An Impression of James Keir Hardie and his Constituency a year before he was elected in 1892, gives a flavour of what the area was like in Victorian times.
Working in a jam-making factory was hard work, read the account of one woman's experience, who also lost her job because of her suffragette activities.
These women, photographed c.1910, are employed in the box making room at John Knight's Primrose Soap Works in Silvertown.
Sack hook frequently used in the docks or corn merchants. It was hooked into a sack (usually then made of hessian), which was then lifted onto a man's back to carry. Sometimes me would work in pairs shifting a consignment onto pallets for lifting by crane. Whichever way - it was heavy work.
My father was born in Little Albany Street, N.W.1. When first married at the beginning of this [20th] century, he managed a small shop at Hampstead, plus being a part-time postman. The income from this was not enough to live on. He came to Stratford New Town like thousands of other men to seek work on the expanding railway works called the Great Eastern Locomotive Carriage and Wagon Building and Repair Works. Unskilled men were taken on and started by sweeping the shop floor, then after a time, applied for a semi-skilled job to get more money. My father became a holder-up in the boiler repair section of the locomotive department.
I was born in 1903 and started going to school at 3½ years, walking from Chandos Road where we lived then, to Queen Street, St. Paul's Church Infant School. Colegrave Road School was nearer but the boys were rougher. At the age of seven, it was up into the big boy's school, in Maryland Road. The Headmaster was Mr Heather, J. P. On arrival at school in the morning, about 400 boys lined up in the playground in four rows. Mr Heather walked behind the rows of boys to see if they had washed behind their ears and cleaned the backs of their shoes. Being a church school we had about an hour's scripture - R.E. - every morning, also for homework we had four sums to do and a painted heading on the top of the page of the exercise book each night. Friday was assembly, when Mr Heather gave a talk and we did part-singing which I enjoyed.