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Historical Newham / Re: Henry John Billing
« Last post by jplant1 on 12 December, 2017, 03:28:47 PM »
Thanks for that link.
Historical Newham / Re: Henry John Billing
« Last post by biff on 12 December, 2017, 02:10:56 PM »
Here is a link which will take you to details of the case in The Old Bailey Archives.

The family lived in Shepherd St Plaistow which has been completely rebuilt but their house was about
2/3 of the way down on the right as you walk from Hermit Rd Rec. I haven't read the full account but
on first browse  it seems a strange affair indeed.

Books, Films & TV / Re: Dr Delva's Family story
« Last post by jplant1 on 11 December, 2017, 08:43:08 PM »
Unfortunately I don't know about the PoD editions. I can only suggest you have a look at the online version I stated, which might give you some clues.
Historical Newham / Henry John Billing
« Last post by jplant1 on 11 December, 2017, 08:39:31 PM »
RELEASE OF A MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH. Henry John Billing, stevedore, of Plaistow, who was sentenced to death at the Central Criminal Court in 1884—ten years ago—for the wilful murder of his wife, but whose sentence was commuted to penal servitude for life, the jury having recommended him to mercy, has just been released from prison by order of the Home Secretary. His case had been taken up by Mr. J. Keir Hardie,
Barking, East Ham & Ilford Advertiser, Upton Park and Dagenham Gazette - Saturday 20 October 1894

Does anybody know any more of this story, especially the part played by Keir Hardie?
Books, Films & TV / Re: Dr Delva's Family story
« Last post by dave twitchett on 07 December, 2017, 08:03:11 PM »
I see on Abebooks that there are four print on demand volumes in Dr Delva's  story. Which volume should I buy for the East Ham memories? My stepmother changed from Dr Ahern in Central Park Road to Dr De Joad,s practice where Dr Delva was. Coincidence no doubt but there  was a Joan Campbell amongst the kids with whom I played in the street in Montpelier Gardens.  Dave Twitchett
Two memories of Christmas birds. One was when father entered a raffle in the Boleyn pub for a Capon. Much to his surprise he won it. Problem was nobody told him  or mentioned that it was live!!!!   It spent one night at least in the dolly tub with some sort of a cover on it. Second memory is of me attending Butlins  butchers in the Barking Road for the weekly scrag. It happened that on that day the draw for the forthcoming Xmas turkeys was held., for that year Butlin had not enough to supply all his registered customers in those rationed days. As  my turn came to be served I was asked to pick a piece of folded paper from a large bowl. Some of these scraps had turkey written on them ,the rest being blank. I soon spotted that the writing could be dimly seen through the back of the folded paper so obviously picked such a one. Then the butcher with sharp observation   turned to the next lady in the queue and said. He' is lucky, why don't you ask him to pick for you? She agreed so I sorted through the bowl until I found a turkey for her. She must have been a good customer!!!

I'm afraid I only remember a fattened rabbit for many years, I can also remember Chicken that mum got without fowl in later years when she got paid out the Christmas loan-club money. I bought turkey when I married. [Ooops: I mean for Christmas after I was married ]: haven't bothered for years since, unless we have visitors for dinner.  [I know they're no tastier than a shop bought turkey, but at least we knew where they come from] but also we usually have some sort of bird! I loved Christmas as a child, Apple/orange/silver shilling, a few sweets in the sock [a clean one of course] hanging over off the mantle shelf. [Do you remember when our bedrooms in the old houses all had fireplaces. Happy post-war days. After dinner out to play with mates . . . usually on the bomb debris. Long,
Well it's November 29th and I have done all my Christmas Shopping. I have written some Christmas Cards simply because a friend is taking them to another location for me to hand them out and I am reciprocating that gesture. Really don't get into the mood for Christmas until at least December 1st but being in a Salvation Army Band means that I have 28 Engagements to fulfil between December 1st and December 25th hence the need to get Christmas Shopping done early.
New Members / Re: Montpelier Gardens East Ham
« Last post by dave twitchett on 27 November, 2017, 10:19:00 AM »
Many thanks for that Mick. All I need now is the number. Very interesting. Also pleased to see that Beckett had a connection to the Thames Barrier. By coincidence one o f my Norfolk neighbours was lead architect on that project for the LCC. Thanks again Dave T
New Members / Re: Montpelier Gardens East Ham
« Last post by MickG on 27 November, 2017, 01:34:01 AM »
Dave, I found the following on a Newham Council news release.

The man whose engineering designs made the D-Day landings of 1944 possible has been commemorated by Newham Council with a blue plaque unveiled at his former East Ham family home.

Allan Beckett MBE designed the floating roadways which connected the Mulberry Harbours – used to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo onto beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy – with the shore.

A special ceremony was held to unveil the plaque at the house in Montpelier Gardens where Mr Beckett and his family lived up until the war. Blue plaques are placed at sites to highlight historical links with people.

The event was attended by Councillor Ken Clark, Newham’s Cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, regeneration and planning; Councillors Bryan Collier and Forhad Hussain; Mr Beckett’s widow Ida Beckett and other members of his family; representatives from the Royal Engineers and Newham Police; and Deputy Lieutenant John Barber, The Queen’s representative in Newham.

Winston Churchill had the idea for the Mulberry Harbours ordering that “they must float up and down with the tide. The anchor problem must be mastered. Let me have the best solution worked out. Don’t argue the matter. The difficulties will argue for themselves”.

Mr Beckett developed the plans for the floating bridges which were given severe weather testing in Scotland. He also designed an anchor that was light enough to be handled but heavy enough to hold the structures in place.

Two harbours were used during the D-Day landings including one between Port-en-Bessin  and La Rivière, codenamed Gold Beach. This was used for ten months after D-Day helping to land more than 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and four million tonnes of supplies.

After leaving the army, Mr Beckett initially set up as a freelance civil engineer, then joined Sir Bruce White, Wolfe Barry and Partners, where he designed and advised on major port developments and flood protection projects throughout the world. He also carried out a feasibility study and subsequent design work, jointly with Rendell Palmer and Tritton, on the lifting sector gates devised for the Thames Barrier.

After retiring in 1989 he continued to work as a freelance consultant for his son Tim's firm, until his eighties. He married his wife Ida in 1949 with whom he had two sons and a daughter. Mr Beckett, who died in 2005 aged 91, was awarded the MBE in 1949 for his wartime work.

Councillor Clark said: “Allan Beckett’s historic and ingenious designs for the floating roadways made the D-Day landings possible, ultimately helping lead to the beginning of the end of the war.

“He was a visionary in his field and it is right we honour his achievements with a lasting memorial in the form of a blue plaque.

“Newham has a long history of famous people including sporting greats, philanthropists and political figures. It is right their time in the borough is recognised and we are working towards this ambition.

Ida Beckett, said: "I am very grateful to the London Borough of Newham for honouring the memory of my husband with this impressive plaque. My husband had many happy memories of his childhood growing up in Montpelier Gardens and he enjoyed living in the lively community of East Ham before the Second World War.

“Allan often told us stories of his adventures here as a child and I think he would be very proud and somewhat surprised if he knew that his old home was being commemorated in this way. Many thanks to the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, and his team for this great honour."

As well as blue plaques, as part of its heritage programme Newham Council is also undertaking a programme of replacing road signs with significant links to the borough’s history and installing green plaques to commemorate links with places or events of historical value.

For example Young Road in Custom House, named after Jack Young, speedway rider at West Ham Stadium, now features both a new street sign and a green plaque commemorating the link with Speedway racing at West Ham.
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