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Newham in the PastAbout NewhamThe London Borough of Newham was created in 1965 out of the Essex county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham. These

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Newham in the Past About Newham The London Borough of Newham was created in 1965 out of the Essex county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham. These were rural villages until a century ago, and fortunately the medieval parish churches and a few other ancient buildings survive as a reminder of this rustic past. The area has always been a gateway between London and Essex, with farm animals and food produce being raised or passing through Newham for London markets and manufactured goods coming out of London to serve local needs. The availability of water power (the River Lea) and the absence of strict London guild controls saw Newham grow in the 17th and 18th centuries as an industrial area, with workshops - such as the famous Bow China factory - built along the Lea valley. In the 19th century, when the Royal Docks were built as the hub of imports and exports for the whole British Empire and as other industries grew rapidly thanks to good railway connections, vast numbers of people from Essex and beyond moved into Newham in search of work. West Ham in particular was a major manufacturing centre with chemical, pharmaceutical, retail, railway and printing industries. East Ham was strongly residential, and has a distinctive Victorian and Edwardian architectural heritage, notably its magnificent Italianate town hall. ...read more.


between Bow and Barking Creeks and only one road stretching from East Ham village to the river. During the excavation of the Royal Victoria Dock hazel, oak and yew trees were found in a bog as well as British and Roman coins, a 27 foot canoe, a millstone, a Roman urn, a circular tin shield and many animal bones including those of a whale. URBANISATION It was in the mid-1800s that the came to life. In 1847 the well known Victorian engineer George P.Bidder completed his railway from Stratford to North Woolwich. This new line, which south of Canning Town followed the line of what is now Silver town Way and North Woolwich Road, was called "Bidders Folly" because it passed through completely undeveloped marshland. But George Bidder sensed the potential of the area and soon he'd bought up the whole of the marshes between Bow Creek and Galleons Reach. He called the area "Lands End" and soon his investment was showing a handsome return as the land was sold for the docks and for a belt of factories along the River. Early Industrial ...Ventures The demand for land for factories here was encouraged, perhaps, by the Metropolitan Building Act 1844 which prohibited "harmful trades" within London. One of the first to arrive, in 1852, was Samuel Silver's waterproof clothing ...works which gave its name to the Silver town district. ...read more.


Between the wars the Council sought to alleviate some of the worst aspects of housing and poverty through a programmed of slum clearance and health promotion. New houses with modern facilities were built and new services including clinics, nurseries and the lido were opened. The long delays faced by traffic were reduced by the construction of new approach roads to the Docks - including Silver town Way which was Britain's first flyover and the Silver town By-Pass. The area suffered very badly from bombing during the Second World War. Even before the War ended plans for re-development were being drawn up by West Ham Council. The aim was to reduce the population, transfer industry and provide new housing such as that on the Keir Hardie Estate which included also schools and welfare services. Housing schemes in the early post war years followed a 'garden city' pattern with low density housing. But supply could not keep up with demand and in 1961 the first high-rise units appeared in Canning Town followed by Scrapbook Point and Dunlop Point in Silver town (1967) and others which took their names from firms that had been in the areas where they now stood, such as Albion and Brocklebank tower blocks in North Woolwich. The collapse of one of the blocks - Ronan Point - in 1968 led to a rethink on high density housing and most of the tall blocks have since been demolished or cut down in size. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gayathri Krishnarajah 10.O Mr. Caswell ...read more.

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