Romford’s War Memorial Social Club to get �5,000 of equipment from Hewes Security

Romford’s historical War Memorial Social Club received a boost last week when a local business donated thousands of pounds’ worth of security equipment to its renovation project.

The club, on Eastern Road, is being done up to mark its 60th anniversary next year – but has faced problems in the past with break-ins and vandalism. Hewes Security, which has a Romford office, has donated 11 CCTV cameras and a week’s labour to the club – worth more than �5,000.

Jai Sepple, who is assisting the club’s committee, said it was good to know the building would be protected. “Words couldn’t express it,” he told the Recorder. “We’ve had so many problems trying to make the place secure – it was one thing we didn’t think we’d be able to do.

“Security is incredibly expensive and we’re trying to spend the little bit of money we’ve got on decorating the hall.”

Hewes’ chairman Richard Hewes said he heard about the problems the club had experienced, which included people breaking in and using the hall as a toilet – and wanted to help put a stop to it.

“It’s just one of those things where you say yes,” he said. “I’m a Romford guy – I was born in Chadwell Heath and I used to go to Romford Market. My dad was in the war, too, and a close friend of mine was in the infantry and sailed around the Atlantic.

“So it just touched my heart.”

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Hewes will donate the labour hours, while their suppliers will donate the equipment. The firm, which is based on South Woodford Ferrers, will also maintain the building’s old burglar alarms.

The War Memorial Social Club was opened in 1953, funded by public subscription, to honour the Romford men and women who died in the Second World War. It now houses a theatre group and a weekly over-50s meeting.

Mr Sepple said he was appealing for other local firms to volunteer to help the club’s rejuvenation. “The police and community support have been fantastic,” he said, “but we’re still looking for local builders and plasterers.

“The whole place was built on the pledges of the people of Romford. So it would be nice to find out whether anyone can come forward.”