Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and with Photographs by © Brian Ecott

Social History

  Bill Winmill of Chigwell Row

Watercolour artist and wood sculptor.

Above: Tea room on the Recreation Ground. Painting by W. J. Winmill

Left: Bill Winmill at his desk. Photo © Peter Comber 1st May 2013.


Chigwell Row  -  A History in Watercolours by W.J.Winmill

I was privileged to meet Bill Winmill at his home in Chigwell Row on Wednesday 1st May 2013. Although in ill health Bill had recently fulfilled a long ambition to put together a collection of his watercolours and publish them before more of the old village buildings, some of which were several centuries old, would be lost to new housing.  .However it still remains very much a village despite the loss of The Retreat Public House in 2000 which prompted Bill to put together a collection of over 70 of his paintings and publish it privately in April 2013. For historians and villagers this is a wonderful book, for me as a ten year old I remember Bliss's Ice Cream parlour, the recreation ground café and putting green. Now I too have a love of the village and its associated history. Now The Maypole Public House is closed with the possibility that new housing will be developed there.






Formerly H. Clinch Post Office.

Postcards were published here and at M. Tolson the left hand shop opposite.   See  Postcards.


Pardey and Johnson's General Store and Post Office 1928 - 2000.


Now a ladies hairdresser.

Bill kindly allowed Peter Comber and I to view and photograph many of his wildlife sculptures which are shown below. These were made from wood collected in the forest. No comment is necessary as they speak for themselves
All photos: © Peter Comber .