Churchill and Wanstead, episode four

The tale of Winston Churchill’s relationships with Wanstead and his wider constituency – as seen through Wansteadium’s reading of David A Thomas’s increasingly interesting Churchill the Member for Woodford - is getting to the heart of the matter… war.

Episode four

Churchill lost the India issue. So he went back to the US for another three-month visit, a book and speaking tour. If nothing else, he had to make back some of the cash he had lost in the Wall St Crash. He got knocked down by a motorbike on Fifth Avenue (Manhattan, not Walthamstow). He took a long time to recover and spent 1934 warning “Germany is arming”. His relationship with his constituency was at times troubled – not everyone liked his lack of support for the government. He wrote: “There’s some trouble in south Chingford. Loughton chilly. Woodford magnificent.” Wanstead supported him solidly. Buckhurst Hill opposed him, and this especially irritated him. “The worst place is Buckhurst Hill,” he wrote, which here is completely taken out of context for effect.*  Others praised him as the “the most high profile opponent of socialism”. In the 1935 election, he again toured every inch of the vast Epping constituency, and again warned  widely of the dangers of Germany. He won his largest ever majority – and was in the seat for the next 10 years (there was no general election between 1935 and 1945). Later, in 1936, as more people became aware of the nature of the threat of Hitler, he said: “I hope you will not forget the speeches I made two or three years ago when Germany began to rearm. But none outside Epping listened to me then.”

*The fuller quotation is” [M]uch perturbation has been caused to many of our best friends in our constituencies. Hawkey has been very worried about the Epping Division… Epping is disaffected… The worst place is Buckhurst Hill where the Branch Committee is thoroughly disgruntled…”

(<a href=”;camp=1634&amp;creative=6738&amp;creativeASIN=071464143X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wansteadium-21&amp;linkId=LGJOX5AWPUPHZTS2″>Though out of print, the book can be bought from Amazon here, in physical or electronic form.</a>)

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