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.
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.
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).
Miss Rebecca Halley Cheetham was the first warden of the Canning Town Women's Settlement for 25 years from 1892.
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).
Charles E. Cranfield was Town Clerk of West Ham from 1929 to 1945 and seen here in his wig and robes of office
Frederick Joseph Eid, of 37 Albert Road, Silvertown, was born on 17th July 1906 and died 16th June 1979. Mr Eid served in the Guards as a regular soldier between the wars, transferring to the Royal Tank Regiment and later to the Royal Army Service Corps (In this photograph he is wearing the RTR shoulder flash and tank badge). His medals are: 1939-45 Star; Africa Star (a clasp is missing from this, which was probably awarded for service in the 8th Army); Italy Star; the Defence Medal and War Medal.
The Eid family came to Britain from Prussia. According to the 1891 census Jacob Eid was a baker and he and his wife, Louisa, lived at 36 Andrew Street, Silvertown. The 1901 census lists the family at 40 Constance Street, as a grocer and baker. By 1949 this was Eid Bros., bakers. The family continued trading into the 1960s from a shop in Cranbrook Road, West Silvertown.
Part of Newham Heritage & Archives collection
The former Passmore Edwards Museum had an active archaeology section and a busy school loans service. Here we see a member of the museum staff at work.
George Broadley was officer in charge, Stretcher Parties, West Ham Casualty Service. He was involved in incidents at South Hallsville School Holborn Road and Jersey Road.
He was awarded the George Medal 4th April 1941. The George Medal is the second highest honour for bravery for a civilian. Also shown is his Defence Medal which was awarded for three years service in Great Britain, six months abroad or three months in a mine or bomb-disposal units. (attachment shows reverse of the medals)
Part of Newham Heritage & Archives collection