Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and with Photographs by Brian Ecott

Social History

 Evelyn Lever recalls her time at Lambourne End, and her father, Forest Keeper Frederick Reeves

It was illegal to graze cattle in the Forest after 1903 and stray cattle were impounded. Notice dated January 1917.   With thanks to Vic George.

The Beehive Inn, Lambourne End,  now The Camelot .

Frederick's Cap Badge

Frederick's LCC whistle

With thanks to Evelyn Lever.

Our family home was Grange Cottage, Lambourne End and my father Frederick G. Reeves was an LCC Forest keeper. He was born 5th October 1894 and died 10th June 1959 age 64. The Head Forester was MR. COLLINS, then MR. WILLINGHAM during the war, then MR. FLETCHER. The Foresters that I remember were MR. TOM SAVILLE, MR. GEORGE CASWELL, and JOCK, who originally came from Newton Stewart, Scotland,   A couple of the Greensmen that I knew were MR. ARTHUR BOXALL and MR. EDDY GREENAWAY also from LAMBOURNE END.

The clearing in the forest opposite THE BEEHIVE (now The Camelot) was known as BOYD'S FIELD by the local people. A man called Boyd used to keep horses there. The IRON POUND alongside was used to put horses and cattle that strayed into the forest until their owner was informed. The path that led to the gate that divided the Forest from Foxburrows was called the White Path as halfway along it was sand, the sand being fine and white.

Before the Foxburrows gate was a signpost that read to CABIN PLAIN & CHIGWELL ROW, CRABTREE HILL & FEATHERBED LANE. Through the gate to the left was the GOLF LINKS and PLANTATION where Chestnuts could be gathered in the Autumn. Straight ahead led to LUCAS'S TEA ROOMS and  Foxburrows COTTAGES. At the bottom of the hill was an animals drinking trough.

A short distance from the sign that read Crabtree Hill was a path to the right and an open space between the Forest and New Golf Course. The first half was covered in Blackberry bushes and towards the end was a field called the Daisy Field which in Summer was a mass of Daisies. If you looked long enough in the grass Ladies Hair was found. Wild violets and Bluebells grew at that end of the Forest.

CRAB TREE HILL led to the houses at the end of the Forest. In the first bungalow lived Mr. Stapleton and every Summer weekend he had Campers there. The Campers would would take a cart with water containers and fill with water from Rose Cottage, my Great Aunt's bungalow.

Opposite LUCAS'S TEA ROOMS (now the Visitors Center) was a big open space and during the Summer on a Sunday the game of Cricket was played. Between FOXBURROWS and CABIN PLAIN was an iron railing that ran to the end of the COMMON CHIGWELL ROW.

During the Summer months, Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday the 101 Bus ran from North Woolwich to Lambourne End and crowds of people would make their way through the Forest. The Foresters would spend all day Monday picking up the rubbish that was left. They had a sack round their neck and a spiked stick. There was a big hole a little way from the POUND in a hollow where all rubbish was tipped and burned.


The Family Album

Evelyn and family members in the Daisy Field

Left: Mr & Mrs. Frederick Reeves