Recorder letters: Bodgers, Borough of Ilford, Wanstead Park ponds, Aldborough Hatch, thanks and air pollution

PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 August 2017


The John Bodger window. Behold a sower went forth to sow. Ilford Lane Methodist Church. Picture: MARTIN FAIRHURST

Bodger memorial remains in church

Martin Fairhurst, Gaysham Avenue, Gants Hill, writes:

You may be interested to know that even though sadly Bodgers Store will soon no longer be visible in Ilford, a memorial to their founder will remain in stained glass in Ilford Lane Methodist Church.

Bodgers Store was founded by John Adams Guy Bodger in 1890, originally on the High Road, until in 1921-1926 the present department store on Station Road was developed.

He was a local councillor for many years, being chairman of Ilford UDC in 1906-7. He was also an Essex County councillor and a JP. He lived at 73 Cranbrook Road (where Powerzone is now) – (details from Norman Gunby’s book A Potted History of Ilford.

John Bodger was a Methodist, worshipping in Ilford Lane Methodist Church.

After his death in 1920 three memorial windows to his memory were installed in the church, depicting The Good Samaritan, The Talents, and The Sower. Only the latter two survived the bombing of the church in 1940.

In 1950 they were moved temporarily into the south wall of the church hall next door, where worship was now taking place.

In March 1961 the present rebuilt church was opened, with the two memorial windows installed in the chancel side walls above the communion table, where they remain to this day.

Time for London Borough of Ilford

Clive Power, Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead, writes:

It’s good to see Redbridge Council trying to address Ilford’s relative decline compared to Stratford. But I don’t think it’s just the town that needs relaunching. It will help promote the place if the borough was relaunched.

The council is lumbered with the name of Redbridge because in the early ’60s councillors from the area where I live, Wanstead, would have objected to “Ilford taking over” and Redbridge would have been the compromise name.

That short-sightedness means our council area, along with the LBs of Newham (ie Stratford) and Havering (ie Romford), cannot easily be placed on a map by people from elsewhere.

I can imagine investors, looking to build a depot in outer London, passing over a “Redbridge” site as they don’t know where it is and then looking more at places in the LBs of Ealing and Enfield because they know where they are; both councils are fortunate enough to be named after the principal town.

A good communication rule is not to make unnecessary hurdles – “where is this Red Bridge?”

It’s time for the London Borough of Ilford.

Surely Ponds’ pipe can be fixed

Josephine Haworth, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

I have walked successive generations of dogs in Wanstead Park for nearly 40 years and never have I seen the ponds in such deteriorated condition as they are now.

Blue green algae can be treated inexpensively, and ecologically, without harming any animals or other organisms. The keepers of Hampstead Heath string bales of barley straw across Highgate Ponds and this treats the algae and controls it sufficiently so that the water is fit to swim in there.

Local vets have treated several dogs for algae poisoning and at least one has died. This is avoidable.

The Ornamental waters have all but dried up so that dogs can run over the polluted ground, and a cygnet was killed week. A mature dead heron lies dead there.

The conservators should have more care for the environment in Wanstead Park. The pumps for the Heronry Pond were finally mended this spring, but I understand that the Ornamental Ponds cannot be refilled due to a broken pipe. Surely it is not beyond the ingenuity of man to mend this alleged broken pipe and so protect the wildlife of the park.

Gravel approval makes no sense

Martyn Lee, Cranley Road, Ilford, writes:

I have, through your regular reports, followed the ongoing sorry saga of developments in Aldborough Hatch for several weeks now and I believe that the perverse decision to grant Brett Tarmac permission to inflict a further decade of environmental vandalism in our borough deserves scrutiny.

The only people in Redbridge in favour of gravel extraction in Aldborough Hatch would seem to be the esteemed members of our planning committee and (of course) Brett Tarmac themselves.

I’m not given to conspiracy theories but I tend to agree with Judge Judy when she says: “If something doesn’t make sense then there’s something wrong.”

The prospect of years and years of continued gravel extraction represents an environmental and social disaster, and defies common sense; therefore something is wrong, and therefore the motives of anybody who supports such a damaging policy must surely be questioned.

As for Andy Donald’s arrogant statement that “...there was no way the decision could be reversed...”: cheers, Andy – it’s nice to know you have the best interests of the long-suffering council tax payers of Aldborough Hatch at heart.

Thanks for help over nuisance

Jennifer Sandrock, Morland Road, Ilford, writes:

Regarding drug-dealing and nuisance in the Heron Mews and Morland Road area, the council has agreed to implement a suggested Phase 2 of the town centre improvements scheme.

There are now more frequent patrols by police, cleansing, and enforcement officers, and we are promised two CCTV cameras.

Thank you to Messrs Gapes and Hatfull, and everyone else involved in making this happen.

Electric cars won’t solve pollution

Caroline Russell, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, writes:

We know diesel and petrol are poisoning our air but switching to electric cars won’t solve our pollution problem and let people trust the air we breathe.

We will still be left with street-clogging congestion, lethal pm2.5 particle pollution and the misery of road danger. If the government had any imagination they would see the unmitigated disaster of air pollution as an opportunity to rid our towns cities and villages of the problems of congestion, parking and noise while improving people’s health and cutting NHS costs.

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