An article by Havering Local Studies Library describing the development of Haynes Park including the construction of the Bowls Club
Opening of Haynes Park Bowling Green and pavilion 1950. At the front, on the right in the blazer, is Sid Porter, the Parks Superintendent of Hornchurch UDC and prominent member of the new bowls club.
The 10.35 acres of Haynes Park is first included in the Park’s Superintendent’s report for Hornchurch in November 1936. The costs for wrought iron fencing of the park had reached £3,755 by October 1937. The committee meeting of 29th March 1938 reported that the “public footpath across Haynes Park would be stopped up” (it remains open).
Hornchurch Wanderers were the first football team granted permission to use a pitch at the park in August 1938, in November, pitch hire was set at a nominal 10s. On 30th August, the surveyor was instructed to prepare a lay-out of Haynes Park Recreation Ground. It was also reported that an entrance gate to the right-of-way to houses in Haynes Road was necessary. On 1st November 1938 it was agreed to instruct the Surveyor to provide a “suitable wooden bridge not less than 10 ft. wide over the River Ravensbourne to form the entrance to Haynes Park from Northumberland Avenue.
Wartime had an impact on the park. A shelter had been constructed by 19th March 1940. By September, around 9 acres in the park had been set aside for food cultivation – wheat and barley were sown. In July 1941 a further 3 acres in the park were ploughed for cultivation. In 1942, a Holidays at Home campaign saw parks right across the district set up for entertainment and “holiday fun”. 100 park chairs were moved to Haynes Park from Harrow Lodge and in July it was agreed that
“A paddling pool 20ft square in area, with sandpit surrounds of appropriate width on three sides and a concrete path on the remaining side be constructed in Haynes Park on a suitable site near the brook and in line with the children’s playground , water to be supplied to the pool from a fire hydrant” Railings were removed and until mid-1943 there was a National Fire Service Sub Station at the park.
With the war over, 1946 saw plans to reclaim the park for recreational use. At the Open Spaces and Amenities Committee held on 7th August 1946 a plan was established
a. That a roadway having a width of 12 feet be constructed from the entrance in Slewins Lane to the entrance in Northumberland Avenue and a tarmacadam footpath constructed from the entrance in Slewins Lane to the entrance in Haynes Road
-b. That an ornamental flower garden be provided in the narrow strip of land connecting the two main fields
-c. That three football pitches be constructed to the north of the land recently released from cultivation
-d. That four hard tennis courts be constructed to the south of the football pitches
-e. That a miniature golf course be constructed in the valley to the west of the football pitches
-f. That a paddling pool and sand pit be constructed to the west of the existing children’s playground
-g. That the field adjoining Slewins Lane should eventually be used only for the purpose of public recreation and the football pitch at present provided thereon removed and an ornamental flower border be provided on the slope fronting Slewins Lane.
The following year, a new layout for the park was approved “subject to provision being made for a bowling green”. The bowling green was clearly a great priority. The Ministry of Health were not prepared to assist with the cost but in October 1948 it was agreed to invite tenders for the work and the Surveyor was instructed to prepare a new scheme for the provision of a pavilion. Authorisation for the purchase of eighteen sets of woods (from Thomas Taylor of Glasgow) was given in November 1948. The bowling green, the first in the Hornchurch district, was opened in 1950.
By 1960 two hard tennis courts, a bowling green and pavilion, a miniature golf course, playground equipment, additional fencing, toilets, children’s swings and improved changing facilities had been added to the already established football pitches.
The last farmer at Haynes Park Farm, Arthur Swinbourn Wilkin died in 1941. In 1962, his wife, Lily Wilkin, died, at which point Hornchurch UDC purchased the site of the house. The Council extended the park and built Emerson Park Social Hall. Haynes Court was also built on the site for the Multistorey Housing Association Limited and was opened by Robert (Bob) Mellish M.P. the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Local Government on 14th December 1966. The architects were Thompson and Whitehead.
In 2019 Haynes Park was one of 14 parks in Havering to receive the Green Flag award which recognises excellence in parks and recreations spaces across Britain and the world.
This view of Haynes Park is looking towards Slewins Lane across the site where the bowling green would be built.
A view of the bowling green site, dug out and ready to be constructed
The bowling green in action, Haynes Park, Hornchurch c. 1950
Ralph Drewiit, groundskeeper of the bowling green at Haynes Park, Hornchurch
Here is a Link to a Video of 1952 about Hornchurch. It includes some footage of the Bowls Club. If you don't want to watch it right through them move to 20 min 40 sec for the bowls footage.
A general link to the Council website