Shaftesbury Retreat on Staples Road, Loughton, c1900.

Having started as tea rooms for the Epping Forest visitor, it was later purchased by the Ragged School Union to assist some of London’s most destitute children.

Over the following 50 years, the summer season would see train-loads of children come out from London to enjoy the forest and the benefit it brings.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Closed in 1939, the main cottage still stands today.

Follow Gary Stone on Twitter @loughtonhistory