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View south along the Lea towards the Waterworks (left)with Strong’s Bridge in the centre c.1901. Hackney Archives


The Hackney vestry was dissolved with the parish becoming the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney.


Hackney Borough Disinfecting Station, Millfields Road (Listed Grade II) by Gordon and Gunton for Hackney Borough Council. Built by the Public Health Committee under the auspices of Hackney's Chief Medical Officer J.King Warry M.D., under powers granted to the Committee by the Local GovemmentAct, 1899 to isolate people whose homes were being disinfected.[1]The steam-cleaning operation was powered by the Borough Electricity Station next door (dem). A rare and complete survival of a purpose-built disinfecting station.[2]

Shelter House on Millfields designed by Gordon and Gunton for Hackney Borough Council. A red brick with stone dressing in an Arts and Crafts style built to accommodate people having their belongings cleansed. The building is listed Grade II for its group value with the disinfecting station.[3]

Caretaker's Lodge[4], Millfields Road built by Gordon and Gunton for Hackney Borough Council. The building provided accommodation for a caretaker responsible for the maintenance of buildings associated with the Disinfecting Station. Constructed in Tudor-Gothic style. The building is Listed Grade II for its group value with the Disinfecting Station.

In 1870, Henry Thomas Gordon began practice in London and took Edward J Lowther into partnership five years later. Josiah Gunton was articled to Gordon & Lowther and was taken into partnership in 1885 froming the partnership of Gordon, lowther & gunton. After the death of Lowther in 1900, the practice continued as Gordon & Gunton. William Henry Gunton joined as partner in 1916 and when Gordon retired, the firm became Gunton & Gunton. Thomas Anderson Moodie joined as partner in 1918. Josiah Gunton designed many Wesleyan chapels but the firm Gunton & Gunton specialised in commercial buildings after World War I. Gunton and Gunton were the architects of The Disabled Soldiers and Sailors Foundation Hackney in Wattisfield Rd (See later in 1923). [5]

The Drayton Arms, No. 153 Old Brompton Road were designed by Gordon, Lowther and Gunton, architects, 1891-2.[6] The Mansion House, an early block of ‘mansion’ flats were designed by Gordon and Gunton in 1903 in Arts and Crafts style.(Corner of Marylebone Road with Lisson Grove).


Clapton Orient moves to Millfields Road, joining the Football League in 1905 and increasing the capacity from to 12,0000 spectators.


Perkoff family portraits (Jewish Museum)

Isaac Perkoff (1870-1946). Russian born photographer lived at Vine House, 18 Lea Bridge Road (1901-03); 35 Lea Bridge Road (Hackney 1904-31); 37 Lea Bridge Road (1908-24). Active in Yiddish cultural work; contributed sketches and verse to London Yiddish press.Friend of Shalom Aleichen and Abraham Goldfaden.Wrote several Yiddish plays, closely associated with London Yiddish theatre.Published letters & reminiscences of Abraham Goldfaden in 1908. Won awards from Regent Street Polytechnic School Paris Exhibition 1896. Perkoff specialised in Yiddish celebrities, especially actors and musicians; Albert Einstein sat for him.Member of The Royal Photographic Society from 1899.[8]Isaac and Anna Perkoff are shown here in the garden of their house in Lea Bridge Road, Hackney, which also served as Isaac's photographic studio.


Electric street lighting, under an order of 1893, was provided only in 1901, after Progressive electoral gains had ensured that Hackney would have its own power station. The station, at the east end of Millfields Road, was built in brick with stone dressings to the design of Gordon & Gunton. An adjacent refuse destructor supplied heat, and a wharf was built on land leased by the Lee Conservancy for bringing coal andremoving waste The 'A' station, opened in 1901, was built by the Borough of Hackney. The power station passed to London Electricity Board in 1947. It originally burned local refuse as well as coal, originally shipped up the Navigation from the Thames.[9]


Bill of sale for land and property at Lea Bridge, dated 18th July 1902. Lease for the Ship Aground Public House states: ‘The land has the benefit of the free use and enjoyment of Lea Bridge Dock and rights of way over two private roads called School Nook and Lea Bridge Place’.



Charles Booth

Charles Booth stated ‘The Lea is also a favourite resort, and the scene on a fine Sunday morning is very animated. The river is crowded with boats, and the towing-paths fromLea Bridge to Tottenham are alive with people’.[10]

Ashpitel was asked about support in Hackney for removing the tolls and putting the expense of the repair of the roads upon the parish. Ashpitel states ‘I think it would be very beneficial indeed to the property in the parish’.

‘Having this isolated inconvenience as regards your own property, have you ever petitioned the Commissioners in respect of that case? I believe my father did so; but I have not done so myself. My father died about four years ago (1852); I have had it since then.’[11]


Metropolis Water Act 1902 amalgamated eight private water companies into the Metropolitan Water Board. East London Waterworks Company absorbed by Metropolitan Water Board.


Lea Bridge Tram Company taken over by the Urban District Council as horses were superseded by electric traction. The Council's whole system was electrified in 1906–7.[12]



A Whit Sunday Festival was organised by the Gaelic League and the GAA? To be held at Lea Bridge, possibly Leyton Marsh. The festival included language and dancing competitions[13]

East London Waterworks Company and New River Company abolished and the Metropolitan Water Board took over water supply.[14]


‘The Mill fields take their name from some once famous corn-mills at Lea Bridge’ and ‘The original Lea Bridge was built of wood with three arches or waterways, the centre of which was 68 feet between the abutments’.[15] [16]

Lea BridgePumping-Engine: ‘represents in outline a triple- expansion compound engine of the inverted marine type designed by Mr. W.B. Bryan, two of which have been erected at theLea BridgePumping Station of the East London’.[17]



Great Eastern London Motor Omnibus Co. Start a service from Bakers Arms to Oxford Circus via Lea Bridge Road.[18]


[1] A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney: Public services, pp. 108-115, Fn 62. T.F.T. Baker (Editor). 1995

[2] English Heritage List entry Number: 1253493

[3] English Heritage List entry Number: 1253502

[4] English Heritage List entry Number: 1253506

[5] Dictionary of Scottish Architects Biography Report. www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect

[6] Plate 68: Drayton Gardens area, Survey of London: volume 41, pp. 68. Brompton. 1983

[7] www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk

[8] The Royal Photographic Society

[9] A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney: Public services, pp. 108-115. T.F.T. Baker (Editor) 1995

[10] Life and Labour of the People in London Charles Booth - 1902

[11] House of Commons papers, Volume 14 31 29 July 1856

[12] A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6: Leyton: Introduction, pp. 174-184. W.R. Powell (Editor). 1973

[13] Inis Fail Vol 1-29

[14] An Illustrated History of Hackney: Strength in the Tower, David Mander, Sutton Publishing. 1998

[15] The Municipal Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces of London. Lieut.-Col. J. J. Sexby, V. Delliot Stock. 1905

[16] The Municipal Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces of London:their history and associations

[17] The principles, construction, and application of pumping machinery (steam and water pressure) with practical illustration, pp. 285. Henry Davey. 1905

[18] A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6: Leyton: Introduction, pp. 174-184. W.R. Powell (Editor). 1973

Recollections, comments, contributions and corrections

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leabridge.org.uk December 2012