Monday, 26 August 2019

Gants Hill


Post to the east Newbury Park
Post to the South Valentines



Ashurst Drive
Baptist Church .Church building and rear hall opened in 1929. . The name chosen for the church was 'Eastern Avenue Baptist Church' and this was changed in 1929.  Halls and kitchens were added in the 1950s and 1960s.

Beehive Lane
Ilford Synagogue. This was founded in 1936 and moved to this site in the 1970s. It serves a varied membership. It is a member of the United Synagogues.

Cranbrook Road 
Valentines High School. This school opened in 1901 as Park Higher Grade School, a coeducational secondary school, on a different site.  In 1929, a building on Cranbrook Road was opened as Ilford County High School for Girls. In 1977, the school became coeducational as Valentines High School. Since then a new sixth-form building and sports centre have been added/
509-511 London School of Management Education. Private business school.
490 Gants Hill Library. This dates from 1937-8 designed by L.E.J. Reynolds, Borough Surveyor, with H.B. Nixon, Architectural Assistant.  There is a separate entrance to the children's library at the end.
Parish hall.  This was the first church here designed by T.H.B. Scott, 1928 and later replaced.
645 King George V pub. This was built in 1953

Eastern Avenue
Eastern Avenue opened 1925 and built as a bypass arterial road.
347 Eastwood Snooker Club, hidden away round the back among the bins. This was previously Gants Hill Billiards Club behind houses
Gant’s Hill Station. Opened in it lies 14th between Redbridge and Newbury Park on the Central Line and  As part of the 1935–40 New Works Scheme the Central line was to connect to the London & North Eastern Railway's line to Epping . For this a new underground section between Leytonstome and Newbury Park was built running under Eastern Avenue. Gants Hill was one of three new stations on it.  The original station arrangements were one of the sights of London - a vast pillared hall submerged beneath and reached by subways.  It was designed by Charles Holden in 1937-8, although not built until 1940s.  The recently completed Moscow metro reputedly inspired its planning. In 1994 refurbishment by the Rogers Partnership reinstated panelled ceilings, modelled on the originals. The ticket hall is beneath the roundabout and is accessed via subways and has no street level buildings. The station also features miniature roundels on the tiles at platform level as well.
Plessey. Between Gants Hill and Leytonstone there are 5 miles of underground railway tunnels, which had just been built when the war started.  They were converted into an underground factory for the Plessey Company to make aircraft components.  Plessey were radio and television component manufacturers, and had a production line, with 2,000 workers, mostly young women, in the tunnel. In 1944 the firm had 11,000 employees. Transport inside the tunnels by electric rail motors.
Odeon Cinema. Built as the art deco Savoy and now demolished. In 1934, this was George Coles ‘first cinema for Kessex Cinemas, on a prominent corner site. There was a large stage, with five dressing rooms. A restaurant was also provided. It was taken over in 1936 by General Cinema Finance Corporation founded by J. Arthur Rank a company later to be part of Eastern Cinemas and then taken over by the Oscar Deutsch Odeon Theatres Ltd. in 1943. It was then re-named Odeon in 1949. I 1967 it was converted into a 3 screen cinema. It closed in 2002 and by was demolished by 2003. Flats and a supermarket were built on the site. There is a pavement mosaic outside one of the shops.

Gant’s Hill Crescent
Methodist church built 1928. It was opened at the expense of Joseph Rank. 
Church hall. Opened in 1935.

Gayshams Road
Named for the ancient manor of Gayshams.  In 1927 it was broken up for development. 
Gearies Primary School.  Gearies council school was opened in 1929. In 1945 it was re-organized, the seniors being formed into secondary (modern) schools. The boys’ school, originally Boys Upper School, appears to have closed in 1978.  Only the primary school remains with the Redbridge Adult Education Institute in the rest of this impressive inter war complex. A new building appears to have been constructed. The school has a garden area in which there is a monument.

Loudon Avenue
St Augustine of Canterbury (R.C.), 1953-4 by D.R. Buries; red brick and Reordered 1980 by Austin Winkley with stone furnishings.
St.Augustine’s Catholic Primary School

Martley Drive
Martley Drive Play Area. Small green space with play equipment designed for children under 8 years.

Middleton Gardens
Air shaft for the underground railway

Perth Road
This long road is one of a group of Empire names and connects the others with Eastern Avenue.
23-27 The Valentine. Closed  2017 and derelict. This was Olde Valentine. Built 1934 and half timbered.

Waremead Road
Gearies Infants School. This is part of the complex lying between this road, Gayshams Road and Gants Hill Crescent
Gearies Children’s Centre

Woodford Avenue
Joins Eastern Avenue and provided an additional link with the North Circular Road round London.
United Reformed Church formerly Congregational, designed in 1931 by Percy Brand.  Light-brown brick.  A plaque on display in the vestibule in Gants Hill United Reformed Church commemorates those who died in both world wars. Unveiled on 2nd December 1965, the memorial takes the form of a metal plaque with the dedication in white lettering.
Hall.  Adjacent to the church.
Gants Hill Majid. Muslim Centre
St.George. Built in 1931-2 in mottled brick with square tower and spire rising in two tiers intended as one of the low belfries of old Essex churches.

Sources
Clunn.  The face of London
Day. London's Underground
Hillman and Trench. Underground London
London Borough of Redbridge, Web site
London Railway Record
Pevsner and Cherry.  East London
Pevsner.  Essex
Victoria County History

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