Gospel Oak to Barking Rail line. Wanstead Flats

Gospel Oak to Barking Rail Line
The line from Leytonstone High Road going to Wanstead run south eastwards

Post to the west Leytonstone
Post to the south Forest Gate
Post to the north Wanstead Golf  Course and Basin

Aldersbrook Estate
Land around the old Children’s Home has been developed as local authority housing estate,

Aldersbrook Road
St Gabriel. The parish of Aldersbrook was set up in 1903 with a mission church to serve a housing estate built in the hamlet of Aldersbrook. Land, used as a nursery was bought and an iron mission church built and dedicated to St Gabriel the Archangel. By 1912 the population had increased and a larger and more permanent building was needed and the present church was dedicated in 1914 .The church was designed By Charles Spooner, with funding from the Misses Nutter. It is built of thin red bricks, with tile decoration.
Aldersbrook Children’s Homes. In 1907, the West Ham Guardians purchased The Aldersbrook site and in 1911 built five Receiving Homes called Lodges. Workshops for training the older Boys and Girls were opened. In 1930 the ownership of Aldersbrook homes were vested in the East Ham Corporation who were required to receive destitute children from the Essex County Council and West Ham areas. In 1933, the Aldersbrook Children’s Homes Nursery was opened.
Aldersbrook Emergency Hospital. Before the outbreak of the Second World War there had been negotiations between East Ham Council and the Ministry of Health over the use of Aldersbrook Children's Home as an emergency hospital.  In 1939 the children were evacuated, to Bacton and later Polzeath.  Alterations were made by the Borough Engineer and the ground floor of the main building and the Nursery Block were converted into a Casualty Clearing Station.  The Hospital opened in 1939. The Hospital had its own operating theatre as well as an X-ray and a Physiotherapy Department. The Children’s Home's farm was allowed to keep sheep and pigs for the war effort.  In 1942 a Decontamination and Cleansing Unit was built and other alterations were made. In 1945 Ministry of Health terminated the arrangement and the buildings reverted to their former use as a children's home.   The main building of the Children's Home, built in 1910 by West Ham Union, and the Nursery Block have been demolished.  Ward buildings have been converted into homes and sheltered flats for the elderly.
Aldersbrook Maternity Hospital. In 1946 the East Ham Public Health Committee began to use the Aldersbrook Children's Homes Nursery Block, built in 1933 as a temporary maternity hospital. Thus The Hospital officially opened in 1947 with 21 beds.  The lying-in wards were - Heather, Rose, Acacia, Hyacinth, Primrose and Snowdrop, while the labour wards were Lavender and Laburnum.   As a temporary hospital, it was not covered by the National Health Service Act and it continued to be administered by the Maternity and Child Welfare Sub-Committee of East Ham Council until 1948.   The Hospital closed in 1957. In 1963 the Hospital building became the Aldersbrook Unit, an annexe for the East Ham Memorial Hospital but has since been demolished.

Belgrave Road

This road is the perimeter which defines the outline of the Lake House Estate built in the 1900s and which occupies the site of the lake. The houses it surrounds define the area of the lake.

Lake House was originally called Russian Farm and may have originally been a summerhouse for Wanstead House. It was on an island in the lake. Thomas Hood the poet lived there from 1832-5. It was demolished in 1908, but had been used as a sports pavilion
The Great Lake was one of a chain of lakes in the grounds of Wanstead House. A number of designs were proposed for it but it was very shallow, and disappeared around 1908

Blake Hall Crescent
Aldersbrook Tennis Club. This is in a hollow at the junction with Aldersbrook Road and Centre Road. It is said to have supposed to have been dug as a lake, but was not completed. It lies below the embankment which carries Blake Hall Road.

Brading Crescent
Charles Brading was an East Ham County Borough councillor.
Fry Lodge has been converted into two private houses. As one of the original lodges for the children's home it was called Elizabeth Fry Lodge after the prison reformer and Newham Resident.
Hayter Court. This was a building of Aldersbrook Children’s Homes and is now sheltered housing managed by Springboard Housing Association, part of the Genesis Housing Group.
Buxton Lodge. Named for Edward North Buxton and one of the original lodges for the children’s home
Hood Lodge. As one of the original lodges for the children’s home named for Tom Hood, a local poet who lived for a while in adjacent Lake House
Joseph Lister Lodge. As one of the original lodges for the children’s home
Porters Lodge.

Centre Road
Plane trees were planted along the road by 1890
Wanstead Model Flying Club has operated here for many years, with a landing strip near Centre Road.
West side of the road is an area used by travelling fairs and circuses. In 2012 used by the Metropolitan police as a temporary Olympics headquarters

Dames Road
141 Holly Tree Pub

Lake House Road
Runs alongside the site of the Lake House on which Lake House Estate is now built.

Park Road
Aldersbrook Library. Another ‘community’ library. This was opened in 1950 in   an old garage once used to house a milk cart.

Richmond Way
Half way along the road is the approximate site of Lake House

Wanstead Flats
This is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1883, but on the 1805 map it is called Epping Forest. Thus the area is the southern-most portion of Epping Forest. The greater part is flat, open grassland on the river gravel and the nature of the area encouraged people to turn out cattle and other animals to graze on this unenclosed land. Some Landowners and occupiers have the 'right of common pasture' but in 1996 the BSE crisis forced removal of the cattle. Areas of the flats were also used to assemble cattle by drovers. There are thickets of gorse and broom, as and woods and copses, most planted in the 19th by the Epping Forest Committee. In the Second World War it was a D.Day marshalling area for transport units.
Jubilee Pond until 2002 this was the Model Yacht Pond or Dames Road Pond. Until then it had stone banks, and Lack of repair and water supply meant that for many years the pond was often dry. There are three islands: Pigeon Island, Centre Island and South Island.
Prisoner of War camp in 1945 between Centre Road and Lake House Road. Some of them on the area later used as a fair ground, there were also camps on the Flats for 100,000 Italian prisoners of war in 1941. The Flats held sub-camps between 1939 and 1945 of a larger prisoner of war camp located on Carpenter’s Road, Stratford
SSSI. This is in an area called Police Scrape in the V junction of Lake House and Centre Roads. It is an area of acid grassland with some rare insects.

Corporation of the City of London. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London 
East London Old and New,
Essex Journal
Leyton History Society. Web site
London Borough of Newham. Web site
London Borough of Redbridge. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Osborne, Defending London
Pevsner and Cherry.  Essex
Smyth. Citywildspace
St.Gabriel. Web site. 
Victoria County History. Essex 
Wanstead Wild Life. Web site


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