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1959 Mick Popplewell — 9 Comments

  1. Oh yes I remember Ilford High Road, that’s looking towards Moultons and Harrison Gibson stores.
    David Marlow

  2. That’s fantastic, they actually had colour back in ’59. My memories are all in B&W.

    Moultons with its plastic fountains dotted around the store, very contemporary and H&G. Went in there once, must have been around 1968. There was a whole floor full of the pink furniture from the 2001 Space Odyssey space station set [Djinn chairs designed by Olivier Mourgue in 1965] contemporary and mind altering. GreenLine buses too.
    John Maloney

  3. Those RT buses with upright radiators were still in regular use throughout the 1970’s, although by the late 1950’s the new Routemaster buses with sloping bonnets were being introduced. In a recent episode of Foyle’s War (set in 1946) they used a Routemaster bus that was still ten years away from being manufactured. If only they had consulted one of us – we could have told them!

  4. There is a wonderful site on Facebook: “Ilford in Pictures”. So many photos of how Ilford and the surrounding neighbourhoods looked like “way back when”. I’ve lived in Vancouver, Canada for 45 years, but loved being a teenager in the 60s in Ilford.

  5. Does anyone remember going to the cafe at the top of Harrison Gibsons, it was rather posh?

  6. Oh Yea. My twin brother David and I lived just down the Road at Seven Kings. We used to go to the 5th Seven Kings Scout Group at the Methodist Church. My Mum used to work in Moultons and I recall my Dad rushed down to see the fire at Harrison Gibsons. He was in the Fire Brigade in the War and just couldn’t resist seeing it all. Oh really happy days, Cranbrook Park and Ilford Pioneer Market where David and I bought our first suits to start work in Customs and Excise in 1963.

  7. Yes, I remember Ilford High Road. I used to live in Wellesley Road. This photo was taken after the great fire of Ilford (about 1958). The fire started in the Moulton’s store and rapidly spread to Harrison Gibsons and the houses in between. The trains had to terminate at Ilford Station and Seven Kings Station while the brick wall facing on to the railway was made safe. There were dozens and dozens of fire tenders – and the hoses that were used made it look like something out of the blitz. The trolley bus cables melted in the heat (or so I heard) and the trolley busses were replaced by the new route masters. It took years before the two stores were rebuilt.
    Mike Kneller.

  8. Just reading the comments brought back fabulous memories of Ilford when it was truly in its heyday it was considered the best shopping centre outside London. I also lived in Seven Kings and many of your names are very familiar, my bother Brian also went to Mayfield a year or so later. The green buses were my transport to work for many years, I am still recovering from the very early mornings. My wife and I purchased pur first quality three piece suite from Harrison Gibsons in 1967 what a joy it lasted a long time. Trust all those that were at Mayfield will carry on for a few more years healthy fit andable to enjoy life.
    Richard Woodhouse – Colchester

  9. Ilford was my mother’s second choice shopping centre after the West End. I well remember Harrison Gibson burning down. Stood out in the street in Forest Gate watching the red tinged column of smoke to the East. Made the national news if I remember rightly. I lived in Reading when first married but returned PDQ, but that was before this picture. The Green Line buses were the terror of the Romford Road. Speed limits didn’t seem to apply. I have dim memories of trolleybuses in the High Road. Didn’t the replacement Harrison Gibson have a night club on the top floor? What was the lovely old fashioned haberdashery just beyond C & A opposite the station? Harvey’s. Still there before we moved from East Ham 20 years ago.

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