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Heritage: The highwayman and the Redbridge pub named after him

PUBLISHED: 15:03 12 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:32 12 January 2020

Cyclists made their way past the Dick Turpin Steakhouse in Aldborough Road North. Picture: Ron Jeffries.

Cyclists made their way past the Dick Turpin Steakhouse in Aldborough Road North. Picture: Ron Jeffries.

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Ron Jeffries of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association tells the history of the popular Dick Turpin pub.

The original Dick Turpin was a beer house in Aldborough Hatch, in one of the Aldborough Hall Farm Cottages to the north of the present building.

It is believed that the cottages dated to the 16th century.

The 1861 Census lists James Cole as Beer Housekeeper, his wife Martha, and sons George and Thomas, both dealers - wife and sons were born in Barking.

Both sons are buried in St. Peter's Churchyard - George in 1888 and Thomas in 1901.

Thomas took over as Beer Housekeeper in 1881 and Emily Cole, niece of Thomas, from 1902 to 1914.

From 1917 Ernest Perkins is listed as Beer Retailer.

The cottages burned down in a fire in September 1966.

A V2 Rocket dropped in the field opposite the Dick Turpin in November 1944, killing two RAF Officers and Phil Perkins, landlord of the Dick Turpin. The RAF Officers came from their quarters at Aldborough Hall, where the Aldborough Hall Equestrian Centre is sited today.

Phil Perkins was 43 when he was killed.

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Also killed was Leading Aircraftman W. G. Skeet who was cycling by when he stopped to talk with Phil when the V2 Rocket struck.

He is interred in the war graves section at Barkingside Old Cemetery, Longwood Gardens.

There is no record of Dick Turpin riding through Aldborough Hatch - although he might have done so on his way to and from Barking.

Dick Turpin was baptised in 1705 at Hempstead in Essex where his father, John, was landlord of the Blue Bell Inn (later the Rose and Crown).

Dick became a butcher and married Elizabeth (Betty) Millington.

From about 1730 the couple lived at Buckhurst Hill and Turpin became involved with a gang of deer-stealers.

The gang turned to housebreaking, terrorising isolated farms and houses on the fringes of London.

The London Gazette, in February 1734, offered a reward of £50 for information leading to the "arrest of one Richard Turpin charged upon Oath for committing several Robberies in Essex".

On December 19 1734 Dick Turpin and friends robbed the Skinner family of Longbridge Farm, Barking, of items valued at some £300, "tossing money to crowds of bystanders" as they escaped through Barking - all part of Dick's robbing the rich to give to the poor, no doubt.

On April 7 1739, Dick Turpin was executed in York for horse-stealing.

The Dick Turpin pub sign was removed when the restaurant changed hands at the turn of the century, but after a local campaign on Wednesday September 21 2011, two men erected a board below the M & C sign proudly declaring that Dick Turpin was riding again!

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