The stories behind some of Newham’s road names

PUBLISHED: 12:31 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:38 19 April 2018

Anna Neagle Close, Forest Gate

Anna Neagle Close, Forest Gate


We see their names on a daily basis, but who are the people who have one of Newham’s roads in their honour? Sophie Morton takes a look at some of the stories behind the streets.

Anna Neagle Close, Forest Gate

Popular on both the stage and screen, Anna Neagle caught the eye of film producer Herbert Wilcox - later to become her husband - while performing in the West End in 1931. Her first film was a box office hit and by the late 1940s, she had become the most in-demand British film actress. She continued to perform up to her death in 1986, aged 81.

Bernard Cassidy Street, Canning TownBernard Cassidy Street, Canning Town

Bernard Cassidy Street, Canning Town

Lt Bernard Cassidy was a soldier during the First World War. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour, for his bravery during a battle in Arras, France, in 1918, where he obeyed the instruction to hold position at all costs, and fought until he was killed.

Bradley Stone Road, BecktonBradley Stone Road, Beckton

Bradley Stone Road, Beckton

A young boxer from Custom House, Bradley Stone died two days after a fight for the British super santamweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green, in 1994. The 23-year-old trained at Canning Town’s Peacock Gym.

Edward Temme Avenue, StratfordEdward Temme Avenue, Stratford

Edward Temme Avenue, Stratford

This road, which backs on to West Ham Park, was named after the first man to swim across the English Channel both ways. The Plaistow-born athlete also played water polo and competed in the sport in the Olympics twice, in 1928 and 1936. Despite his sporting success, he maintained a day job as an insurance clerk.

George Peabody Street, PlaistowGeorge Peabody Street, Plaistow

George Peabody Street, Plaistow

An American philanthropist, he set up the Peabody Donation Fund - now the Peabody Trust - in 1862 to provide housing for poor labourers in London. One of the trust’s most recent developments, on the site of the former Plaistow Hospital, opened last year and saw the newly-created road named after its founder.

Jack Cornwell Street, Manor ParkJack Cornwell Street, Manor Park

Jack Cornwell Street, Manor Park

Aged just 16, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery at the Battle of Jutland during the First World War. He joined the Royal Navy in 1915, aged just 15, and served on HMS Chester. When the boat was attacked by gunfire in May 1916, Jack remained at his post despite being severely injured. He died from his wounds two days later.

Nina Mackay Close, StratfordNina Mackay Close, Stratford

Nina Mackay Close, Stratford

Pc Nina Mackay, who served in the Territorial Support Group, died after she was stabbed in the abdomen as she and other officers went to arrest a man in Arthingworth Street, Stratford, in 1997. An adjacent road has been named in her honour.

Ronnie Lane, Manor ParkRonnie Lane, Manor Park

Ronnie Lane, Manor Park

With a name that lends itself perfectly to a street in his honour, Ronnie Lane was one of the founder members of 1960s rock band Small Faces. The Plaistow-born musician, who subsequently played guitar with Faces - a band that included Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart - died in 1997, after suffering from multiple sclerosis for more than two decades.

Tom Hood Close, StratfordTom Hood Close, Stratford

Tom Hood Close, Stratford

Born in nearby Leytonstone in 1835, Tom Hood wrote his first book of poems, Farewell to the Swallows, while studying at Pembroke College, Oxford. He forged a career as a humorist and playwright, publishing a number of poetry collections and novels as well. He was also the editor of a comic, Fun, which became very popular under his leadership.

Vera Lynn Close, Forest GateVera Lynn Close, Forest Gate

Vera Lynn Close, Forest Gate

The singer, from East Ham, became known as the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ for her performances and recordings during the Second World War. She became the first centernarian to have an album in the charts last year when a collection of songs to mark her 100th birthday made it into the top three.

William Morley Close, Upton ParkWilliam Morley Close, Upton Park

William Morley Close, Upton Park

A corn merchant, William Morley lived in Green Street House - also known as Boleyn Castle - from the late 1870s until his death in 1832. The house, a 16th century building, was later used as a school, a church and a maternity home. It was leased to West Ham United, along with some adjoining land, in the early 20th century and the club sub-let the house to the Boleyn Castle social club. The house was demolished in 1955.

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