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Moving to East Ham

Hi everyone. My other half and I have found a house we really like in East Ham and are hoping to move there. It seems like the area gets a lot of bad press, but whenever we've been there's it's seemed lively, with lots of friendly people, interesting fruit/veg stalls and restaurants, and a nice atmosphere. I was wondering what your experiences of living in the area have been? Do you enjoy it, and do you feel safe? 


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Mr D
Very shabby place. Hasn't got anything going for it in terms of nice restaurants & bars. No community spirit. Not sure about crime, but Newham is very run down. You're best bet is Havering; nice shops more safe. That's my view.
Ruth S
Thanks Mr D. Do you live in East Ham?
Deborah R
Hi Ruth, I live very close to East Ham and personally I think it's not a nice place to live at all. The shops are ok but not great, very few decent places to eat or drink and the place does not have a particularly good feel to it. When I go there I can't wait to leave. Stratford or forest Gate tend to be a better bet. But, if you really like the house then I suggest you visit the area as many times as you can and at different times of the day and night so you can get a better feel for the area. As for crime, it's better than some areas in Newham but there are many other much nicer places you could live.
Amanda S
I think East Ham is much nicer than Stratford and certainly than Forest Gate.  It's true that the shops and nightlife aren't up to much, but you don't have to go very far for good shops (Beckton and Stratford for example).  The best area of East Ham is the Central Park area, where I live.  I find it very pleasant and there is a great community spirit in my area and I know at least 20 of my neighbours by name and can rely on many of them for cat feeding etc.  I've live here for 20 years now and I've never felt unsafe.
Tracey G
I agree with Amanda S. I also live near central park and have lovely neighbours who I know by name! We live in a lovely house which if it was located in other parts of London we could not have afforded.

True that it does not have much upmarket places to eat, but I can recommend a lovely thai restaurant on Barking Rd- Thai Thai. There are several children centres in the area which I have been to with my toddler where we have had great fun. East Ham leisure centre is nice and I use the library frequently. The downside is I am concerned about the standard of my nearest primary school, but I have seen others not too far away which have been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

As for crime, we are fortunate not to have experienced any in the two years we have lived here, and only a couple of months ago my husband lost his wallet on the road and it was returned to him. Plus East Ham has much lower crime levels when compared to Stratford

Best advise is to really visit the area you are looking to buy both day and night, and if you are brave enough, knock on neighbouring door, or speak to a local newsagent and ask what it is like to live there.
Ruth S
Thanks for all the comments and advice so far everyone! 

Tracey and Amanda - is there a particular reason why you prefer the bit near Central Park, just out of interest? 

The fact that there are not really any upmarket eateries or high street shops doesn't really bother me - in a way, I quite like the idea that there's actually a high street in London that doesn't conform to the norm. 

Can I also ask where people tend to go in the way of pubs? I know there's the Wetherspoons and the Overdraft Tavern, but are there any others hidden away? Or if not in East Ham, where do you go for this?
Tracey G
I liked the central park area mainly because of the park! Plus we bought the house from a lady we knew beforehand who recommended the area. Ethnicity was also a factor, as it felt a bit more mixed, than in other parts of East Ham. 

We did also look at a few places across the other side of high street south, near Goosley Playing Fields, which we thought also seemed a nice area. I really don't know much about other parts of East Ham to comment. Had a friend who lived in the Burges estate area and I don't remember her mentioning any trouble.

Not much of a pub person, so not qualified to say  but have been to king edwards in stratford broadway which was nice and the Black lion in plaistow which was quiet but bar staff was friendly a few times.
Ruth S
Thanks v much Tracey G - really appreciate you taking time to offer your thoughts! 

If anyone else has anything to add, I'd still love to hear  it :). 

Rita K
I lived in East Ham and I'm very happy that I moved.At first my 17 old daughter was attacked by asian guys,later my car was stolen. When I lived there once the taxi driver told me that I need to keep an eye on my car(it was jeep grand cherokee).And after 3 weeks my car was gone.I don't like East Ham,but is only my opinion.
Amanda S
Ruth S - to answer your question about why the Central Park area in particular - first of all the Central Park area is not just the bit by the park - it is the whole area bounded by Barking Road, High Street South, Lonsdale Avenue and Boundary Road - so it's the whole area in the middle of those streets.  It has always been the more expensive bit of East Ham and, according to Estate Agents, the most sought-after bit.  Consequently it seems to attract more professionals and has more owner-occupier than the other bits, and as a consequence of that the houses seem better maintained - you tend not to find rotting mattresses in the front gardens etc - and the people just seem nicer.  In my 20 years here I've never experienced any crime at all, and for the first 5 years, before I got a car, I was quite happy to walk home from the nightbus at about 3am.  I don't have children though so I can't comment on the schools.
Ruth S
Thanks both, that's all really useful.

Sorry to hear about your daughter Rita - I hope she was ok!

I have lived in East Ham since 1984 in the Burges Estate (Lathom Rd). I have found living here pleasant and we have good neighbours and a community spirit. Yes-the shops are not the best and some are concerned by crime what not-however these days every area has an element of crime unfortunately. The houses are fair sized and many have extensions and loft conversions for extra space. Good transport links and places like Gallions Reach for easy shopping. My kids go to the local primary and it is good - i got involved by becoming a parent governor. Collectively speaking-East Ham does not have the best reputation but heck-it's home and has been for 28 odd years. The old saying goes: When you get home, leave the outside on the outside. Home is our sanctum. Thanks.
Hi Ruth S

I live in Beckton for the last 15+ years, have worked in East Ham for many years and still go on a weekly basis to East Ham - an area is what you and yours and your neighbours want to make of it. It is not ideal (but then nothing is ideal that's why we can it ideal).  You can get everything you need in and around East Ham eg you have Westfield just around the corner, you are a stone throw away from Ilford, the schools are very good (I am in education), the local hospital has immensely improved and if you want to go to the theatre - again you have Stratford nearby.  You got to pick and choose and go by how you feel and what impression an area makes on you.  You are well served as regards transport and last but not least the East Ham MP is absolutely the best.

Regards and welcome

I could not agree more with Abid - well put!
Hi Ruth S
My favourite pub is on Barking Road (opposite the Town Hall) "The Millers" - it's lovely, friendly and welcoming. Frequented by many of the teaching staff of the nearby college.
Ruth S
Thanks for the extra thoughts Abid and adepe. We went and had another look around today, had a really excellent lunch and saw another really great house. We went in the Millers the other day actually and it seemed nice. So things are looking hopeful...! It's a great help to hear everyone's views..
Spoony S
Very bad area. Do not move there. Leave that area for the animals that live their
Tracey G
Dear Spoony, whilst a number of beautiful animals reside in Newham, check out East Ham nature reserve & Newham city farm located closely in Beckton, quite a few decent homo sapiens dwell within East Ham as well!
Linda B
Well, its true East Ham has run down in the past few years but I think its up to people to bring it back to its former glory. The houses are fantastic. Its very convenient to get anywhere there are many options for transport. There are also many good people in the area, helpful and friendly. I don't feel worried about walking around during the day. At night you just have to be sensible like you do anywhere. Newham Council are getting better at cleaning the area up and educating people not to drop rubbish. There is no problem with getting bulky items collected as the council will collect it free of charge. Many other boroughs charge for this service. If you want to get on the property ladder and make an investment for the future this is the place to move to.
Ruth S
The nice people who have replied here don't seem like 'animals' to me Spoony...

Thanks Linda B, that's all useful info!
Lin F
Been living in the area for the last 10 years and there have been changes since I have been here.  I was a first time buyer priced out of West London and I must admit it was a bit of a cultural shock, but you  do get use to it and I have always felt safe.   Let me list what I have found to be good about the area East Ham.

East Ham Leisure Centre - with swimming pool/climbing wall and gym et al.   It was lottery funded and the  best in the East (in my humble opinion).

The Hartley Centre - on the Barking Road for a number of community things including a wicked Zumba class on Monday/Weds evening.  A bingo is very close by too.

The Red Door Studios (on Facebook and situated in Masterman  Rd, High St South).  A much needed gem in the area and they recently had an Xmas fair which was fab.  If you are into the arts scene and want to get a sense of the other community, you will get it here.  Friendly and sociable.

St Marys one of the oldest churches still standing is surrounded by the nature reserve as well which is great.

There are a number of parks in the area.  Central Park is probably my favorite in the area and they hold the brilliant annual Newham gigs/extravaganza's in the Summer.  Really wonderful!

The high street now have a Costa!   But if you want something more traditional there is a neat and cosy greasy spoon called Aunt Sally's if you are into the traditional east end side of things and there is nothing wrong with that!

There is also the market which has chanaged since I have been here, but still worth a  look.  I love there are some really good independent shops such as the Ribbon and Zip shop tucked away within a parade of shops and stiuatuated by the car park before you exiit the high street and onto the Batking Road.  Fabulous trimmings for curtains etc that would cost and arm and a leg some where like John Lewis!

Beckton/Gallions Reach are close by if you want the retail park experience as well.

There was once a pie and mash that is now only a  fish and chips shop...not my kind of eaterie, but sad to see one of the originals go in the area go...a sign of the times.  There are a number of eateries on the Barking Road and you would not be far from Westfield Stratford as well for a better range.

As mentioned by Linda B the area has a good regular bus service as well.  The better part of east ham to live is within the high street south area.  It seems to be quieter and you can still feel what the old east ham was once has more of a suburban feel to it.

One of the downsides is that some residents to do not have any civic pride  which is one of my bug bears!  I know the Council is driving to change this with fines etc.  Sadly some people think its OK to dump everything and the kitchen sink in their front garden for weeks/months on end!    The rubbish on the streets has improved though...I hope this will continue post Olyumpic Games.   I do enjoy sometimes talking to the older residents in the area who who have resisted the great white flight.  They tell me what the old east ham was like and in particular the high street which has some amazing clothes shops....sad some of the shops are now £1 shops and bland others to boot.  I was here when one  of the first M&S's in London closed in east ham.....several years on I still yearn for it to come it has now been replaced by The Bank of India.......SIGN OF THE TIMES!    Wilkinsons is a relaltively recent addition to the high street too.  

If you are religious there a  a number of churches such as St Peter (top of Burges Rd)if you want the tradtional anglican teachings and very welcoming.  There is also the methodists and salvation army in residence.  There is of course the mosques and such like.

Generally speaking I have always felt safe here.  People are generally friendly and they keep themselves to themselves....there is a large asian community here from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh and I recently found out Sri Lanka too.   A number of eastern europeans....Latvians/polish/albanians et al.

Get ready for 2014 when there will also be Bulgarians and Romanians and every where else the can live as well.

One more thing east hammers!   Newham wants us to watch out for slum landlords.  This has become a big issue in places like Southall/Slough.     Owner occupiers are buiilding brick sheds at the bottom of the garden for probably illigals to live in and in sub standard conditions    THIS IS ILLIGAL AND WE MUST REPORT THIS TO THE COUNCIL.  During these hard economic times for some, some people will abuse this and we don't want the area slipping further down the plug hole!  I have notice a few on the train from Upton Park to East Ham station - appallihg and we must unit to stop this from further ruining the reputation of East Ham.  I think this is going to be a big issue

Phew!   these are my thoughts...please add or disagree if you so wish.
Peter C
Lin F ,
I think that you have put a very good summary of the area, I would like to add to the comment on the Red Door Studios that thier next event is on Sun 16th Dec 1pm to 4pm and it is Festive Folktales. Come along and see the extensive decorations that have been put up for the festivities this year and also have a chat with some interesting people.

Peter C.
Lin F
Thanks for the update Peter - will do!
Ruth S
Thanks Lin and Peter.There's some great detail there! I'd come across Red Door Studios online and will definitely be checking it out if we're successful in getting the house we want. We went to a great greasy spoon the other day too, although I can't for the life of me remember what it was called. Great tip about the zip shop also.
Susan M
Think you've already drawn the right conclusions, Ruth, but East Ham's fantastic. I  moved here 22 years ago having grown up in Barnet and lived in areas like Belsize Park and Golders Green. A lot happier here. Other people have already mentioned the best bits - Red Door, the cafes (Tippy's Thai Cafe on High St is amazing for Thai or English food, but you also have Parkside Cafe or Aunt Sally's for greasy spoon breakfasts and then Kitchen Door Cafe in Central Park for Sunday lunch - £9 for 3 courses with local live music - or Millers Well).

It's definitely safe. In my clubbing days I used to get night buses back to East Ham in early hours of morning - never any trouble - touch wood have never been burgled (yes, that could be luck, but also insurance companies always surprised at how low official crime risk levels are is when getting quotes).

The council run a great volunteers scheme which allows you to do as much or as little volunteering as you can fit in on ad hoc basis - a really good way to get to know borough and its people as well as helping out with local events - and if you do move in round Central Park there's even a residents' association - the Greatfield Residents Association - with it's own mag (first edition featured an interview with Dame Vera Lynn - another person with good memories of the area).

Hope you'll be joining us

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