Carpenters Estate is located in the northwest corner of the London Borough of Newham. The estate's name originates from The Worshipful Company of Carpenters, an ancient London livery company, which in the late 19th century bought what was farmland in West Ham for industrial development. Many of London’s factories were built on the canals of the River Lea, the railroads, and Carpenters Road in the following decades. To house the workers for these factories, the Company of Carpenters built rows of Victorian terraced houses between Carpenters Road and the neighbouring town centre of Stratford. The Company made efforts to improve the lives of the area’s employees and residents, including the creation of a school and a social club.
However, during the Second World War, Stratford was a frequent target for air raids, and by the end of the war, much of the Carpenters Estate housing had been destroyed or was badly damaged. A lack of funds and landlord neglect in the 1950s led to worsening physical condition, though the estate's residents' sense of community has remained strong.
Several different plans for redevelopment have been rejected by local residents since 2007. All plans would allow London Borough of Newham to compulsory purchase the properties, and sell the land to developers at a profit (and no obligation to rehouse current residents on the newly built development) This happened to Deptford Market and the Victorian houses on the Carpenters Estate. Residents of the estate believe that this is covert social cleansing plan, instigated by London Borough of Newham council.
The tower blocks on the estate are said to have been decanted because of "ant infestation" and asbestos. It is also alleged[by whom?] that the buildings are structurally unsafe. Several families still live in the towers. The council condemned the blocks on alleged health and safety reasons. During the 2012 Olympics a variety of international broadcasters took over multiple floors of the high-rise towers to provide temporary television studios overlooking the Olympic Park.
On 21 September 2014, a low-rise block on the estate was occupied to provide a social centre by Focus E15 Mothers, a group of mothers who campaign for housing rights.
Now it has become a populer place to visit and observe the redevelopment of Carpentors Estate
- Peter Dunn, Daniel Glaessl, Cecilia Magnusson, and Yashovardhan. 2011. Carpenter's Estate, Common Ground, accessible at: www2.lse.ac.uk/LSECities/citiesProgramme/pdf/Olympic Fringe/chapter_4.pdf, s.d. (2011).
- Ayshea Buksh (18 December 2012). "Carpenters Estate residents 'face uncertain future'". BBC News website. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Home2Home.tv: Down Carpenters' Way Part 1, Length: 10.19 mins, http://www.home2home.tv/node/99, 2009.
- Sam Huntley, Director / Editor: Carpenters Estate, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ska4YwS9a4, uploaded on October 28, 2010.
- Matt Nichols, Reporter: Attack the Block screening is a thank-you to Stratford’s Carpenters Estate, http://www.london24.com/news/attack_the_block_screening_is_a_thank_you_to_stratford_s_carpenters_estate_1_904956, Friday, May 27, 2011.