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Beecholme Estate, adjacent to north Millfields, designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd. Gibberd’s practice (working with Borough engineer G.L. Downing), designed a number of post-war estates in Hackney, including Somerford Grove Estate (1949) and The Beckers (1958) [1]. Gibberd was the architect of Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral (1960–1967) and was appointed the planner for the new town of Harlow in Essex. His innovative pre-war flats at Pullman Court, Streatham Hill (1934-36) are listed Grade II*. ‘Water Gardens’ and ‘The Lawns’, Harlow, are also listed grade II. The Mark Hall neighbourhood in Harlow is now a conservation area.


Under the Transport Act 1947, the Lee Conservancy Board became the Lea District of the British Transport Commission. With the exception of water protection activities, functions formerly carried out by the Board were taken over by the Commission.

Porter’s Field was an estate ofprefabsbuilt as temporary accommodation in 1947 which existed well into the 1970s. The map linked from the panel on the left was published in the early 1960s (but compiled earlier) and clearly shows the estate. They were well equipped and included a refrigerator which was far from being a standard kitchen appliance in homes of that era.

Lea Bridge Road flooded


Flood waters entering the Lea Bridge Station of the Metropolitan Water Board came along the aqueduct and a dam was constructed across the channel where it enters the works.[12]


On 15th March, the Lea Bridgeworks of the Metropolitan Water Board of London are flooded, which shutting down the works for nine days; the first time in their history that they are shut.[2]


Canal system nationalised. The Navigation passed to the British Transport Commission.


The serious flooding of 1947 revived interest in the Lee Conservancy Catchment Board’s unimplemented pre-war flood protection scheme. Work on the construction of the new channel from Tottenham to below Lea Bridge was begun in 1950 and completed in 1960.[3]


Omnibuses have replaced trolley buses.


The British Transport Commission, including the Lea District, was dissolved under the Transport Act 1962, and its functions divided between four boards, including the British Waterways Board.


Artists view of 'Lea Bridge Gardens' 1964. The waterworks engine sheds and chimneys can bee seen in the centre background. (Civic Trust)

The Civic Trust publishes a plan for the Lea Valley, leading onto the formation of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The plan proposes the development of ‘Lea Bridge Gardens’ a riverside pleasure garden 'to rival the Tivoli in Copenhagen'. The Lea Bridge Road was proposed to be sunk below the site.


Leyton Urban District was combined with Walthamstow and Chingford to form the London borough of Waltham Forest.[4]


The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority was created.


Death of Major Villiers, funder of the ton Manor Boys Club, Freeman of the Boroughs of first Leyton and later Hackney. He is said to have settled in East London later in his life, near to the Wilderness (the sports grounds of the EMBC), where he lived until his death.


In 1969, Clapton Orient’s stadium at Millfields Road was sold by the Greyhound Racing Association and made way for Millfields Estate.[5]


[1] Hackney Building Exploratory. http://brickfields.org.uk/about.php

[2] Water and Sewage Works Volume 94

[3] A History of the County of Essex: Problems of Public Administration.

[4] A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6: Leyton: Local government and public services, pp. 205-214. 1973

[5] A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney: Social and Cultural Activities, pp. 65-73. 1995

Recollections, comments, contributions and corrections

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leabridge.org.uk December 2012