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23 things you only know if you grew up in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 13:18 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 20:19 13 October 2016

The Odeon cinema in Gants Hill stood for 69 years and played a large part in supporting the local community.

The Odeon cinema in Gants Hill stood for 69 years and played a large part in supporting the local community.

Eastside Community Heritage

We asked the community to share their memories of the borough. Do you remember any on the list below?

1) Owen Clark was the go-to shop for all your stationery needs.

2) When you parked in Sainsbury’s, Roden Steet, Ilford, it was obligatory to check the temperature on the LED display on the building opposite.

3) The internal debate on whether to get pick and mix from Woolworths or choose jellybeans at Alders.

4) Or if it was a warm day, opting to buy ice cream from Rossi’s.

5) If you grew up in the borough you have probably been chased by geese in Valentines Park at one time or another.

6) Or spent your youth hanging out at the open air swimming pool in the park.

7) Spending an afternoon visiting Harrison and Gibson and trying out all the furniture even though you weren’t looking to buy any.

8) Getting your ears pierced in Gems and Scents.

9) Grabbing a burger at Fat Sam’s before heading on over to Gants Hill Odeon to watch the latest film – it’s ok to admit you felt like a Hollywood star walking on the red carpet.

10) Being really excited to go to Melbourne Fields for fireworks night, and desperately tying to win a goldfish (before it became illegal to win pets).

11) Before Faces arrived, dancing the night away at the Ilford Palais or Room at the Top.

12) Getting your net curtains from Fairheads.

13) Knowing someone by birth, friendship or school who has appeared in Towie.

14) Shopping at Tesco Goodmayes and feeling like you were an extra in a sci-fi film – remember before it got refurbished, the cheese section was lit with blue lights and you had to enter through plastic flaps.

15) Casually spotting Trevor Brooking sitting next to you on the Central line.

16) The countless hours spent playing on the mock double decker bus that was beached in the middle of Clayhall Park.

17) And if you have been in the borough for a while you might remember when Gants Hill was a major shopping hub and had a WHSmiths, Woolworths, Co-op and Sainsbury’s.

18) Getting excited when you spot Tamzin Outhwaite, Nick Berry, Gary Lucy, Peta Todd or another celebrity who grew up in the area.

19) The smells of all the food and hair care products in The Pioneer Market.

20) When you could get the 179 bus from Chingford to Barking – and it only cost 40p.

21) Enjoying the Christmas pantomime at Kenneth More Theatre and watching all the males cower when the dame asked for audience participation.

22) The marble ball water feature in The Exchange that you couldn’t help but touch... Whatever happened to it?

23) Explaining to everyone that you live in a London borough rather than Essex – it never gets old.

Pick up this week’s Ilford Recorder to read about all the lost loves of Redbridge, on pages 18&19.


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