John Knight & Co
From his humble origins as a grocer on the Mile End road, to an international connoisseur of British soap making, the story of John Knight and his soaps is a story of a great British craft, industrial change in London’s East End, and one man’s vision to make essential products accessible to all.
Although soap had been recognised as an important domestic and industrial product since the medieval ages, a tax on the product meant that it was largely considered a luxury for the wealthier classes. John Knight’s formula however, made soap more widely accessible for …
Shrewsbury Road Special Day School
In the year 1924, Newham became home to the Shrewsbury Road Special Day School. Originally built in 1887, nearly forty years later it was decided by the East Ham Education Committee that it was imperative to have a school for scholars with special educational needs.
The derelict building was repainted and remodelled to finally give birth to the Special Day School. Over the years, the school became a thriving educational body. A range of classes were assigned for boys and girls, including extra-curricular classes such as wood work, boot repair, gardening, and music lessons. Classrooms were …
Goodmayes Hospital and Thomas Harry David Arie
When West Ham became an independent borough in the late 1800s, one of the first decisions the council took was to establish that the new area should dispose of its own asylum for mentally ill paupers. To this end, a small farm located in Ilford was purchased, with the intent of transforming it into an asylum.
Architect Lewis Angel was hired to redesign the farm and work started in 1898, only to be completed in 1901, when the asylum started admitting its first patients. In 1918 the asylum changed its name to the West Ham Mental …
In 1983, a group of Newham parents channelled their frustration about the low levels of educational achievement within the borough to form an education charity. Newham Education Concern (NEC) was duly established in 1973. They went on to establish
The Newham Parent's Centre in 1975 and part of their work involved the recognition that establishing a shop which sold educational books and materials would be a positive and non-stigmatising way of welcoming individuals who wanted to access support for their own and their children's educational needs.
So began thirty-eight years of bookselling in Newham …
Thames Ironworks originated in 1837 as the Ditchburn and Mare Shipbuilding Company in Deptford. One year later, it moved north of the river, near to Bow Creek, where it remained until its closure in 1912. In 1857 the company was acquired by Peter Rolt and re-named Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd; over that decade it became the largest ship builder on the Thames.
Described as the Leviathan Workshop by the Mechanics’ Magazine in 1861, it mainly produced warships, receiving commissions from the Admiralty, countries part of the Ottoman Empire, as well as Italy, …
The Royal Docks
The Royal Docks of Newham are sites of historic and contemporary significance and collectively form the largest enclosed docks in the world. Long before the rest of the city was considered multicultural, the stream of workers from Ireland, Scotland and abroad left a lasting footprint in the borough which can still be seen today in Newham’s wonderfully diverse population.
The Docks or ‘Royal Docks’ in Newham are concentrated in the Silvertown and North Woolwich area, named after the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock. The Victoria Dock was the …