The local history society for the Leyton & Leytonstone area of east London

Maureen Measure: Bill and I used to live on the Abraham Estate!  When I moved into Leyton on my 40th birthday in 1981 I bought an upstairs flat in Newport Road.   It was built in 1904 and had a bathroom!   The garden was split into 2 lengthways with the people who lived in the downstairs flat.   Over the Easter holidays in 1984 Bill moved to Newport Road.  When we married later that year Et, who lived downstairs and who had become a friend, was a bridesmaid.  

Dermot Meehan: My flat did not have a bathroom till 1976.

David Boote: A little book from Walthamstow Historical Society dates the start of Warners as 1881 with the business getting more visible in the 1890s. Very active in the Edwardian years before the First World War. So Abraham and Warner may have been roughly contemporary.

Jon Holloway: I have the old dairy on Albert road that soon became a confectioners. Interested to know more.

Sadie Wilde: Strettons manages loads of flats for the Abraham Estate. You used to be able to tell which ones they still owned by the colour of the door. Until recently they had an office on Newport Road.

Esme Bradbury: About 10 years ago I saw a flat, I think on Albert Road, that had been rented and had no bathroom, just an outdoor loo! (no central heating or proper door locks either)

Babs Wilson : when I saw the photo of the old estate office it reminded me of when I contacted them many years ago with a complaint about next door's garden.  The elderly gentleman who worked there visited me and although there was very little he could do he was lovely.

Incidentally I live in Newport Rd and as far as I know most of the flats along here were Abrahams.  I have been here 33 years and bought my flat off Abrahams.  They were doing a series of refurbishments as they sold off the rented properties.  They ripped out the original doors and fireplaces, unfortunately, but gave me quite a nice new kitchen.  I have an original ceiling and I believe some others still have it.  It is criss-crossed with ornate strips of wood.  It is rather nice, I think.

What people are telling us about the Abraham Estate:

“I've dug out some photographs dating from the 1950s. They're pretty poor, but they give you an idea about the front-and-back of No. 29. In those days there was no dividing wall between the sets of flats at the front. As children, we played there with our skipping rope. and used the wall to play ball against.

The back garden was pretty narrow. Unfortunately I can't find any photos of the garden, but we had two chicken sheds until c.1957, one across the bottom of the garden and a smaller one at right angles to it. The chickens provided us with eggs, and a tasty bird at Christmas. Chicken was expensive then, and we only ate it once a year as far as I can remember!

The back garden photos show the concrete steps going down from the upstairs flats; also the diagonal parting fence outside the window of the downstairs flat. We grew runner beans up the railing at the bottom.

The fancy dress was for the coronation on 2nd June 1953. There was a competition - which I didn't win. It rained on the day, so the street party was held in Christ Church hall (as it then was). My mum made me a crinoline from pink crepe paper, and painted silver 'lace' at the edge of each frill.

The final photo was taken in the Coronation Gardens c.1950 [not currently on this website].

Carol Buxton, 27 June 2017

Carol Clapham (now Buxton) : wonders where she can find information on the estate of terraced flats built from 1880 onwards in Leyton by J. G. Abraham & Company. There were streets of them - Richmond, Twickenham, Francis, Newport Roads etc and her family lived in five of them from the 1940s onwards. Carol was raised in a Francis Road flat, No. 29 Francis Road, from 1946 until 1970.  Her mother stayed on until about 1983. Carol’s uncle was a rent collector based in the Estate Office.  Her grandfather worked for the estate as a painter-and-decorator.

“The flats were offered for sale to tenants in the 1960s (I think) for £1,000 each!”

Members of the Abraham family are listed in Post Office Directories as Surveyors, with offices in Hanley Road, N4; Malmesbury Road, E16 and Francis Road, E10. The Francis Road Office was on the corner of Francis Road and Twickenham/Richmond Road, a block up Newport Road. The family were responsible for building around 500 properties, mostly 3 room maisonettes, for rental. These properties were mostly in the present London boroughs of Newham and Waltham Forest although others were in Islington, Haringey and Croydon.

“On Sundays there was a shrimp/whelks/cockles stall outside, so that was often our tea. I believe the Off-licence is still there, but the bakery on the opposite corner isn't.”