I had arranged to go to Gidea Park. It was a long cycle ride, further and further east, like a cartoon strip of the Essex suburbs, starting with Stratford, now full of high-rise apartment blocks, Forest Gate, with flanking Victorian churches and Edwardian public libraries, round Ilford town centre because its High Street is pedestrianised, on through Seven Kings as the architecture turns from late Victorian terrace housing to 1930s, and then strangely one passes a farm just before getting to Romford.
Gidea Park is really just a posh suburb of Romford, laid out in 1911 on the best current principles of town planning, with plenty of space for tennis courts, an adjacent golf course and roads laid out on a grid, but not too obviously. I had high hopes of it because of the beautiful photographs in Tim Brittain-Catlin’s book on The Edwardians and their Houses, which of course shows the best of the houses in splendid isolation, without the amount of later infill. Also, the rustic dreams of these Edwardian pioneers, with ample brickwork and a bit of pargetting became the standardised vernacular of later suburban building, so it is not always possible to distinguish the true from the fake. I picked out a few, but am not always able to identify the architect.
A house at the corner of Meadway and Parkway:-
Further up on Parkway:-
29, Reed Pond Walk by Edwin Guns:-
A house by Baillie Scott with pargetting:-
And some detailing in Meadway:-