A nod at our neighbours: Manor Park pt 2

Friday 27 November 2015

Last week we traced the history of what we now know as our neighbouring district of Manor Park, from the 11th century Domesday book until the latter part of the nineteenth century. We pick up the story here with, the purchase of a seven acre plot of land surrounding the West Ham Manor House, by the Catholic church in 1866.

We are indebted to the research undertaken by Shea Lolin for much of what follows in  St Nicholas' Industrial School and Chapel, and to the excellent website www.childrenshomes.org.uk - see footnote for details. Much more detail can be obtained from the informative booklet and website, which offers the facility for finding out details of records of children who grew up there.

The Catholic church, in the 1860's began to establish Industrial Schools - residential schools for poor, destitute children - to help provide vocational training (in a variety of trades), shored up by their religious faith. An early example was opened in Shernhall Street, in Walthamstow in 1862.

These premises were soon found to be too small, so the church bought seven acres of Little Ilford land in 1866, including the old Manor House, as a site for an expanded presence, in north-east London.

The school lasted until the 1920's. It was enclosed by a wall, which still stands, around Whitta Road, and has provoked the curiosity  of many a visitor to the near adjacent Golden Fleece pub.

The former Industrial School
 wall, still surrounding the
 BUPA care homes, today
The house, itself was used for offices and staff accommodation, and other buildings were constructed for dormitories and teaching rooms. The school was registered with the government in 1868 to teach 250 boys.  Immediate extensions to the building included a new chapel (which survives today, as the small St Nicholas' church, on Gladding Road), refectory and large workshops.

Houses in Sheringham, Hampton and Romford Roads as well as in Islington, were used for additional residential/dormitory accommodation for the boys.

Monsignor Searle, who lived in the small house, built as the establishment's lodge, was placed in charge of the institution. The other original staff comprised two schoolmasters, six industrial teachers, a housekeeper, nurse and general servant.

The industrial training included carpentry, shoemaking, knitting and gardening.

An inspection report in 1875 expressed concern about the high mortality rate of boys at the school, with twelve having died the previous year. It was suggested that sickly constitutions often found among the younger boys would benefit from better diet and clothing, and separate wards under supervision.

A year later things had improved with the death rate down to six. In August 1876, Monsignor Searle retired and the management of the house was placed in the hands of the Brothers of Mercy.

The school buildings were gradually extended and enhanced, and a swimming bath was added in 1879. The inspection report the following year showed it had 234 boys, 232 of whom were under "warrants of detention". The report was overwhelmingly positive, as the edited extracts below indicate:

There are very few schools in the country which more thoroughly provide for the necessities of life than this ... The health of the children is carefully watched and protected. ... No deaths in 1889.
The report as to conduct was satisfactory. No insubordination or gross breach of order. Some cases of theft, laziness, disorder, wilful damage, quarrelling, and impertenance. One serious case of stealing keys: a small record of offences for so large a school. Boys well in hand and managed with much tact, special experience and wisdom. 
Industrial training: receives very careful attention. The new workshops answer their purpose well and are very much more healthy than the old ones. 39 boys work with the tailors; 47 in the shoemaking; good work was being turned out, 45 in the mat-making department., 21 in the field and garden. A class of juniors knit and darn the socks, and three work in the bakery. There is an excellent laundry and the boys assist in the washing. There is a large and well-cultivated garden, which receives much attention and employs a class of boys.
General remarks - The display of industrial products on this occasion was highly creditable. From every department good specimens had been sent. Much good work is turned out.
Staff: Director, Brother Polycarpo and eight brothers of the Order of Mercy, yard and drill-master, Mr Eade - tailor, shoemaker, mat-maker, gardener, cook and baker.
Average number maintained: 230
Results on cases discharges in the three years: 1886, 1887 and 1888 - of 123 discharged in 1886-8, there were doing well 107, dead, 2, doubtful 1, convicted of crime or re-committed 10, unknown 3. 
The Brothers of Mercy resigned their charge of the school on 23 October 1899, when Mr and Mrs Westall took up their duties as superintendent and matron. 

The school established several auxiliary homes, which provided a half-way house for boys making the transition between institutional care and adult working life. These were located at: 55 Colebrook Row, Islington (open 1894-1900 for 40 boys); Woodgrange House, 607 Romford Road (open 1906-08 for 24 boys. The house has been demolished and the site is now occupied by flats, opposite the Tescos, next to Woodgrange Park station) and 164-166 Sheringham Avenue (opened 1908, for 12 boys - see photo, below).

164-166 Sheringham Ave today -
once a hostel for Industrial School boys

A fire broke out on the school's roof on 6 January 1907. The schoolroom was gutted and the roof burned. The only casualty was one of the firemen, who was badly injured by a burning beam.
As well as taking destitute and abandoned Catholic children, the school also took in boys, aged between 7 and 14, who had been convicted by magistrates courts for a variety of offences mainly related to poverty: begging, vagrancy, homelessness and street life.

Few of these Industrial Schools achieved high standards, and were often seen simply as repositories for unwanted and forgotten children. St Nicholas' seems to have been an exception, with a good reputation, and saw only a 4% "re-offending" rate amongst its residents - suggesting a good track record for giving their charges a decent restart in life, in its 54 years of existence.

An estimated 24,000 boys went through the school in its time, including around 900, who in one of the most controversial aspects of late nineteenth/early twentieth century child care provision, were sent to Canada.

This was usually without reference to their parents. They were sent in order to start a new life in Hintonburg, Ontario, as farmers and service personnel. A useful website giving details of British children forceably removed to Canada can be found here.

So, Manor Park, as it was now known, developed rapidly from the 1830's, as a result of the construction of some major social projects: a prison, two cemeteries and the Industrial School, together with much low cost housing for rent by potential commuters.

Although much of the land in the area had been purchased by the Eastern Counties Railway for their construction of their London - Romford line, the Little Ilford area, itself, was not directly served by the company, at first. Local residents had to trek the mile or so to Forest Gate or East Ham stations, to get commuter transport into the city.

They lobbied the railway company to rectify matters, so it built its first station in the area in 1872 and named it Manor Park and Little Ilford, after the house they had formerly owned and the local area. It cost £1,117 to construct. It was later replaced it with a larger station in 1893 (see 1909 photo, below), and had its name shortened simply to Manor Park.

Manor Park railway station, 1909
With the growth of population in the late 19th century came a demand for local public services and schools. In 1886 Little Ilford merged with East Ham a for local government purposes and subsequently formed part of the East Ham Urban District, which in turn became a Municipal Borough, County Borough and is now part of the London Borough of Newham.

The Little Ilford School Board was established in 1887 and built three elementary schools, before merging with the East Ham School Board in 1900.

These were: Fourth Avenue School, in 1890 (bombed during World War 11 - see photograph, below), Essex Road School, in 1898 (subsequently, completely rebuilt), and Manor Park Board School in 1893, which later had its name changed to Salisbury School (see photo), which still survives.

Bomb damage to Avenue Road School, 1941
Ex Little Ilford school board, Manor
 Park Board school, built 1895,
 today, Salisbury school

Reflecting on the rapid changes that the area had undergone over the previous half century, Katherine Fry - sister of Elizabeth - had this to say in her 1888 brief history of East Ham and West Ham:
During the last ten years the parish of East Ham has almost entirely lost its rural character; while a few years ago it was still looked upon as a village of market gardens for the production of cabbages and onions, it is fast becoming a manufacturing, residential town. ... Nowhere, perhaps is this rapid growth more noticeable than in ... Manor Park, a rising locality situated to the north of Ilford (now Romford) Road, with a station on the Great Eastern railway. The wide area of the arable lands, over which the plough passed not so many years ago, has gradually been converted into streets of crowded dwellings, almost entirely inhabited by artisans and the humble city clerks, who are attracted by the low rents of the houses.
At the start of the twentieth century the district was badly hit by floods, in 1903, when the River Roding burst its banks, and many people were left homeless. Conditions were so bad that boats had to be hired to rescue the stranded, in the area now occupied by Grantham, Alverstone and Waltham Roads (see photo, below).

1903 floods in Grantham Road
A year later Manor Park became the proud possessor of an Andrew Carnegie endowed library (see photo of opening ceremony and bust celebrating its benefactor - below).  That splendid building served the community as a library for almost 110 years and has recently reopened as a community arts centre.

Opening of Manor Park library, 1904

The Carnegie bust,
 outside the library
To return to the fate of the Industrial School. World War 1 had an impact on the school, children were moved elsewhere, and in the early 1920s many of these schools became uneconomical to run. The premises and land were put up for sale, and eventually purchased by the London Co-operative Society, which paid £19,000 for the whole seven-acre site, minus the church.

The Co-op used the buildings - including the former Manor House - as an administrative centre and its "Industrial Colony". This turned out mainly to be its dairy, which ultimately was capable of producing 1,000 gallons of milk an hour. It also developed workshops for carpenters, joiners, wheelwrights, upholsterers, boot repairers and an educational department.  At its peak it employed over 600 people.

The Manor House, centre of the
 Co-op's Industrial Colony, 1930's
The premises, after decades of heavy usage began to fall into decay in the early 1970's, and the Co-op wished to redevelop the site. A sticking point was the fate of the Manor House, which was gradually falling into disrepair. The Council, as a condition for planning approval for the redevelopment of the site in the 1980's, wished to have the now-Grade11 listed Manor House restored.

This would have cost £12,000, which the Co-op refused to consider, so they gradually began to withdraw from the site.

The Manor House received its English Heritage Grade 11 listing in 1973 and the citation described it as a:

Substantial house 1810-27, probably with earlier origins. Stucco rendering slates. Two storeys and attic. Five sash windows in architrave surrounds. Central doorway with console bricketed cornice. Rusticated end pilasters. Cornice above first floor windows across front missing. Square headed sash windows retaining glazing bars. Hipped slate roof. Central C 19 timber clock and bell turret with squared dome (clock missing). Interior has some old features.
The house was eventually sold to an Irish property developer, and survives today, as 10 flats (see a recent photo, below). BUPA Care Homes bought most of the rest of the grounds and employ around 120 staff, catering for the 120 residents in the four units they have built on the site. The Co-op still has a presence on part of the lands, from where they run their Funeral Care service, servicing many of the local cemeteries.

The flats, today, together with St Nicholas church
Footnote: St Nicholas' Industrial School and Chapel by Shea Lolin Dec 2010 Available from bookshops and Amazon for £6.00.

Our thanks also go to the incredibly detailed and useful website giving details of all UK children's homes: www.childrenshomes.org.uk

A nod at our neighbours (2): Manor Park pt 1

Friday 20 November 2015

This is the second in an occasional series of articles taking a quick peep at the history of a neighbouring area. This time our friends to the north east: Manor Park: from the Domesday Book until the latter part of the nineteenth century.

What we now know as Manor Park was, until the late nineteenth century, called Little Ilford (the small crossing over the River Hile - former name of the Roding) - as indeed the eastern part of it still is.

The area gained its modern name to describe the growing suburb being constructed around Manor Park railway station. This, itself, took its name from the home of the Lord of the Manor of West Ham, just round the corner, in what is now Gladding Road. 

Nineteenth century railway builders were a bit like modern estate agents in trying to brand areas with upmarket names; so, locally we have Manor Park, Upton Park, Woodgrange Park and Wanstead Park stations - all some distance from anything we would recognise as a formal park!.

Little Ilford was identified in the Domesday Book (1086), following the Norman Conquest, as part of Ham(me) - a low-lying pasture. It had a population of only 10. It was simply a hamlet at this time, and barely grew in population for the next 400 years.

It is thought that an alehouse has stood on the site of the former Three Rabbits pub, on the corner of Rabbits Road since the 1630's - probably taking its name from a rabbit warren on the old Aldersbrook estate (hence Warren Avenue). The pub was said to have been used by dealers trading at the annual cattle fairs on what is now Wanstead Flats, until the nineteenth century. It was situated, of course, on the old Roman - Colchester, now Romford, Road.

To the left, an early 20th century
 image of Three Rabbits pub. To
 the right the former Manor Park library,
 now re-opened as an arts centre.

Boots the Chemist, on the corner of Rabbits
 and Romford Roads, on site of former
 Three Rabbits pub, location of an
 alehouse for almost 500 years
The Three Rabbits lasted until the early years of this century, as a large music pub (ex-Tremeloes front man, Brain Poole was a regular, for a while), when it was refurbed into a Boots the chemist, with flats above - see photo.

Chapman and Andre's map (see below) of 1777 shows that the parish of Little Ilford, then, consisted of the parish church, Manor Farm, a few cottages, the Three Rabbits and the Aldersbrook estate.  Its small size was confirmed by the 1801 census, suggesting it had a population of just 100.

Chapman and Andre's 1777 map,
 showing the hamlet of Little Ilford
The Manor House that was built between 1810 and 1827 was the seat of the Manor of West Ham. It replaced a former house, of which there are few extant details. The nineteenth century dwelling, and the surrounding land, was purchased by the Eastern Counties Railway in 1839, when the London to Romford line was being constructed, to accommodate its route, for £10,000.

The Manor House,and splendid
 grounds, in better days
The house, itself, however, was not directly affected by the railway line and was leased to William Storrs Fry - son of Elizabeth, the prison reformer, who lived nearby, firstly in what is now East Ham's Plashet Park and then later behind what is now West Ham Park. 

The Manor House, and much of the land, remained leased to the family until 1866, when it was sold to the Victoria Land Company, from when it was to have a fascinating history.

Meanwhile, other developments were happening apace in what was still Little Ilford. Between 1829 and 1831 a jail was built in the area: The Little Ilford House of Correction (around what are now Gloucester and Worcester Roads), at a cost of £30,000.

Unfortunately no photographs of the prison survive, but when it was demolished in 1878, some of its rubble was used in the construction of houses in the aforementioned roads.

It was a brick building, designed for 100 inmates, who were expected to spend their time in silence, while incarcerated. It consisted of 60 cells, with eight day wards, 10 exercise yards and a treadmill, for the exhausting "hard labour" sentences.

Life there was grim. Existing records, still within the Essex Records Office, show a lack of adequate water supply, poor ventilation and diseases like scurvy, associated with poor diet. It is not known whether Elizabeth Fry ever visited, or was influenced by conditions there, but within a year of its opening she was giving evidence to a House of Commons Committee on poor prison conditions.
Print of prison reformer, Elizabeth
 Fry, reading to prisoners
Largely as a result of the existence of this penal institution, Little Ilford's population began to expand. By 1848 it stood at 189, which figure, in turn, had more doubled by the census, three years later. 

The growth came from a combination of the development of the jail and incoming Irish immigrants, fleeing the famine in the late 1840's, for cheap accommodation on the outskirts of London (see reference to Irish Row, in our recent blog about Ebor cottages - here).

We have written previously about the development of much of our local area as cemeteries in the second half of the nineteenth century (see here). Manor Park was at the forefront of this development. 

In 1854 the Corporation of the City of London bought over 112 acres of land from the Manor of Aldersbrook -  part of Little Ilford - for £200,000 for the construction of the City of London cemetery. It opened two years later, to accommodate up to 6,000 burials per year.

City of London Cemetery,
 Manor Park, c 1850
Within twenty years, another 50 acres parcel of the land was bought in the area, this time from the former Hamfrith farm's new owner, Samuel Gurney - a relative of the Frys - for the construction of the Manor Park Cemetery. This is a privately owned cemetery (for details see cemeteries articles referred to above) and was opened in 1874, with its original chapel opened two years later. Its success would have been confirmed by the opening of Manor Park station in 1872 (see next post).

Between these two cemetery developments in the area, the Catholic church purchased the Manor House, itself, and seven surrounding acres in 1866 and established St Nicholas Industrial School. We pick up the Manor Park story, next week with the school's story.

Forest Gate's first £2m house? - 224 Romford Road

Friday 13 November 2015

Reluctant as we are to add to the property price madness that is sweeping Forest Gate, it is worth noting that one of the district's more distinct, and Grade 11 listed, houses is currently up for sale by Your Move at a guide price of £2m. The house and its architect are of local historic interest.

242 Romford Road - just the £2m, then

According to the British Listed Buildings website. It was built in 1878 and probably designed by John Thomas Newman FRIBA (1831-96) as his family home, in an eclectic Queen Anne style. 

It had a verandah added to the rear prior to 1920. The single-storey conservatory to the south-west was given a tile roof sometime after 1939.

Below we present a (slightly) edited, and quite architecturally detailed, description of the house.  This comes from the listed buildings website, here, and is the English Heritage's justification for their award of Grade 11 listed status to it.  We are grateful for, and acknowledge, their copyright of the information.

It was designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest: as a relatively early example of the use of the Queen Anne Revival style in a middle-class suburban house. The house is enlivened by its asymmetric design, Japanese-inspired details and lavish use of terracotta decoration

* Interior: the house provides a good illustration of the decorative features associated with the Aesthetic Movement particularly the tiled fire surrounds and Japanaiserie joinery

* Degree of Survival: both interior and exterior are little altered and the house retains the original street boundary wall and coach house which are both included in the listing

* Group Value: with the contemporary former United Reform church opposite listed at Grade II


The house was built in 1878 and originally occupied, and presumably designed, by the noted local architect John Thomas Newman FRIBA (1831-96). 

Newman was the surveyor and head of the Mechanists Department at the Victoria Dock (1861-5) before setting up in private practice (1865-79) and was later architect to the West Ham and Leyton Schools Boards (for which he designed around 30 schools), surveyor to the London Hospital Estates Sub-committee and to the Council of the Bishop of St Albans Fund. 

Several of his buildings are listed at Grade II, among them the Protestant Martyrs Memorial at St John's Church, Stratford (1878). This 65 feet monument (see photo) was erected to commemorate the death, burned at the stake, of 18 protestant martyrs in and around Stratford in 1556, on the orders of Queen Mary Tudor ("Bloody Mary"). 

Martyrs Memorial, Stratford

Newman's other work included three churches, Christchurch, Sutton (1887-8), St Margaret of Antioch, Leytonstone (1892) and St Nicholas, Kelvedon Hatch, Essex (1895) where he had moved to shortly before his death.

Details of house construction and features

The house was built of orange brick laid in a free Flemish bond with terracotta dressings; tile roofs with decorative ridge tiles and finials.

It is rectangular in plan but with a single-storey conservatory to the south-west. The roof-plan is T-shaped with hipped gables to the west end of the front (north) and rear (south) elevations, and to the east side elevation.

The exterior of this large, two-storey, detached house was designed in an eclectic Queen Anne style with decorative influences from the Aesthetic Movement. The north elevation to Romford Road has a varied roof line with a deep coved eaves cornice, comprising from east to west a lucarne with hipped roof; a semi-conical roof over the angled two-storey entrance bay; and a broad hipped gable with deep eaves with bargeboards. 

The windows are tall sashes (some broad, some narrow) with the upper sashes and transoms having small-paned lights with a distinctive 'Japanaiserie' lattice design, mostly with coloured glass. The sills are of interlocking terracotta blocks whilst the keys of the square-headed gauged brick lintels have terracotta reliefs of sunflowers. 

Further terracotta decoration occurs as a continuous band below the first-floor windows (sunflowers with foliage); square panels aligned with each window below this band (floral designs except for the two date panels over the porch bearing the date 'AD 1878'); and a second band of continuous floral motifs with a brick edging above the ground floor window lintels. 

The apex of the hipped gable is decorated with a chequerboard pattern of tiles with floral motifs. The ground floor rests on a shallow concrete plinth topped with chamfered blue engineering brick and has a prominent porch to the canted entrance bay with a tiled canopy supported on large wooden brackets with turned wooden spindles. 

The glazed front door has coloured glass lights and an eight-light transom. The western gable has a five-light square bay window with a hipped tile roof. The east and west elevations have similar bay windows The west elevation has a central lucarne with two tall windows and a terracotta finial. 

The rear (south) elevation has an identical hipped gable to the front elevation. A square, single-storey bay with a pent roof is set off centre and connects to a single-storey range to the south-west with a steeply pitched tile roof with tile-hung gable and continuous fenestration to the south and east with top-hinged casements and multi-light transoms. 

Map evidence indicates that this range was originally a glazed conservatory. The rear elevation is completed by two hip-roofed lucarnes, the western one wider than the eastern and a hipped dormer with terracotta finial set between the hipped gable and the western lucarne. 

On the ground floor a later timber verandah continues east from the bay window. This has a tiled hipped roof with two skylights. The fenestration on the rear elevation is less elaborate, combining multi-pane casements and sashes, most with multi-light transoms with coloured glass. There are two tall brick quatrefoil chimneystacks.

The interior of the house is largely unaltered with some changes to the mezzanine level servants' rooms at the rear, the ground floor rooms to the east of the house which form a separate flat (not visited), and the kitchen/conservatory.

Many original features survive, often typical of the Aesthetic Movement. In the upstairs rooms there are three fireplaces with inset Milton tiles of the Shakespeare series (c.1874) designed by John Moyr Smith (1839-1912 ) and Japanaiserie floral designs, arched panelled cupboards in the bedrooms, decorative ventilation vents, original joinery including five-panel doors and more fitted cupboards on the top landing, original light switches and a Gothic ceiling rose in the stairwell. 

The Canadian pine Japanaiserie open-well staircase has turned balusters and newels, ball pendants, a butler's tray rest, and glazed lattice under stair panelling. 

On the ground floor there is a geometric design quarry tile floor to the hall and verandah, leaded window panels with coloured lights set in a wood frame between the hall and front parlour, deep covings (reflecting those externally) and heavily moulded door surrounds to the main doors off the hall. 

In the study/lobby at the rear of the house are three built-in Canadian pine dressers, each with two hand-painted panels depicting parables or nursery rhymes, one showing a woman with two children entering what is clearly the porch of No. 224 with the inscription 'This is the house that Jack built' and the date 1878. 'Jack' is underlined suggesting that John Thomas Newman was the designer. 

Also in the study is a fireplace with Japanaiserie tiles and further Moyr Smith ones from the 'Idylls of the King' series (c1875) set in a Canadian pine surround. In the rear parlour is a Canadian pine fireplace with an overmantel with shelves and spindles which match the stair balusters. The fire surround has hand-painted tiles depicting birds and flowers on a gold ground. 

There is full-height wooden panelling adjacent to the fireplace and the room is divided by a deeply moulded spine beam supported on consoles and has a Gothic ceiling rose. Glazed double doors pass to the modern kitchen. These have fanlight with coloured glass. The front parlour also has the same Gothic ceiling rose, deep coving and an Anaglypta ceiling finish. The room retains its dado panelling. 

Unusual fitted shelves below the bay window with turned spindles and a fitted dresser incorporating the coloured glazed panels through to the hall. The fireplace has a wooden surround and overmantel but has lost its tile decoration. The kitchen has been extended into the original conservatory and largely modernised including a modern brick rustic fireplace although it retains its original fenestration and glazed door to the garden. The cellar retains its slate shelving. 

To the south of the house is a contemporary carriage house built against the south boundary wall. It is of orange brick on a concrete plinth with a hipped tile roof, double carriage doors to the west and fenestration to the north elevations. 

There is a tall brick boundary wall to Margery Park Road with an entrance to the carriage house with pyramid-capped gate piers. It adjoins the blind west wall of the former conservatory after which it continues as wooden paling on a concrete base with brick piers round into Romford Road. Both the carriage house and boundary wall to Margery Park road are of special interest.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced with thanks.

Very poor food hygiene practice in Forest Gate (and some decent) - 2015 ratings

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Forest Gate hosts some of the country's least hygienic eateries and food stores - and some of the best - according to the Food Standards Agency. This is our second round-up of the Agency's ratings for Forest Gate's food outlets.

For details of how the it judges food stores and restaurants, see our summary here, from last year's blogs.  For direct access to the FSA's Forest Gate ratings, see here.

The Agency gives Star ratings to all premises - from zero to 5. We have taken journalistic licence and given our own shorthand labelling to these ratings - as shown in the sub-titles to the listings below - for which we take responsibility.

There has been a considerable turnover of premises rated - some dropping off and others joining from the lists we published last year. So, the ratings below, which follow those the FSA's currently list, and is not totally comprehensive.

We have indicated (in brackets) below, last year's ratings for the premises where comparisons are available.  

Last year we also published details of all schools and social care home ratings.  We are not doing so this year, as they are, without exception rated either our "good", 4 stars, or "excellent" five stars.  Even Stratford Academy, which produced a rogue rating of only 1 star last year  is now up with the school norm of 4/5 stars.

Stratford Academy, over its rogue 1 star result
 last year, now up to a sector norm, of 5 stars

Because like is not being compared with like, it is difficult to say, overall, whether overall hygiene levels of Forest Gate food outlets are better this year than last.  However, some comparisons can be made, and the results are mixed.

Four restaurants last year had zero stars.  Two of those have subsequently closed, the Pakhtoon on Green Street and the New Sea Garden on Katherine Road.  The other two: Abu Bakar (Upton Lane) and Afghan Kebab (Green Street) now have one star. So, that is good news.

More worryingly, however, the first food outlet that faces rail passengers leaving Forest Gate station - Eat More on the parade of shops opposite the station - went from one to zero stars. Perhaps it should be renamed: Eat Less, Clean More.

There were some pleasing improvements in cleanliness standards in some food outlets. So, the Lahore Express and Margalla Grill, both on Green Street and Himalayan Food Store on Katherine Road had their star rating risen from a low 1 to a decent 3. The Holly Tree on Dames Road moved up from a good 4 star rating to an excellent 5 stars.

Biggest credit, however, must go to TSB Cash and Carry on Katherine Road and the Best Kebab House on Upton Lane, each of which moved from a rather poor one star rating to an excellent 5 stars, within a year. Good for them, and surely a great example of what can be done with some concerted effort, that all others, locally, could follow.

Great credit to TSB Cash and Carry
 on Katherine Road with a spectacular
 improvement from 1 star to 5

On the down side, the Forest Gate Hotel (Godwin Road), Kebabish Original (Green Street), Lahori Baba (Green Street) and Wenty's (Upton Lane) slipped from two stars to one.

Papa's Fried Chicken (Romford Road) made a steeper fall from 3 stars to 1.

Worst plummeter award, however, must go to Romford Road's Hartley Hotel which sunk from 4 to 1 star. Unacceptable activity, surely, meriting a rotten tomato, by way of recognition.

Rotten tomato award goes to Hartley Hotel,
 which has seen its rating plummet from 4 stars to 1

Shocking - 0 stars


Eat More (1) - 8-10 Railways Station Bridge, Woodgrange Road
La Pizza - 396 Romford Road
S and S Biryani - Rear of 19-29 Shaftesbury Road

Welcome to Forest Gate: Zero stars,
 perhaps should be renamed: Eat Less, Clean More

Shops and others

Favourite Best - 118 Upton Lane
Kiheta African Shop - 1a Sebert Road
Mona Food - 25a Oakdale Road

Poor - 1 star


Abu Bakars BBQ (0) - 47 Upton Lane

From the BBQ pits of zero stars
 to a solitary one - at least its
 progress for Abu Bakar

Afghan Kebab House (0) - 89 Green Street
A'la Pizza - 28 Upton Lane
Caribbean Country Style/E7 Jerk Pit - 110 Woodgrange Road
Charcoal Grill and BBQ (1) - 105 Woodgrange Road
Charsi Tikka (1) - 50 Woodgrange Road
Daily Fry and Spice/Biryani House (1) - 426 Katherine Road
Faruk Chatpoti House - 16 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Forest Gate Hotel (2) - 105 Godwin Road

Poor from Forest Gate Hotel,
 which slips from 2 stars to 1

Hartley Hotel (4)- 365 - 367 Romford Road
Himalaya (1) - 9-10 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Jin Hui Chinese Takeaway (1) - 64 Field Road
Kebashi Original/KO Grill (2) - 132 Green Street
Lahori Baba (2) - 78 Green Street
Medina Kebabish - 85 Upton Lane
Mobeen Restaurant - 222-226 Green Street
Panda's Kitchen - 396 Katherine Road
Perfect Fried Chicken (3) - 506 Romford Road

Far from Perfect - down
 from 3 stars to just 1 in a year

Rajmahal Sweets and Cafe - 132 Upton Lane
Wenty's (2) - 26 Upton Lane

Shops and others

Anand Pan Centre - 229 Green Street
Atawakal Fresh Halal Meat - 493 Katherine Road
Bondor Cash and Carry (1) - 116 Upton Lane
Cakes and Bakes - 302 Romford Road
London Fish Bazaar - 149-153 Green Street

Sub-standard - 2 stars


Chicago 30's Pizza (2) - 369 Katherine Road
Khan Restaurant (2) - 379 Romford Road
Lahori Zaiga - 297 Romford Road
Roast 2012 - 491 Katherine Road

Shops and others

Ali Communications - 367 Green Street
Al-Rehman Food Store - 465 Romford Road
Dames Off-Licence (2) - 215 Dames Road
Davina Supermarket - 58 Upton Lane
Karuri Newsagents (2) - 35 Woodgrange Road
MK Bros (2) - 30-32 Woodgrange Road
Perrier Wines (2) - 315 Romford Road
Pound Plus Store - 499 Katherine Road

Average -3 stars


Al Farooq Kebabish (3) - 84 Upton Lane
Alnuur Cafe and Restaurant (2) - 466 Katherine Road
Aromas Restaurant - 172 Forest Lane
Bay of Bengal - 109 Green Street
Brioche Burger - 236 Green Street
East African Restaurant (3) - 14-16 St Georges Road
Eastern Palace (3) - 278 Romford Road
Express Chicken/Pizza - 136 Green Street
Everest (3) - 327 Romford Road
Family Grill - 392 Romford Road
Forest Cafe(3) - 61 Woodgrange Road
Forest Tavern - 173-175 Forest Lane
Fredor African and Caribbean Restaurant (3) - 177 Upton Lane
Kaffine - 180 Forest Lane
Lahore Xpress (1) - 99 Green Street

Pleasing progress from Lahore
 Xpress - up from a poor 1
 star to an average rating of 3

Lahori Kulfi - 8 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Lazat Family Restaurant and Takeaway - 409 Katherine Road
London Travel Inn (Countryside Hotel) - 207 Romford
McCreadie Hotel (3)- 357-363 Romford Road
Manor House Hotel (3)- 235 Romford Road
Margalla Grill (1) - 255 Green Street
Newham Hotel - 349 - 353 Romford Road
NUR Restaurant (3) - 43 Woodgrange Road
Peri Peri Crush - 401 Katherine Road
PFC - 472 Green Street
Pizza Haven - 14 Sebert Road
Reggae Pot - 93 Pevensey Road
Ronak Restaurant (3) - 317 Romford Road
Safari International - 49 Upton Lane
Sake Sushi - 29 Upton Lane
The Grill Corner - 1-2 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Vijay's Chawalla - 268 - 270 Green Street
Wakelin Court Residential Hotel - 96 Halley Road
Zu's Sizzler's (3) - 83 Green Street

Shops and others

Al Madina Butcher - 21 Upton Lane
Al Noor Fresh Fruit and Veg Store - 31 Upton Lane
AS Mini Market (3) - 276 Katherine Road
Asona Ba (3) - 305 Romford Road
Barry's Meat Market (3) - 49 Woodgrange Road
Bismillah Halal Meats (3) - 70 Upton Lane
Bondor Bazaar Cash and Carry (3) - 130 Green Street
Co-op - 67 - 73 Woodgrange Road (pre refit)
Himalaya Food Store (1) - 332 - 336 Katherine Road
Katarznynka Polish Supermarket(3) - 318 Romford Road
Kiri Food and Wine - 517 Katherine Road
Mina Stores - 274 Green Street
Muzda Bakery (3) - 129 Green Street
One Click - 522 Romford Road
Orbit Food Stores - 2 Reginald Road
Shalamar Supermarket - 513 Katherine Road
Sobji Bazar - 92 Woodgrange Road
Tesco - 542 Romford Road
Unique Cash and Carry (3) - 418 - 420 Katherine Road
United Halal Meat (3) - 3 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Vasara (3) - 171 Forest Lane
Vegetarian Pound Foods - 4 - 6 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
Vinto - 529 Katherine Road 
Woodgrange News Mart (3) - 25 Woodgrange Road

Good - 4 stars


Cafe @ 48 (4) - 48 Upton Lane
Coffee 7 (4) - 10 Sebert Road
Compotes Cafe - 118 Woodgrange Road
Elsha Delight (4) - 173 Upton Lane
Hyderabad Darbar (4) - 60-62 Green Street
Indiano Pizza (4) - 126 Upton Lane
Lahoori Spicy Biryani House (4) - 342 Katherine Road
Marrakech - 236 Green Street
McDonalds (4) - 322 Romford Road
Mini Coffee Shop - 245 Romford Road
Moon House (4) - 56 Woodgrange Road
Papa Shafs Original (4) - 50 Upton Lane
Tarbush Swahili Dishes - 128 Upton Lane
Wanstead Tap - Winchelsea Road

Shops and others

Shindes Pure Veg - 236 Green Street
SM Food - 9 Upton Lane
Tesco Express (4) - 28 Woodgrange Road
Variety Foods - 20 Carlton Terrace, Green Street

Excellent - 5 Stars


Best Kebab House (1) - 20 Upton Lane

Living up to its name: Best Kebab
 House on Upton Lane improves
 from 1 to 5 stars in just one year
 - an example for all the others

Bojun's Grill - 236 Green Street
Coffee Republic - 236 Green Street
Hudson Bay (5) - 1 -5 Upton Lane
Khana Khazana (5)- 249 Green Street
Papa's Chicken (5) - 37a Woodgrange Road
Pita Pit - 236 Green Street
Pizza Hut (5) - 60 Woodgrange Road
Subway - 9 Woodgrange Road
The Holly Tree (4) - 141 Dames Road

Holly Tree: up from 4 to 5 stars

Shops and others

Akbar's (5) - 51 - 53 Upton Lane
Akro Pharmacy - 404 Katherine Road
Alaudin Sweet Centre (5) - 148 Green Street
Amba News - 108 Woodgrange Road
Amitas - 124 - 126 Green Street
Bharat Food Stores - 4-6 Carlton Terrace, Green Street
BT News - 22 Upton Lane
Cheap Store - 157 Green Street
Crailmay (chemist) - 70 Green Street
El Marinero - 11 Clifton Road
Fish Mela (5) - 39 Upton Lane
Gafoor Pure Halal - 134 Green Street
Malchem - 63 Woodgrange Road
Mayors Chemist - 45 Upton Lane
Mithal Box - 165 Green Street
Nawal - 253 Green Street
Nirala - 276 Green Street
Pennies and Pounds - 452 Romford Road
Post Office - 444 Romford Road
Post Office - 181 Upton Lane
Reids Minimart - 19 Station Road
Shan Chemist - 453 Romford Road
Shifa News - 35 Woodgrange Road
Shrewsbury Newsagents - 180 Shrewsbury Road
Step in Local - 321 Romford Road
Tesco (5) - 326 Katherine Road
The Cake Box (5) - 163 Green Street
The Urban Chocolatier - 236 Green Street
TSB Cash and Carry (1) - 428 Katherine Road
Upton News - 82 Upton Lane

Footnote: The above article was based on FSA ratings in October 2015. The ratings are regularly updated.