The parade on Station Road has been North Chingford’s main shopping centre for almost 150 years.
Still often referred to as “The Village “ by some locals, many shops have come and gone over the years, but some are still affectionately remembered to this day including Brimble’s book shop and Uglows department store. Shoppers never had to leave the village, as everything could be purchased from the vast variety of shops.
From army soldier to photographer and author – the tale of the famous Mr Brimble!
Mr James Arthur Brimble owned a newsagents shop in the 1930’s at 52 Station Road. This popular local shop sold a variety of books, stationery, papers and maps and was the only store like this on the high street.
At the age of 17, James Arthur Brimble, was called up for his country for the First World War and joined the Machine Gun Corps. However, during his recovery in hospital from an ankle injury in June 1917, he missed a major campaign in which most of his Corps were killed in action.
After the war, James took an active interest in photography and joined the Royal Photographic Society. This launched him into success with his photos published in various magazines including Country Life, The Austin and Essex Countryside.
With James’s love for Epping Forest, in 1950, Country Life commissioned James to produce a book on the forest called “London’s Epping Forest” to include newly commissioned maps and photographs. The book was so successful that it was reprinted in colour and the maps lifted into a separate pocket map. Another three revised versions of the book were published by James himself, with the latest published in 1968.
James Arthur Brimble uncovered the secrets & beauty of the Forest to the public like no one before, and should be considered as the unsung hero of Epping Forest.
Although the forest was opened to the public back in 1878 by Queen Victoria as the “People’s Forest”, Brimble suggests in his book that “the Londoners whose forest it is, and even those who live around its borders, know little of its charms and secrets”.