[Source: Nick Catford]


Stratford Market Gallery 2: June 1952 - 1966


Stratford Market and sidings seen from the air in June 1952. The Channelsea River runs along the west side of the site. The market is located in the long building with vehicle access through the centre shed and two covered sidings either side for loading produce from the tenants’ warehouses located within the shed. Twelve sidings fan out alongside the shed; these will accommodate from 400 to 500 wagons. There are also four cart-ways, varying from 40 to 70ft in width, and carts can back up against 200 trucks at one time. Coal wharves are seen to the left of the market sidings. The large building near the bottom right is the Victoria Stone Works which is served by a single siding. Bottom left is the West Ham gas works with two aerial cableways across the Channelsea River to a terminal in the yard which is served by two sidings. See a picture of the gas works here. Stratford Market's street level building is seen in the top left corner but the station itself is largely obscured by the LNER print works.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd. Click here for a larger version.


Stratford Market station looking south from the down platform c1950s. The stairs up to the station building are immediately behind the photographer. By this time the only signage on the platforms is the LNER running in boards, one of which is seen above the seats. There are three on each platform. The station was originally fitted with enamel 'tablet' signs but these may have been suspended from the canopy and removed when the canopy was dismantled as a safety measure during WW2. On the opposite platform the brick tower is a stairway up to a high level bridge over the goods lines; this gave direct access from the station to the LNER printing works.
Photo from John Mann collection


Class J69 0-6-0T No.68575 at Stratford Market with a North Woolwich - Palace Gates service on an unknown date in the 1950s. The train is an articulated set and appears to be a Quint-Art (5-car). The J69 class began life as GER class R24 and was one of several Holden 0-6-0T types of broadly similar appearance. Built for light passenger, branch and suburban passenger work, some types became extinct in LNER days but others such as the J67, together with the rebuilds which became J69, soldiered on well into BR days. They had been ousted from London suburban duties by the N7 class from 1925 onwards and thereafter found employment on pilot and branch line work. However, classes J67 and J69 still occasionally appeared on suburban passenger work in the London area of what had become the Great Eastern Section of BR's Eastern Region. Invariably this was to deputise for non-availability of a larger locomotive such as an N7 and this would have been the reason for the appearance of No.68575 at Stratford Market. The disc above the locomotive's buffer was a colour-coded route indicator; the outer circle was white while the centre varied in colour according to route. The system, which originated with the GER, was complex and colours further differed according the whether a train was operating over an entire route or just part of a route. The final member of class J67 bowed out in 1958 while the J69 rebuilds lasted until 1962. No.68575 herself lasted until October 1960. Note the high level bridge over the goods lines on the right giving direct access from the up platform to the former LNER print works. The works was declared redundant after nationalisation and
closed three years later.

Photo from John Mann collection


Looking north along the up platform at Stratford Market station c1950s. The steps up to the booking office are seen at the end of the down platform. The up platform, which was slightly staggered, had a ramp. The building on the right is the Railway Tavern pub which was opposite the original entrance to the station and the building to its left is the Rex cinema, formerly the Borough Theatre and Opera House. Both buildings are extant.
Photo from John Mann collection


The broad central arcade at Stratford Market in 1954. On either side there are platforms, and on these are the offices and warehouses of more than 50 tenant firms. The unique feature of the design is that immediately behind these warehouses are railway lines permitting the trucks consigned to the various firms to be brought to the proper point. From these trucks the commodities are carried direct to the warehouses or to the carts which draw up in the road alongside the platforms. A number of mainly pre-war vehicles can be identified in this view. In the foreground the truck on the left is an Austin K series and appears to be a K30. Its registration is AJD, a London registration, tells us it dates from November 1939. The vehicle to its right is a Bedford W. Its registration is AAY which dates the vehicle to November 1936. The bodywork style of van immediately behind identifies it as a Fordson E04C 5cwt. These were also pre-war and based on the Ford Model Y car. Production of the E04C continued until 1948, after which it became the Ford E494C which was based on the, then, Ford Anglia of the 'sit up and beg' Popular/Prefect/Anglia range. Production finally ended in 1954. Fordson, a name more familiar on farm tractors, was used by Ford for its light commercial vehicle range but was dropped in 1948. Behind the Ford is an Austin GP4, better known as the Austin A40 Devon Countryman. It was the estate version of the A40 Devon saloon and also came in van and pickup versions. Production of the Countryman version appears to have continued until as late as 1956.
Photo from Jim Lake collection


Stratford Market station looking north from the down platform in 1957. At the end of the up platform the covered ramp is seen; this was required because of the stagger between the two platforms. It led to a flight of steps down to the platform alongside a second entrance from Burford Road. There was also a second entrance to the down platform from Bridge Road. Because of the platform stagger the waiting rooms and canopies were also staggered as can be clearly seen in this view.
Photo from John Mann collection


Stratford Market station building in 1957, shortly before closure. Unlike on the platforms which appear to have retained LNER signage, there was no doubting the British Railways ownership from the front of the building. The sign above and between the doorways says 'British Railways Stratford Market'; it would have been double-sided and illuminated. The two lamps with white shades over the doorways were of an LNER style and could be found across that former company's network. At extreme right can be seen Charrington's coal offices and to the left of that a rather uninviting cafe, its sign being partially obscured by the lamp post. To the right of the station doorways is what appears to be a tobacconist’s kiosk. On the road, the lorry has proved difficult to identify but is probably an Albion. It has 'suicide doors' and lacks a step ring on the front wheel;  both were features of Albion lorries at the time. The car at the extreme left appears to be a Standard 8 and one of the more upmarket versions with two windscreen wipers and windows which wound up and down rather than slid. While this may sound comical today, at one time cost cutting measures such as providing only one windscreen wiper were taken very seriously and could mean the difference between owning and not owning a car. The basic Standard 8 was a ridiculous car nevertheless; it had a boot but no boot lid (another cost cutting measure) and access was from inside the saloon. This was all very inconvenient, especially when passengers occupied the rear seats which had to be tipped forward. Note the overhead wires for trolleybuses. Stratford was served by several trolleybus routes, among which was the 569 (Aldgate - North Woolwich) and 669 (Stratford - North Woolwich) which, to a degree, competed with the railway service. London Transport's trolleybus routes in the Stratford area were converted to motor bus operation in 1959/60. London's last trolleybuses, operating from Fulwell and Isleworth garages, bowed out on 8 May 1962; a very sad day as many who remember these splendid, clean and quiet vehicles will testify. For those who wanted to go to the cinema to actually watch a film, the Rex, in 1957, was showing ‘Their Secret Affair’: supposedly a comedy and starring Susan Hayward and Kirk Douglas.
Photo by TS Keep from JE Connor collection

The Bridge Road entrance to Stratford Market station seen from the up platform in 1957. Note the distinctive waiting rooms with tall chimneys and Dutch gables. The original entrance was between the Railway Tavern and the Borough Theatre and Opera House, both of which are seen in this view.
Photo by TS Keep from JE Connor collection


Displaying a colour-coded route disc on its upper lamp bracket, an unidentified N7 0-6-2T waits at Stratford Market with a Quint-Art set bound for North Woolwich. The date of the photograph is unknown but the presence of what appears to be railway enthusiasts may indicate day near to closure, if not closure day itself. The structure on the left was the steps up to the high level bridge to the LNER print works. Some station signage is visible and an enlargement of the photograph suggests it was of pre-BR, possibly GER, origin. Another period item, albeit a mundane one, is the metal dustbin on the left. These bins with their heavy lids could once be seen everywhere but today are as rare as railway enthusiasts wearing Columbo-style raincoats. Behind the wall on the right runs Bridge Road and many of the residential and industrial buildings visible no longer exist. The ornate building right of centre was the Railway Tavern public house and, despite its Art Deco appearance, it dated from the mid nineteenth century. A Charrington's pub, it later became Reflections nightclub and closed its doors for the last time in 2005. The building still stood in the summer of 2015 but in derelict condition. The Quint-Art train sets, of which none survive, lived long enough to see diesel traction and, for a time, these increasingly antiquated sets presented an odd sight behind brand new diesel locomotives
on the Palace Gates service.
Photo by TS Keep from JE Connor collection


Looking south from the south end of the up platform in May 1957. The demolition material on the platform and the running-in board which appears to have been painted out suggest that it may be a short while after closure. A North Woolwich service is seen on the left. Two locomotives are seen in the distance;  both appear to be on the goods lines. The fruit and vegetable market building is seen on the right. Two sidings passed through the shed and terminated where the truck is seen.
Photo from John Mann collection


Driver' s view of the approach to Stratford Market station from the south in August 1965. The fruit and vegetable market building is seen on the left.
Photo by John Webb


Stratford Market's street level building was boarded up and out of use in 1966.One of the shops alongside the building is still occupied by a coal merchant, Charringtons. The coal depot 200yd away, round the corner in Burford Road, was still open at this time. The Rex cinema is showing 'Where the Spies Are', a romantic Cold War comedy starring David Niven. All the buildings shown in this view still stand today and are largely unaltered.
Photo by JE Connor

Click here for Stratford Market Gallery 3:
1966 - October 1984


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