3. Edwin Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Hardy Amies at Gale Street Farm c. 1920
Edwin Hardy Amies at Gale Street Farmhouse

Edwin Hardy Amies was a fashion designer who rose to become official dressmaker to the Queen.

Born in Maida Vale, he came to Dagenham just after the First World War when his father, Captain Herbert William Amies was appointed resident agent by the London County Council to work on creating the Becontree Estate.

The family first lived at Gale Street Farmhouse (now demolished), and later settled at what is now called the White House in Green Lane. Hardy attended Brentwood School, travelling there each morning from Chadwell Heath Station.

Hardy’s mother had been a seamstress so he followed her into the fashion trade and rose to prominence as a designer in the 1930s. He served with the Special Operations Executive in Europe during the Second World War.

In 1946 he opened his own fashion house to international acclaim in London’s Savile Row.

He was knighted in 1989, and died in 2003 aged 93.