Community Links co-founder Kevin Jenkins on Newham’s 50th birthday


- Credit: Archant

The first of April 2015 will be Newham’s 50th birthday, having been brought into being on April 1, 1965 by the London Government Act which merged the boroughs of East Ham, West Ham, a small area of Barking (along the River Roding) and the North Woolwich area to form Newham.

I was six at the time and I lived in Boundary Road which did form the boundary between the old East Ham and West Ham boroughs along its length. Living on the West Ham side of the road I have vague recollections of celebrating the birth of Newham at my school (New City). I can also recall not everyone being happy about the merger, most people in the old East Ham were expressing concern that the merger would be a backward step while many people in West Ham were expressing similar concerns however, nearly 50 years on Newham is a united amazing place to live and be.

Few places can claim to have experienced so much change or influenced social trends as much as Newham has done throughout its 50 years. The Newham story is a real rollercoaster which personally I am very proud to have lived through and been part of for the past 49 ½ years and the tremendous change that has taken place here.

It is vitally important that the Newham story is not lost but recorded so that others can share and learn from our journey and Newham can continue to influence and shape the future change and regeneration of our area in the best way for Newham’s future generations.

The best people to create this are the people who have experienced, contributed or been part of this change throughout the last fifty years. To this end I applaud Newham Council’s initiative in encouraging everyone to contribute their own stories, experiences, anecdotes and pictures as part of the fifty birthday celebrations.

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