diamond geezer

 Friday, May 05, 2023

London doesn't have a Coronation Street.
But it does have three Coronation Roads.
I've been to all three.


Coronation Road, Plaistow E13 [map]

This celebratory thoroughfare can be found on the Upton Park side of Plaistow, just north of the Greenway close to Newham University Hospital. Most of the housing round here consists of dense terraces packed onto former marshland, built as the area transitioned from agriculture to a manufacturing economy at the turn of the 20th century. Plaistow duly morphed from genteel village to full-on dormitory, initially to the north of Barking Road and then (relevantly here) to the south. First they built New City Road as a spine, then multiple streets bearing off to either side hemmed inbetween the Northern Outfall Sewer and the West Ham borough boundary. The shortest of these which was Coronation Road, completed in 1902 and named in honour of Edward VII's big day, or so I assume because none of the neighbouring streets bear any royal reference at all.



It's archetypal Newham. Squat bay-windowed terraces with a recessed porch. Walled front gardens just big enough for the bins and maybe a shrub or two. A few long-established trees offering summer shade. Parking down both sides of the street for permit holders only, leaving room for one-way traffic down the middle. What was probably once a grass verge completely concreted over. Speed bumps. Net curtains. A typical two-bed, no chain, for £400,000. Kitchen and bathroom added on at garden level later in life. Satellite dishes, some still insistent that T-Mobile provides the signal. A 'Sam says' sign featuring a snail saying "20 is Plenty". A dozen discarded Budweiser bottles around the foot of a treetrunk. Part loved, part shabby, but still the very bedrock of the borough's housing stock.



What marks out Coronation Road from the norm is that 25% of it is playground. New City Primary is one of Newham's many three-storey Victorian redbrick schools with classes piled high to make best use of limited space. BBC London dropped by last week to film preparations for the Coronation, drawn here of course by the name of the street, and Ofsted were similarly gushing when they descended last year. In an unusual move they've named their school dining room "New City Bistro". At the other end of the road is the entrance to a church, or rather an asbestos-roofed hall where the Fountain of Revival meet, or rather met because it's currently up for sale with development potential. Expect the population of Coronation Road to have risen by the time William V gets his turn.

Coronation Road, Park Royal NW10 [map]

For a total and utter and coronation contrast let's shift our focus to the Park Royal industrial estate. This manufacturing mainstay first grew up along the Grand Union Canal but spread south after WW1 to fill a considerable expanse between Harlesden and Acton. Coronation Road is on the newer side, closer to the A40, and one of the four main roads that branch out from the central crossroads. It starts by the hospital, or rather the giant Asda, and stretches west towards where the Guinness Brewery used to be. And because that iconic brewery was built between 1933 and 1936 I'm fairly confident that the Coronation in question must be that of 12th May 1937, pencilled in for Edward VIII but actually used for his brother George VI instead.



It's not a friendly road, more functional, lined by employment units large and small. The north side was once goods sidings and is now huge sheds, part Segro Park, part Matrix Industrial Estate. Think minor independent food distributors and other logistics management, mostly stashed out of public sight. The interesting side is across the street, a motley run of kitchen suppliers, Middle Eastern restaurants and shady motoring dens, plus half a dozen semis looking completely out of place. There are always umpteen cars being underbonneted, retyred, valeted and MOTted by mechanics who'd rather you didn't watch. Vehicles may be stashed anywhere across the pavement so watch your step. Only the Huqqa Lounge has the flags out, with an image of the King on a Union Jack flapping above their waterfalled windows. And if dates, meze and shisha aren't your thing, the Diana snackvan offers a far greasier selection for a working lunch.



The road changes abruptly beyond the roundabout with a sharp jolt into the 21st century. This used to be where the entrance to the Guinness Brewery was located until production ceased in 2004, and the site has subsequently been redeveloped into a John Lewis Distribution centre and Ocado hub. Meanwhile their former recreation ground has been occupied by the inevitable flats, a wedge of sanitised lakeside and the new HQ of Diageo plc, creating a neighbourhood the Evening Standard property supplement occasionally gets excited about. Now you too can live in a brick tower above a Co-Op, conveniently located for Park Royal tube station, and need never visit the hubbub of the real Coronation Road where London's essential everyday work still gets done.

Coronation Road, Hayes UB3 [map]

And finally to an outer suburban street in the London borough of Hillingdon, just far enough from Heathrow that aircraft aren't an issue. The nearest station is Hayes & Harlington but the real transport presence hereabouts is the M4 which carved through in the early 1960s and changed the area utterly. This had once been the edge of open countryside but then Junction 3 embedded itself in the Crane Valley and suddenly this corner of Hayes found itself divided from Cranford, from Heston and from Southall. The river still flows on a diverted course through muddy woodland, should you have a dog to walk, but 13th century St Dunstan's church now finds itself severed beyond a subway eight lanes wide.



Coronation Road crosses a whorl of streets adjacent to Cranford Park, or what's left of it. It's interwar, so the relevant coronation is 1937 again, and is very different to its Plaistow counterpart. That was terraced, this is semis. That was brief, this is twice as long. That was flat, this gently climbs. That was ethnically mixed, this is majority Asian. That had street trees, this is bereft. That pre-dated cars, this has ample front gardens keeping the roadway clear. That was cramped, this feels much more spacious with a decent gap between neighbours. And even though house prices are much the same, here you get an extra bedroom plus a garden you could actually play a ball game in, so a lot more bang for your buck.



Oh and you get a bus. The E6 negotiates the lower end of the street on its tortuous approach to the big Tesco, but alas it's Hail and Ride around here so no 'Coronation Road' bus stop exists. The locals seem friendly enough - I got asked once whether I was lost rather than being asked to bugger off for loitering suspiciously with my camera out. I also noted a few showy porches, one decent burst of pink blossom in a garden that hadn't been turned over to parking and some kind of hawk hovering high overhead. If you fancy a selfie taken beneath a truly topical street sign it's the best of the three Coronation Roads to visit, but other than that best leave it be.

n.b. Elsewhere in London are a Coronation Avenue, a Coronation Drive, a Coronation Walk and two Coronation Closes, but let's save those for William.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan24  Feb24  Mar24  Apr24  May24  Jun24
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23  Jul23  Aug23  Sep23  Oct23  Nov23  Dec23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
broken tv
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
the greenwich wire
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
London's waymarked walks
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain
London's most...

read the archive
Jun24  May24
Apr24  Mar24  Feb24  Jan24
Dec23  Nov23  Oct23  Sep23
Aug23  Jul23  Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2023 2022
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv