The Parade

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”.

Mr James Brimble


James Arthur Brimble used to develop his photographs in his bathtub at home.

Frank Uglow and his wife Louisa (Lulu) decided to open a drapery business, but where?

 They were aware that a lot of moneyed people worked in the city, so they looked for the shortest railway line from the square mile to green space, and yes it was the Chingford line.

They took a train to Chingford, admired the forest, the leafy avenues of fine houses, walked along Station Road and soon decided this was the place for them.

They opened their first shop at 37 (now re-numbered 77) Station Road in 1910 and moved into the flat above. Although the business was doing very well, Frank joined the army in the Great War where he fought in the trenches while his wife Lulu kept the business running.

In 1946 Uglows bought 54 Station Road, next door to Brimbles. There were now no less than 5 Uglow shops. Frank’s son, Dennis once described this as having a small department store with a road running down the middle.

The shops sold everything from ladies & gents fashions, to shoes, carpets, household linen and soft furnishings.

After some consolidation in the 1970s the business was focused at 26/30 Station Road (The Parade) from where Frank’s great-grandson, Peter Uglow, completely refurbished the store to include a new carpet and cookware department to the delight of their customers.

Brimble’s & Uglows were just one of a number of good traditional traders that could satisfy shoppers needs, without having to leave the village, as everything could be purchased from the parade.

Brimbles Book


Most of the shops on Station Road in the early 1900s belonged to the Chingford Tradesmen’s Association (formed 1904) whose aim was to ‘meet the requirements of their customers by obtaining as early as possible, any item not in stock. In so doing, hope to merit and receive the continued and increased support of the inhabitants of Chingford’.

Chingford Historical Society
Waltham Forest
HM Government
European Regional Development Fund