Odell Close, IG11


Alderman Herbert George Odell was a local businessman and politician, who served as the mayor of Ilford between 1930 and 1931. A resident of Goodmayes, he ran a number of eclectic local businesses such as an estate agent and a bookshop and was the proprietor of private “twopence a week” lending libraries. It was the latter business that proved his undoing, when it collapsed in 1936, leaving Odell being pursued for unpaid rates by a number of councils around England. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended on condition he made payments to the court. Asked why he did not file for bankruptcy, he stated that he had “held his head up for sixty years” and wanted to pay his debts. He was, however, put into receivership, making the final payment to his debtors in 1967. This street was laid out after 1950 in the grounds of Barking Hospital which was formerly Upney estate.

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