Bastable Avenue, IG11


Norman Bastable was a housing officer and chief public health inspector at Barking Borough Council and played a prominent part in the development of the Thames View estate, which included over 2,000 homes, a shopping centre and other amenities, in the mid-1950s. In his 1946 paper on housing and slum clearance for the first Annual Health Congress following the Second World War, Bastable said: “It is fitting that we should discuss the homes of our great people, who by their conduct have deserved the best that can be provided. From all classes of homes, and not least from substandard homes have come the defenders of our liberties. They have been among the noblest in our momentous battles, both on the home front and overseas, and from their homes will spring our future generation.” He goes on to endorse the view that the outlook of young people is substantially moulded by the social attitudes and values of their home lives. But his high words failed to live up to reality and within a short time the project’s many failings became clear. In the 1990s the estate was described as “isolated, the community fragmented, with little access to communal facilities. Services are basic, educational attainment poor, life chances limited.” Bastable also served as chairman of the Public Health Inspectors in 1953, having become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health in 1947. He retired in 1962, by which time this street had been laid out.


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