From 1894 East Ham formed the East Ham Urban District of Essex and was incorporated as a borough on 10 August 1903. As a result of popular pressure East Ham sought and obtained county borough status; becoming, in modern terms, a unitary authority on 1 April 1915 and remaining such until 1965 when it was abolished and its former area was merged with that of the County Borough of West Ham to form the London Borough of Newham.
The principal offices of Newham Council are located at the junction of Barking Road and High Street South in the former East Ham Town Hall, a Grade II listed Edwardian structure designed by A. H. Campbell, H. Cheers and J. Smith, and including a landmark clock tower. Built between 1901 and 1903, the Town Hall was opened by Passmore Edwards on 5 February 1903.
Housing in East Ham consists principally of Victorian and Edwardian terraced town houses, often in tree-lined avenues, which radiate from the High Street. West Ham United FC is located on the western border of East Ham and the eastern border of Upton Park, in the Tudor district of the town.
There are many green spaces in the otherwise bustling and urbanised area of East Ham. The graveyard of the Norman St Mary's church, is maintained as a nature reserve, the largest of its kind in Greater London. Central Park (Central Park Road) and Plashet Park (Plashet Grove) are the two largest parks in East Ham, and both combine open space with playgrounds and cafés. There are also smaller play areas and parks, including Priory Park (Grangewood Street) and Flanders Field, where England football captain Bobby Moore played as a child during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
East Ham is a multi-cultural area, with large numbers of south Asians, African /Caribbean and eastern Europeans resident. There are many stores and restaurants specialising in ethnic tastes. There are also still traditional East End eateries, including the century-old Robin's, which specialises in the traditional East End dish of pie, mash and jellied eels, although, of course, East Ham is not considered part of the historic East End, having only become part of Greater London in 1965.
There are numerous places of worship for many different religions, ranging from St. Michael's Church to Plashet Grove Mosque. The Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene dates to the first half of the 12th century and is claimed to be the oldest parish church still in use in Greater London. It contains a memorial to an Edmond Nevill, who laid claim to the attainted title of Earl of Westmoreland in the 17th century.
There are many sporting opportunities for young residents of East Ham to participate in, thanks mainly to the success of the London 2012 Olympics bid being staged in Newham. Focal points of sporting opportunities include East Ham Leisure Centre (Barking Road) and Langdon Comprehensive Secondary School (Sussex Road).
Mass transport is provided by East Ham tube station and bus services which form a hub near the Town Hall. To the north of East Ham is Manor Park and Little Ilford, to the east over the North Circular Road is Barking, to the west is Upton Park and to the south over the A13 is Beckton and London City Airport.
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Your Stories: I Haven't Had a Christmas for 12 Years; Liz Floodgate, 44, from East Ham, Has Been Too Busy Volunteering to Let Her Hair Down
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