Unemployment had been growing in West Ham since the early twentieth century, leaving many unhappy and struggling to survive. Failed efforts by the government and local authorities to relieve this poverty were causing dissatisfaction amongst many of the unemployed.
Benjamin Cunningham, a labour councillor, decided to do something about it. In July 1906, he led fourteen unemployed men to an area of wasteland between North Street Passage and St Mary’s Road in Plaistow. The land was divided into four triangles, inspiring the name ‘Triangle Camp’. By the end of the day, twenty men were working on the land, preparing to …
East London Gay Liberation Front
The East London Gay Liberation Front, which worked throughout Newham made important contributions to the gay community in the 1970’s. The story of the movement is a complicated one, as it evolved from a London Group to a more localised effort that had many different faces.
The Gay Liberation Front first started in New York in 1969 after the Stonewall riots. Soon it spread across the USA and over to the United Kingdom, with the first meeting being held in the basement of LSE on October 13 1970. By January 1971, around 500 people attended the …
Women’s Rights and Newham
In the late nineteenth century the area now known as Newham was full of key figures in the struggle for female suffrage. This story is about those remarkable people who fought and won new rights for women.
Women’s Suffrage Society meetings had been held at Stratford Town Hall from the late 1880s, but in 1906 Sylvia Pankhurst set up a branch of the radical Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in Canning Town. She did this with the help of James Keir Hardie, Labour MP for West Ham and supporter of gender equality and women’s suffrage. …
Kicks Project - West Ham United Founation
The West Ham United Foundation Kicks programme began as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police in 2006, with the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with local young people.
The vision was to build safer, stronger, more respectful communities through the development of young peoples' potential, guiding youngsters who may have otherwise fallen through the cracks, towards a range of healthy and constructive habits.
Newham is in the heart of east London and one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. It …
Canning Town Women's Settlement
The Canning Town Women’s Settlement movement was founded by Reverend Samuel Barnett in the late 19th century. The basis for the movement was that personal involvement is central to tackling poverty.
The Settlements were usually linked to a university or public school with students encouraged to settle in areas of social deprivation, and work alongside fellow residents to improve the quality of life for everyone. At the end of the 19th century, many settlement projects had begun to emerge. A prominent example of this was the Canning Town Women’s Settlement which was the idea of F. …