Leaving the straightened Roding, I follow Woodford Bridge Road round past the pet hospital and into the streets of Clayhall. The streets are wide and straight, laid out all at once as part of London's great prewar expansion. Leaving the cobble-brick sea of the East End, here people found a haven of gardens (Highcliffe Gardens, Highwood Gardens; Babbacombe, Widecombe Gardens; Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere, Derwent, Coniston, Keswick Gardens) evoking the wild country, but laid out in neat rows, awaiting the keen rake. Gardens to be proud of.
And between the gardens, the lanes, which were here before the houses, whose names are practical and direct (Beehive Lane, Redbridge Lane, Wanstead Lane), which still curve around the memory of fields.