] google-site-verification: googlebff6a43135515ad3.html



The Lea Bridge Leyton and Walthamstow Tram Company places an advertisement (having to get fresh tenders for horsing its cars) is prepared to enter into a contract with any electrical engineering company of repute to install electric traction upon its lines. Electrical Engineer article states ‘Even in these days of cheap fodder, electricity could compete favourably in price with the present system’.[1]


Riverside settlement at Lea Bridge and Lea dock had been restricted by the Mill fields.[2]

Flood prevention works by the L.C.C. included four cuts across bends in the Lea, the old channels being retained to form islands.


Clapton reservoir (Clapton Pond?) was replaced by a new reservoir at Stamford Hill.


The entire Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways Co system was completed extending to 4¾ miles of route, of which the main line, from Clapton via Lea Bridge Road to 'The Rising Sun' public-house in Epping Forest near the Walthamstow-Woodford boundary, accounted for 3¼ miles and came into full operation in 1891. The journey from 'The Rising Sun' to the end of Lea Bridge Road cost 3d. and took 35 minutes, and at Clapton the passenger could board another tram which would take him to Bloomsbury.


Commoners were agitating for the marsh to be preserved as an open space. In 1890, the waterworks company laid rails to their new filter beds, crossing a bridle path, and put up fences. The commoners refused to sell their rights. On Lammas Day 1892, when the company had failed to remove the rails and fence, the people of Leyton, led by a member of the local board (C.C. Musgrave, H. Humphreys, and E.C. Pitta) tore them up. [3]


Photograph of repairs to East London Waterworks, 300 feet below ground. Photograph by H. Bedford Lemare. (Croydon Camera Club).


The Waterworks Company took proceedings against the commoners who retaliated by appointing a Lammas Lands Defence Committee to oppose the Parliamentary Bill promoted by the company. In 1893, compromise was reached and confirmed by the East London Waterworks Act 1894. The company withdrew all claim to enclose any part of the marsh, stayed its proceedings and paid all costs, with £100 to improve the bridleway. In return, the rails were allowed to stay.[4]


From 1893, Hackney Marsh was opened to the public, when transferred under the London Open Spaces Act, and formally dedicated in 1894.


Lea Bridge in 1894

‘At Lea Bridge are two taverns, 'The Ship Aground,' kept by H.J. Marvell, and  ‘The Jolly Anglers', kept by Posh Price. The itinerant chose 'The Jolly Anglers', and the first thing he saw on entering was a prize-belt hanging on a shelf.’[5]


In 1894, East London's water supply was disrupted[6]. The start of the ‘East London water famines’ which influenced later the decision to establish the Metropolitan Water Board. In 1895, 1896 and 1898, many parts of London were gripped by a series of ‘water famines’ and protest. Shortages were most severely felt in East London: The East London ‘water famine’. Charles Lyel, a householder and member of the Hackney Vestry, complained that the East London Waterworks Company had stopped his constant delivery and switched back to intermittent supply.[7]


Survey plan recorded in Charles Booth’s Survey indicates that the school house is a ‘Mission Room’.[8]


Lea Bridge rebuilt with contributions from Essex, the Lee Conservancy Board, and the Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow Tramways Co.[9] Some sources put the bridge reopening in 1901.


Booths ‘Poverty Map’ indicates school house to be ‘St James’ Church School’.

Orient Football Club, the second oldest league cub in London (founded in 1886) becomes ‘Clapton Orient’ in order to attract more local support. ‘Lea Bridge’ was once the name of a football stadium located along Lea Bridge Road. The club was also known as ‘The Bridge’.


In the year ended 31 October 1899, the Lea Bridge, Leyton and Walthamstow system (tram and horse drawn) carried 8,393,308 passengers.[10]


1899 Performances at South Millfields (presumably at the band stand) included the sectional band of the London County Council and the Walthamstow Temperance Prize Band, which gave several performances under the direction of Mr. C.H. Anderson. The Temperance Band was still active in 1909, later becoming, or merging, with the Walthamstow Silver Prize Band (1905 and 1911), Walthamstow Borough Band (1933), L.C.S. Forest Band (1970s), Waltham Forest Co-op Band (1981-2001). It is known today as East London Brass.


[1] The Electrical engineer, Volume 5. 17 January 1890

[2] A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney: Clapton, pp. 44-51. T.F.T. Baker (Editor). 1995

[3] The Road to Jeremy’s Ferry. Oral history of “Leyton Gateway” Lea Bridge Road. Norma Crooks. 2003

[4] The Road to Jeremy’s Ferry. Oral history of “Leyton Gateway” Lea Bridge Road. Norma Crooks. 2003

[5] A random itinerary. John Davidson. 1894

[6] A History of the County of Middlesex Volume 10: Hackney: Communications, pp. 4-10, Fn 88.  T.F.T. Baker (Editor). 1995

[7] Users to Consumers Water Politics in Nineteenth-Century London. Frank Trentmann and Vanessa Taylor. 2005

[8] Booths Map of 1896. London School of Economics on Line resource

[9] A History of the County of Middlesex Volume 10: Hackney: Communications, pp. 4-10, Fn 94.  T.F.T. Baker (Editor). 1995

[10] A history of the County of Essex: Volume 5: Economic Influences on growth and local transport: pp21-29, Fn. 50. W. R. Powell (Editor). 196

Recollections, comments, contributions and corrections

Do you have something to add? Please use the box below to comment. Go to the feedback page to forward material to be added. Photographs, family histories and personal recollections are particularly welcome.

© leabridge.org.uk December 2012