History of Canning Town East London

Like large parts of the East End, Canning Town once had a strong industrial heritage, but the area was originally marshland. As such, for many centuries, the only way to reach Canning Town was to boat or by paying to use a toll bridge. The area opened up in the early 19th century when the Barking Road was built.

This brought with it a larger bridge and more opportunities for connections with the rest of East London.

Before the reign of Queen Victoria, Canning Town had no real significance and it did not even get its name until the Victorian period. It is probably named after Charles Canning. He was a relatively famous and popular character at the time as he had successfully managed the Indian Mutiny in his role as Viceroy of India. Once the area started to be developed, however, it turned into a busy industrial and commercial hub.

Visit Canning Town in East London.

Royal Victoria Docks
Royal Victoria Docks

For example, in 1846, the North London train line brought higher levels of industrialisation to this area of the East End. Originally built to transport supplies from the local docks, the opening of the Barking Road passenger station, together with more housing construction, attracted more workers to the area’s chemical, shipbuilding and sugar refining factories. The football team that started in the local ironworks famously went on to become West Ham FC.

By 1855, Canning Town also had a new dock, the Royal Victoria Dock. However, the local water supply and sewage system was not designed to cope with the increasing number of local residents and businesses, and Canning Town became infamous for its slum living conditions, high poverty levels and outbreaks of smallpox and cholera due to its inadequate sanitary conditions.

History of Canning Town’s New Docks

London Docklands and Canary Wharf
London Docklands and Canary Wharf

The increased docklands and shipping activities brought in a new influx of local and overseas workers who needed housing, including a significant community of West African, Caribbean and Asian immigrants. At one point, Canning Town was home to the largest black community in London with over 100 families living in the area.

Many of the capital’s more dangerous industries were historically located in the East End, safely out of the way of the city of London and its more upmarket central areas. Charles Dickens described some of these industries as “offensive”.

This probably relates to the smells they created, as local businesses worked in gut spinning, varnish production and oil boiling at the time. Operating outside of the regulations of the city itself also made it easier for businesses to ignore housing and business regulations, sometimes leading to accidents.

Canning Town was no exception to this rule and the area was affected by a significant accidental explosion at an ammunition factory in nearby Silvertown. Although this accident resulted in a relatively low loss of life, it damaged tens of thousands of local buildings around the East End.

Housing in Canning Town

By the 1930s, housing conditions in Canning Town were so dire that the local council started a program to clear the slums and to provide better social conditions for local residents. Many slum properties were torn down, and new houses, nurseries, medical clinics and even a lido opened in the area.

The Second World War also badly affected the area and led to further redevelopment initiatives after the war. Much of the East End was a prime target for German bombers and it is estimated that over 85% of local housing stock was destroyed.

redevelopment initiatives after the war. Much of the East End was a prime target for German bombers and it is estimated that over 85% of local housing stock was destroyed.

Canning Town was also the scene of one of the worst bombing events in the war, although a government cover up at the time hid the full extent of the incident. In September 1940, local residents were sheltering in the basement of South Hallsville School during an air raid. They were staying in the school because they had been evacuated from their homes.

The school suffered from a direct hit burying all of the sheltering locals under piles of rubble. Reports at the time indicated that around 70 people died in the incident, but it is now believed that close to 600 people died on the site making this the worst civilian casualty rate in a bombing raid during the war.

Modern History: Canning Town Redevelopment

Due to redevelopment programs and damage sustained in the war, much of the housing in and around Canning Town is relatively modern; most rebuilding took the form of new council estates, including a number of high-rise tower blocks, which were popular at the time.

One high-rise block became well-known in the 1960s for all the wrong reasons when a gas explosion caused an entire corner of the block to collapse. It and its surrounding high-rises were demolished to make way for safer, and smaller, houses and the lessons learned from this accident changed the way that high-rises were built. Canning Town still remains a relatively deprived area and is undergoing continuing redevelopment.

523 thoughts on “History of Canning Town East London”

  1. Billy Adams, Jr.

    MY Grandfather, Billy Adams, was a Lightweight Champion from Canning Town, London. Became the Lightweight Champ of West Virginia (USA) and got Jack Dempsey to give his gloves to his son (my Dad). Billy Adams sparred at “sporting shows,’ most advertised was the world heavyweight champ “Battling Hooker’. He had to for the money; Professional or “Prize Fighting” was illegal. Would send pics but website does not allow.

    1. Hi Billy. I have just seen the posting you made in 2017 – better late than never!!

      My late Gran, Liz Porter (nee Adams) was the sister of Walter Adams, a very decent boxer, who emigrated to the USA from East London. Could he be related to Billy Adams? Your story seems very familiar to me.

      Liz was married to Ted Porter and they lived first of all in Dale Road and then Desford Road, Canning Town. They had four sons (Ted, Fred, Dave and George) and a daughter, Kathleen (Kit) who has outlived all her brothers and will be 99 on April 19, 2019 – she is my mother.

      I remember “Uncle Walt” and other members of the Adams family visiting the UK in the late 1950s and getting together with “the Porters”

      During the 1960s I had a pen friend Mimi Gelinas who lived in Jacksonville Beach, Florida – I believe her mother’s single name was Adams. In the late 1970s my uncle David Porter, met Rose (Adams?) on a visit to West Virginia. They married and she moved to London but very sadly she died in 1978.

      I also grew up in Desford Road, close to my grandparents and three of my four uncles and their families! I am now retired and live in Nottingham.

      Does any of this mean anything to you?

      Best Wishes

      David Timcke (but often known as David Porter when I lived in Canning Town!!)

      1. David Timcke (Porter)

        Hi again Billy I now have the history straight, thanks to my mother! We are talking about the same person – George Walter “Billy” Adams. Your grandfather was my great Uncle! I knew his wife as Aunt Brooke! Small world!

  2. Anyone remember Feacey butchers Dale road bobs grocers corner avondale /percey road and wrens sweet shop in clarence road

    1. HI, I was born in 1949 , at No 4 Clarence Road. I have very strong memories of Wrens sweet shop. Do you remember the fizzy sherbert drinks that he made from a big red bubble machine, served in a jam jar for 1 penny?

      1. Hi Robert, I see you lived at no.4 Clarence Road, and I see Clarence Road has been mentioned quite a lot, so I don’t know if anyone remembers a family called Lock who lived right on the corner, it came under Clarence Road, but the rest of the houses was just as you turned the corner? I will ask my sister in law Jackie who lived at Clarence Road,with her sister Doris (called Babs) George and Chris Lock (the boy I married!) the mum was Doris Lock and hubby George Alfred Lock. Sadly Babs (Doris) passed away a few weeks ago, so a funeral to attend to this week, and I lost my gorg. hubby Chris which now only leaves Jackie.

        I bet she would remember if there was a sweet shop there, and it has surprised me that everyone talking about Rathbone Street Market? That no one has mentioned the bingo that they used to play in the market with milk tops? I used to win lots of prizes off there, and yes I sure do remember the sarsaparilla in barrels I loved it! There was a mention of the name Adams? I lived in Steele Road West Ham and there was a family of Adams who lived at no.50? And the name Coulson?

        There was a family who lived right opposite us called Caulson, the lady was called Rose and worked at a sweet factory? I wonder if this is the factory that was mentioned? This lovely lady used to give my mum two whacking big tins of sweets, one was boiled sweets and the other was toffees, because my mum had 8 kids, and every xmas she made sure we got some sweets. I was shocked to see that this lovely lady was buried in a common grave in East London Cemetery right behind my Polish stepdads grave, and the Ordnance Arms pub was mentioned? I celebrated my 21st birthday in that pub and I remember my hubby buying me a gorgeous royal blue dress with streamers down the back, oh what lovely memories but also lots of sad ones too.

        So I don’t know if Robert or anyone who lived in Clarence Road remembers the Lock family? They was just off the corner, it might have been a shop on the corner? And then the door where my future hubby Chris lived, there were no more houses there just that one, cant remember the number but my sister in law would tell me, and then the rest of Clarence Road was just around the corner to the house the locks lived in whereby you went upstairs, oh it must have been a flat with a back yard lol. Yes, it is changing everywhere now, we didn’t have much then but we was far happier than kids are today! Rosina Lock via facebook

        1. RE: Steele Road, West Ham, E15.
          My nan (Agnes) lived here. I vividly remember, (if I came out of her house and looked right); I could see the 2 huge cooling towers of the West Ham power station. It was quite surreal. I think Steele Road, among others, was knocked down to make way for the new Manor Road.
          Does anybody remember the Gibson family in Steele Road? 1940-1970 approx.
          The children were James (Jimmy), Terence (Terry) and Valerie.
          I know Valerie attended Holbrook County Secondary School and her teacher was Mr. Moliver.
          Is anyone familiar with Harry Waite? Possibly lived in Steele Road with the Gibson family.

          My nan’s maiden name was Clark and she lived in Grange Road, near the East London Cemetery, (during the 1930’s approx.) before marrying George Gibson from Kelland Road, which is near the Abbey Arms.

      2. I remember Wrens sweet shop very well. He was always playing tricks on me when I was little. My mum took me in there one afternoon and I asked for a Crunchie bar. He handed it over and my mum put it in her bag until we got home. When I unwrapped it, it was a wooden block in a Crunchie wrapper. Cheeky devil had given me one of the bars they used in window displays. I went back and he was waiting for me. He was so amused he gave me TWO Crunchie bars for being such a good sport!

      1. ronald raymond hunt-terry nee ronald smith

        hello l;m sorry to say that dale road has gone l believe its now a park. l grew up in dale road from 1945 to 1954 no 121 when we moved to the next street clifton road no 77 next to the bombed church yard can any one remember my father riding around the street on his speedway bike in the early fiftys he was called ray terry and was known as the duke of canning town ,when l was a lad we used to walk to peggy leg bridge and stand there as the trains whent underneath l can smell that steam from the trains kind regards

        1. We were bombed out whilst living in Dale Road on the night Saint Margaret’s Church and school was hit. The church reopened in the early 1950s but the school was never rebuilt. It moved to temporary premises in Gainsborougb Road school until Saint Helen’s was built in Falcon Strre in the early 1950s.

    2. Helen Carter nee HOLDBROOK.

      Yes just like it was yesterday. What about Bill’s the greengrocers.and rennies sweet shop. who sold drinks in a jam jar .ant the man who came around with his roundabout on the back of his lorry..you worked in Bob’s the grocers then you must remember Albert who delivered Mike in his hand cart..the rag and boan man.

  3. Kate Stilliard

    I was born in Canning Town in 1948, and lived in Chester Road. My mother’s family name was Cridland and my father’s was Speight. I remember Murcoff’s ice cream, particularity the lemon ice which was a type of sorbet, which was my favourite. I also remember the old Rathbone street market, particularity the stall that sold cordials including sarsaparilla, and buying roll mops out of a barrel for 3d each, I think. There was a lady there who used to grate horseradish to sell, her eyes permanently running. When the new Rathbone market was built I remember a fish stall run by Kathy Thake (I think) where my dad would buy live eels, and the wonder of a supermarket! Caters where the novelty was picking up a wire basket and helping yourself! My aunt ran Popkin’s fish shop down the Hermit Road – signed ‘Fish, wet dried and fried’, she was always good for a bag of crackling.

      1. My husband John Sidney Clark, went to Harold Street School. He was born in 1941.
        His family still live in the East End.
        This June We’re going on holiday to visit them.
        We’re staying on The Isle of Dogs.
        I’m an East End Tragic!!
        Love the history.
        I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and we now live in Perth, Western Australia.
        Lyn Clark

    1. I used to have a market stall at Christ Street Market, selling Christmas decorations. The nearby Pound Shop used to check my prices and undercut me. As a result I never made a profit. After giving up I became a teacher at Royal Docks Community School, Custom House. I am shortly publishing a novel set in wartime Canning Town.

    2. Murcoff’s! I loved the ice cream from that place and I’ve never found anything that tastes like it and believe me, I’ve tried!
      I remember having hot sarsaparilla.
      My Nan would only have fish from Thakes and if you bought it anywhere else, she knew! When she went to live with my cousin in Wiltshire and we visited, we had to buy bowls of jellied eels for her and take them with us!
      There was also a stall where the lady sold buttons. Hundreds of buttons! If you lost a button from a coat or jacket you could go to the stall and find one to match. My Mum knitted jumpers for my children and would buy novelty buttons from the stall. I can’t remember the lady’s name.

      1. Terri Caylor (nee Judge)

        I am currently writing my memoires and I have just documented that same thing. Murkoffs, Pie and Mash, sarsaparilla. Rathbone market was my go to place, it was the hub of the town. I lived in Varley Road until I married. I still miss the east end life.

    3. Hi Kate. Your family must be related to Jonny Sleight who wrote and created the infamous Alf Garnett. Believed he lived in Liverpool Rd.

  4. Just come across this site which I find very interesting. My mother was born in Charford Road in 1923 and her sister in Tree Road, Custom House in 1911. Their father and other family members worked at the Docks. The family home was bombed but everyone returned to Canning Town (Ling Road) to live, except my mum, who married and moved to Essex. It was my second home during the 1960s and early 1970s. I remember the trolleybuses and Murkoff’s ice cream! I also remember buying fish and chips from Billy Betts shop in New Barn Street but cannot find any reference to it anywhere. My mum’s aunt lived at No. 1 Beckton Road, which was demolished for the flyover to be built. Her son was Eddy Grimstead who ran the motorcycle business.

    1. hi i have just came across this site .Was her son named Gary who ran the motor cycle shop and car dealer ship in East Ham by the old hartley centre.

  5. Pat Jolly I know a Brian Jolly who now lives in Cornwall but whose famy are from Canning Town. Any relation? I am trying to find a connection between his family and mine and was interested to see your comment about Jolly’s Greengrocers. My Grandad Parker had a Greengrocers shop as did his parents. They were bombed out during the war and moved to Essex. My Gt Aunt bought a house in Goodmayes and we went to live with her. She was in the rag trade and did business with a lot of Jewish people. I use to do fashions shows at Bodgers as my babysitter worked there!

    1. Hi Dee
      I cannot say for definite if Brian Jolly is a branch of my family or not..My grandfather and great granfather didnt seem to keep closr ties with their siblings..So i know very little about them..My gt grandfsthrr came from Suffolk and he must have had siblings but they are all a mystery to me..So sorry cant help you..x

  6. Malcolm, I believe that the shop Vicki remembers was called Murkoff’s in the Barking Rd along where the Ordnance Pub was, the best Ice Cream I have ever tasted.
    I lived in Rogers Rd.

  7. Pat, the shop I remember did sell ice cream through a window at the front of the shop. Just mentioned this story to my husband and he says the shop is where you say but he doesn’t remember what it was called.He also thinks I may have got my memories mixed up and that Rossi’s ice cream was sold in Southend. Does anyone know?
    My husband’s aunt used to have a toy stall in the market. She had the stall for quite a few years.

        1. I used to visit an ice cream parlour as a child, on Cranbrook Road in Ilford. I would have laid money on that being a “Rossi’s” as well but apparently not. Seems we have both had an education on this topic!

          1. You are correct Malcolm, Rossi’s was definitely on Cranbrook Road right down at the Valentines Park end. Head office was in Southend, Francis Rossi from Status Quo is related to them.

          2. There also used to be a an ice cream parlour in the centre of Valentines Park, seem to remember eating lots from there as well. Simple pleasures in those days – now I can just go to Tesco and buy a tub.

  8. Born in Percy rd in1947, in a nissen hut.My nan lived in Rathbone st. when it was the market place, remember the live well stall, the fortune teller at the start of the road. Remember the street party for coronation day,won a model of a tractor for winning a race. Anyone got any photos.

    1. Peter, yes I do remember Rathbone St. market. I went to Clarkson St school that backed onto the market. Used to spend lunch time in the market. Bought a pennorth of broken biscuits out of my lunch money and Horlicks and/or Fishermans Friend tablets. I also remember the live eel stall (I think that’s what you meant) and the sarsparella stall. The fortune teller singled me out by name one lunchtime (didn’t know her from Adam). This was a couple weeks before the eleven plus, she told me not to worry – that I would pass and go to grammar school. She also told me I would go far overseas to live (I have been in Australia since 1974) and have a family of three children. All that came to pass so I’m now hoping that her prophecy of a long life also comes to fruition 😀.
      Do you also remember Rossi’s ice cream just round the corner from the market. Best ice cream ever.

          1. hi Vicki…if it was the sweet shop next to the Ordnance arms pub and directly across the road to Canning Town Public Hall then it would be Murkoffs..they used to sell the ice cream outta the front window. They were Jewish and nade their own ice cream..
            There is a FB site called Memories of Canning Town that people put photos on. Murkoffs crops up from time to time.. Or i have a couple of pics..if you wanna see em i can Message them to you..let me know..

          2. I remember ian the son who went to a private school when he came home on a school holidays he would call round my house to play I’m not Jewish but his family liked us playing together I lived in Lawrence street my NAN in Mary street my nans name Badcock and my cousins Linda ,Valerie,Terry

  9. Elizabeth Livingston

    I lived in Canning Town in flats called Mansfied Buildings in 1948-54. Are they still there. I now live in Australia. Left the UK in 1954 with my family.

    1. yes they were named Mansfield Buildings Right next to Star Lane School. People get them muddled with Manor Buildings which were round the corner on Manor Road My dad lived there from 1928 to 1938 My granddad new it was the wrong place to be as a war was coming. The buildings are no longer there but Star Lane school is. We took my 95 year old father back there few years back and walked over the bridge where the old railway was I think he called them inky pinky steps Don’t quote me. The boys used to stand on the top and try and throw stones down the steam engine funnels nice to have my dad around for the memories

      1. Yes I remember them, I had a friend that lived there. I went to Star Lane School infant and juniors. I was born in 25 Malmesbury Road 1947.

  10. My Grandmother was born in Malmesbury Road. I would love to know what housing looked like back in the 1890s as a huge proportion of her family lived in places like Swanscombe Street Woodstock Street. Wouldham Street and the list goes on. My Grandmother was of German descent, and her grandfather worked in sugar refining. Love to hear stories of this place.

    1. George olmit. I was born at 162 malmesbury road opposite the landlords office ,mr Jude.? a builders yard a general shop where you could purchase broken biscuitswas opposite.my grand parents also lived in malmesbury road.Mc Williams and Olmits.
      Twelve cousins McWilliams lived in Percy road.Two vivid memories , walkingfrom north woolwich past pools of burning debris after a bad air raid in Silvertown in 1940to find that malmesbury road was deserted and all buildings were bomb damaged the residents haveing done a moonlight flit and later while waiting for a trolly bus to go to the ferry looking up and seeing the street sign Hermit toad for some 15 years I had understood it was called ERMIT road.

      1. Used to take mums rent there for our house in Clarence Rd. Also was it hoadlys scrap metal yard opp bomb site near clifton rdal

  11. Is this the same Jollys greengrocer that had a shop on Hermit road Canning Town opposite the sweet shop Tarrants? I also lost my uncle in the Ronan Point explosion as well would love to know more details about a memorial 4 people died if my memory servers me right?

    1. Denise Who was your uncle. I have been trying to get a permanent memorial since 2013. It is going to happen once regrneration of freenasons road is completed. we had a memorial service last year for 50th anniversary. You can contact ne on FB under the name Patricia A Jolly if you want further info

  12. Just a couple of facts to add to your article. The slum clearance in Canning Town/Custom House after WW2 resulted in the creation of what was known as the Keir Hardie Estate. The estate was named for James Keir Hardie, the first
    Labour MP and a member of the first Labour government, the Ramsey McDonald Labour government. He had previously been an independent and represented West Ham South in the early years of the 1900s.
    The ‘infamous’ towers you mentioned were Ronan Point, Patterson Point. There was a third but I’ve long forgotten the name. My sister-in-law lived in Patterson Point and it was Ronan Point that lost one corner of the top floors through an explosion. Local rumour had that someone was storing gelignite ‘under bed’ but the more prosaic reason for the explosion was probably a gas leak.
    The tower blocks were a cheap and nasty way of housing the less well off. From memory the grounds were not well looked after and the lifts always stank of urine. I was thankful that my family had been rehoused in a decent, attractive environment long before those monstrosities were built.

    1. I lived on the Kier Hardie Estate..from 1952…In Tarling Road near St Lukes church…I also know the Tower blocks you refer to, Merrit Point, Ronan Point Dodson Point Abrahams Point and several more. My sister lived in Merrit and I lived in Dodson…Ronan point was in fact a gas explosion it happened on the 15th floor…My dad’s cousin and his wife both died in the disaster…As a matter of fact i and a friend have been in contact for the last two years to have a memorial put in place for the victims…The area of Freemasons Road will be undergoing a large refurb to go along with the new Crossrail Line at Custom House Station…Newham Council have agreed to it…it is just a matter to decide where to place it…
      The Beckton area was reclaimed marshland..I also lived there from 1983 off Tollgate Road….Many properties today still suffer subsidence because of the ground..

      1. Pat, I’m sorry you lost family in that Ronan Point disaster. I had moved away from the area by then but most of my family still lived off Freemasons Road. My sister-in-law lived in Patterson Point at the time of the explosion and my husband’s aunt lived in the third tower block. I remember only those three being there, perhaps the others were built at a later date.
        I moved from there to Chingford then to Walthamstow and on to Brentwood and finally left the country for good in 1974.

    2. Hi Vicki – just found this site ……… all the memories are flooding back!!
      Just adding to your post, the other tower was Gannon Point – I lived there in 1971 after the Ronan Point explosion, they were rebuiding Ronan Point at the time and they changed all the blocks to all electric only. It was a gas leak blast that caused the collapse of the corner flats. My sister-in-law moved into Ronan point after it was re-built.

  13. Hi Malcolm..I lived in Brunel Street off the Silvertown Way from 1946.. before moving to Tarling Road..My family name is Jolly, we were greengrocers and we had stalls down the old Rathbone Street, before taking over shosp in the early 50s. Our shop was just across the railway lines from the Victoria Dock…I have written a book about growing up in Canning Town…It’s called ‘A Jolly Time in Canning Town’ by me Patricia Jolly…..available on Amazon, Newham Bookshop and Waterstones…The heart has gone out of it now…but still i return often

    1. Hello, thank you for your comment. I was born early ’70s and East London still seemed to be just about hanging onto the “old ways”. I remember seeing the derelict dock cranes, the rag and bone man on a horse and cart. Everything going silent for Remembrance Sunday at 11am.

      The pace of change nowadays is so rapid that I struggle to recognise parts of Ilford where I grew up. The rat runs my grandfather would drive to take us all to Kings Cross to visit his mum etc.

      1. You lived in Ilford eh…In my younger days Ilford was ‘posh’…lot of money people there…A lot of Jewish people lived there…Jewish people loved a fur coat..My aunt had a mink fur coat and a mink fur jacket made over Ilford…Being as my family were in business they mixed with other business families and one of them was Jewish..The lady if that family took my aunt to the furriers and told him what my aunt wanted..Then she said the skins had to be female mink…My aunt didn’t argue..Apparently female mink is softer that male mink…My aunt is now 92.. She wanted me to have her fur coats..they woulda been too small for me, but i suggested that my cousin would like them…It was only recently that they were given to my cousin. I found the bill for the Full length coat dating back to 1967.. £3,000.. My aunt only wore it a few times..then left it in the wardrobe cos the animal rights people were throwing paint over people wearing fur coats in the 70s…I used to like shopping in Bodgers…they did nice stuff..

        1. My grandmother used to clean a house for a Jewish lady who lived in Gants Hill. I still remember the lady’s name to this day. My grandparents lived near Kings Cross station and moved to Ilford in the very early ’60s. Certainly was a step up from their tiny flat in a Victorian block in Tonbridge House.

        2. I was born in Plaistow, Beatrice Street backing on to Chargeable Lane, moved at the outbreak of war to Dale Road, bombed out in March 1941. My father worked for Standard Telegraph & Cables so we moved to Leicester when the firm was bombed. Returned in 1946 to a Nissan Hut in the shadow of Saint Luke’s in Tidal Basin. Raffy was my regular haunt. We were one of the first to move onto Kier Hardie Estate, Killip Close, before returning to Plaistow.

          I met my wife at Jenson & Nicholsons in Stratford. She was originally from Forest Gate but a V2 destroyed their house so they moved to Ilford. For an East End boy to go out with an Ilford girl was really going up market in those days. We’ve now been married for neigh on 58 years.

          We don’t go back to Ilford etc any more, I feel like a foreigner up there these days.

    2. Barbara Goodfellow

      Hi Pat, I don’t know if you will get this as your post is 3 years ago, but I would love to know more about Brunel Street, what it was like. My gt grandfather and family lived at 1 Brunel St in the 1870s.

  14. I heard in Barking St that there treasure they left..some of them are dimposed but this woman never tell to just landlord but they digged n breakfast the Brick ..there’s some left according to my knownfriend ..the woman keeps this not report to police or counselled bec of the woman intention..how can you the treasure find this tresure ..to detected gusto treasure..

  15. My grandfather was born in Canning Town in December 1875, his name was Charlie Thomas Shaw as was his father and his mother was Annie Jack. My grandfather immigrated to Australia late 1800 early 1900s.My aim is to come over there when I retire and try and find a little more of his background, if there is anyone who know or connected to this family I would love to hear from you.

  16. Medina Bell (nee Hopewell)

    Hi my grandfather lined in bengeo st two streets away from Canary Wharf , their surname was Hopewell my grandmother was Mary Ann my grandfather was John Edward my dad was one of 12 him being th last born , I could not even imagine what life must have been like,

    1. Charlie Odenwalder

      My parents use to live in Bengeo Street. They may well have known each other. My Mother only passed away last year at the age of 98. Some of the stories she told were beyond belief

      1. my Grandfather ( Joseph Warren )was born at 24 bengeo st in 1879.
        My Great Grandfather was Jonathan Summers Warren, and his wife was Amelia.

        1. Charles Odenwalder

          Your the 1st person I have found who had a relative living in Bengeo St. One story which my Mother told me was about the bomb that hit Hallesville School. They were suppose to go to the school, but my father said no were not going there and instead went to an air raid shelter. hen I saw it on TV it brought it all to life.

          1. The “Blitz” TV program rang a bell, hence the post. By 1893 the Warren family had moved to 42 High St, North Woolwich.
            (Now Pier Rd, I believe) by 1916 my grandfather lived in Station St, where my father was born, until bombed out during blitz.

        2. Charles Odenwalder

          Alan Just been looking at the 1939 Register and found that My Dad and brother were living at 22 Bengeo st. I know between 1891 and 1911 I had family that also lived in Bengeo st

  17. I’m youngest of 10 kids I’m now coming up 58 my mother was one of 12 kids she was born 1919 her dad was in the boer and WW1 and was a warden in the 2nd growing up in Canning Town and custom house was the best time of me life we had sod all but we had family and true proper people.. Have to go a long way to find the kind of people that come from that place.. Times AV changed around that place now pubs where all the memories of the jolly ups have gone! The rows and rows of the old vic house where I once lived have gone but a trip down memory lane brings back all the old characters names faces and places.. My home my town Canning Town my kind of people x

    1. my name terry I was born in canning town I came from a family of five kids I was the youngest we move into house just as the war ended I was born in 56 and the area still look like a bomb site but I love it and still do even so I now live in norfolk

      1. Hi Terry, there can only be one Terry Hulme. We lived next door to each other, and your mums name was Hilda and mine was Mary. I have one sister Mary, I’m sure you will remember and 2 brothers younger than me. You have brothers Ron, Colin and sister Julie? if your the right person, my mum was your god mother when you and your siblings were all christened at the same time Glad you swopped East London for Devon. I moved to Kent 1976, but still have relatives in Canning Town. Although they were hard but great times growing up, and often wish they were still, as less complicated than today.

  18. Malcolm, I have just posted a comment on the site re the South Hallsville school disaster. I am puzzled as to why the area is referred to as Canning Town when our address in Murray Square was Custom House E16, in fact all of that area was Custom House down to the Lido on Becton Rd. When did Custom House lose its identity?

    1. Tim Roll-Pickering

      Vicki,
      There isn’t a single agreed boundary between Canning Town and Custom Hose which creates a lot of confusion. The only official line in use appears to be current council wards which put Murray Square *just* in Canning Town South – the boundary with Custom House ward starts at the bottom of Freemasons Road, heads up, turns left along Coolfin Road, right up Mandela Road, left along Hooper Road then right up Butchers Road all the way to the A13 (which took over Beckton Road).

  19. My Mother’s family came from Canning Town. My Gt Grandfather was a Dockworker. All 7 children were born in the early 1900’s and I know life was hard for them. They lived in Beckton Road and went to Holborn Road School. It affected them in different ways; some had no children and lived indulgent lives and the others had many children and lived frugally.
    I am amazed they all came through both World Wars unscathed. My Mother was born in 1939 in West Ham but after WW2 most of my family moved away from the area to places like Essex.
    My Grandparents and all my Gt Aunts and Uncles have now passed on and I regret not finding out more whilst they were still alive; I now rely on sites like these to help me paint a picture of what life must have been like for my East End relatives.

    1. I grew up in Ilford as you may have read, so know those areas very well. My parents are post war babies but my grandparents had plenty of stories to tell. Likewise we as a family migrated to Essex before then moving all over the UK. I’m in Devon now.

      1. Malcolm, I was born in Forest Gate, as a baby lived in Oakdale Road, evacuated to Somerset, back to Forest Gate then were rehoused to Murray Square, Custom House. I’m still puzzled as to why that area is referred to as Canning Town. In the early 70s I moved to Brentwood and from there to Australia. My husband and I now live in Victoria but we’re spending Christmas with our daughter and her family in Darwin. It is hot,muggy and very wet right now. Happy Christmas to you and all your blog friends.😊😊😊

        1. Mary Andrews nee Arnold

          I was born in 1938 at St Mary’s Hospital but my father business was a Scalemaker and hardware shop at 121 Rathbone Street market where he had to check all the stallholders scales to make sure they were accurate. He was bombed out and we had to move to Essex and I wonder if there are any survivors of that old market. His shop was started in 1866 by his Father Samuel Ashmore Arnold.

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