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Fort Street Box, Silvertown

Started by Dalekoracle, Feb 15, 2013, 08:01 pm

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Feb 15, 2013, 08:01 pm Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 03:50 pm by hb88banzai
A chap called Stan Dyson wrote a wonderful book about growing up in the East End of London (Canning Town and West Silvertown area) , and published some of his photo collection a while back - though there were no boxes in any of the published photos, i wrote to him to ask if he might have any of the East End boxes in his collection.
He wrote back:

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your email.  Sorry mate, but I have no pics of police phone boxes.  Although I well recall the police phone box on the l/h corner of Fort Street.  In 1958 me and a friend named Billy Marler were playing in a condemned house in Boxley Street where unfortunately they had left the mains electricity connected.  Billy received a severe electric shock from the cable that had been cut and just left in the hallway, badly burning his hand.  Fortunately the local policeman had just left Lyle Park and took us both to the Fort St police box and gave first aid; so we had a good look inside it.

I do recall that Howard Bloch from Newham Heritage sent me a lot of photo copies of West Silvertown around 1960/61 period as the old Victorian terraced houses were being demolished.  I recall one pic of North Woolwich Rd just by Venesta factory that may have had that police box shown.  Contact either Jenny Monroe or Richard Durack at Newham Heritage and I'm sure they'll sort you out.

All the best,


So whilst no photo, a brilliant tale of a box (I'll send him a copy of the First Aid Box photo) and a couple of new leads at Newham Heretage! Will keep you chaps posted.



Feb 16, 2013, 02:16 am #1 Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 02:38 am by hb88banzai

He's talking about K40 from the description. I've started its own Article as I think anecdotal stories are just as good a reason to start one as a photo. Wish we had more!

Here is what the Box Site currently looks like --


Box Site Street View URL:  https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fort+Street+Silvertown,+London,+United+Kingdom&hl=en&ll=51.502278,0.02708&spn=0.004221,0.021222&sll=51.509685,0.034501&sspn=0.007626,0.016994&hnear=Fort+St,+London+E16+2BD,+United+Kingdom&t=m&layer=c&cbll=51.502284,0.027078&panoid=8KFCSD37Ijc09zB1wvkcNw&cbp=12,308.52,,0,-2.6&z=16

Fort Street is on the right, N. Woolwich Road on the left.

Lyle Park is a couple of blocks down N. Woolwich (about 80 yards) on the left and a little down Bradfield Road, a stone's throw from Boxley Street --



Thanks for separating the anecdote out from the Connaught Road Box thread. You're right, anecdotal stories like this are every bit as important and where there is no picture, it might give others a starting point to track down more evidence or photos.

As it happens, Stan emailed me again this morning. He says:

Hi Mark,

You're in luck!  I've just delved through all the old photo copies of Silvertown & Canning Town archive pics that Howard Bloch sent me and I've located a pic of the corner of West Silvertown's Fort St police phone box that you were looking for; it's the one right opposite West Silvertown Fire Station and Venesta Foils/Metal Containers factory opposite that were my first employers when I left school in 1961.  The faint outline of the houses you can just see beyond Vanesta's are the John Knights houses in Bradfield Road.  The front of Vanesta's is mostly obscured by a passing train.   This is the police box that the policeman dressed Billy Marler's electric burns from.  If you send a copy of this to Richard Durack or Jenni at Newham Heritage/Archive Library then they can locate the original and send you a photo that will show all the fine detail.

Can you please do me a higher definition copy of the Silvertown Viaduct pic you attached to your email?  I recall all those old houses stuck in the middle of the bomb damaged streets from my early 1950's wanderings around Silvertown debri's.



And here is what Stan sent me...


I'll contact the people at Newham Heritage. This could ultimately lead to photos of the other boxes in the area. Fingers crossed they can provide me with details of the box pictured above.



Feb 16, 2013, 03:59 pm #3 Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 04:09 pm by hb88banzai

This photo allows us to localize the Box's position on the corner with a bit more accuracy --


The corner was much sharper back then (confirmed in Google Earth 1945), so the position would be on the sidewalk here, just behind where the two inner edges of the sidewalk would meet if they continued straight instead of cutting the corner.

Revised Box Site Street View URL:  https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Fort+Street+Silvertown,+London,+United+Kingdom&hl=en&ll=51.506926,0.027058&spn=0.000027,0.021179&sll=51.509685,0.034501&sspn=0.007626,0.016994&hnear=Fort+St,+London+E16+2BD,+United+Kingdom&t=m&layer=c&cbll=51.502294,0.026932&panoid=1_rkX_1Vd54eNuLEPMqBug&cbp=12,338.99,,0,7.15&z=16


You see the building on the skyline, with the curved roof section?
Thats where I am! Fort Street would have been my "Local" Box.
"Cor Blimey Guv'nor"



You should put a cardboard cutout of a police box, put it at the corner and angle it so you can see it from where you are at. :D
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff


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