Articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

The 'Woodford Meet' - photographs by Harry Gulliver

Woodford Meet June 1903
Woodford Meet, June 1903 Photograph Copyright © Copyright

Cycle enthusiasts meet in aid of charity

History House is very grateful to a contributor who has supplied these wonderful photographs taken by their ancestor, Harry Gulliver, who was an amateur photographer in the early 1900s.

Harry Gulliver lived in East London and was a newly married man when he began taking an interest in the new hobby of photography. He travelled through London and the home counties taking photographs of people, street scenes, churches, and the countryside.

These photographs are of the 'Woodford Meet'. An annual cycling parade held to raise money for local hospitals. Started in 1882 by the Essex Cycling Club, it continued (with a short break) until 1914, after which it stopped because of the First World War. It was not held again until the year 2000 when a smaller commemorative event was held.

Woodford Meet June 1903
Woodford Meet June 1903 Photograph Copyright © Copyright

The Woodford Meet started when members of cycling clubs and unattached riders would meet at the Castle Inn at Woodford Green and parade through Snaresbrook, Buckhurst Hill, and Chingford. Newspapers of the time reported that its popularity had grown to such an extent that on one day over 2000 cyclists from 48 cycling clubs took part.

It then was dropped for 5 years before being revived in 1898, this time with the addition of it also being a fancy-dress caranival. Prizes were awarded for the best dressed team and individuals.

Meanwhile, helpers armed with collecting boxes collected money from the watching crowds which numbered in their thousands. The money was donated to local hospitals.

The photographs by Harry Gulliver appear to have been taken on the route through what is now East London.

Woodford Meet June 1903
Woodford Meet June 1903 Photograph Copyright © Copyright

Woodford Meet June 1903
Woodford Meet June 1903 Photograph Copyright © Copyright

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