Wednesday, 6 April 2016

E is for East Ham

The theme for my A-Z posts this year is London Underground Stations.  I've chosen a station for each letter and at the end of each post I've listed the other stations for that letter with their Wikipedia entries.  I've tried to visit each station and take my own photos.
East Ham Station

Interior of East Ham Station
 In theory East Ham should be one of my favourite stations as for many years it was my home station.  It was opened in 1858, just over a hundred years before I was born.  It hasn’t changed much over the years.  It’s on the District line and since 1936 has also served the Metropolitan line (Hammersmith & City since 1988).  Fast trains that travel out as far as Southend and Tilbury no longer stop there so there are only two working platforms now.

The architecture of the building has been retained but of course over the years it has seen changes due to new technology.  No longer can you just stroll past the ticket collector waving your season ticket in the air.  Everything is automated now.  Most tickets are issued by machines now too.

The station is on a hill on the High Street.  That has seen many changes during my lifetime.  Part of it is now one way and intended for buses and deliveries only.  The relief road for this change runs through where my family home used to stand.  I had married and moved out before this change took place but it was an unsettling time for my Mum.  She had lived in her house (well the council’s house) for over 20 years and did not want to move.  But progress waits for no one and Mum and her neighbours were rehoused so that the relief road could be built.
Primark store where the house stood.

I’m not sure that it brought a great deal of benefit – the High Street is not a pedestrian only area so you still have to look out for buses before crossing the road.  It doesn’t have the greatest selection of shops especially with the demise of Woolworths and the closure of the Marks and Spencer branch.  There was also a big Co-Op department store at one time – that site is now a car park.

I can’t say that it is my favourite station though because most of the journeys made from there would have been to work.  The only good thing with that was initially my work was based at Mile End so my journey was just a short 6 stops and only with the last stop did the train go underground so although the trains were always crowded it didn’t feel quite so claustrophobic.

While checking out the station I also revisited my schools:
My primary school - Hartley
East Ham Grammar School for Girls
Plashet Secondary Modern School for Girls

At the age of eleven I progressed to secondary school and having passed the 11+ exam I gained a place at East Ham Grammar School for Girls and started in September 1970.  In 1972 the school was amalgamated with Plashet Secondary Modern School for Girls and became simply Plashet Comprehensive School.  The schools were divided by a road but we had lessons in both buildings so had to cross that road regularly.  In November 2000 the schools were joined by the blue and white bridge you can see in the photos above.

To find our more about the award winning Unity Bridge go here

Other “E” stations are:
Euston Square

Next stop F is for...?  Check back tomorrow to find out.


  1. That's so sad that your mom had to move because of the station road. I hope that in the end, the move was a positive.
    I bet it was fun traveling down memory lane when you visited your old schools. Great pictures!

    Stopping by from one of the A-Z Teams,
    Michele at Angels Bark


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