Farming was the predominant way of life in the mid 1800's but by 1850 Newham became an important manufacturing centre with the building of The Royal Docks. A total of three docks (the Royal Albert, Royal Victoria and King George V) were constructed on the riverside in Newham For a time they were jointly the largest in the world accommodating many large ships which brought employment to the area. The docks were finally closed in 1981 which in turn brought hardship to the area with the loss of employment. However, the good news is that since its closure the area has seen a real change with constant regeneration. So much so that the ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London City Airport and the University of East London are all located there and with many other developments underway the future looks positive.
Newham is looking forward to the challenge of being home to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympic park covering an area of approximately 500 acres will host the majority of the major sporting action during the games. Stretching from Hackney Marshes in the north to the River Thames the park itself covers an expanse of 1,500 acres. With landscaped areas, riverside gardens, cafes and bars it will certainly exude a carnival atmosphere during the games. Not only that, once the games have come to a close, those living in the area will be able to enjoy the legacy that the games has left behind.
So what happens to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games? Well Hammers fans will know that Newham Council in joint partnership with West Ham United has recently submitted their bid to take over the stadium.
Although one of the most densely populated boroughs Newham it is lucky enough to have over twenty parks. Some of the larger ones include: Beckton District Park , Central Park in East Ham, Stratford Park , West Ham Park , Lister Gardens in Plaistow and Plashet Park in Forest Gate.
ExCel (Exhibition Centre London) is a diverse conference and exhibition centre situated in the Royal Docks and only a short distance from the centre of London . It offers the visitor a plethora of public events from exhibitions and conferences to weddings and religious events as well as a good selection of bars and restaurants. Some of the more famous exhibitions include: the London Boat Show, the British International Motor Show, Grand Designs and The Clothes Show.
Newham has an abundance of listed buildings, four of which have been listed as Grade I. They are: Church of St Mary Magdalene dating back to the Norman times, Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church of All Saints and House Mill dating back to the Domesday book.