“Save the Forest!” Forest Gate and the campaign for Epping Forest

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

by local historian, Mark Gorman - celebrating the 140th anniversary of the Epping Forest Act and highlighting the role of ordinary east Londoners in rescuing the forest from destruction.

140 years ago this month, on 8 August 1878, the Epping Forest Act was signed into law. This marked the culmination of nearly two decades of action to save Epping Forest from enclosure and destruction for housing, a struggle which had involved not only leading politicians and lawyers, as well as bodies like the City of London Corporation, but also popular protest by thousands of ordinary Londoners. In this story Forest Gate played a key role.

Up to the 1870's Forest Gate was still a small west Essex village, on the edge of Wanstead Flats, which marked Epping Forest’s southern boundary. The forest, once part of a great stretch of woodland across the county, was by this time just 6,000 acres in extent, between Epping in the north and Forest Gate in the south.


The “toll gate” in Forest Gate (pictured here c.1850)
 marked the southern edge of Epping Forest.
 The Lord Lister Health Centre is located here today.
Even this shrunken area of forest was under threat as the 19 Lords of the Manor, who were the forest landowners, began to see the financial gain to be made from enclosing and developing this open space on London’s doorstep. By the early 1870's Forest Gate was beginning to change, as suburban development spread outwards, driven by the coming of the railway, which had reached Forest Gate in 1844.

As houses covered more and more of London’s countryside, voices of alarm began to be raised. Maryland resident Sir Antonio Brady, a leading campaigner to save Epping Forest, called on ‘citizens of the East End, to protest against the encroachments on the forest, and to do battle with those who had filched from the people rights they had inherited from their ancestors.’ 

Such calls met a ready response among east Londoners, who saw Epping Forest as their space. On summer weekends and holidays thousands of East Enders came by train, ‘holiday van’ or on foot, to enjoy the green space of the forest, and Wanstead Flats was a favourite destination.


Thousands of east Londoners enjoyed Epping
Forest, many coming in ‘holiday vans’ like
this one picture in the 1850's.

The government was called on to legislate to stop the enclosure of London’s open spaces, and Epping Forest in particular was the focus of attention. But Gladstone’s Liberal administration dragged its feet, to the frustration and anger of Londoners. Matters came to a head in the summer of 1871, when Lord Cowley, the absentee landowner of Wanstead manor, instructed his agents to fence off Wanstead Flats, in preparation for clearance and house-building. Outrage boiled over in east London. 

Protest meetings were held in Hackney, Shoreditch, Stratford and elsewhere, and a mass demonstration on Wanstead Flats was called for 8 July. At every meeting came calls not just for protest, but for destruction of the hated fences. At a meeting in Hackney one speaker wondered 'whether the fence would be in existence on Monday morning’. This remark was received with cries of ‘Down with it!’ and loud applause.




A crowd estimated at 30,000 descended on Wanstead Flats that day. The organisers of the protest, now fearful of the increasingly vocal calls for destruction of the fences on the Flats, adjourned the demonstration to the grounds of nearby West Ham Hall (now the site of Woodgrange School). They claimed that the military exercise taking place on the Flats that day meant that they couldn’t hold the meeting there. 

But the demonstrators were having none of it. As soon as the first speaker began, there was a storm of hissing, and shouts of ‘to the Flats’, followed by the manhandling of the carts, from which the gentleman leaders were speaking, up Chestnut Avenue and onto the Flats.


The 8 July protest meeting began in the grounds
 of West Ham Hall, pictured here in the 1890's.
The official meeting on the Flats agreed to petition the Queen over the forest enclosures, then the gentlemen leaders left, as did the large police detachment sent to guard the fences. Everything it seemed had passed off peacefully, until later that evening the mood changed. 

A large section of the crowd began to demolish fences near the Foresters Arms pub, which then stood near the corner of Capel Road and Centre Road. This was land rented from Lord Cowley by John Gladding (after whom a road is Manor Park is named) which had been laid out for building.

The police, hastily recalled from Ilford, arrived to find 100s of metres of fencing reduced to matchwood. The police charged the crowd and managed to arrest one of them, A Whitechapel cabinetmaker named Henry Rennie. A pitched battle then took place, as the crowd tried unsuccessfully to rescue him. He was later prosecuted, but Gladding asked for a light punishment, and he was fined 5/- (25p), which was paid for him by one of the Forest Gate organisers of the meeting.

The Wanstead flats meeting marked a turning point in the open spaces campaign. The demonstration attracted nationwide news coverage, much of it highly critical of the government. A few days later the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, came to view the Flats, after which his administration rushed through the first of a series of acts on Epping Forest, prohibiting further enclosures while a Commission investigated.


‘Epping Forest in Danger’ appeared in the 
Penny Illustrated Newspaper on 15 July 1871. 
Overseen by the local Lord of the Manor, a 
woodsman is cutting down ‘the rights of the people’, 
the tree about to fall on a picnic party in the forest. 
In the foreground John Bull vainly tries to awake 
the slumbering law. A sign reminds readers that 
there are royal rights over Epping Forest.
However, the campaign was just getting going. A pressure group called the Forest Fund, was established in Forest Gate, with local residents such as Charles Tanner, owner of West Ham hall, forming a key part of the committee. The secretary was William George Smith, a County Court Clerk lived in Odessa Road. Although now forgotten by history, Smith played a major role in the popular campaign for Epping Forest, working tirelessly over the next few years, organising petitions to parliament from east London vestries (the main units of local government before Councils) and lobbying MPs and voters during elections.

Newspaper advertisements in the 1874
General Election appealed to voters to elect
MPs who would campaign for Epping Forest
and other open spaces
In 1872 the Forest Fund organised a second demonstration on Wanstead Flats, timed to coincide with a further parliamentary debate on the future of Epping Forest. By this time the City of London Corporation had entered the fray, using their rights as Epping Forest commoners to bring legal action against the Lords of the Manor in the forest to stop enclosures. In doing so the City was seizing an opportunity to win popular support among Londoners. London’s government was increasingly seen as outdated for a modern city, and the City of London represented for many an undemocratic and unaccountable elite.

Their championing of forest preservation did win the City Corporation much popular support, though many were suspicious of its motives. One group of east London vestrymen laughed out loud when asked to sign a petition supporting the Corporation’s defence of ‘the weak’ against the forest landlords (though sign it they did). Nevertheless, a combination of the Corporation’s legal action and parliamentary action by radical London MPs finally led to the Epping Forest Act passed 140 years ago.

 But they did so in an atmosphere of protest and direct action by ordinary Londoners, with a determined group of Forest Gate residents in the vanguard of the campaign. 

So next time you are enjoying Wanstead Flats, remember that July day in 1871 when the crowd took matters literally into their own hands, and helped to shape the history of Epping Forest. 

Kenney Jones in E7 - Now and Then!

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Kenney Jones, one- time drummer of The Small Faces, The Faces and The Who, last week returned to his east end roots and performed at the Wanstead Tap, where he discussed his autobiography, Let The Good Times Roll, with rock journalist Paolo Hewitt, in one of the Tap's great book collaborations with the Newham Bookshop. A most enjoyable evening, it was, too.

Above - the book.
Below - the signing

Kenney was born in Stepney, a couple of months after the NHS was established, and has come a long way since. His career as a rock musician, had Mod written through it, in much the same way as seaside rock has the name of the resort through it.

He  now owns  a Surrey polo club, hob-nobbing with the likes of Prince Charles on the pitch, and has swapped the Lambrettas for the  Lambourghinis.

Kenney playing polo with his new mate
Prince Charles at his Hurtwood Park
polo club, in Surrey
His story - as told in his book, and elsewhere - is a fascinating one and owes some huge debts to Forest Gate. What follows is a recollection of some of those, and a consideration of his life and times in music and beyond.

Kenney - the second "e" was added to distinguish him from other entertainers with similar names in the 60's - is a self described "Stepney Herbert", who was gripped by music in his early teens, and ventured over to Forest Gate:

Local dance clubs offered another opportunity to hear great music. At weekends we would queue for venues such as the Lotus in Forest Gate (ed: Kenny Johnson's venue - see footnote) , which initially, played dance records before it began hosting bands.

While in the area, he came across the J60 Music Bar at 445 High Street North, Manor Park - long gone (see photo below, today). It was, in Jones' words "an Aladdin's cave" and was there he bought his first drum kit, aged 13.

He soon met Stan Lane, who introduced him to his brother, the later bassist, Ronnie, and in no time Kenney was dragging his drums from Stepney to Ronnie's house, at 385 Romford Road to practice, as they began to put a band together.


Kenney links up with Ronnie Lane and starts jamming at his house,
                                     385 Romford Road

It wasn't long before the pair of them were back at the J60 to get a guitar for Ronnie (as he had switched from lead to bass) and ended up jamming in the shop with the Saturday boy, who turned out to be Steve Marriott - to the annoyance of the owner, who soon sacked Marriott for selling the bass to Lane at a cut price.


Ronnie and Kenney meet Steve Marriott (above), the Saturday boy at the J60 Music Bar (recent photo of its later reincarnation), 445 High Street North - and The Small Faces are born

Marriott had been brought up about half way between the J60 and Ronnie Lane's house, at 308  Strone Road. His dad, among other things, had a shell fish stall outside the Ruskin Arms - also on High Street North. The emerging musical trio linked up with the son of the pub's landlord - Jimmy Winston (aka Longwith) - who joined in, on keyboards, but more importantly offered practice space at the back room of the pub for the boys.


Left - 308 Strone Road, where Marriott
was brought up, right The Ruskin Arms,
where the Small Faces began practising seriously
The band gradually emerged and called themselves The Small Faces, because - well, they were all small - around 5'5" each. Winston was soon dropped and replaced by Ian McLagan - and the band took off, locally around 1965.

The opening of the Upper Cut club, on Woodgrange Road was a big occasion for Kenney Jones, both personally and professionally. He tells the story in the book:

My introduction to session work came about as a direct result of meeting Jan Osborne on 21 December 1966, following The Who's performance at the opening night of heavyweight boxer Billy Walker's The Upper Cut Club in Forest Gate, East London. My cousin, Roy, and I attended the gig, after which we met up back stage with Adrienne Posta and her friend Jan.

Jan later became his wife, for about a decade, and they had two children. Her father, Tony, also had a significant influence on the young Kenney. He was a prominent band leader of the day and taught Kenney how to read music, which became an intro for the young drummer to session music. He played this in parallel with his time with the bands. It extended his talents,  repertoire and contacts greatly - and made not a little money on the side for him.

Small Faces - Kenney Jones in front, with the
big checks - just the way he liked it!
The Small Faces were by now making a considerable name for themselves locally and nationally and made a big impact on the Upper Cut within a couple of weeks of it opening - and on a second occasion during the club's year long existence (see press cuttings for the story).


Above - adverts for the Small Faces gigs at the Upper Cut, 6 January 1967 and 8 July, the same year.  Below Stratford Express coverage of their gigs





The autobiography, itself, is Kenney's own slant on the familiar rock star tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll, complete with the touring excesses of scandalous bad boy behaviour.  All the staple elements are there: bands breaking up over "musical differences", bands being ripped off by devious managers/agents/promoters, and the double standards of rockers who toured and played away, but who objected to their WAGS staying at home and playing away.

Kenney Jones performed for the three of the biggest bands of the 60's and 70's - The Small Faces, The Faces and The Who and has lived to tell the tale.

Familiar themes recur in his story. His attitude to money - let's call it careful. His relationship with lead singers (Marriott, Stewart and Daltry) - let's call it feisty. And his attitude to authority - let's call it challenging. Perhaps they are connected and help define the man.

Kenney - far right, with The Faces
He has looked after himself. As his book tells us, and he probably had cause to remind many, he was a distant relation of the Kary twins. He is also a survivor, probably because his excesses were less extreme than many of his contemporaries. 

So, he has outlived the other members of the Small Faces (Steve Marriott died aged 44 in 1991, Ronnie Lane aged 51 in 1997 and Ian McLagan aged 69 in 2014).

Kenney in The Who, second right
and keeping close tabs on Roger Daltrey
He has also survived life as a drummer, an instrument notorious for the self-destruction of its musicians. Keith Moon, of The Who,  died aged 32 in 1978 - to be replaced by Jones. John Bonham of Led Zepplin also died aged 32, in 1980. Cozy Powell of the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow and Black Sabbath survived until 1998, when he died, aged 51 and Mitch Mitchell who played with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and with Georgie Fame went, aged 62 in 2008.

A Faces reunion in 1993, as a fund raiser for
Ronnie Lane (with stick, in centre) suffering from MS
Kenney Jones' survivor capacity extends beyond the music industry. He is a prostate cancer survivor and a keen supporter of charities associated with it.

He has enjoyed the good life outside of music, too. A helicopter and a fleet of smart cars is never far away from his Surrey polo club, which he admits is proving a drain on his £20m net worth. This, of course,  enables him to mix within circles undreamed of in his Stepney roots. But he has never deserted or disowned them, and was happy to reminisce about his early life and times,  at the Tap.

A recent photo, with ex Faces Ronnie
Wood and Rod Stewart at a fund raiser
for Protate Cancer research, at Kenney
Jones' Guildford polo club
So - a most enjoyable night was had at the 75 people lucky enough to be there (tickets sold out within 2 hours) on an occasion put on by the great local double act of Newham Bookshop and the Wanstead Tap - the entertainment highlight of E7 - now.

Kenney (right), a man at ease talking
about his East End roots to journalist Paolo
Hewitt, at the Wanstead Tap in July 2018

Kenney - left - having a drink
 after his E7 show at the Tap

Footnotes:

1. Let The Good Times Roll, by Kenney Jones is published by Blink Publishing and retails at £20. Copies (some signed) can be obtained from Newham Bookshop - tel: , 745-747 Barking Road, or via their website: www.newhambooks.co.uk  

2. Readers of this article may be interested in the following articles on this site, featuring themes mentioned in it:

Billy Walker recalls the Upper Cut club

Bonallack's - coach-builders of Forest Gate

Wednesday, 18 July 2018


This site has previously featured manufacturing based in Forest Gate, notably bicycles and the many workshops in the area a hundred years ago. This article features a local company Bonallack’s that made bodies for vehicles, and then later spawned a car dealership surviving till 1990's. There may be a link - see below.


McDonald's now, Bonallack's then

A note on vehicle coach-building

Commercial vehicle building often involves two distinct phases, and often two different companies. A chassis and cab is built by one company say Ford or Volvo.  Then the chassis/cab goes to a bodybuilder to say construct a furniture lorry or tipper truck. 

Historically these bodybuilding companies often grew out of coach-building for horse drawn vehicles (building coaches), and to this day are sometimes referred to as coach builders. So, why should Bonallack's have chosen Forest Gate to establish themselves?

Previous articles on this site - see footnotes for details - have featured a very vibrant cycle-building cottage industry in Forest Gate in the late 1890's. As we have suggested, the "bike craze" may have tapered off around the turn of the century, and there would have been a ready pool of local, Forest Gate, labour capable of providing relevant skills to the still infant industry of commercial vehicle manufacture - in the days before production lines etc.

This article concerns a Forest Gate coach-builder Bonallack and Sons Ltd.


One of their vehicles from just before WW1,
made for a Forest Gate confectioner –
outside Bonallack’s premises in Cable
Street near Aldgate (Museum of London blog)
Bonallack’s is a very old established firm and features in the Victoria County History (VCH) for Essex.

Jacob Bonallack came from Cornwall to London in 1825 to build horse wagons, which became renowned for their quality and were exported all over the world. In 1846 he went into partnership with Joseph Briggs as coach makers and coach and cart wheelwrights, at Hanbury Field, Brick Lane, with a shop in John Street. In the 1850s he was making ‘staves and stays for vans and cart bodies’.

In 1870s he handed over running of the business to his grandsons William, John and Walter styled Bonallack and Sons Ltd., wheelwrights of 149 Cable Street (see here). Their connection to this part of East London appears to stem from them taking over in 1886 Stephen Gowar & Co., coach-builder, The Broadway, Stratford, a firm founded in 1839 (see here).


This is an Edwardian postcard image dating
 from 1900-1905 of the old Stratford Town Hall.
To the right you can clearly see the premises
 of Bonallack’s, Stratford Broadway. In 1905
Bonallack’s building was sold to the council
and used to substantially extend
Stratford fire station. This building survives,
now much modified. (Picture from collection
of postcards owned by Tony Morrison).
The left hand end of the Bonallack building in
2008, then with council offices above. The
appliance bays from the fire station are clearly
visible. It was a fire station 1906-1964. Top left
plaque says West Ham Fire Brigade station.
In 1905 Bonallack & Sons made the transition from horse drawn vehicles and built a factory in Nursery Lane, Forest Gate, to make motor vehicle bodies, and opened showrooms in Romford Road. The factory was transferred to Nevedon, Basildon in 1953, one of the post war new towns, and they were one of the first companies to relocate there (see here). Bonallack's survived until the early '90's as a subsidiary of James Booth Aluminium Ltd (see here).

The Romford Road showroom in Forest Gate survived well into the 1990's as a Leyland motor dealership, an enterprise separate from the commercial bodybuilder, but no doubt founded by another family member. Then that motor firm went bust and the garage was demolished. Forest Gate's McDonald's restaurant was built on the site. Sadly, we have been unable to source a photo of the garage. We would appreciate receiving one, should any reader have access to one.


Advert from around WW1. Note address in 
bottom right hand corner (source: here).
To quote from a piece in Commercial Motor magazine, 18 March 1955, by BG Bonallack, joint Managing Director, Bonallack and Sons Ltd:

As one of the oldest concerns of commercial body-builders still controlled by the founder family, Bonallack and Sons Ltd, find it most pleasant to be able to congratulate the Commercial Motor on having attained its 50th birthday.
Showroom on Romford Road in 1936, before
moving to the larger site on the same road
 that now hosts McDonalds
To launch such a lusty infant on to the world in 1905 was a brave venture. Private motoring at that time was still largely a hobby of the eccentric rich, and commercial vehicles must have been very rare birds, indeed. When we look at the commanding position occupied by this journal in its own sphere today, it is fitting to pay tribute to the enterprise that started it.
We ourselves at that time were barely looking beyond the horse age. It is almost 50 years ago since the first motor body was built in our shops. One or two foremen - grey-haired men now, but lusty apprentices then - and some of our pensioners remember it. They will tell even today of the new problems that were faced then; and how "Mr Walter" (now our chairman, in his 84th year) spent hours in the shops deciding how every angle of the matter was to be approached.
The ancient trade, as practised by our founder, Jacob Bonallack, Cornishman, four generations ago, was in full flower around the first motor body. The wheelwrights were following their craft, striking double-handed with a full swing of the hammer on the ends of the unrimmed spokes. The blacksmiths were shrinking their white-hot steel tires on the ash of the felloes (see here, for source). 

Ordnance Survey 1914, showing Nursery Lane,
the first turning on the right, travelling along
Upton Lane from Romford Road. Bonallack's may
well have occupied the long building
behind Sylvan Road.


 The Nursery Lane factory (now lost under the Mother's Pride bread factory) even built an extraordinary fire engine based on a Rolls Royce car, for Borough Green and District Fire Brigade in Kent. This volunteer fire brigade bout a 1921 Silver Ghost from Lord Kelmsley, second hand, for £26 and Walter Bonallack converted it into a fire engine in 1938. Walter lived near Kelmsley.


A Rolls Royce Silver Ghost/Bonallack fire
appliance in the late 1930's (see here)
The famous toy maker, Matchbox (based across the borough boundary, in Hackney) even made a model of the Rolls Royce at 1:48 scale. Here is their version, numbered Y6 in Yesteryears collection:



In fact, it seems Bonallack's built a number of wooden bodies on various car chassis, what were termed shooting breaks - the archetype of the Woody was the Morris 1000 Traveller, with its wooden-framed body.

See this extract from British Woodies: From the 1920's to the 1950's (see here):





Footnotes

A. The author is a local historian, but also has also written extensively about the history of the fire service, including a book on West Ham Fire Brigade which ran the old Stratford fire station featured here. He also bought a second hand car from Bonallack’s in Forest Gate shortly before it went bust. The MG Maestro had serious defects and he went to Newham Trading Standards for redress without success as the company had disappeared by then.

B. References

1. Bonallack & Sons had a repair/body shop in Freshwater Road/Selinas Lane Dagenham, with Bonallack above the door. This would have been in the late '60's/early '70's (see here).

2. The story of the Borough Green Rolls is here
3. They built one modern fire engine, here

4. They also built several outside broadcast units for the BBC at Basildon, here

5. They seem to have built bodies for Riley cars in Forest Gate (here).

6. 1869 company restructure, here

7. Bonallack at Basildon built many ambulances for the British military based on Land Rovers, here

C. Previous hyper-linked articles on cycle workshops:

Forest Gate: hub of Victorian bike manufacturers

Bike building in Forest Gate

Cycling in Victorian Forest Gate
Forest Gate Cycling Club and life on the road at the end of the C19th











NHS at 70 (2) - current state of services in E7

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


In 2016 we published details of GP surgeries in E7, and how they were rated by their patients (see here). The article was based on the information supplied by the NHS's national website: NHS Choices.

This article updates the information and tracks significant developments, and extends its scope, by using the same website to assess the position of local dentists and pharmacies in Forest Gate, today.

E 7 - General Practitioners

There are 14 GP surgeries based in E7 today, as there were at the time of our earlier article (August 2016), although some of their names have been changed - mainly to "depersonalise" them, as the notion of surgeries being known by the name of the principal doctor is gradually eroding, and multi doctor partnerships are becoming the norm.

The list below presents the surgeries in alphabetical order, with former names included in brackets in their titles.

The number of patients registered to E7 GPs shot up by a remarkable 17% between these two snapshot looks at the data - from 77,265 to 90,630. But the number of GPs serving those surgeries rose by an even more impressive 30% - from 48 to 62 over the period.

So, the average number of patients per E7 registered GP has declined from 1 to 1,609 to 1 to 1,462 during that short time.

Within these figures there was a relative increase in the percentage of female GPs working in the surgeries, rising from 37% (18 of the total in 2016) to 42% (rising from 26 to 36 of the total today).

All local surgeries offer an electronic prescription service and on-line appointments.

E7's  GP surgeries have a relatively low approval rating amongst their patents, compared to the national average, according to the figures supplied by NHS Choices, but they are improving.

In 2016, 12 of E7's 14 surgeries had below average figures for patients who would recommend their surgery to others. The only two surgeries who performed within the national average range for recommendations were Claremont Clinic and the Woodgrange Medical Practice - two of the area's larger practices.

The present survey indicates that four more local surgeries have joined them in having patients who would recommend them, within the mid rage of national figures. They are Abiola, Driver and Partners, Krishnamurthy's Practice and Shrewsbury Summit.

The three best local surgeries for patient recommendations are: Claremont (86.1% and rising), Woodgrange (84.3% and rising) and Abiola (72.4% and rising). The three worst are: Birchdale (44.3% and falling), Upton Lane (37% and falling) and Boleyn (26.5% and falling).

NHS Choices offers a patient-lead "Star rating" for each surgery locally. These ratings are based on a relatively small sample of patients writing in, and do not correlate very well with the recommendations rating - based on much larger samples of patient opinion.

For what it's worth, the top three star ratings of local surgeries are: Claremont, 4.5 (up from 4), Woodgrange, 4 (up from 3) and Shrewsbury Centre, 4 (up from 2).  And the bottom four are: Driver and Partners and Westbury, both 2.5 (both down from 3), Summit, 1.5 (down from 2.5) and Boleyn, 1.5 (static).

Dr Abiola, 121 Woodgrange Road, E7 0EP. Tel: 020 8250 7550

Registered patients: 3,896 (2016: 3,761)
GPs in practice: 2 (1f, 1m) (2016: same)
72.4% of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016: 62.5%, amongst the worst)
3.5 Star rating (2016: 4.5)

Birchdale Road Medical Centre, 2 Birchdale Rd, E7 8AR. Tel: 020 8472 1600

Registered patients: 3,237 (2016: 3,285)
GPs in practice: 2 (1f, 1m) (unchanged)
44.3% of patients would recommend the practice - amongst the worst, nationally. (2016: 56.6% and amongst the worst)
3 Star rating (2016: 2)  

Boleyn Rd Practice, 162 Boleyn Rd, E7 9QJ. Tel: 020 8503 5656

Registered patients: 6,534 (2016: 7,226)
GPs in practice: 2 (2m) (unchanged)
26.5% of patients would recommend the practice - amongst the worst, nationally. (2016: 35%, and amongst the worst)
1.5 Star rating (2016: 1.5)


Boleyn Road Practice - lowest public rating in E7
Claremont Clinic, 459 - 463 Romford Rd, E7 8AB. Tel: 020 8522 0222

Registered patients: 9,800 (2016: 8,719)
GPs in practice: 5 (2f, 3m) (2016: 6 (3f, 3m))
86.1% of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016: 79.4%, mid range)
4.5 Star rating (2016: 4.5)


Claremont Clinic - highest rating by patients
Driver and Partners, Little Lister Health Centre, 121 Woodgrange Rd, E7 0EP. Tel: 020 8250 7510

Registered patients: 6,151 (2016: 6,930)
GPs in practice: 6 (4f, 2m) (2016: 4 (2f, 2m))
69.6% of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016: 66.1%, among the worst)
2.5 Star rating (2016: 3)


Driver and Partners, at the Lord Lister Clinic:
 medium sized practice with mid range satisfaction rating
Krishnamurthy's Practice, East Ham Memorial Hospital, Shrewsbury Road, E7 8QR. Tel: 020 8250 6555

Registered patients: 2,043 (2016: 2,006)
GPs in practice: 2 (2m) (2016: same)
 69.9% of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016: 65.3%, amongst the worst)
3 Star rating (2016: 2)

Dr CM Patel, 2 Jepson Road, E7 8LZ. Tel: 020 8470 6429

Registered patients: 2,163 (2,112)
GPs in practice: 2 (1f, 1m) (2016: same)
60.8 % of patients would recommend the practice - amongst the worst, nationally. (2016: 62.1%, amongst the worst)
3 Star rating (2016: 3.5)

Sangam Surgery (previously Govind Bapna), 511 Katherine Road, E7 8DR. Tel: 0202 8472 7029

Registered patients: 11,161 (2016: 1,084)
GPs in practice: 3 (2f,1m) (2016: 1 (1m))
63.5% of patients would recommend the practice - amongst worst, nationally. (2016: 63.5 % and amongst the worst)
3 Star rating (2016: 2.5)

Shrewsbury Centre (previously Shrewsbury Road Surgery), Shrewsbury Rd, E7 8QP. Tel: 020 8586 5111

Registered patients: 13,682 (2016: 12,848)
GPs in practice: 8 (3f, 5m) (2016: 5 (2f, 3m))
68.9% of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally (2016: 63.4%, amongst the worst)
4 Star rating (2016: 2)

The Summit Practice (previously A Yesufa), East Ham Memorial Building, Shrewsbury Road, E7 8QR. Tel: 020 8552 2299

Registered patients: 2,554 (2016: 2,417)
GPs in practice: 2 (2m), (2016: 1 (1m))
67.3 % of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016: 62.9%, amongst worst)
1.5 Star rating (2016: 2.5)


Summit: Star rating down,
but recommendation rate up
Dr Swedan and Partner, Little Lister Health Centre, 121 Woodgrange Rd, E7 0EP. Tel: 020 8250 7530

Registered patients: 2,983 (2016: 3,121)
GPs in practice: 4 (2f, 2m) (2016: 3 (2f, 1m))
51.5 % of patients would recommend the practice - amongst the worst, nationally. (2016: 64.6%, amongst the worst)
3 Star rating (2016: 3.5)

Upton Lane Medical Centre (previously PD Shanker and Partners), 75 - 77 Upton Lane, E7 9PB. Tel: 020 8471 6912

Registered patients: 7,848 (2016: 7,240)
GPs in practice: 6 (3f, 3m) (2016: 4 (1f, 3m))
37 % of patients would recommend the practice - among the worst, nationally. (2016: 44.7%, amongst the worst)
3.5 Star rating (2016: 3)


New medical centre in Upton Lane,
 with poor recommendation rating
Westbury Road Medical Practice (previously Dr DK Mahmud and Dr SW Rahman), 45, Westbury Rd, E7 8BU. Tel: 020 8472 4128

Registered patients: 4,172 (2016: 4,199)
GPs in practice: 4 (2f, 2m) (2016: 3 (1f, 2m))
66% of patients would recommend the practice - among the worst, nationally. (2016: 53.5%, amongst the worst)
2.5 Star rating (2016: 3)

Woodgrange Medical Practice, 40 Woodgrange Road, E7 0QH. Tel: 020 8221 3100/3128
Registered patients: 14,406 (2016: 12,317)
GPs in practice: 14 (5f, 9m) (2016: 11 (4f, 7m))
84.3 % of patients would recommend the practice - mid range, nationally. (2016 - 70.0%, mid range)
4 Star rating (2016: 3)


Woodgrange Medical Practice - large and popular

E7 Dentists

NHS Choices supplies details of local NHS dentists, but the information is less helpful than that supplied about General Practitioners. For example, there appears to be no requirement for dentist listed to indicate where or not they take new NHS patients - a rather serious flaw from an NHS site.

Below are details of the four E7 dentists appearing on the site (in alphabetical order), and the scant, relevant information provided about them. Only two (Forest and Woodgrange) indicate that they are currently accepting both adult and child new NHS patients.

Forest Dental Practice, 0208 552 1010, 76 Upton Lane.
This surgery has four dental practitioners and has a star rating of 4 (out of 5), based on 12 patient reviews.

Green Street Surgery, 0208 472 0504, 244 Green Street.
This surgery has four dental practitioners and has a star rating of 3, based on 2 patient reviews.

Katherine Road Dental Practice, 0208 470 2043, 394 Katherine Road.
 This surgery has three dental practitioners and has a star rating of 4, based on 12 patient reviews.

Woodgrange Dental Practice, 0208 555 3336, 80 Woodgrange Road.
This surgery has four dental practitioners and has a star rating of 2.5, based on 7 patient reviews.


Woodgrange Dental Practice
E7 Pharmacies

There are nine E7 pharmacies recorded on the NHS Choices site, which provides useful live information on up-to-date opening hours and details of out-of hours services, for emergencies.

Beyond that, the site is pretty useless. No details are provided of qualified pharamcists at each surgery.  A totally pointless customer star ratings system operates.  The majority of the E7 units have not received a single rating, suggesting that even the chemists and their families do not take it seriously!

Pharmacies are required by the Department of Heath to conduct an annual patient/client survey and publish the results on the NHS Choices website.  However, no guidance is given as to how they should be reported.  Each pharmacy chooses its own method, usually highlighting aspects of the survey where they appear in the best light, or to simply publish the whole report, unsummarised.

The result is that no meaningful comparisons can be made, and as a communication to the public exercise, the unprescribed requirement is almost worthless.

Mansons, 0208 534 3212, 15 Woodgrange Road.


Mansons on Woodgrange Road
Mayors, 0208 472 9746, 45 Upton Lane.

Malchem, 0208 519 4126, 63 Woodgrange Road.


Malchem on Woodgrange Road

Shan, 0208 534 1775, 453, Romford Road.

Woodgrange Pharmacy, 0206 555 5660, 116-120 Woodgrange Road.
Sherman's 0208 534 2394, 100-102 Woodgrange Road.

Crailmay Pharmacy, 0208 472 2370, 70 Green Street.

Day Lewis, 0208 552 2603, 79 Upton Lane.

Akro Pharmacy, 0208 472 0461, 404 Katherine Road.

E7 Opticians

The NHS Choices website also covers local opticians, but other than providing details of phone numbers and opening times the site is useless. It has scarcely been updated since 2010 and there is only one review of services between the four local opticians featured.

Clearly, surveying the opticians has been abandoned.  Some might argue that this is a short-sighted policy. Boom, boom!

Forest Gate Eye Clinic, 020 8181 9171, 47 Woodford Road.

Forest Gate Opticians, 0208 534 5170, 94 Woodgrange Road.

Pradip Patel, 020 8555 8834, 34 Woodgrange Road.

Pradip Patel's Optician on Woodgrange Road
Super Optical, 020 8472 0949, 5 St Stephen's Parade, Green Street. (the one with the rating!)