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The Eva Hart

Discover all you need to know about one of the longest-living survivors of the Titanic.

1128 High Road, Chadwell Heath, Essex, RM6 4AH

This is named after one of Chadwell Heath’s best-known residents and one of the longest-living survivors of the Titanic disaster. The ill-fated ship sank in April 1912, but Eva Hart lived to tell the tale. She died in 1996, aged 91. The pub was once the town’s police station, the original of which was built in 1850, on the site of the old stocks. It was replaced, in 1891–92, by the current building.

Prints and text about The Eva Hart.

The text reads: Welcome to The Eva Hart. This pub has been named after local resident Eva Hart, who was renowned as one of the longest living survivors or the Titanic disaster.

The pub itself is the old police station. The original police station was built in 1850 on the site of the old stocks. It was replaced in 1891-92 by this building.

Chadwell Heath’s history dates back to the mid-13th century when it was called Chaudwell. Legend has it that in the 7th century the Bishop Chad baptised his converts to Christianity at the well near Billett Road. There was a well there, and a plaque marks the spot in Billett Road. However there is no evidence that Bishop Chad came here.

The name Chadwell comes from the old English cald wielle meaning ‘cold spring’, while the heath refers to the small clearing in Hainault Forest which was known in the 15th century as Black Heath. It became Chadwell Heath in the 17th century. In the 19th century it was still a small country village, and it was not until the turn of the century that the pace of change increased.

Top: St Chad’s Well
Above: Tramway terminus, with the police station on the left.

A print of Eva Hart, her mother, father and grandfather.

A print of Eva Hart as a young girl.

Prints of Eva Hart and the Titanic.

Centre: Eva Hart immediately after the Titanic disaster
Above: top, lifeboats being lowered in A Night To Remember, above, the Titanic sinking
Right: top, Captain Edward John Smith, who went down with his ship, below, a lifeboat alongside the Carpathia.

A print of Eva Hart with her parents.

Prints of Eva Hart’s father and Eva with her parents. 

Prints of the Titanic on voyage.

A wooden carving of the Titanic.

This was a gift to the pub from the son of a well-known customer who frequented the pub often. 

Prints and text about Mary Wollstronecraft.

The text reads: Mary Wollstonecraft, the pioneer of womens’ rights and mother of Mary Shelley, lived in Chadwell heath as a child when her family took a farm near Whalebone House.

After her mother’s death, in 1782, she started school in Newington Green with her friend Fanny Blood. Although the school was unsuccessful, her experiences cause her to write Thoughts on the education of Daughters which was published in 1787.

In 1790 she started working for a publisher, reading manuscripts, writing articles and translating. She also joined a radical intellectual group where she met William Godwin. Her work Vindication of the rights of Women, a feminist tract, was published in 1792.

This was the same year that she went to Paris and started an affair with the American Gilbert Imlay. She followed him to Le Havre, where their daughter Fanny was born. After their return to England, Mary unable to accept Imlay’s infidelities tried to commit suicide by jumping from Putney Bridge.

In 1797 she became pregnant by William Godwin, and they married. Mary Godwin, the future wife of the poet Shelley and author of Frankenstein, was born in August. Her mother died the following month as a result of complications from the birth.

Top right: Mary Wollstonecraft
Above: Mary Shelley
Right: William Godwin.

Prints and text about Wangey House.

The text reads: The Manor of Wangey was first recorded in 1254, when it was called Wanghou. During its history it underwent many changes in ownership. The lords of Wangey held the manor but did not necessarily live there.

In 1571 Wangey was occupied by James Harvey, who later became Lord Mayor of London. His grandson, Samuel, married the daughter of John Donne the poet, who was a regular visitor.

In 1687 the manor was purchased by John Lethieullier whose son Smart became one of the greatest antiquaries (collector of antiques) of the eighteenth century. Smart inherited Wangey in 1737.

When the new railway station was built and the railway widened much of the house was demolished. The last remaining wing was knocked down in 1937.

Right: John Donne
Above: Wangey House.

Prints and text about Whalebone House.

The text reads: Whalebone House was one of the oldest and most interesting houses in Chadwell heath. It stood on the High Road between Gordon and Albany Roads. Built during Tudor times, its most distinctive feature was the whalebone on each side of the gate. There was also a whale’s rib bone by a mile stone at the side of the road in Chadwell, which was a useful landmark for many years. The whalebones are said to have been washed up at Dagenham Breach.

In 1648 Oliver Cromwell and his officers are thought to have stayed at Whalebone House on their way to the siege of Colchester.

Whalebone House was demolished by enemy action in 1941, when its Tudor origins were revealed. The Whalebones were rescued by an ARP Warden and are now at the main entrance to Valence House Museum, Dagenham.

Left: Oliver Cromwell
Above: Whalebone House.

Illustrations and text about William Kemp.

The text reads: William Kemp, the comic actor who played Shakespeare’s greatest comic creations, passed this way in 1599 during his ‘Nine Days Wonder’, when danced all the way from London to Norwich.

He announced he would dance a morris dance from London to Norwich as a wager. He left London accompanied by Thomas Slye ‘taberer’, William Bee, his servant, and George Sprat, his ‘overseer’. Bad weather and exhaustion caused delays and it took 23 days for him to reach Norwich, although only nine days were spent actually dancing.

The Mayor of Norwich arranged a great welcome for him and gave him not only ‘five pounds in Elizabethan angels’, but a pension for life of 40 shillings.

Reports of his exploits were sold everywhere. Much to Kemp’s annoyance they were extremely inaccurate, and this prompted him to write his own account. The title ran, Kemps Nine Daies Wonder Performed in Daunce from London to Norwich… Written by himselfe to satifie his friends, London.

Kemp was the first to perform such Shakespearian characters as Dogberry, Touchstone, Justice Shallow, and the Gravedigger in Hamlet – ‘Let those that play your clowns speak no more than is put down to them’ – is thought to have been directed at him.

Kemp later danced his way through France, and hot-footed it through Venice and Rome. He stands, or jigs, as the great original of all fun-runners and charity walkers.

A print and text about Henry Glindoni.

The text reads: The painter Henry Gillard Glindoni moved to Chadwell Heath in 1891. His home and studio were on the corner of Mill Lane and Whalebone Lane North.

Born in Kennington Lane in 1852, he was one of five children orphaned at an early age. His grandfather, Robert Glindoni, was a well-known comic singer and comedian, and it was his influence that led to Henry Glindoni appearing on stage at the tender age of four.

He spent many of his early years working in the theatre and supplemented his income by sketching the actors and actresses. In his teens, whilst working for a photographer, he began to study art at the Working Men’s College, Great Ormond Street.

Whilst studying there Glindoni met the art critic and writer John Ruskin, and also the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

In 1872 Glindoni exhibited at the Royal Academy. However it was not until 1897 that his work attracted wide attention.

He became a member of the Society of British Artists in 1879, and an Associate of the Royal Society of Painters and Watercolours in 1883.

Although his work is not likely to meet critical approval today, he was a good painter, exploiting the sentiment of his time; he obtained wide popularity and success. Some of his work can be seen in the Valence House Museum, Dagenham.

A piece of text about the arrival of the railway.

The text reads: The station at Chadwell Heath opened on 11th January 1864, and was the first station in Dagenham.

The railway line had been built 25 years earlier, when there were only about 100 houses in the area. An engine house was established at Whalebone Lane, but this was moved to Romford in 1852.

In 1843 the Eastern Counties railway was extended to Colchester. The company was never very prosperous and in 1862 it merged with most of the other East Anglian railways to form the Great Eastern railway, which survived until 1922.

Shortly after the formation of the Great Eastern Railway Company, a local resident, Mr Wroughton of Wangey House, organised a petition to request the opening a station between Ilford and Romford. The Railway Company agreed.

The building of the station required the demolition of part of Wangey House. The unfortunate Mr Wroughton, who had lost some of his house, had cause for further complaint on completion. The station was so low that the privacy of his garden had been destroyed. The Railway Company was sympathetic, but did nothing, until 1879 when more of Wangey House was demolished to allow the railway to be widened to four tracks.

Further demolition was required in 1901 when the station was built.

A photograph of the railway station, Chadwell Heath, c1908.

A print of Chadwell Heath.

Photographs of the Old Mill, Chadwell Heath, c1910.

A photograph of High Road, Chadwell Heath, c1930.

A photograph of High Road, Chadwell Heath, c1912.

A photograph of Chadwell Heath, c1930.

A photograph of the Parish Church of St Chad, c1910.

An external view of the pub – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk