The ironwork on the canopy support shows the initials of the first railway company that opened the station in 1858 - the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway. Much of the original Victorian station architecture has been retained
This is the first station building on this line that looks different. It was rebuilt in 1902 when the station became part of the London Underground and was taken over by the District Line. When the station first opened the area was described as a 'scattered village' but due to the new railway the population increased by over 7000% according to the census of 1911!
The station exits onto a long High Street.
East Ham is in the London Borough of Newham. It is a multicultural area with a majority of Caribbean and South Asians, African and Eastern European residents. In 2010 East Ham was noted as having the fourth highest level of unemployment in the country. Around 7 in 10 children are from low income families making it the worst area in the country for child poverty.Newham is a London Borough that experiences significant problems with poverty and inequality. 35.6% of employees are low paid, the highest percentage in London and the poverty rate is 37% - ten percentage points higher than the London average. However the number of affordable homes has increased in the last five years and the unemployment rate has also dropped. (Information from Trust for London.)
I turned right as I left the station and just 100m along the High Street was this Hindu Temple.
On the other side of the High Street is a 99p store, above which is a Masjid or Mosque.
Most of the fashion shops catered for an Asian community.
Another place of worship on the High Street was this church which turned out to be a community centre run by the Kingdom Mandate Ministries.
As I looked in through the open door I was greeted by a man vacuuming the floor who beckoned me in. He was very keen to tell me about the centre and explain all its functions and activities. On Saturdays it was used by Muslims who were taught the Quran and on Sundays it was used by Christians studying the bible.
ions for the whole community. It was also a food bank and distributed food to the needy. It truly was a centre for the whole community.
I left the High Street to have a look at the side streets which were full of cars as these houses were built long before every household owned at least one car.
|Manor Park Spiritualist church|
I walked down a couple of side streets and ended up at Plashet Park. Every area has at least one park. Plashet Park was originally the grounds of the 18th Cent Wood House. The land was acquired for the park in 1889 and opened to the public in 1891. The original layout of paths and trees remains but some features such as the bandstand and fountains have now gone. New facilities were added and in 1964 a small zoo opened with Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, wallabies, Shetland ponies and an aviary and butterfly house. This was closed in the 1990s. The current facilities in the park include tennis courts, a children's playground and a bowling green.
|The main entrance to the Passmore Edwards Building.|
At the end of the street is a pedestrian bridge over the railway. I have to admit I would not be walking around here during the dark and even in daylight I didn't feel particularly safe.
This 1930s building used to be Burton's menswear.
At the end of the High Street is Newham Town Hall. A beautiful ornate Grade II listed Edwardian building which was opened in 1903 by the philanthropist, Passmore Edwards.
Time to return to the tube station. My abiding memory of East Ham will be the number of places of worship and the community projects helping to create harmony within the town.