grew up in South Woodford and I have always been called an Essex girl.

“I hate the stereotype Essex girl, but that is how I came over growing up in the ‘70s.”

Staff at Eastside Community Heritage, based at the Cardinal Heenan Centre, in High Road, Ilford, are planning to hold an exhibition to reveal the stories and memories they collect.

They are also looking into the possibility of creating a podcast and radio programme.

To share your views for the scheme, email emily@ech.org.uk or call 020 8553 3116.

The office is open on weekdays from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

For more on the centre,visit hidden-histories.org.uk.