Goodmayes, Redbridge

A multiracial satellite of eastern Ilford, separated from the Becontree estate by Goodmayes Park

Clock Tower
Clock Tow­er, AD2000

Con­ven­tion­al wis­dom has it that the name derives from John Gode­may, a 14th-cen­tu­ry landown­er. How­ev­er, local his­to­ri­an Peter Foley argues that Gode­may took his name from the place, not the oth­er way around. Cit­ing anoth­er local place name, May­field, Foley sug­gests a link to the herba­ceous dye-plant mad­der (Rubia tinc­to­rum).

Like neigh­bour­ing Sev­en Kings, this was emp­ty farm­land until the end of the 19th cen­tu­ry when local devel­op­er Cameron Cor­bett (lat­er Baron Rowallen) laid out the May­field estate south of the rail­way line. Corbett’s Scot­tish ori­gin shows in the names of many of the streets. To ensure the suc­cess of his project, he pressed for a rail­way sta­tion to serve the area and this opened in 1901. Shop­ping parades fol­lowed, on the High Road and Good­mayes Road.

In 1909 Angli­can ser­vices began to be held in what is now All Saints church hall. The present brown-brick church was con­se­crat­ed in 1913.

Tesco opened a super­store in 1987 on land for­mer­ly occu­pied by rail­way sid­ings. Oth­er than that and a hand­ful of com­pact blocks of flats, there have been few notable changes to Good­mayes’ pri­mar­i­ly Edwar­dian streetscape.

Shown in the pho­to­graph above,* a stumpy clock tow­er was erect­ed at the junc­tion of Green Lane and Good­mayes Lane to com­mem­o­rate the mil­len­ni­um. As the cross that sur­mounts it may sug­gest, its con­struc­tion was fund­ed by a Chris­t­ian group.

In 2012 the Eman Foun­da­tion was grant­ed plan­ning per­mis­sion for a new mosque on Ash­grove Road. How­ev­er, it may be some while before the nec­es­sary funds can be raised in order for it to be built.

In a rel­a­tive­ly recent trans­for­ma­tion, only a quar­ter of Goodmayes’s pop­u­la­tion is now white and the next largest eth­nic minor­i­ty is of Indi­an ori­gin. Islam, Chris­tian­i­ty, Sikhism and Hin­duism are the main reli­gious faiths, in that order at the last cen­sus. Three-quar­ters of homes are own­er-occu­pied.

Shiraz Bailey Wood lives in Goodmayes. She is the protagonist of Grace Dent’s popular ‘Diaries of a Chav’ series of books for teens.

Postcode area: Ilford, IG3
Population: 13,069 (2011 census)
Station: TfL Rail (zone 4)
Further reading: Peter Foley, Seven Kings and Goodmayes: Origins and Early Development, Heptarchy, 1993
Website: Goodmayes Residents Association
* The picture of Goodmayes clock tower on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright Malc McDonald, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is hereby freely permitted under the terms of that licence.