Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mayors Visit Havering

Today the Mayor of Havering, Cllr John Clark, hosted a visit to the borough and tour for other civic dignitaries. The Mayor of Waltham Forest attended, as well as the Civic Ambassadors for Lewisham and Newham, and several Mayors from boroughs in Kent.

We often praise the attractions to be found in the centre of town, but it is good to be able to show off our own local gems, all of which were open to the public as part of London Open House weekend.

St Andrew's Church

Also known as the 'horned church', after a carved bull's head which adorns the gable, this was our first stop. Unusual features include a fine oak beamed roof and a stained glass window unveiled in 1991 to mark the 600th anniversary of the church. The window depicts modern icons including the Spitfire and the Ford Fiesta, which both have links with the area.

Queen's Theatre

Situated in the centre of Hornchurch, this was our next stop and the picture was taken at the front door. The theatre is supported by the local council. Backstage the preparations for this year's panto, Dick Wittington, were well under way.

Upminster Windmill

This is one of only three surviving windmills in Greater London, and the only one north of the river. The smock mill is being lovingly restored by the Friends of Upminster Windmill and the sails actually turn (they tell me). The four floors are well preserved although 'elf n' safety' is making an unwelcome intrusion.

Bedfords Park

The tour finished up with a visit to Bedfords Park, which has won a prestigious Green Flag award. Covering several hundred acres in the north of the borough, the park includes a deer enclosure with some very fine specimens.

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