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Romford Now & Then   Glimpses of the Past in the Present

 
Gidea Hall, in use as an Officers School for the Artists' Rifles in about 1918.
Gidea Hall, in use as an Officers School for the Artists' Rifles in about 1918.

When the Officers School there was an urgent need to expand the available accomodation. Sir Herbert Raphael came to the rescue by offering Gidea Hall and Balgores rent free. Half of Gidea Hall had been occupied by the Gidea Park Club, which immediately vacated it in the national interest. Here we see the Hall with its windows open to 'air' it - a typical army touch. In front, bicycles are parked near a sentry box, whilst a face peers out from a first-floor window.1

The photo is from a postcard sent by a young man training at the school.2 On the reverse it reads:

My Dear B & S,
Here is a Photo of the school & where I have put the mark3 is where I sleep & the other4 is where we dine,
your loving Brother
George.

1 Caption to Romford, Collier Row & Gidea Park, plate 42a.
2 The card was sent on 2 June (?) 1918, to Mrs. J. E. (?) Strachan, 69 Loughboro' Rd., Brixton, S.W.(9)
3 The mark, which has been erased from this reproduction, was immediately above the far top-left corner of the house.
4 The word 'Mess' is written on the roof of the wooden building at the right of the photo.
 

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