Monday, November 28, 2011

London Marathon 2012 Wk 5: Forest Gate Industrial School

I felt stronger this week. Running every day (no rest day in programme?). 45 Minute Fartlek on Wednesday but main run was for 40 minutes on Sunday. I ran along back streets to Forest Lane Park, E7. Which is a hidden Newham gem.

It use to be the site of Wood Grange Manor. The home of the Quaker Banker, Samuel Gurney (see West Ham Park). Who gave the land to the local workhouse who built on site the Forest Gate Industrial School (see above). Over 600 young boys from Whitechapel, Poplar and Hackney "Poor Law" unions lived here. A "Oliver Twist" style institution where in 1890 - 26 boys were killed in a fire. Many of them died locked in barrack like dormitories. Shocking.

The school later became Forest Gate Maternity Hospital. In 1940 during the Second World War it was bombed and badly damaged. Nowadays only the facade remains and the main building is divided into private flats. The nature park to the rear is well worth a visit.

I next ran towards the new Newham shopping centre at Westfield’s, past the excellent pub The "Railway Tavern". There is a complicated path which eventually takes you to the front of the shopping centre and bus station. I then ran back over the "bridge" and back home past the Cart and Horses pub (the first ever venue for heavy metal band Iron Maiden) thorough Maryland and then a straight run along Forest Lane towards home.

I am running the London marathon next year using the official advanced training programme and will be raising funds for Homeless Youth charity "Alone in London". Click here to sponsor me.


Paul said...

I live in Gladys Dimson House, which used to be Forest Gate Industrial School. It's not true that Woodgrange Manor used to be on this site, it was further east where Sebert Road is now. Someone made an error years ago, and it keeps getting repeated. As far as I can determine there was farm land here when the school was built in about 1840. The park is a lovely oasis, isn't it? Keep up the good work! Paul

John Gray said...

Hi Paul

Thanks for the correction. Is there no Gurney connection?

The Park is indeed lovely.

Off now to picket line.