Thames Tributary Marley Stream - Heathway

Thames Tributary Marley Stream
The Marley Stream rises in the area of Old Dagenham Park and flows south east to join the Wantz Stream

Post to the north Dagenham
Post to the west Goresbrook Park
Post to the east Dagenham East
Post to the south Fords

Ballard’s Road
Swimming Pool. This opened on 29 July 1939, cost £30,000 and was designed by F.C. Lloyd. There was a children's pool and three concrete diving boards on a gantry. These were closed in 1978 season and demolished in 1980. The Pool closed in 1979 season, following frost damage and vandalism. It was demolished after 1984.

Broad Street
Part of a route which was originally called French Lane which ran between Barking and Dagenham but which was reconfigured by the Becontree planners. It had run north from Ripple Street, and then became Harbutt Street, which was a name for a local farm. As part of an old village area planners used it as a shopping centre
Admiral Vernon Pub. This was built in the late 1920s. It is an estate pub with its original plan and fittings. It is in the brewers half timbered ‘Tudor’ with a now disused off-sales shop. The counter fittings are original plus a pink terrazzo spittoon.
121 Dagenham Working Men’s Club

Charlotte Road
Dagenham Evangelical Free church opened 1931. Now Dagenham Community Church.
Dagenham Trades Hall
Church Elm Lane
Elms were grown for church repairs and for cash. The last remaining elm died of Dutch Elm disease in 1974.
Wrights House which belonged to John Comyns's charity was used as a workhouse between 1810 and 1836
Church Elm Lane Health Centre
1 Dagenham Library
1 Redeemed Christian Church of God. Have met here since the early 21st
Church Elm Pub. This had stood there from the 1840s and was a plain brick beer house. It was expanded and 'improved' by Edward Meredith in 1931 with two private bars, an off licence and a tea room and lounge . It was closed and demolished in 2008.

Dagenham Great Common
Joined the Little Common and went as far as Buttfield Close

Ford Road
Ford Road Children’s Centre. This is run by the London Early Years Foundation, a charitable company set up to provide childcare in Westminster in 1903
Village Infant School. Moved to this site in 1970 which it shares with the William Ford School
Ford Road Clinic. Closed
William Ford Church of England School. Ford's Endowed School. Founded in 1828 by William Ford, a local farmer. The school used a rented building near the church in Church Elm Lane but by 1841 there was enough money for a permanent school, and a teacher's house and later some branch schools were built in other parts of the area. The school began to get government grants and expanded. In 1909 the teacher's house was rebuilt as a school hall and in 1932 the school was re-organized for juniors. It became aided in 1951.

Heathway is a main street running north towards the heathland of Becontree Heath. Dagenham UDC promoted a shopping centre here close to Dagenham Heathway station to make up for the lack of one provided by the Becontree Planners
252 Link Centre on the site of the Odeon Dagenham. Built as the Heathway Cinema by Kay Bros. Kessex Cinemas Ltd. It opened in 1936 and was designed by George Coles. With the stepped ceiling like that at the Troxy and some art deco it had 2,200 seats. In 1943 it was taken over by Odeon Theatres Ltd. Chain and re-named Gaumont in 1949. As part of the Rank Organisation, it was re-named Odeon in 1964. It closed in 1971 and was converted into a B&Q DIY store. It was burnt down in 1983.
The Mall shopping centre built in the late 1970s and since expanded. In brick with flats above.
Dagenham Heathway Station. Opened in 1932 it now runs Between Dagenham East and Becontree on the District Line. It was opened by the London Midland Scottish and Metropolitan District Railway as ‘Heathway’. In 1949 it was renamed ‘Dagenham Heathway’ and in 2005 refurbished

Old Dagenham Park
Marley Stream rises, was called Maplin Ditch. The park was built in 1931 on some of the land of the manor of East Hall on fields called The Leys.
Dagenham arena

Pondsfield Park
The southern part of this local park built along the Wantz stream. This section was originally the ornamental section of the park and laid out in the 1920s.

Rectory Road
Rectory Library. Built in 1935 by E. C. Lloyd, Council Engineer and Surveyor. Art Deco with a porch and columns.
Royal British Legion (Dagenham Branch)
Age Concern. Park Centre

St. Mark’s Place
Built on allotments on the north side of the railway between Dagenham Heathway station to Pondfields Park. A footpath with a bridge over the tracks divided the site into two. At the east end of the allotment was rectangle marking an old gravel extraction site.


Dominic said…
What a great website.

A few comments from an ex-local. I'll make comments on some other posts too.

Ballards Road (without an apostrophe)
The Old Tuck Shop (now - very small - offices for an insurance company) was still in use as a sweet shop in the late 1980s

There's one, maybe two other demolished buildings of note, apart from Leys Swimming Pool (which I seem to recall was Olympic-sized - maybe even used for training before the 1948 London Olympics) that were located on Ballards Road.

(a) Leys Hall (on the east side of the road, north of where the swimming pool was - there are two isolated car parks that stand either side of its former location). Community hall, a reasonably grand, art-deco styled building (amazingly, there are no references on-line at all!). Not sure when it was built - possibly pre-war, at the same time as the swimming pool, possibly early 1950s (as much of the housing nearby was only constructed, by West Ham council, from 1947 on). It fell into disuse, and was burned down by arsonists in 1991/92 or so.

(b) Leys Clinic - a set of very functional single-storey pre-fabs, on the west side of Ballards Road. Presumably built late 1940s/early 1950s, in use until the 1980s, demolished sometime later.

---I think the reference to "Harbutt Street" under Broad Street should probably be "Halbutt Street" (a road of this name, on the Becontree estate, but which has some of the few pre-1920s housing in Dagenham on, survives north west of Broad Street today)

Another great loss from Broad Street was Broad Street Market. A tasteful 1920s arcade. Demolished in the 1990s, a housing project called Causton Square now stands on its site.

A spelling correction: "Pondfield Park", not "Pondsfield"

Rectory Road - Rectory Library has now closed (replaced by the new library on the corner of Church Elm Lane & Heathway, on the site of the Church Elm pub). The 1935 building was expanded with a children's wing in the 1950s (?), but this, too, was burned down by arsonists in the early 1990s.

The housing development at Bluebell Lane, off Ford Road (just north of Broad Street) is on the site of the old Co-Op Dairy (which closed, probably in the early 1990s)

Dagenham Arena in Old Dagenham Park - the running track still exists, I'm unsure if the arena building itself (which was rather modest) still does
M said…
Gosh Dominic I wish more people would add stuff in and comment like this. It would make it all feel much more worthwhile.
and I must admit I was struggling with a lot of this area (I'm a south Londoner, after all)
Thanks anyway
Bob Flunder said…
Leys Swimming Pool was Olympic Size at 50 metre length. Later, about 1958 Olympic size diving stands were added at 1,3,5,7,and 10metres height.
The major pool and minor pool were set in a gardened and paved environment with tall elm trees around the perimeter of the whole complex.
Leys Hall fronted Ballards road, but formed the rear refectory for swimmers.
The existing two car parks appear to be on exactly the same position of the two car parks of the swimming pool, and were possibly not removed at the time of demolition as a budgetary expedient.
The pool and Leys Hall fronted Ballards Road which was a South/North Road from A13 NewRoad/The Princess cinema area intended to meet Rainham Road South, but wartime temporarily forced the road to terminate outside Leys Hall until about 1960 when Ballards Road was then extended to Rainham Road South by the Bull Pub.
In extending Ballards Road northwards towards the Bull pub at the junction with Rainham Road South,the adjacent Rookery Farm was eradicated.
This farm belonged to West Ham Council, who in 1948 had taken some of the farm land to form the Rookery Farm housing estate (two storey pre-fab architecture)which sits astride the extended Ballards Road.
The Wanzt stream ran still runs sothward through the former farm land which retains an open country aspect, meeting the Marley stream coming in from the west about half a mile from the former farm, and then flowing directly east meeting the River Beam after about 200 metres.
Opposite Leys Hall is Old Dagenham Park which contained the athletics and sporting complex. This was the home of Dagenham FC until the early 50s when they transferre to Victoria Road.
The athletic track is still visible, and the terraces still exist, although the stand structure is gone its teirs are still visible.
Bob Flunder said…
Is there no confirmation that acomment has been left for moderation ?

Thus no confimation that any input has been received ?
Edith said…
Sorry Bob - when I set the site up the facility wasn't there. Will sort something out. Edith
bob flunder said…
Further to previous references to the former Leys Swimming Pool,just to the east(behind) of the two car parks previously referred to, on Google Earth at 51*32'03.84" N and
0*09'38.26"E there appears a straight line formed from poorly growing grass cover that is firstly aligned west-east and would have corresponded to the northern perimeter wall, and then turns 90 degrees to align north-south that would have corresponded to the east(back) perimeter wall.
It is probable that some foundations still exist under the current grass cover that have given rise to these 'poor growth' lines.
Similarly within the perimeter are lines that appear to correspond extremely closely to the former positions of the large and the little pools

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