Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bodgers to close its doors
- Another High Rise in Ilford?

Well it was coming. Fairheads has gone and Harrison Gibson. Now Bodgers is set to cease operations in February next year due to a “challenging trading environment” and the “drift of customers to Westfield”. Might also have something to do with internet shopping and central Ilford not being an attractive place to visit or go shopping like it once was.

So what will become of this prime site opposite what will be a newly refurbished Ilford railway station on the “white elephant” that is known as Crossrail. One might presume a developer will pick it up and build a high-rise block of luxury flats (for rabbits), but we are not so sure. We seem to have a Mexican stand off between developers and Redbridge council at the mo, due mainly to the developers not providing enough “affordable units” to the council’s liking, not that any of them are actually affordable to the people on the housing waiting list they are so desperate to reduce.

The Sainsburys plan was ruled out earlier this year and now the latest high-rise plan (opposite Lynton House) has also been rejected for precisely the same reason.

Not that any of this matters. In a couple of years time Ilford will be a ghost town when the City and Canary Wharf have moved to Frankfurt and Heathrow’s third runway is built in Paris.

Oh, and the whisper is that the Town Hall is to be vacated and will become a "college".  We suspect this might be Redbridge College who were once touted to move to the lorry park site in Seven Kings but that all went quiet. You will not be surprised that their current site at Little Heath is prime housing development land ...


  1. It is all so very sad to a life-long resident such as me - and, I would guess, you too, Alan. I try to support traders in Ilford but from time to time I have to go to Westfield. For example, M&S Ilford has such limited stock for menswear that we Men-About-Town have to go to the larger store in Westfield to buy our non-iron shirts (within a suitable tie, of course) and summer-time jackets (I have worn the latter twice this' summer'!). And now that Tie Rack is no more, the choice of ties is so poor in Ilford. But I have to say that the new Lidl store in the old M&S premises is excellent - except that the queues to pay on Tuesday were beyond a joke.

  2. What a pessimistic picture of Ilford is painted by B21.

    Now that Bodgers is closing we shall have space for another three or four coffee bars, at least half a dozen charity shops and possibly the biggest betting shop this side of Las Vegas. Isn’t that enough to lift your heart? All the magical events planned by Redbridge Council for the Town Centre will doubtless come to fruition and our exit (I refuse to use the word b----t) from European domination will ensure an influx of tourists from the USA, Canada, Australia and all our other previous colon…, sorry, Dominions, anxious to take advantage of the products of our industrial expertise, or at least what was left of it after M. Thatcher had completed her administrations. We might even have space for a wind farm when they knock down the Harrison Gibson building.

    And of course every local resident stands to make a fortune when the entire town is bought by the Chinese to add to their collection. And when we all become Chinese citizens, white, black, brown, pink or ginger, we will have a truly integrated society which we can all enjoy to the full … until the effect of global warming engulfs and wipes us all out under a giant tidal wave.

    So what’s wrong with that then?

  3. The lake in Valentines Park already comes halfway up the ducks!

  4. Well I did wonder when this last icon of my childhood memories of Ilford would be closing its doors for good. The only things now left in Ilford that I remember from the 64 years of my lifetime here are Ilford station, the Town Hall and Valentines Park.

    Does anyone remember that Bodgers used to have windows that sloped inwards? They were designed by the father of a friend of mine, and he also designed the arches at Newbury Park station. Let's hope no-one wants to pull them down!

    It will be the end of Ilford as I know it once Bodgers goes. RIP.