Every ten years since 1841 a census has been taken of households in the country. Here is a short account by one enumerator working in East Ham, taken from the Stratford Express, 18th May 1901:
EXPERIENCES OF A CENSUS ENUMERATOR
The great increase of population throughout the West Ham division and the East Ham sub-division induced us to "look up" a "Census man," and ascertain from him something respecting the alleged overcrowding with any other items of interest. Although somewhat reticent at first, fearing to incur the pains and penalties of "divulging" or affording information, he eventually "opened out" avoiding names of persons or streets.
"Twas a poorly paid job," he said, "in fact not yet paid for, and nothing would induce me to 'hook on' again. However, as I had secured an appointment there was nothing left for me but to carry out my contract to the best of my ability. I knew my district thoroughly, and was also pretty well known, and this fact made the work of delivering the schedules somewhat easier than it would otherwise have been. Children at play in the streets would rush in to their parents, calling out, 'Mother here comes Mr.----- he is giving everybody blue papers and writin' sumfin on it.' This brought many folks to the doors and saved delay."
To say it was all plain sailing would however be incorrect, many persons considering it impertinence or impudence on the part of the local authorities to pry into their affairs. It was difficult to convince them that those papers were anything but a ruse to catch the unwary.
Typical older mid-terrace house once found in many parts of West Ham.
EAST HAM COUNCIL'S UNDERTAKINGS THE EAST HAM FIRE BRIGADE
East Ham, Plashet Park and Upton Park were quite different places in the 1880s. These memories are taken from a tape recorded by Mr Patterson in 1972, when he was aged 91.
When working-class people did not have as many holidays as they do today, they made the most of their days off, such as an outing on August Bank Holiday.
Romford Road Congregational Church, Forest Gate, participated in important national events.
The First World War helped the cause of the women's suffrage movement. During the war women took on the jobs usually done men and their efforts had helped to win it.
Land Grabbers at their camp for the unemployed in the St Mary's Road/Queens Road area of Plaistow.
Copy of the resolution for Freedom of the Borough of East Ham. 22nd May 1906. Conferred on Andrew Carnegie Esq L.L.D., as a recognition of the services rendered by him to the Borough. (Acceptance attached.)
From Newham Heritage & Archives collection.
This public house in Stratford Broadway changed its name because of anti-German feeling in the First World War.