Memories needed

DO you remember the Stratford Olympic Park before the site was developed? Did you live, work or play in the surrounding area?

If so, your memories of the many businesses, groups and individuals that once used it are wanted.

The Olympic Park was a hub of industry in Newham from the mid 19th century, largely due to the introduction of the Metropolitan Building Act of 1844.

This act prohibited noxious trades within the city limits of London, forcing them to set up factories just outside.

The number of noxious trades that moved to the area in and around Stratford gave rise to the name of “Stinky Stratford”, however with the name came many opportunities for employment.


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Yardley’s, Berk Spencer Acids, Jenson and Nicholson Paints, and Boake Roberts were just some of the factories that opened and closed their doors in Stratford.

These companies gave life to the communities that grew up around them, not only providing employment, but often entertainment and sports events as well .

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If you worked for one of the industries in the area your memories are really wanted.

The canals surrounding the park were vitally important to the area’s industries and the people who lived there. Did you work or play on the canals?

The area around Manor Gardens Allotments also had strategic importance during World War II, with the remains of gun emplacements recorded. If you remember what the area was like during war time people compiling an oral history project want to hear from you.

It is being out together by Eastside Community Heritage as part of the www.hidden-histories.org.uk project,.

If you would be interested in taking part in an interview detailing your life and experiences of living and working in Stratford, please contact Project Office Claire Days by e-mail at

(Claire@ech.org.uk) or telephone (020) 8553 4343.

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