Why Havering is called Havering

On the steps of the Ministry in 1963 after agreeing on the name ‘London Borough of Havering’. Michael Leigh is pictured to the left of Godfrey Lagden MP who is giving the V for victory sign.

On moving to the newly built Upminster Park Estate in 1956, I was invited to join the Residents Association Committee and then asked to write the Rules as none existed. Having been elected in 1958 as one of the original R.A. Councillors, ultimately serving as Chairman of the Hornchurch Council’s Finance, Law and Parliamentary Committee, in 1963 I led a delegation which met Sir Keith Joseph, the Government Minister involved with determining the name of the new London Borough being created from the merger of the Hornchurch and Romford Councils, under the provisions of the London Government Act 1963.

Older residents may remember the motto ‘A Good Name Endureth’ on the former Hornchurch Council’s Coat of Arms. The name of the new authority was originally proposed by the Government to be the “London Borough of Hornchurch”, which was opposed by Romford Council.

Consequently, Godfrey Lagden, M.P. arranged for a delegation of Councillors from each Council to meet the responsible Minister, Sir Keith Joseph, to agree an acceptable alternative. The compromise was that historical connections with the Royal Liberty of Havering were an adequate reason for adopting the Havering title.

Although no longer an Upminster resident, and despite being now a nonagenarian, I remain interested in the area and the Association, having served not only as one of initial independent RA Councillors on the former Hornchurch Urban District Council but also having been privileged to have been elected to serve as the independent founding Chairman of the newly created London Borough of Havering, for the period of its inception from May 1964 to the end of March 1965.

Michael Leigh

 

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