Local and family history activities

The following sessions are run by the Heritage Service at Redbridge Central Library.

Jef Page, President of Ilford Historical society will be talking about William Hogarth’s painting The Assembly at Wanstead House.   In 1728 Sir Richard Child- Lord Castlemaine and his wife Dorothy, invited their family and friends around for a china tea and card party at their grand palace, Wanstead House, to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Child, one of the richest men in England, wanted to record the scene so he employed rising young artist William Hogarth to portray the event. Come along and find out about this fascinating painting.

Venue: Wanstead Library

Dates and time:  Wednesday 17 July from 2pm to 3pm

Cost: Free, please book on Eventbrite or at the Library

Do you want to start to trace your family history but don’t know where to begin?  Come along to this session to find out how to go about it. 

Venue: Hainault Library

Date and time: Monday 12 August from 6:15pm to 7:15pm

Cost: Free, please book on Eventbrite or at the Library

Do you remember Lyons Tea Rooms, Carwadines Coffee House or Nan’s Pantry?  If you do, come along and share your memories of eating out in Redbridge.  Look at photographs and other memorabilia, find out how eating out has changed over the years and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Heritage Centre

Date and time:  Friday 16 August from 2pm to 3pm

Cost: Free, please book on Eventbrite or at the Library

Come along to our reminiscence session and share your food memories.  Do you remember food rationing, spam fritters or your first curry? Do you remember when you first visited self-service supermarkets?  If you do, come along - look at food advertisements, photographs and other memorabilia and enjoy a cuppa

Venue:  Woodford Green Library

Date and time: Thursday 22 August from 2:30pm to 3:30pm

Cost: Free, please book on Eventbrite or at the Library

We are taking part in the capitals' largest festival of architecture. Open House celebrates the splendid architecture throughout London.  See a display documenting the development of Barkingside and find out about the history of the library.

Venue: Fullwell Cross Library

Date and time: Saturday 21 September from 9:30am to 4:00pm

Cost: Free, just turn up

Winston Churchill represented Woodford and Wanstead in Parliament for four decades.  Jef Page, President of Ilford Historical Society will be talking about Churchill's Life and his role as a local MP.

Venue:  Wanstead Library

Date and time: Wednesday 13 November from 2pm to 3pm

Cost: Free, book at Wanstead Library or Eventbrite

The Women's Land Army, established in World War One, was re-founded shortly before the outbreak of World War Two in June 1939, to provide agricultural labour to prevent food shortages.  Britain relied heavily on imported food, and it was thought that imports would be threatened by anticipated German blockades.  In addition, many male farm workers were expected to join up, leaving a shortage of labour.  Historian Carol Harris will give a fascinating insight into the work of the Women's Land Army.

Venue:  Redbridge Central Library, Heritage Centre

Date and time: Wednesday 20 October from 2:30pm to 3:30pm 

Cost: Free, book at Central Library or Eventbrite

Dick Turpin is said to have known Epping Forest well.  Many stories are told about this flamboyant highwayman, most of them based on local legends. This talk by local historian Georgina Green summarises his life and look at many of the folk tales. 

Venue: Redbridge Central Library, Heritage Centre

Date and time: Friday 1 November from 2pm to 3pm

Cost: Free, book at Central Library or on Eventbrite

Do you remember the Plaza Cinema in George Lane, the LEB showrooms or the M11 being built in Woodford? Come along and share your memories of Woodford and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee at our reminiscence session.

Venue: South Woodford Library

Date and time:  Tuesday 3 December from 11am to midday

Cost: Free, book at South Woodford Library or on Eventbrite



Get help to start uncovering your family history using library resources such as Ancestry and Find My Past.

Book your free session in advance at the library or by calling  020 8708 2417. 

Join one of these groups to learn how to find information about your ancestors, or to share your knowledge with like-minded people if you are an experienced researcher. Anyone with an interest in the subject is welcome.

These groups are free and booking is not required:

  • Gants Hill Library, first and third Wednesday of the month from 2pm to 3:30pm
  • South Woodford Library and Gym, third Thursday of the month from 10:30am to midday.


Note that feedback relates only to this page and it's content. You can also feedback about the entire site.

For complaints or compliments, please go to Complaints or Compliments

Rate this page:

Thanks for your feedback