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The Romford Union Workhouse dates back to 1838. It was built in open country where food could be grown for the paupers who were obliged to work for their keep. The workhouse infirmary grew to meet the increasing need for medical care, and after the workhouse was closed, continued to grow to become the massive Oldchurch Hospital.

Memories of Romford, the Old Church Hospital 1909

I have such memories as a 17 year old of working in the 'Admins Office' in Oldchurch Hospital. I think I just walked in one day, got an interview and started on the Monday - no job centres or CVs needed then. The boss was Mr Totts and Mr Izzard and Mr Jarvis were his under colleagues. I used to have to walk across every morning to the Matron's office to collect the personal belongings of anyone who had ...see more

The BBC is looking at the day that Margaret Thatcher introduced the 'Right to Buy' scheme, allowing people in council houses to buy their own homes. The film will look at the benefits for several million people who became homeowners, and the difficulty for councils in replacing the stock of social housing. We have BBC footage of the time when Margaret Thatcher visited Harold Hill when the scheme ...see more

I started training to be a nurse at Oldchurch in 1968, I made great friends with Joy Webb and Janet Knox. I remember the tuck shop across the road where I would have to go on pay day to pay off my debts. All the nurses had an account with the owner, oh I wish I could remember his name. I lived in the nursing home for 3 years. Every week a bus would take us to the American Air Force base in Braintree. I ...see more

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