First it became a place and now it has its own football team: 'We are not Clayhall', declare Redbridge Village residents
PUBLISHED: 17:45 30 September 2019
You don't instantly think 'ooo this is picturesque country life' when you walk through Redbridge, but just because it isn't postcard-perfect with thatched cottages, doesn't mean it is not a village, residents say.
Since becoming a place, Redbridge Village is setting up lots of residents' clubs to cement its own identity.
The place name was developed after businesses and residents felt that is was hard having the same name as the bigger London borough and "few people appreciate it exists".
A spokeswoman for Redbridge Village added: "It is part of Clayhall Ward, but is not Clayhall.
"There are grocery shops, a primary school, eateries, a pub, a church, a post office, a doctor's surgery - all quintessential elements of an English village.
"There are many businesses within this three mile perimeter offering goods and services that many other villages around the country can't boast. "Estate agents, law firms, accountants, central heating services, dentists, tutoring services, a party shop, chemists, to name but a few.
"There is also a secondary school, a Jewish community centre and just outside the boundary a Mosque.
"By re-naming ourselves, we have also discovered a wonderful community that now have events and projects on the go."
Around 200 people came to Redbridge Village's first event - a walk of the perimeter - and it has also set up a football team, sign language group, organised cycling and picnic events.
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It is also putting on a local history talk in November and will launch a photography competition showcasing "Redbridge Village in the autumn".
On its to-do list is also renaming Redbridge Recreation Grounds and calling it Redbridge Village Green.
The group even has a constituted committee which is chaired by Naomi Landon.
She said: "Our aim is to contribute and promote the wellbeing, improvement and progression of the area now named Redbridge Village. "And to maintain the goals of identity, community and pride.
"To this end, this includes promoting community cohesion, a safer, greener, cleaner environment and supporting community development projects and activities."
Shanaz Syeda, secretary, added: "There are so many benefits to having identity, community and pride.
"There is a new warmth and friendliness around and about, leisure activities that stimulate body, brain and soul, a sense of belonging and being there for each other, which promotes mental well being - just a few positive attributes of being part of a community, part of Redbridge Village."
Villagers communicate by WhatsApp, to get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook page Redbridge Village.
An official website is being built.