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East Ham is located to the north east of London City Centre. It is demarcated to the north by the railway line upon which Plaistow, Upton Park and East Ham tube stations are located. To the east it is demarcated by the North Circular Road. The southern boundary is the Royal Albert Way, and the western boundary is the A112 (which goes by the names of Prince Regent Lane, Greengate Street, and Plaistow Road). It includes the areas of Plaistow, Newham and Beckton.
The E6 postcode district lies within or includes part of the following towns, counties, localities, electoral wards and stations: Beckton, Beckton Park Station, Beckton Station, Boleyn, Custom House, Cyprus Station, East Ham, East Ham Central, East Ham North, East Ham South, East Ham Station, Gallions Reach Station, Green Street East, London, Newham, Wall End.
As with many of the outlying London suburbs, until the mid-nineteenth century the area that now falls into E6 comprised a number of isolated villages, where the main industry was agriculture. In earlier periods, a large area of woodland extended throughout E6, however, this land had disappeared by the late 13th century.
In 1859, East Ham experienced the arrival of the railway, and although urbanisation was initially slow, by the end of the nineteenth century the urbanisation process had picked up pace and the area was developing quickly. This urbanisation was partially a result of the Beckton Gasworks Gas Light and Coke Company, which opened in 1870. As the largest gasworks in Europe, it developed into one of the largest employers in south-west Essex. This, coupled with the docks, attracted an influx of workers from surrounding areas. East Ham became part of Greater London in 1965.
Because the area of East Ham experienced the majority of its urbanisation and growth, and demand for housing in the Victorian period, the majority of the property existing today is of that period. Although traditionally the area housed those who worked on the docks, this has changed over recent years with the closure of the docks and the influx of different nationalities, particularly Asian, African and Eastern European.
The area flourished around the turn of the nineteenth century and as a result much of the housing stock comprises of grids of terraced properties. Two popular estates include the Burges Estate and Central Park Estate. The Burgess Estate is made up of the streets in between Southend Road, Burges Road, Barking Road and High Street North. The Central Park Estate is made up of the streets between Barking Road, High Street South, Rancliffe Road and Central Park Road. Many of the terraces in this area have views over Central Park.
Much of the land around Beckton consists of brownfield sites, with the closure of the docks and general decentralisation of industry. Some of this is being regenerated and transformed into out of town shopping centres (in the same way that the areas surrounding Canary Wharf). However, regeneration is always a long process. The former site of the Gas Light and Coke Company is now a shopping centre. The property around this area includes prefabs built after the Second World War to cope with the housing shortage (around the area of Eisenhower Drive). Also around this area are a number of new builds, such as those on Juniper Lane.
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