AHDA (Aldborough Hatch Defence Association) was formed in the late 1960’s by The Revd, Bill Barnes, (Vicar of St Peter’s from 1966 to 1982) and local residents, to monitor and protect the environment of Aldborough Hatch.
Sand and gravel extraction on Fairlop Plain started in the 1950’s after the idea to turn the plain into an airport had been dropped and Ilford County Council bought the land. It was a planning application to extract gravel on Aldborough Hatch Farm, over the area stretching north from St. Peter’s up to the present southern boundary of Fairlop Waters, that prompted the formation of AHDA. There were (and are) considerable concerns regarding the affect on the buildings of St. Peter’s – the church being Grade II Listed (1862) and the church halls Locally Listed (1867).
The Revd Barnes led the campaign to ensure there was a buffer zone of 300 yards from St Peter’s Church. Once the battle for the 300 yard buffer had been won Revd Barnes handed over the Chair to others. Since then the Vicars of St Peter’s have taken little active part n the AHDA, whist retaining an interest – and this is no criticism whatsoever, the excavations moved away from St Peter’s and they had other things to do!
There have been many campaigns over the years both large and small. Opposing Fairlop Waters becoming a Racecourse, stopping Fairlop Plain becoming a home for the three London Markets along with ensuring that the Orchard was restored and creation of a nature reservation. The work is ongoing and there will always be a need for AHDA to keep a watchful eye and act when needed to ensure Aldborough Hatch is a safe and pleasant place to live.
Officers of AHDA
The Revd. Barnes was the first Chairman, Joan Sullivan was Vice-Chairman and Ron King, Treasurer – Joan Sullivan, John Coombes, John DeBere and one or two others are surviving founder members (although there could be others). Early members included Vivien Bendall and Linda Perham, MPs for Ilford North, and Ron Jeffries. Later chairmen include Frank Sinclair, Ron King, Kip Pedge, Chris Gannaway and Jenny Chalmers.
Contains extracts from Ron Jeffries’ Briefing – Sand and Gravel Extract on Fairlop Plain. for the Full paper see campaigns.