Rathbone Cinema

Canning Town Cinema Hall


Cinema-going was extremely popular throughout the twenties and thirties, with people going two or three times a week to enjoy the glamour of Hollywood and the plush interiors of the cinemas. Canning Town actually had one of the first purpose-built cinemas, opened in 1909 in Rathbone Street.

Rathbone Cinema

Boxing at Mansfield House 1931

Boxing at Mansfield House in 1931. Boxing was one of the many recreational activities encouraged at Fairbairn Hall, Barking Road, run by the Mansfield House Settlement.

Boxing at Mansfield House 1931

Silvertown Explosion Casualties

Impromtu Surgery on the Barking Road deals with casualties of the Silvertown Explosion at the Brunner Mond factory January 19th 1917.

Silvertown Explosion Casualties

Custom House School Memorial

Memorial stone in East London Cemetery to eight Civil Defence workers who were killed during an air raid at Custom House School, April 1941. Several streets in Canning Town are named after the men, such as Appleby Road on the Keir Hardie estate.

Custom House School Memorial

Meeson

John Meeson was the first Mayor of the newly -formed County Borough of West Ham, 1886-87.

Meeson

Judiciary

West Ham had its own senior judge for many years.


The picture is of the Recorder's procession in 1953 in Church Street, having left West Ham Church it is going to the Court House in West Ham Lane. In front is the beadle, and the procession is headed by George E. Smith, Town Clerk and Clerk of the Peace (who later became the first Town Clerk of Newham), and Alderman William Gillman, Mayor, followed by Walter Raeburn, Esq., Q.C., the Recorder, and his Clerk. Arthur Lewis, MP for North West Ham can be seen together with Aldermen the Mesdames Parsons, Harris, Cook and Barnes; the aldermen are followed by the councillors.


In 1889 West Ham became a County Borough under the Local Government Act, 1888. This Act established County Councils which took over the ancient administrative functions of the county Quarter Sessions. Essex County Council is formed.


In1894 West Ham is granted its own Quarter Sessions of the Peace with its own Recorder and obtained its own Coroner the following year. The sittings dealt with criminal cases and administrative matters such as licensing.


Quarter Sessions - as the name suggests - were held four times a year in each county and county borough. The terms were Epiphany (January), Easter (April), Midsummer (July) and Michaelmas (October).


A Recorder was a senior judge of some important urban centre and was a part-time appointment as the office holder was usually a distinguished lawyer with their own practice.  The position carried a great deal of prestige.

Judiciary

William Paton

A Christian Socialist, William Paton was known in West Ham as a 'politician, organiser, and above all as an outstanding orator.' He came to Silvertown as a Christian minister in 1934 and quickly became socially and politically active.

William Paton

Hilleary

This image shows the impressive mien of Frederick E. Hilleary who was the first Town Clerk of West Ham, serving from 1886 to 1913. His was a part-time appointment throughout and he combined it with a practice in the City and several other local official appointments. As Clerk to the Local Board, 1874-86, he conducted the negotiations for incorporation (to which there had been a great deal of opposition) and guided the new Borough through the legislative and administrative development of its first 25 years. Frederick's son George Edward Hilleary became West Ham's third Town Clerk (1915-29).

Hilleary

Cheetham

Miss Rebecca Halley Cheetham was the first warden of the Canning Town Women's Settlement for 25 years from 1892.

Cheetham

Avenons

Avenons Road (seen here in the 1960s) was built on six acres of marsh pasture land that were owned by Nicholas Avenon a merchant tailor of London who died in 1599.


He conveyed to 12 trustees by a deed of 1580, six acres of marsh called Withering's mead. After his death the income from this land was to provide 24 poor persons with a penny loaf each Sunday, with any residue going towards an annual sermon to be preached in the parish church. The charity has had a complex history, with controversy arsing at various times. Development of the land took place between 1881 and 1897 and, when completed, the estate in Avenons Road, Hayday Road, Ingal Road and Denmark Street comprised the sites of about 140 houses, let on building leases.


(Image and text: Newham Heritage Service. More information about Avenon's charity can be found in West Ham 1886 - 1986, published by the London Borough of Newham).

Avenons
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