Monday, August 20, 2012

Goodbye Kelvin Hughes

Last October I published a piece on the government’s proposals for Business Rates Retention by local authorities. This of course assumes that the local authority can retain the business in the first place in order for them to retain the rates. Redbridge is pretty much a “dormitory” borough, a place where people go to sleep. Retail is under pressure from Westfield. The Plessey site is now a housing estate and we have also lost Ilford Photographic. Now, after almost 100 years, we have also lost Kelvin Hughes from New North Road – they have moved to Enfield. (Thanks to Keith for the tip off). Longer term residents than I will correct me but I think there was another factory next door about 30 years ago and which is now Laing Close.


The big question now is what is to become of the site? Yet more housing? A supermarket? It will depend upon who owns the site, if and to whom they sell or lease it, what the lessees/owners want to do with it, and whether they can get planning permission for any change of use.

I will repeat the words of Cllr Paul Canal.

I think we need to build more business parks, refurbish existing ones, create high tech wifi / wimax zones, advance Redbridge up the digital economy league table to encourage entrepreneurs, business relocation and new and growing businesses. Parts of the borough have high unemployment and we need some of the highly mobile highskill jobs here, along with relevant upskilling of those not in work.
Kelvin Hughes has a history going back to the 18th century. Originally a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, located in Fenchurch Street and later Forest gate, the Hainault site was purchased in 1915 and opened in 1917. In 1923 the company produced the first practical recording echo sounder. They now design and manufacture marine navigation systems. More on Wikipedia.

13 comments:

  1. judging by the words of a "councillor" i feel very much assured that the site will become a-(another) housing estate which tax payers money will be paying for the housing/council tax benefits for the residents who will take up a majority of the dwellings if not now then in the future,but our goverment who ever that will be,will still be trying to convince us that its "good for the economy"such a shame to see the company going,and best wishes to them,
    I do remember the derelect site which is now laing close as this was a meeting place for Hainault High boys to meet Westhatch boys For a fight....dont think it ever happened but I am now 41 shows how long the close has been there....such a shame seems as if our local area is becomming one big housing estate but hey be more customers for lidl......maybe that in itself will get the economy moving....

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    1. If it is developed for housing the question then becomes, where is Cllr Weinberg going to put the new school?

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  2. I worked there from 1968 till 1970 - first as Secretary to the Personnel Director, the Dept located in one of 4 Victorian cottages over New North Road opposite the main KH entrance, then as Secretary to the Chief Inspector. As we worked on MoD stuff for the Navy, I had to sign The Official Secrets Act, so if I told you any more about life there, I'd probably have to flee to Ecuador!

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  3. Kelvin Hughes had over 3,000 employees and the site streched from fencepeice road ,the car park entrance was next to the old volvo garage,also it was on both sides of new north road .I worked there for 40 years from the mid sixtys. I beleive the site used to be owned by the previous owners pension fund. This was one of five factories that KH had ,one became a retail park the others became housing estates. Also the back half of the site is in Essex not redbridge so there may be 2 estates one an expansion of limes farm.

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    1. Anonymous said: the back half of the site is in Essex not redbridge ...

      Well, unless somebody has moved the boundary recently, Essex is not only full but overflowing into Redbridge already ...!

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    2. Interesting. I have two very large maps of the ward boundaries within the borough.
      One from the 1999 ward boundary review government publication and one I "borrowed" from Wilson's office.

      They both show the boundary extending into the car park area of KH at the rear of the buildings.

      What is even more interesting is that the 1999 one shows the borough and Euro constituency boundaries do not line up with the Euro one extending even further to the south.

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    3. OK, now take a look at this and note that, if you continue the northern boundary of the car park eastward that it follows the southern kerb line of Amanda Close.

      Now compare that with the borough boundary as defined by the Ordnance Survey.

      It doesn't actually show the edge of the carpark but if you look in the centre of the red circle, you will see a little dot, just where the boundary changes direction.

      Back to the satellite picture and you will see it is a shed or similar small building just off the corner of the car park.


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    4. Well, Knowsie. It looks to me like the northern boundary of the car park lines up with the broken white line in the middle of Amanda Close.

      Now look at this, from the AWARD WINNING Redbridge-i, so it must be correct. The boundary line differs in a few places but is clearly to the south of Amanda Close.

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  4. Hi by chance i was in Barkingside rec yesterday {Sunday}
    and i noticed a plinth/plaque dedicated to 'Plant a tree in 73'The plaque states that Kelvin Hughes planted 7 Red Oaks there.Does anyone remember the ceremony?

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  5. Boundaries change between local areas over time - sometimes small areas are'swapped'.

    The boundaries of Redbridge are not the same as the former boroughs of Ilford and of Wanstead & Woodford put together. KH existed in Ilford Borough days (in Urban District days, even) and the boundary may well have been further south.

    Can we talk about something else please?

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    1. You have just raised the subject again after a break of 6 months, so that rather defeats the object of your request, doesn't it?

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    2. The boundary of the old Borough of Ilford crossed Fencepiece Road in precisely the same location (just to the north of Tudor Crescent) as does the Redbridge boundary now. So it has certainly been to the north of Kelvin Hughes since at least 1926 - and probably earlier.

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    3. See what you've done, Ilfordian? You've started it off again!

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