About 20 Years ago Andy Walpole published online his People's History of Harold Hill. It is no longer available online. The image and text below were taken directly from Andy's original post. There are no credits for the photo or the quote so I don't know of either of their origins. Andy may have interviewed Dr Mitchell at the time. Dr Mitchell was long lived and I heard some time ago he was approaching 100 years old.

   Del Smith,  March 2020.


Doctor J.B. Mitchell

Dr. J.B. Mitchell was one of first, and probably longest serving doctors in Harold Hill. He practiced in a residential house on Whitchurch Road until the Health Centre on Gooshays Drive was built in the late 1950s. Of his early experiences practicing in Harold Hill, he said:

"Every house was allocated long before it was finished so it took me 12 months before I found my own premises. The government or the medical people wouldn't help - ‘It’s nothing to do with us,’ they would say. The council wouldn’t help either. There was a chap who sat in an office at the edge of Gooshays Drive. He was supposed to allocate houses, and he did allocate houses but I had to go to his office and almost get down on bended knees. Of course I couldn’t practice without premises. My father-in-law was a manager of a national bank in Romford and he said, “This isn’t good enough, I’ll have a word with Dr. Woodhouse.” I didn’t know Dr. Woodhouse then, but he was the leading light in Romford at that time. So one day Dr. Woodhouse turned up in his car and said, ‘Come on, we’re going out to find a house. ’ So we drove around until we found a house that looked as if it was nearly finished and I sped back to the agent’s office and I booked it and we managed to get one like that but it took quite a few attempts because they were already gone before we got there.”