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.
Plans have been announced that the Australian Olympic team are going to set up their Headquarters in Newham for the 2012 Games at the new Westfield Centre at Stratford, well the Sporting stars of Australia had a `second home` with West Ham (now Newham) for many years.
Since the arrival of Speedway (Dirt Track) Racing from Australia in 1928, invented by the Great Australian Showman Johnnie Hoskins in 1923, the Australians have always seen West Ham as being a` Home` for their Champions.
The first-ever Speedway meeting at West Hams Custom House Stadium in July 1928 showed three Australians who were to become Champions in Great Britain, Paddy Dean (who won the West Ham Invitation Handicap at this meeting), Billy Galloway and `Buzz` Hibbard (who became a member of the first West Ham team in 1929 along with another Aussie, Les Maguire).
Later, a young Australian called Arthur Wilkinson arrived and became a member of the team.
He was to become West Ham’s First World Speedway Champion in 1938, and know to all as `Bluey`.
On the evening of 8 April, 1953, signal failures led to delays on the Central line, with drivers again following 'stop and proceed' rules. However, a train heading eastbound towards Epping ploughed into the back of a stationary train waiting in the tunnel between Stratford and Leyton just before 7pm, leaving twelve passengers dead and many wounded.
The driver was hurt but survived and was later charged with having ignored the 'stop and proceed' rules by a Public Inquiry.
It was the 6.55 Epping train which run into the back of a Hainaught bound train.
Seem the driver passed a signal at Red, and because the tunnel curves round he did not see the other train which was standing still until it was too late.
There are various reports on the incident which states 12 killed, but the British Pathe News states 8 adults and one child.
Amongst the 42 who were injured was the driver of the Epping Train who had to have his leg Amputated
MEMORIES OF THE 1953 FLOODS BY MS. M. YATES OF MORGAN STREET, CANNING TOWN