It's this last statement that makes me doubt the entire evidence.
Firstly, yes Harold Hill was created as a self-contained estate. But this never happened. All the time people were telling me that nights out, if they could afford it, were in Romford, Harold Wood, Brentwood or London.
Clearly, not 'everything' was provided by "The Council".
Trees and vandalism: Vandalism was a feature of Harold Hill in this period but as for 'give the Council its due, they did try to plant trees, but the children kept knocking them down so the Council gave up'.
I'm sure that a lot of young trees were vandalised, but as for that statement above, then why is it now that every street in Harold Hill has rows of mature trees that were planted and grew in this period? The tree planting programme at the time couldn't have been that much of a failure.
'I hated the lack of greenery'. This completely contradicts every piece of evidence that has ever been presented to me. The biggest attraction for young (and old) Harold Hill residents during this time was the abundance of greenery, trees and parks.
'They would slit their eyes, thin their lips and say words like “aaaahs” for “house” and “que” for “thank you”. '
I don't know how to respond to this. So what? People spoke in a certain way.
'Ours was the only house in the street that hadn’t been burgled and mum put that down to the fact that ours was such a big family and therefore there was always someone at home.'
My mum, who at the time was living on Chippenham Road, was the victim of a burglary during the period that this person writes about. They broke in and stole £10 – a lot of money then. But this was shockingly unusual.
I carried out an extensive interview with former PC Bert White and he stated that burglary did happen, but mostly for taking the cash out of gas meters. The author states that every house on their street other than their own was burgled. This doesn't ring true. Every house? I've never heard of this endemic crime wave before.