Great Eastern Railway to Shenfield. Brentwood Station

The Great Eastern Railway from Liverpool Street to Shenfield runs westward from Harold Wood Station, into Brentwood Station, and beyond
TQ 59807 93737

This is central Brentwood - as a substantial Essex Town, with a busy High Street with many old buildings. There is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, old established schools, ruins of an ancient chapel and some important industrial sites, notably the Thermos factory.

Post to the west Brentwood Brook Street

Alexandra Road
Engine Shed. This was in the space at the eastern end of the road used as the station car park. The shed closed in 1949. It had three roads and was opened in 1872.

Coptfold Road
This was once called Love Lane
Coptford House. Private flats in what were council offices. This was built in the 1970s and used by Essex County Council's social services.  This is on the site of what was a school.
The National Schools moved here in 1869 having originally been founded in the 1830s. They were set back from the road and intended for the children of the labouring poor.  Here, they received annual government grants from 1871 and had endowments from John Cotton and John Offin. It was soon very overcrowded. The schools were enlarged in 1883 and in 1893 by selling some of the assets of the charitable endowments. It was taken over by Essex County Council in 1902.In 1936 the schools were reorganized for juniors and infants. The school eventually moved to new buildings in Shenfield in 1968. Coptfold House was built on the site.
Church House. This was on the corner with New Road and was part of the site later taken over by Coptfold House.
Queens Inn. This stood on the west corner with New Road
Clever Clogs Nursery School. This was built as a Police Station in 1844 and closed in 1937. It was then used the Brentwood branch of Essex County Library. It is now a children’s nursery school.
Becket House. This tower block was built as offices but has been remodelled as flats

The Priory. House originating in a 16th hall with many alterations. This has a pegged timber frame with 19th extension. It survives mostly in its original condition
Crown Street
5 19th building white painted and rendered, with original slate roof, sashes and shop window. Once a motorbike dealership
Brentwood Gas Light Co. this was established at the south end of the road in 1836 but moved in 1858 nearer to the railway to allow for easier coal deliveries.
Breakthrough Church. Evangelical church.
Cottages. These are in a backland space, between this street and South Street. There is a plaque saying ‘Crown Street 1854’.

Eastfield Road
Brescia House. This is a building was part of the Ursuline Convent. It has more recently been used as offices but was originally constructed to provide additional bedroom accommodations for The Sisters.
St Thomas Church Hall. From the 1950s this was used by the Banyard School of Dancing but it was sold and demolished in 1986.  There are now flats on the site.

Fairfield Road
Job Centre and other offices in Fairfield House
Brentwood Boxing Academy. This is an old tyre depot now used as a gym for young boxers
Hart Street
Was originally known as Back Lane. The medieval town lay between this road and the High Street
Market – this was sited at the east end of the street at the junction with High Street and Crown Street.  It had been granted to the Abbott of St.Osyth in 1227 as the owner of Costed Manor. It was sited on the highest ground in the town and was a focus for the whole area. It was regulated by the manor court, which appointed aleconners, leathersealers, and inspectors of meat and fish. It was held weekly, plus an annual fair day until 1790.
Great Stompfords Farmhouse.  This is a 16th building which was divided into three cottages in the 1960s and then demolished for the Hart Street car park in 1970.
Fire Station. This opened as a fire station in 1903 and was there until 1948. Now a barber.  It was put into its present condition in 2004 and given a traditional style shop front. A new wrought iron arch at the side leads to a cobbled footpath where outbuildings have been turned into shops
27 Gardener’s Arms.  Probably the old building for the workhouse opened in 1745 and Extended in 1805 for 60 people, with a workroom.  In 1836 it was closed and the paupers were sent to the Union Workhouse at Billericay.  It has been a pub since at least the 1880s.
39 a timber-framed building from the early 16th was found before it was demolished. It was a long wall jetty house with a plan thought  to reflect cramped urban conditions
Malthouse. This was on the south side in the 18th.
The Square. Block of new flats on the corner with Kings Road. They are over an underground car park. At the corner is a five storey tower with a pyramidal roof

High Street
This is part of the Roman road from London to Colchester but there was no Roman settlement here.  
Horse trough and drinking fountain. It has the date of 1910 and names 'George & John Larkin' who were local philanthropists.
The local Cage and Pound were at the east end of the street in the 16th and 17th
Plane tree with seats beneath it
Public lavatories, partially underground and enclosed by a brick wall with low railings designed to make them unobtrusive and screened by shrub planting.
10 Kentucky Fried Chicken. The former White Horse public house which was licensed from the 1820s. This has a brick ground floor with two doors and suspended lanterns above.
12 now the Halifax Building Society, the 18th building was called The Mansion House and in the 20th the home of a local doctor. There are wrought iron railings to the ground floor
16 site of Davey’s Dairy. In the yard at the back were crates of different grades of milk, already bottled. With a retail shop in front
25 Halfords is a late 20th remodelling of a three-storey stock brick building which has been clad in lead.
The Ship, later the Yorkshire Grey, was on the north side of the street. It was in business until 1960 and Demolished 1961.  It had a bowling green and a bowls club attached.
26-28 The Arcade. This was converted in 1954 when it was turned into sixteen units at the rear of Ripley’s garage which had originally been built in 1924.
30 The Post Office. This was originally built in the 1890s and rebuilt 1939-41. The Post Office itself is now in the W.H.Smith building.
Millennium Clock, This is on spindly legs to which an advertising panel is fixed.
35 Thomas Cook. Shop front with a symmetrically designed brick first floor with Crittall windows. A 20th refronting of an older building. A carriage arch leads to Culyers Yard, probably a stable
39-41 Monsoon. The upper floors are decorated with an abstract 1950s style pattern.
42. This was formerly Burtons and there is a foundation stone laid in 1939 by Austin Stephen Burton. The building is in the usual Art Deco style of Burtons.  This was the site of the Chequers Inn. Before the railway came this was a stop for coaches and had been a pub from 1769 or earlier but closed in 1937. It was a timber-framed 16th building.
Chapel of St. Thomas. This was built in 1221 by the Abbot of St.Osyth on the main route from Ongar to Canterbury with an eye to the pilgrim trade in a town which had been promoted and built by the Abbey. It was a Chapel of Ease to the church at South Weald. Until the middle of the 18th it was still used for divine service. It was sold for demolition when the new church was built became the Boys National School in 1836. Most of it was demolished when the school moved.  In 1900 it was fenced in on the street side by Christopher John Hume Tower, J.P.    It is built of flint rubble with some Kentish Ragstone and Reigate stone. All that survives is part of the nave, and a stump of the tower, which unusually was located inside the nave. The footprint of the chapel is marked out with lines of rounded flints. The railings were erected in 1902 when restoration work was carried out.
National School. In 1836 St. Thomas's chapel was converted into a National school. From 1839 it was maintained by the Rev. William Tower master of Brentwood school. In 1869 new schools were opened in Love Lane, later called Coptfold Road.
Bay Tree Centre. Shopping precinct built in 1975 as Chapel Centre to the south of the ruined chapel. This is now called the Bay Tree Centre and it stands on the site of the Odeon Cinema.
The Odeon was built on the site of the chapel and the ruins of the chapel gardens were kept as a decorative feature in front of the cinema. It was Built for Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. chain, and opened in 1938. The facade was plain with cream tiles and three large windows which let light into the circle foyer. In the auditorium Art Deco bands on the walls contained hidden lighting. It closed in 1974 and was taken over by Brentwood Council under a compulsory purchase order and demolished immediately. A twin-screen cinema was incorporated into the new shopping centre called Focus 1 & 2 and opened in 1974. In 1984 they became part of the Classic Cinemas chain and then taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon Cinemas, and later still re-named ABC.  In the late-1990’s they were taken over by Odeon Theatres and because Asbestos was found in the building it was closed in 2000.
Crown. This was a coaching inn, which was to the west of the chapel. It included a post office in 1790s. It closed in 1818 and the premises were used as a lecture room. It is thought to have existed in the 16th and may have existed as early as the 14th. In 1797 they had 3 post chaises and 13 post horses. The buildings had been demolished by 1927.
43-45 Marks and Spencer store originally built for Woolworths in 1969. It was built on the site of a mansion called The Red House. Which was demolished pre-Second World War
44, Pepperell House. One of only three Georgian buildings. It may incorporate a late medieval building.
49 site of an old house known as Franks. Demolished in the early 1950s
51 Boots is on site of the Sainsbury’s store of 1967 which was itself on the site of the Palace Cinema. It is a long three-storey building faced in prefabricated concrete panels. The Palace cinema, High Street, existed by 1914, and was owned by Dorrin and Partners. It was reopened after rebuilding in 1934, and was finally closed in 1968
57-59 Sainsbury’s in the 1920s.
60-64 a group of surviving late medieval buildings. 62 This seems to have originally been a 1400 hall with 60 and 64 being crossings together forming an H-plan house.
63-65 one of the few surviving late medieval buildings here. Rebuilt in 1973,
67 Lion and Lamb, now a shop, is an old inn refurbished between the wars with a façade of handmade red bricks.
The George, later George and Dragon, was on the eastern corner with Crown Street. It existed in 1407 and closed in 1906. The building was demolished in 1970 and was a timber framed, probably 15th structure.
82 Slug and Lettuce
86 O’Neills
89 brick façade rebuilt in the 20th. It has an old weatherboarded attic extension.
91 HSBC, a former Midland Bank branch erected in 1921, grand classical presence on the frontage,
93 White Hart. This is now called the Sugar Hut, The Georgian brickwork façade was replaced in the 20th. It has a coaching yard but dates to the late 15th.  It May be the site of an even earlier inn and 13th pottery has been found in the courtyard. It was the most important of the Brentwood coaching inns and it had an excise office in it in 1793; petty sessions were also heard there. There were Shove halfpenny championships here in the 1790s. There is a galleried rear range of about 1500.
93-95 site of the Assize House which was built in 1579 on the site later used for the Town Hall. It was used Quarter Sessions and Crown Assizes. It was a timber framed building with decorated barge boards but by 1830 it was being used as shops. The Town Hall was built in here 1864, on the site of the Assize House. It was held on lease by a limited company – the Town Hall Company which had built it. It was demolished in 1963.
94 Co-op Funeral Care may be an older building given a brick façade and sash windows in the 19th.
101 is a recent development which has recreated the look of a late medieval building with two gables facing the street. At the ground floor, there is a traditional style shop front.
102 unsuspected remains of a significant timber-framed building were found here. The timber frame only survived at first floor; its style was unusual, and suggests that it belonged to a tradition current in south Essex and the London area.
Bell Inn. This closed in 1951 and was demolished in 1970. It stood on the south side somewhere near 104. It was recorded from 1454, when its sign was repainted.
108-114 a row of older buildings, some of which are amongst the oldest in the town. They are all timber-framed
109 is a wide two-storey 19th building, with a carriage arch with its original surround is a striking feature of the building
110 is a two bay 16th-century cross-wing with a crown post roof, possibly once jettied and housing a medieval shop.
111 site of Brentford’s first supermarket. A Tesco was opened in here in 1955.
120, Bennetts Funeral Directors, possibly an earlier building remodelled. Its appearance is enhanced by a high standard of maintenance
123 Swan Hotel.  This former hotel has some Edwardian features, including dark wood panelling and leaded windows. It was rebuilt in 1935 in handmade brick
125-127b, the Litten Tree, wooden shop front within polished granite pilasters inherited from a previous use
129-129a Prezzo, has a traditional shop front set in an impressive early 19th brick façade, behind the rear there is a weather boarded outbuilding and a yard with skips.
141 Sir Charles Napier was on the corner with Weald Road and s another well detailed public house. It was built of handmade brick, with false half timbering on the first floor. Demolished
Brewery. This was owned by Thomas Hill, and later John Hill & Co. They had premises in the High Street in 1863 and later in Warley Road. It was bought up by Ind Coope in 1900.
The Marquis of Granby. This was on north side of the street, east of Weald Road. It had closed by 1829.
Heritage Column sculpture by Gary Thrussell located here in 2004. The Heritage Column was erected in April 2004. It was designed by sculptor and blacksmith Gary Thrussell and traces the history of Brentwood from its origins to modern times. It was inspired by John Fryer’s book ‘Brentwood - A Concise Pictorial History’

Ingrave Road
Cathedral of St Mary and St Helen. Roman Catholic Cathedral was dedicated in 1991. The architect Quinlan Terry was commissioned to build the church in the Classical style and Work began in 1989. It was decided to retain part of the Gothic revival church of 1861. The cathedral is lit by brass English Classical chandeliers one of which came from a church in Epping.  The Bishop’s chair was made in Pisa, and has steps of Portland stone and there is a great deal more in the church.
Church of St. Helen.  This was opened in 1837, with the aid of money from Lord Petre and Joseph S. Lescher. The original church became a school in 1861, when a larger church was built next door
Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Helen, was given by Lord Petre. In 1917, when the diocese of Brentwood was formed, the church became a cathedral. It was a ragstone building in Gothic style. It was enlarged in 1974, by John Newton, to provide for both parish and diocesan use. Meeting halls were provided on the north and west
St. Helen's Roman Catholic school. A school had been started in 1848 which in 1861 took over and enlarged the former St. Helen's chapel. It had a government grant from 1872. Eventually in the 1960s the school was transferred to new buildings elsewhere.
38 Regency House is the former bishop’s residence, now used as offices
Clergy House, in white brick
Office buildings, built in 1982 by Lawrence King and used by the Catholic Church
Convent building of 1873. There was also an orphanage here in the 19th. 
Song School. A 19th brick building originally a chapel,
Brentwood School. This is a private fee paying school, albeit with an old foundation as a local grammar school. In 1557 Sir Antony Browne bought Weald Hall, some of which remains, as a site for the school and a charter was granted by the Crown. Old Big School was built in 1568. It first operated as a boarding school from 1765, however the school was close to collapse in the early 19th but recovered and from the 1850s flourished and in the 1870s began an emphasis on sport. A chapel was built in 1868. A ‘Preparatory’ School opened in 1892. In the early 20th new buildings and sports facilities, including a swimming pool, were built – continued with a (War) Memorial Hall, the Bean Library, squash courts, gymnasium and a rifle range. Other buildings were bought or added. In the 1970s girls began to be admitted, at first only to the sixth form and many expensive facilities followed – running tracks, science centres, design centres, et al. Many pupils now do not board and there are five day houses and two boarding houses, and for girls and one for boys. The School buildings are in a range of architectural styles, mostly in red brick and oversized. The older school buildings are set back behind grass and trees.
Barnards is a Georgian house which has been part of the School since the early 20th century.
Old School House, a building dated 1773, with a bay added in 1864.
Big Old School, This is a 16th brick building with an upper floor dormitory added in 1855. It forms a long range parallel to the road
School chapel. This dates from 1868
Main school building. Built 1910 by Frederic Chancellor in a Tudor style with a central gatehouse tower
17 lodge in red brick
Otway House, built in 1878 this was originally the vicarage to for the parish church, but bought by the school, and extended. It has a boundary wall with distinctive brickwork
Martyr’s Elm. An elm tree stood here and was said to mark the spot where William Hunter was burnt at the stake in 1555. The remains of the 400 year old elm were removed in 1952. In 1936 an oak tree was planted here to mark the accession of King George VI, and stands near the spot where the elm was.
Wilson’s Corner. This is the corner building at the junction with Shenfield Road. It is the site of Wilson’s department store, a three storey shop with a clock tower which burnt down in 1909. It was rebuilt but closed in 1978.  The building is in use by a variety of shops.
Council Offices and Town Hall. This includes a clock from the demolished town hall building in the High Street. The current complex was built in 1957 and extended in 1984. A clock from Warley Barracks was mounted in the wall.
Mellon House. This was Hambro House and is a large office block in red brick
Artichoke Inn. This is now a Toby Carvery

King Edward Road
Brentwood Sea Cadets Hall
1 Kingsgate. Office block built in 1985 on the site of the Parade Cinema

Kings Road
Was previously known as Warley Lane.
Brentwood Station. This lies between Harold Wood and Shenfield Stations on the Great Eastern Railway. It was opened by the Eastern Counties Railway when they extended here in 1840 from Romford.   From 1882 it was called Brentwood and Warley which reflected the growing catchment area. The tracks through the station were increased to four in 1934 when the station was also rebuilt. Following nationalisation it was electrified in 1949. It has been known as simply Brentwood since 1969.
Goods Yard. This lay to the west of the station and reached as far as the gas works, to which there were sidings. At the western end there were also cattle sidings and pens. Other customers for the goods yard included Thomas Moy and the London Co-op.  There was a considerable incline, Brentford Bank, as the line neared and entered the goods yard and ultimately the station.  The goods yard closed in 1970.
Signal Box. During the widening of the lines in 1934 a four storey signal box was provided close to the goods yard. In the Second World War it was strengthened with a brick base. The box closed in 1971 but the brick base remains.
Railway Hotel. Owned by brewer John Hill in 19th. This was to the north of the station and may have been near the junction with Queen’s Road.
171 Highway House. Office block
Burial Ground. This dates from 1755 when Non-conformists built their New Meeting chapel having left the Old Meeting in Weald Road. The Kings Road chapel was demolished in 1847 when the congregation moved to the chapel in New Road.
161 Murphy’s Sports Bar
19 print works building. Used most recently by the Westbury Press
Mission Hall. This was in the area now covered by buildings at the rear of the Bennett’s funeral business.
Fielders Brewery was on the corner of Primrose Hill. They had two deep wells here for water and had opened, probably, in the 1850s. It was taken over in 1923 and mainly demolished.
Baptist Chapel.  This originated in 1885 and an iron hall was built in King's Road in 1886 and called Brentwood Tabernacle. In 1910 this was sold and in 1912–32, a church was built on a different site in King's Road. It was damaged by bombing in 1940, and rebuilt.
Winter Brothers brick and tile business. This was active here in 19th and the firm also operated as monumental masons. A brick kiln lay to the east in 19th in the area now covered by Chase Road.

New Road
Congregational Chapel.  This is now the United Reform Church. It is a church and church hall, built in 1847 with the hall added in 1982. It is in brick, with a stuccoed front.
Court House. This was built for the County Court in 1848 and is now a private health facility.
Brentwood Library. This Essex County Council library was opened by the Princess Royal in 1991.
Brentwood Technical School. This was opened here in 1910 by Essex County Council as a cookery and handicraft centre. It closed in 1936

Ongar Road
A Volunteer drill hall, built in Ongar Road in 1886, was sold by the Territorial Army in 1970.  The site now forms an entrance to the Sainsbury’s supermarket. The hall was the base for the 414 Battery of the 104th (Essex Yeomanry Regiment) Royal Horse Artillery, Territorial Army. A plaque in the Town Hall records their Second World War service in Palestine and how they eventually became the 14th Royal Horse Artillery
City Coach Company. This had its entrance from Ongar Road and the site became eventually the Thermos Factory. The Company had devolved from a number of companies which the City Motor Omnibus Co Ltd in the 1920s and which included many services between Kentish Town and Southend. The Company also built a Head Office and depot at Brentwood in 1938 having acquired a number of operators in that area during 1936.  They operated local services as well as and longer distance route from Southend to Wood Green and Kentish Town. The Company closed following post nationalisation in 1953.
Thermos. The thermos flask was invented in 1892 by James Dewar. The Thermos Company originated in 1904 in Tottenham and expanse rapidly with a number of units, one of which in 1938 moved to a factory in Leyton. In 1961 the Leyton factory was closed and the production based there moved to Brentwood. It is said that they occupied the buildings of the City Coach Company. They sold the site to Salisbury’s in 1996 and moved to Thetford.
17 Eclipse night club in what was The Castle pub, which closed in 2007

Primrose Hill
The Brentwood Spiritualist Church. This was founded in 1942 and members were told clairvoyantly that they would have a permanent Church, that it would be situated on a hill, in a garden, nestling under a large tree. In 1945 they rented some old army huts here and in 1955 they bought the property. There have been subsequent improvements completed in 2005.
28 Brewery Tap. 19th public house. It was once a single storey wing of a large building of Fielder’s brewery, and has since been modified.
Brentwood Methodist church. A church was built in 1845 in Primrose Hill. In 1880 it was purchased by the Brethren. It was later used by the Full Gospel church which originated in 1928. In 1957 the church took over the Brethren's chapel

Queens Road
Telephone exchange. This was set up by the post office in 1899 and built in 1932. Closed in 1973.
Glad Tidings Hall. The Assemblies of God registered the Hall, Queen's and in 1957 moved to the former Brethren's chapel in Primrose Hill.
Montpelier House. Taken over in 1912 to provide a new County High School. It had been built in 1879 to provide a girl’s boarding school by Kate Bryan.
The Convent of Mercy. This was founded in 1872 by sisters from St. Joseph's convent, Chelsea came to teach in local schools. Helen Tasker, Countess Tasker of Middleton Hall, Shenfield, built a small convent in Queen's Road. The sisters also had a boys' orphanage, endowed by the countess, and later a girls' orphanage. They continued until 1950. In 1974 the convent moved away.
The Ursuline Convent was founded in 1900, when sisters from Upton, came to Brentwood to open a high school for girls.
Ursuline Convent High School. Set up in a house called Matlock in 1900.  They later moved to a house called Fairview.  The school became comprehensive in 1979 but has recently become an academy.
Steam corn mill. This lay back from the road east of Rose Valley and is said to have been owned by a John Emery and to have had a beam engine.
Rose Mount. This was a mansion on the south side of Queens Road east of Rose Valley. It was later called “Five Wells”. It was demolished before 1960.
88 Spread Eagle. The pub probably dates from the 1860s.

Rose Valley
Brick field in the 19th
Industrial School set up by London School Board as Prospect House in 1874 – the first school of its type run by the London School Board. The building was then taken over by Joseph Hibbard, auctioneers. Following work done at the school by Rosemary Davenport Hill it was renamed The Davenport Hill School for Boys and moved to Byfleet and then Margate
Brentwood High School for Boys.  Private school run from the mid 19th. Settled on this site in the 1880s.
Air Training Corps 1483 (Brentwood) Squadron.  The Squadron was officially formed on the 28th of June 1941 and the headquarters were opened on the 20th of May 1989 by Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Captain R. P. Laurie.

Seven Arches Road
Brentford County School for Girls. In 1876 a private school for girls was opened in Queen's Road, Brentwood.  In the early 20th this was taken over by Essex County Council and reopened as Brentwood County High School. In 1927 the school moved to Shenfield Common and it was later extended, it became a mixed comprehensive school in 1978. New specialist buildings have been added.

Shenfield Road
Monument. This was  erected by public subscription in 1861 to the memory of William Hunter a Protestant martyr and native of Brentwood, who, in 1555, aged nineteen, was burnt to death near here by order of Bishop Bonner for denying the doctrine of transubstantiation.
Mitre House. It dates from the 15th century and is H-plan with a hall between two cross-wings, though its actual age is disguised. Now a boarding house for Brentwood School.

St James Road
Housing. On the site of what was a malthouse for the Hill Brewery
Trading Estate, on the site of a previous Council yard. 

St Thomas Road
Church of St. Thomas. The church was built in 1883 to replace a smaller church of 1835. It had become Brentwood’s parish church in 1873.  The original church was east of the chapel of St. Osyth, and built on the site of a nursery garden. There were structural problems and was therefore rebuilt in 1882-3. It is in flint and pebble with stone dressings and has a tower and spire added in 1886 with a clock and eight bells.

The Chase
A windmill stood here in the 19th

The Parade
Parade Cinema. This belonged to Dorrin and Partners and opened in 1921. It closed after damage by bombing in 1941. It was later used as a warehouse by a Southend motor parts supplier. In the 1960s it became a discotheque called Bubbles, and was then demolished.

Weald Road
Old Meeting. In 1707 there was a Presbyterian congregation here and within ten years there was a permanent meeting-house here. The old meeting closed 1800 and had between Weald Lane and Tower Hill, approached by a passage from Weald Lane.
Bardeswell Social Club. This was the labour club and the close is on the site of sports facilities.
Western Road
First council houses built by Brentwood Urban District Council in 1902.

Wharf road
Bowling green
Tennis court

Brennand. Ilford to Shenfield
Brentwood Cathedral. Web site
Brentwood School. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Closed Pubs Project. Web site
British History. Online. Brentwood.
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Essex Chronicle. Web site
Essex Journal
Grace’s Guide. Web site
James.  Chemical Industry in Essex
London Transport Museum. Web site
Peaty. Brewery Railways
Pub History. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. Essex
Ward. Brentwood


Unknown said…
The Parade cinema was also a Cash and Carry in the 1980s.

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