This section is dedicated to the history of Walthamstow. We will feature occasional posts about the colourful history of the area. These will mostly be written by guess writers, as indicated on the posts.

Waltham Forest census data

Our blog post about the 2011 Census contains a couple of links to sources of historical statistics about Waltham Forest. There is information from the 2001 Census, as well as social trends stretching back to the 1880s. Read the blog post here.

Walthamstow wine

Not strictly a post, but an article we came across on the Waltham Forest Guardian blog. It seems that in 1667, Walthamstow wine was all the rage. Check out the article, by Daniel Binns, here.

The Tottenham Outrage

Picture of the Tottenham Outrage

Scene of the Tottenham Outrage

Waltham Forest has much in the way of historical stories. The story of the Tottenham Outrage comes from Hale End, which was the original settlement of those parts before the railway line made Highams Park the more prominent name.

On 23rd January 1909 two armed Latvian robbers, Paul Helfeld and Jacob Lepidus, pulled off a wage snatch of £80 (worth about £3000 in today’s money) at the rubber factory in Tottenham.

During the two-hour long chase of the criminals across the Tottenham Marshes guns were fired, two people were killed and 20 were injured. Vehicles hijacked included a milk cart, a grocer’s cart and lastly a number 9 tram which eventually stopped on Chingford Road. The chase was a desperate one ending along Hale End Road. The cottage on the green pictured below, stood on the The Royal Oak’s car park, which is where the story ended.  The robbers had been separated and here Jacob Lepidus entered the Rolstone’s family home and, in desperation, shot himself, dying in hospital the following month.

Incidentally, the money they stole was never found but is rumoured to be somewhere in Beech Hall Road!

As such bravery was shown during the episode a medal was devised to award the brave policeman who captured the desperados. Sadly, PC William Tyler was posthumously awarded his in 1977.

The 100th anniversary of the Outrage was commemorated in 2010 at the Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington where ethe graves of PC Tyler and the ten-year-old Ralph Jocelyne can be found. 500,000 people attended the funeral of the victims of this heist.

On the original Hale End village green (in Hale End Road) is placed an Interpretation Board which marks the spot where this unlikely story took place.

The Tottenham Outrage post is by Jane Morgan.

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