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West Ham is a district of the London Borough of Newhammarker in Londonmarker, England. In the west it is a post-industrial neighbourhood abutting the site of the London Olympic Parkmarker and in the east it is mostly residential, consisting of Victoria terraced housing interspersed with higher density post-War social housing. The area has been one of the most deprived in the country and as part of the New Deal for Communities programme it forms, with neighbouring Plaistow, a regeneration area. The locality is synonymous with West Ham United F.C..

History

West Ham formed a large ancient parish of around 4,500 acres in the Becontree hundred of Essex. The parish was divided into three wards: Church-street, Stratford-Langthornemarker, and Plaistowmarker; with the village of West Ham corresponding to the Church-street ward. The parish also included the hamlet of Uptonmarker. Following the opening of the first railway station in the area in 1839 at Stratfordmarker, the focus of activity shifted northwards towards the fast-expanding Stratford New Townmarker, with the original settlement diminishing in significance. In 1840 the parish was included in the Metropolitan Police District and soon after the built-up area of London had encompassed West Ham. However, the parish did not form part of the statutory metropolitan area established in 1855 or the County of London established in 1889. Instead, administrative reform was undertaken in the area in much the same way as a large provincial town. A local board was formed in 1856 under the Public Health Act 1848 and subsequently the parish was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1886. In 1889 the borough was large enough in terms of population to become a county borough and was outside the area of responsibility of Essex County Council. At the time of the 1901 census it was the ninth most populous district in England with a population of 267,308.

Geography and transport

West Ham is located 6.1 miles (9.8 km) east of Charing Cross. West Ham stationmarker on Manor Road is served by the London Underground Jubilee, Hammersmith and City and District lines; the National Rail c2c services; and from 2010 the Docklands Light Railway. Plaistowmarker and Stratford stations are also close by. Post-industrial land and a network of waterwaysmarker separate West Ham from Bromley-by-Bowmarker. To the north and east the area bleeds into Stratford and Plaistow, with Canning Townmarker to the south. The array of transport available which links West Ham to the rest of the City of London has made West Ham a sought after location to reside in.

Sporting associations

The football club West Ham United F.C. is named after the area. Their nicknames, the Irons and the Hammers derive from their association with the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Companymarker, whose workers formed Thames Ironworks F.C. West Ham F.C. now play at the Boleyn Groundmarker in nearby Upton Parkmarker. The West Ham Stadiummarker, a football, greyhound racing and speedway stadium, operated between 1928 and 1972, with a capacity of 120,000. The street names of housing developed on the site of the former stadium pay homage to the speedway greats associated with West Ham, including Bluey Wilkinson and Jack Young. The West Ham Hammers team were involved in the top flight leagues 1929 to 1939, 1946 to 1955 and 1964 to 1971, winning the inaugural British League in 1965. The Lakeside Hammers, who race at the Arena Essex Racewaymarker next to Lakeside Shopping Centremarker in Essex, are now the nearest team and take their name from the defunct West Ham outfit.

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