EPW024291 ENGLAND (1928). Housing surrounding Eastern Avenue, Cranbrook, 1928

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Title [EPW024291] Housing surrounding Eastern Avenue, Cranbrook, 1928
Reference EPW024291
Date September-1928
Place name CRANBROOK
Easting / Northing 542607, 188280
Longitude / Latitude 0.05814928311398, 51.57484871128
National Grid Reference TQ426883


Hermann the German
Tuesday 22nd of October 2013 06:28:34 PM
The Drive Methodist Church.

Hermann the German
Tuesday 22nd of October 2013 06:24:35 PM
St. George's Road

Hermann the German
Tuesday 22nd of October 2013 06:16:13 PM

Hermann the German
Tuesday 22nd of October 2013 06:14:15 PM
Cranbrook Castle Lawn Tennis & Social Club.

Hermann the German
Tuesday 22nd of October 2013 06:11:22 PM
Valentines Mansion

Dennis Jackson
Tuesday 30th of April 2013 03:22:28 AM

User Comment Contributions

I grew up in Castle Drive,Redbridge, between 1959 and 1975, shown under construction in photo, just below centre left.There had been an orchard in our rear garden. Development of this land was by Sydney Robinson, JP, Liberal MP [1876 - 1950], who was also a prominent Methodist and donated the land on which the Eastern Avenue Methodist Church was constructed. The Methodists were quite influential on local councils in the Ilford/East Ham/West Ham/Leytonstone/Stratford areas until the 1960s and there was great emphasis given to the teaching of sports and music in schools as a result. Most of my mother's family [ex-East End/Forest Gate] came to this area when new in the mid-20s. My grandmother in particular would recount country walks from Manor Park/Wanstead Park "across the fields" to Little Heath/Hainault Forest, parts of which soon became the earthworks for the Eastern Avenue and the narrow gauge railway which conveyed building materials for construction of the road and houses built alongside.

Apparently, at first, many of the properties in the photo could not be sold because of the economic crisis in the twenties, so were let instead, but after the mid-1930s the situation eased, perhaps spurred on by the tunnel boring which had begun under the Eastern Avenue for the Central Line extension to Newbury Park. Some of the roads leading off the Eastern Avenue were unmade or "unadopted" and remained so many years after the end of the war. I went to the Eastern Avenue Methodist Church and Sunday School between 1961 and 1971 , which had been completed in the year of the photo, and was still a popular place for the local community during those years although in the early 70s the congregation started to fall.

Despite being a wealthy part of east London with many residents owning a car, bus services, all of which were two person operated, were very well patronised with Gants Hill and Ilford busy shopping areas. Route 147 which ran along The Drive to Redbridge Station operated every 8 minutes, and from 1965, with brand new Routemaster buses during Saturday shopping hours. My friends and I were so excited to see an RM bus coming down the Eastern Avenue, instead of the ubiquitous RT. After the second world war when the tube service commenced, a large Jewish population settled in the area with two synagogues in Beehive Lane [seen north of the "square" PLA Sports Ground to the right of the image]. A helicopter transporting Diana Dors for an appearance at the Odeon landed here in the 50s.

There was a Sainsbury shop [not self-service] and a beautiful fish shop and Franklyn's bakers - the best bread I have ever tasted! - in Beehive Lane, Cranbrook road end. My mother, sister [in pram] and I would WALK to Beehive Lane there and back to go shopping, NOT take the car. A change to US style pseudo sophisticated shopping/mobility habits in the 70s/80s, so grossly inappropriate for urban existence in the UK, caused environmental erosion and polarisation, with even more harmful effects in the inner city.

I now live in Central London and it is very sad to see the Redbridge/Cranbrook areas, as well as other similar places, suffering from a transient population, traffic blight,flowerless front gardens, shabby exteriors, murder/drug crime and closure of all the local shops. Local estate agents, however, tell me to the contrary in that demand for properties in "Green Badge Valley" remains high and there's even a waiting list!

What I most miss is being able to quote the rather exotic sounding "Valentine" [VAL] telephone exchange, which we used to state along with four numbers, when answering a telephone pre-1968, the area became boring "554" on introduction of automatic telephones [STD]. The north side of Eastern Avenue was "Crescent" [CRE], a little unusual but not as enigmatic!

Wednesday 5th of March 2014 01:59:02 PM
Maybe you remember the Felton family who lived at no. 26? I think that Mr Felton may still be there, although he is in his 90's now.

Wednesday 5th of March 2014 01:59:02 PM
I used to attend the Drive Methodist Church youth club, with my friend who lived in Castle Drive, in the 1960's. There were 2 tennis courts at the side of the church that parishioners and the youth club could use. We use to have a car wash on a Saturday to raise funds for the church.

Wednesday 5th of March 2014 01:54:41 PM
Eastern Avenue Cranbrook?.....This has to be between Leytonstone and Gants Hill doesn't it?

Tony Quinlan
Wednesday 27th of June 2012 09:19:42 AM
The house that I grew up in is one of the light streaks on the left of this photo. Not sure if this is of any assistance but the main feature in shot is ‘Eastern Avenue’ running roughly diagonal across the frame with ‘The Drive’ to Ilford being the road running roughly horizontal. Gants Hill is at one end just above the centre with northern part of Cranbrook Road leading off northwards to what will become Barkingside. At the other end of the photo, the site of what was to become Redbridge Roundabout would be just beyond where the Eastern Avenue runs out of frame on the left.

Tuesday 26th of June 2012 02:47:41 PM
This picture was taken from near the present day Redbridge Station looking east. The road in the foreground running from left to right is The Drive with the large square being the Port of London Authority recreation ground. The road on the left of the picture is Redbridge Lane East.

Wednesday 27th of June 2012 09:19:42 AM
This photograph is facing north east and appears to have been taken from a vantage point over what is now Wanstead Park Road and / or the A406.

Interestingly, it shows that the new 1920’s development radiated out from the previously undeveloped Gants Hill southward and westward, rather than growing northward and eastward from the Victorian and Edwardian developments of Wanstead and Ilford.

Tuesday 26th of June 2012 03:33:06 AM
I remember in the 1970's talking with some of neighbours (just off Woodford Avenue and Redbridge Lane) who had bought their houses when new and how most of the area was still orchards at that time. Now I can see the house that I grew up in just as they said, surrounded by fields.

Monday 25th of June 2012 11:41:25 PM