The Forest Gate drinkers’ guide

Friday 23 February 2024

It is almost a decade since we last featured a Forest Gate drinkers’ guide (see here for 2015 round-up and here and here for the previous ones). Unsurprisingly there have been many changes and some closures, but overall there now is a more varied range of watering holes for the thirsty.

There have been two significant closures. The Live and Let Live on Romford Road, has closed as a pub, but seems to be some kind of accommodation address now, and round the corner to it, the Wetherspoons Hudson Bay has gone. This is surprising, as it always appeared to be busy thoughout the extensive opening hours, with both drinkers and diners.  It went last year and is to be replaced, on site, by an Islamic social centre.

Almost all of the pubs we have previously featured have undergone significant changes in ownership in bids to keep up with changing trends and demands. There is now a pretty significant division between those venues patronised by the older, perhaps more traditional, local population and the younger set of incomers, in addition to a couple of essentially exclusively Asian bars.  The range of options currently available offers something for almost all drinking tastes and type of venue.

The local drinkers’ venues have been expanded by the arrival of local micro brewery’s Pretty Decent Beer Company, which joins the Wanstead Tap in offering a different kind of drinking within a railway arch, off the beaten track. The railway arches have had a mixed history over recent years: Tracks, off Avenue Road, arrived and disappeared, as has Burgess and Hall, next to the Tap - although some drinking presence survives. The Ciderhouse opened next to Tracks. It seems to have very limited opening hours and would appear to be mainly a venue for hire

This time we have included Giovanna’s on Woodgrange Road, although it is more a restaurant/wine bar than pub, it does have a beer garden, so on that basis, meets a criterion for inclusion!

We are also looking at a couple of private clubs for the first time: the Century Bar and St Antony’s and have added the Rising Sun to the review list, which seemed to have dropped off our radar in previous round-ups. Having visited a number of times recently, its easy to explain the oversight.

In a rough price comparison guide, we have replaced the former Stellaometer with a Guinness Guzzler’s Guide (being the most universally available beer in the UK) at the end of this review, although a couple of the venues don’t sell the black stuff.

At the end of each review we give the latest Food Standards Agency food hygeine ratings.

Enjoy the read, and cheers!

Century Bar and Restaurant

Address: 454 Romford Road.

Web address:

Background: Fondly known as a Desi pub (one owned or managed by a landlord of Indian origin), the Century was established by Kenyan Asian, Peter Patel, in 1988. He established it to provide a safe haven for Asian drinkers in an area where they often felt unsafe, from racist abuse in local pubs (see here for an explanation).  When he first opened the bar Peter was threatend by another, wholly unexpected, menace: Asian thugs seeking protection money. The close proximity to Forest Gate police station helped see off that challenge. Peter stayed for 30 years before retiring. Although branded as a club, membership is not required to eat or drink there.

Opening hours: Mon: closed. Tues-Thurs: 5pm – 11pm. Fri: 5pm – 1 am. Sat: 3pm – 1 am. Sun: 3pm – 11 pm.

They say: Describes itself as and Indian restaurant and and cocktail bar. “A space for relaxed social dining … draws its inspiration from the vibrancy of the culture, art and music, including an innovative spiritual modern India”.

We say: It's more of an Indian restaurant than drinking den, but there is a bar at the entrance with half a dozen beers on tap that welcomes casual drinkers, without question. Friendly staff. The restaurant has an extensive menu 50:50 vegetarian and non vegetarian, although no vegan options. The decor and furnishings are smart although unremarkable. There are a couple of large screen TVs showing, not surprisngly Asian stations.

FSA says: 5 stars.

Forest Tavern


Address: 173 Forest Lane.

Web address: www.

Background: Called the Railway Tavern until 2013, for obvious reasons, it was then taken over and revamped by Antic pub chain, as the Forest Tavern. They held it for a decade, after which it was taken over again by gastropub chain Portobello, and revamped again. The refurb has opened up its rather splendid facia board (see photo). The pub was originally opened by Holt and Co of East Ham, who were taken over by Cannon Brewery of Clerkenwell in 1922, who erected the facia in 1925. Cannon, themselves were taken over by Taylor Walker in 1930, and later by Allied Breweries, until their sale to Antic.

Opening hours: Mon – Thurs: 11am – 11pm, Fri-Sat 11am – 12pm. Sun 11 am – 10.30pm.

They say: “We’re conveniently situated right by Forest Gate station and just a 5 minute stroll from Wanstead Park” (they probably mean Flats, unless they “stoll” at 12mph!).

We say: It has a weekly quiz night on a Tuesday and monthly supper club (£50 a head). The pub regularly features live jazz, hosts a monthly Forest Gayte Pride night and frequently sponsors charities, such as the Magpie Project. There is a large “back room”, which doubles up as its restaurant and an outside paved area/garden that can probably accommodated 50 people. It has an extensive – vegan friendly – menu, which is on the pricey side, with a great Sunday Roast offer. It has range of interesting drinks (including some Pretty Decent Beer Co options – see below). It offers £4 pints between noon and 7pm Mondays – Fridays. It has no TV, or other distracting entertainment. It is a busy pub, catering mainly for the younger, middle class “Nouveaux Gater” set.

FSA says: Awaiting inspection, since the Portobello takeover.

Forest Gate Hotel

Address: 105 Godwin Rd.

Web address:

Background: A traditional east-end boozer that has fallen on hard times. It had serious drug-dealing issues over a decade ago, which seem to have been overcome, but the anti-dealing messages in the pub remain a reminder of those times. We gave it a poor review a decade ago, and things seem to have got worse since; so, both the comedy and music clubs they ran then, along with the bar food, have dropped off their offerings.

Opening hours: Who knows? No indication on website, or inside or outside the pub, other than a vague statement "open all day".

They say: “Pub in the backstreets of Forest Gate, with a relaxed atmosphere. Spacious single bar, with some nice features like three columns (??!!), bar-back and counter. Sports TV, pool, darts, rear patio, a function room.”

We say:  Two large screens for live sport, often MTV music. Pool, darts, a one-armed bandit, pub quiz nights on Wednesdays, Karaoke on Thursdays and a DJ on Fridays. It is incredible how this place remains open. There are very few customers and the décor is poor and beer the choice absolutely minimal and fizzy.  The substantial hall at the back that is rarely used.  It seems to operate mainly as a cheap hotel, with the rack rate being £66 per night for a double room with bed and breakfast. The Trip Advisor reviews are horrific; the 46 of them average a 2/5 (poor) score, with some grim stories to accompany the ratings.

FSA says: 3 stars, up from 2 in 2014 and 1 in 2015.

Fox and Hounds


Address: 178 Forest Lane.

Web address: Craft Union Pub Co

Background: The pub has changed hands and landlords a few times over recent years, and was even shut for a few months a decade or so ago, but it has bounced back to become a very busy boozer.

Opening hours: Advertised as: Sun – Thurs: 11am – 11pm. Fri -Sat: 11am – 12 pm. But seems to have started opening at 10 a.m.

They say: "The Fox and Hounds is a great example of a 1930's East London public house, equipped with unique features like fire places and a through around bar. It is about as typical as a boozer gets with a pool table, fruit machines and jukebox."

We say: Difficult to get a greater contrast of pub than with the Forest Gate Tavern, just 4 doors along (for confirmation, see Guinness prices at the end)! Their self-description (above), like the pub itself, could not be less pretentious. Following the closure of the Hudson Bay, last year, it’s the cheapest and busiest pub in the area, by some distance. It is always lively with an older, long-established, very multi-cultural and harmonious customer base. The bar staff are always pleasant and welcoming.  It has a juke box, half a dozen sports TVs, and a pool table; it is a hive of activity. The food offering is pretty much restricted to crisps and peanuts, but it’s a pub and has no pretentions of being a restaurant. There’s an outside, paved area, with some shelter, that can accommodate upto 30 people  – a haven for smokers, but hardly an oasis.

FSA says: 5 stars.



Address: 58 Woodgrange Road.

Web address:

Background: Opened 4 years ago, it is a family run business, inspired by the owners’ parents and grandparents who emigrated to Newham in the 1950s, opening the Windsor Restaurant, also on Woodgrange Road, followed by Marco’s Café on the Victoria Dock Road.

Opening hours: Mons: closed. Tues – Thurs: 11.30 am – 10.30pm, Fri – Sat: 10 am – 11pm. Sun 11 – 5pm.

They say: “We are an independent Italian deli, wine shop and bar focussing on selling quality Mediterranean produce to the Forest Gate Community.“

We say: A delightful addition to the local drinking and eating scene on Woodgrange Road. It is a “living wage employer” with charming and friendly staff, headed by owners Alex and Vic. There is a lovely Italian deli counter and short, but tasty, menu of fresh food. Small, but interesting range of mainly Italian food from the café/bar/restaurant/shop. They have three beers on tap and many of their food products are from small, independent, ethically-sourced producers. Outside dining with tables and chairs on Woodgrange Road and space for around 30 in pleasant back beer garden area. There is a large, comfortable downstairs dining room, with seating for 20, available for hire.

FSA says: 4 stars.

Golden Fleece (honorary mention, as a popular venue for many Forest Gaters)


Address: 166 Capel Rd.

Web address:

Background: A mainstay and focal point for the local, and Manor Park, communities. It has changed hands a number of times during its history. A decade ago we said: ”It is now owned by John Barras pubs, an old north-east England brewery which rebranded itself in 2010 as a pub chain, along Chef and Brewer lines.” It has subsequently been taken over by East Anglain brewers, Greene King.

Opening hours: Sun – Thurs: 11.30 am – 11pm. Fri-Sat: 11.30 am – midnight.

They say: “A great local pub, in the heart of the community, with friendly service and honest pricing.”

We say: The pub, offers a wide range of guest beers and a 10% discount for CAMRA members on selected pints. A substantial menu, with reasonable prices; though the quality of the food varies greatly, depending on the duty chef. It is a popular pub facing Wanstead Flats with sizeable beer garden with children’s play area. There is plenty of scope for spilling over into the Flats on hot summer days. The pub offers TNT and Sky Sports (mainly football and rugby) on 5 large screens and can be packed when West Ham, Spurs or international rugby feature. Frequent live music and karaoke events – see website for details. Does a busy post-funeral trade, being the nearest pub to both the City of London and Manor Park cemeteries. 260 TripAdvisor Reviews, average 4/5 stars.

FSA says: 5 stars.

 Holly Tree

Address: 141 Dames Road.

Web address:

Background: Had always been a reasonably popular pub, with a history dating back to 1870, with more potential than customers. It looked as if it may have suffered the fate of many under-used street corner pubs and become replaced by a block of flats. But it underwent a major refurbishment after it was taken over by Remarkable Pubs in 2019. Remarkable was founded in 1985 and has subsequently acquired over 15 Georgian and Victorian pubs in London (including the Boleyn Tavern on Barking Road) and restored them to their former glories. The Leyton Engineer is to follow soon. It has to be said they have done a magnificent job in all those in the chain that we have visited.

Opening hours: Mon – Weds: 5pm – 11pm. Thurs – Sat: noon – 11pm, Sun: noon – 9pm.

They say: Following an extensive refurbishment in 2019, a new kitchen has been installed serving delicious food daily, including superb Sunday roasts. The huge garden has been landscaped and the large pub interior refurbished with a classic look and feel including the much desired cosy snug with real fire.”

We say: It is in a great location, on the edge of Wanstead Flats, with a children’s playground opposite. Children are welcome in the pub and at times can delight in a fully functioning minature railway (£1 a ride, for two circuits). Half of the pub is “child-free”, and dogs are permitted in certain areas; so all preferences are catered for. There are lots of options for outside dining and drinking and a substantial conservatory and glass annexe which are particularly suitable for visitors with children. It has become a very popular pub, particulary on Sunday lunchtimes, when young families can enjoy a drink and meal, with plenty of distractions for the youngsters.

FSA says 5 stars.

Pretty Decent Beer Co


Address: Arch 340, Sheridan Rd.

Web address: www.

Background. Started off as a brewhouse in Forest Gate about six years ago, which soon grew and opened up a tap room a few arches away, just before the onset of COVID, at current address. The brewhouse became so successful that in December 2022 they needed to double its capacity, but they could no longer be easily accommodated in Forest Gate. They moved to the Blackhorse Beer Mile, in Walthamstow, leaving the tap room behind in Sheridan Road.

Opening hours: Weds: 2pm-10pm. Thurs – Fri: 4pm-11pm. Sat: noon-11pm. Sun: noon -8pm.

They say: “Every beer sold includes a donation to causes driving change for the good ... Our  taproom is an inclusive neighbourhood spot where everyone feels welcome to sit down, relax and enjoy themselves. We brew a diverse range of modern, seasonal beers so there is always something new on the taps to try. We have 12 beers on tap, a full wine list and spirits from local legends Victory Gin. We also have gluten free and no alcohol beer - so something for everyone!”

We say: Offers a monthly subscription service, that delivers to your door. There is a small bar showcasing a dozen or so of the varied and interesting range of beers brewed by the company – many on tap, others in cans.. It can accommodate about 40 people, inside and out. There are “Happy hours” on most days; between 5pm and 9pm Weds and Thurs and between noon and 6pm on Sats and Suns, when prices are just £4 on all “core” pints. The bar hosts a Japanese kitchen offering about a dozen options on Fri-Sun afternoons. The “good causes” they have supported have included local initiatives like Clapton FC, Newham Solidarity Fund and the Magpie Project.

This bar and brewery are a great local success story. Use them or lose them!

FSA says: 4 stars.

Rising Sun


Address: 528 Romford Road.

Web address:

Background: Ex Bass-Charrington pub which has clearly seen better days and is unlikely to revisit them. Has recently been on the property market and presumably would be replaced by a street corner block of flats; although thi                          s may be difficult, as the pub is locally listed by Newham Council.

Opening hours: Sun – Thurs: 1pm – midnight, Fri-Sat: 1pm – 2 a.m. (frequently closed during some of these advertised hours).

They say: Big screen, Sky Sports, Pool tables, Karaoke Fri-Sun, authentic Indian food, resident DJ.

We say: Another Desi pub! Overwhelmingly 40 years plus male Asian customers enjoying Bollywood karaoke 4 nights a week. Small public bar at front, with shabby furniture. Larger back room with four pool tables, features quite large card games. Reluctant to take credit cards at the bar, stating a £10 min.

FSA says: 4 stars.

St Antony’s Catholic Club

Address: The Red House, 13 Upton Ave.

Web address:

Background: This Grade 2 listed building has a proud history (see here), which has fallen on hard times in recent years. It was established as a Cathoilc Social club in 1907, but changing local demographics has meant that it struggles, financially, to survive today. It was bailed out a few years ago, to have its exterior and façade refurbished, in order to preserve its Grade 2 listed status, but the inside is dreary and is in desperate need of a similar revamp. The trouble is, that it’s in the wrong place! Like the Old Spotted Dog a couple of hundred yards away (see here) for its great history), it is off the beaten track, as far as decent transport links are concerned and survives within a relatively poor area with a very limited local drinking culture. Nobody can afford to do it (or the OSD) up and so it languishes. With better transport and within a more affluent and alcohol-friendly area of London, both venues would be ideal Remarkable or similar chain targets and busy thriving club/pubs. They have neither, however, and an uphill struggle against the odds seems on the cards for both establishments.

Opening hours: Tues – Fri: 7.30pm – 11pm. Sat and Sun: 11am – 11pm

They say: “A social meeting place for members of the Catholic community in Forest Gate. The club was built on key Catholic principles”.

We say: It provides a Jazz night every Wednesday, from 8.30, priced £3 to non-members. The club hosts a regular summer party and occasional games, wine and steak nights tasting nights. Unsurprisingly, it hosts a major St Patrick’s Night party. Beware of advertised opening hours. We visited on four separate occasions within the advertised hours to find it closed.

FSA says: 5 stars.

Wanstead Tap

Address: Arch 352 Winchelsea Rd.

Web address:

Background: The Tap has been opened for a decade now, confounding the naysayers who predicted that it wouldn’t last five minutes tucked away in a railway arch, well off the beaten track in the Waltham Forest bit of Forest Gate. Owner and mine host, Dan Clapton, had spent some time before opening the venue selling a variety of interesting beers on market stalls and at festivals, before taking the gamble on establishing what is now a Forest Gate drinking and cultural institution.

Opening hours: Mon – Tues: closed, Weds – Thurs -open at 4pm, Fri – Sun: open from noon.

They say: “Award winning bar and venue”.

We say: Dan and the Tap have come on a remarkable journey, from selling cans of beer to establishing a venue of note. They have battled through COVID and massive rent hikes and have survived by innovation. It is now the district’s only go-to spot for cultural events – large numbers of high quality book events in conjunction with Newham Bookshop and live music is gradually returning. Big televised sporting events often get sell out sessions, sometimes accompanied by good food from local suppliers. Next up – regular live podcasts. That should be interesting!

FSA says: 4 stars.

 Guinness guzzlers’ guide

Century Bar and Restaurant: £5 (when available)

Forest Tavern: £6.20

Forest Gate Hotel: £4.20

Fox and Hounds: £3.55

Giovanna’s: No stout

Golden Fleece: £4.90

Holly Tree: £5.75

Pretty Decent Beer Co: No Guinness, but their own milk stout: £5.20, or £4.00 during “happy hours”.

Rising Sun: £5.00

St Antony’s Club: Unable to find out, because unable to access.

Wanstead Tap: £5.75 for the Pretty Decent Beer's stout (see above)

The oldest continuously occupied house in Forest Gate?

Friday 16 February 2024

Local historian and housing specialist, Peter Williams (pows.wanstead has taken a deep dive into the long and remarkable history of what is probably Forest Gate's oldest continuously occupied surviving house: 25 Capel Road.

It seems the core of the house dates from the early 18th century and over the following three hundred years has gone through many changes. There are a few tantalising clues in some early maps. The Eagle and Child pub is an important reference point on these maps to help orient ourselves:

1745 The Rocque map

Source: here
 This shows there are possibly orchards to the right of the Eagle and Child, and then to the north a large house is shown. This probably represents 25 Capel, with some neighbours? There also seems to be a pond shown here roughly where Angell pond is now though we know Angell was dug in late 19th century by West Ham council.

1777 Jackson map

Source: here

Could the above represent the house behind the Eagle and Child with two wings facing out over the forest land?

This is the 1777 Chapman and Andre map of Essex, Source: here

 1797 map

 This looks to be quite clearly 25 Capel.

(From S Lolin’s Manor Park book)

 1801 map Mudge

Source: here

 1820s Clayton Map (from Newham archives)

This recently discovered map shows the area north and west of wide Chestnut Avenue quite clearly. It has plot numbers corresponding to the land owners on a schedule. It would seem from this that the main landholder is S Spence.

Source: schedule attached to Clayton Survey of West Ham Parish. From the reference below there does seem to have been at Spence family in West Ham parish at this time.


(Jane Campbell ‘The Revival of Poetry’)

There were stories of an orchard behind 25 Capel Road – the modern OS maps shows the odd arrangement of land behind with an enclosed garden area, accessed from the end of what is now the council terrace at 30 Capel.

Maps and the “Orchard land”

Source: here

The OS map below was published 1873 but surveyed in 1863. The angle path seems to pre-date the housing development. Note the wide road in front of where 25 now stands. Forest Side exists here with a large terrace at 1-5 Capel Road.

Unfortunately this map does not show the shape of the house at that time accurately, and it is hard to see if the house has symmetrical wings. It does, however, look L shaped, as in the Rocque map above.

Source: here

1861 West Ham parish map

Source: Newham Archives

Below is of the terrace from 1880s – the outhouse of 25 is clearly shown and it has lost its wings and the Victorian terraces have been built. It still seems L shaped which is something of a mystery.

The terrace to the east of 25 was called Taniwha Terrace when it was built in the mid 1870's. It seems to have been developed by a Mr Trigg who lived in Forest Lane and had various business interests locally. He was a cow keeper and was involved in the fence breaking on the Flats in the mid 1870s in protest at illegal enclosure.

WW1 OS map shows number 25 with its two attached terraces (source: here)

WW2 OS map and still little change(source: here)

 1890 Kellys trade directory

I have been unable find a census record for this person, so he may not have been there long. And here is an advert, possibly from his daughter?

Published: Saturday 26 July 1890 Newspaper: (here)

 And another, a few years later:

Published: Saturday 03 April 1897 Newspaper: (here)

 The above advert was presumably placed by Henrietta Potter – see census below.

 1911 census records

Source: here

There is a German lodger - Gustav Wilhelm MIETHE (sp?). He is a buyer in a timber merchant’s. He was born Gorlitz. There was a huge timber yard in Stratford called Glikstens, so timber was a major industry on the River Lea with barges transporting products up from the Thames. Gustav had been in the Potter household in 1901 census too:

Source: here

Here is a transcription indicating the inhabitants.

The 1891 census indicates that the Potters lived in Bignold Road Forest Gate.  Sadly in 1891 25 Capel appears to be empty at the time of the 1891 census, suggesting that the Samuel family must have just moved on

1921 census

This has recently become available and shows that the Potter household were still in the house, though one daughter - Henrietta - had now married a Mr Ovenden. She died in Newham in 1970.

Source: Find My Past,

There is no sign of Gustav remaining as a lodger. The Ovendens had moved to 29 Capel Rd by 1939 and he was a “manager corporate publicity/propaganda”! 

Source, here

25 Capel in 1939 register

The house now appears to be multi occupied by a number of households after the Potters left. There is a

·         Mr xx Leslie

·         Percy Stevens a retired licensed victualler (publican)

·         Monica Stevens his daughter a showcard mounter (this is advertising)

·         Evan Thomas born 1902 a dock lock master? Probably in Royal Docks.

Source: Ancestry, here

More recent era

25 Capel Road later became the home of Mark Stephens CBE, the celebrity lawyer, until he moved to Wanstead. He famously displayed a piece of modern art in the first floor window, an upside down life-size naked figure. Mark was chair of Governors at University of East London and has held many public offices.

25 Capel is higher than its neighbours. It originally had wings but these were removed and Victorian terraces built either side. The eastern one was demolished in the 1980s.

I spoke with Mark two years ago, and this is what he had to say about the house. He and Donna Stephens bought the house in the early 1980s for £25,000. It was in very poor condition. From the records they saw the house was built about 1730 for a City of London merchant with offices in Backchurch Lane. (This may have been a Spence but there is no evidence).  The normal pattern in those days was that there was an apartment above the city office and then the merchant had a substantial country house.

The house was arranged over three floors and originally had wings to each side that were removed at some point unknown. When Mark hacked plaster off the flank walls he saw old door openings that would have gone into the wings from the first floor. He assumed these may have been bedrooms. He thinks after the wings were removed that the terraces were built, probably in the 1870s.

Mark and Donna had problems with cracking, and their builder discovered that the main brick walls were built on foundations made of rough hewn oak tree trunks. He had concrete poured into the floors to create stability. The oak timbers remain in place under the main walls.

When they bought the house the eastern terrace to the left was already totally empty. He was approached by Newham Council as they wanted a party wall agreement with them prior to building the new council houses after demolition. This was negotiated and agreed. It had to be modified as the surveyor had not been told that Mark had an original 1730 window facing east at third floor level. The apex of the roofs was lowered, and the whole terrace shifted slightly forward in the plans.

25 Capel had originally had a very large garden. When the new houses were built their gardens were modified slightly from the terrace that had gone before but the end house was left with the very large section to the rear. The occupiers did not really want to use this and it was left uncultivated.

When Mark moved in the main first floor living room was divided into three rooms with plywood partitions. The house had been owned by an older Jamaican woman who let to single Caribbean men. There was no bathroom or kitchen to speak of. They did not cook. The toilet was outside. There was a workroom (scullery?) out back and Mark converted this into a conservatory using the original 1730s wall to number 24.

The house may have been used for ska parties as Mark found flyers for these in the house when clearing. The old lady died and her son sold the house to Mark and Donna.

(Mark acquired an indenture, or deed, explaining the link to the 1730 merchant who owned the house. He left the documents in the house, for the new owners, when he moved out. Sadly, the owners do not have it).

The new council homes at 26-30 Capel

I was employed from 1978 as a graduate housing management trainee in Newham council housing dept. One project I was involved in was the so called Small Sites programme. Newham council had a large number of small empty housing sites scattered across the borough. Some had been occupied by post war prefabs, some by garages, some were like Capel Rd, where a small group of houses had been demolished. The idea was to consolidate them into larger building contracts for new council homes. The council homes were designed by the in-house architects’ team and completed in the mid 1980s.

The tinted picture postcard is dated 1906. The pond was dug under the direction of Lewis Angell (not Angel) West Ham Council borough engineer to improve the drainage of the Flats and provide recreation.

 Rear view of 25 Capel taken mid 2017. It is not clear if the paler brickwork strip that is visible here is anything to do with the lost wings or a maybe a chimney? (Photo the author)


The Bandstand Pond about 1920, looking east from Woodford Rd. Note the rowing boats, and the West Ham council bandstand in the background. This would have been the view from 25 Capel Road for many years.