I'm researching the rise-and-fall life story of William POEL, who was one of the kings of Romford in 1900, but who went bankrupt in 1908 after fighting and losing a major court action over his factory operations there. He was born in Romford about 1840/2 and died in Havering village in 1924, the year one of his sons, John Basil POEL, co-founded the Romford Ice and Cold Storage Company, whose plant was built on Poel's yard in North Street. J B POEL, my wife's grandfather, was Chairman of Romford Council in 1932, but died in 1937. His youngest daughter survives in Norfolk, aged nearly 90. If anyone knows anything about William POEL, I'd be very pleased to hear.
Michael Wand, October 2001.