Church St aka Newcastle St aka Glengarnock Ave aka Glenaffric Ave

This 1862 map shows some of the streets that were laid out in Southern Cubitt Town; few had been built upon at the time apart from Church Street. The 46 houses in the street were built by W. Cubitt & Co. around the same time that the company built Christ Church and the Newcastle Arms.

One of the oldest photos of the Isle of Dogs, taken within a year or two of the map’s publication, shows also just how empty the area was.

1860s. Click for full-sized image

Survey of London:

Another plan produced in 1882 was to extend Douglas Street (later Douglas Place) in southern Cubitt Town northwards to join a projected extension of Church Street – it was shown on a plan of 1888 in this form, as Railway Road – but it was never implemented.


In 1891 Church Street was renamed and became part of Newcastle Street.


1910s. Looking down Newcastle Street from close to the Newcastle Arms (now Waterman’s Arms). The rest of Newcastle Street is just about visible in the background, across Manchester Road. Photo: Tony Clary.

The Island History Trust collection contains a few photos of Newcastle Street in the early 20th century, including the following (the quoted text in the captions is also from the collection):

1910s “Alice Austin writes: This is a photograph of my sister Vrina Austin, taken before the First World War. I am guessing about 1912 or 1913. In the later years she was Mrs Chadwick of Stebondale Street, her husband being Fred Chadwick, fireman. Vrina is on the left, I don’t know who the other girl was. by Alice Austin”

1929. “Just before Guy Fawkes Day, October or November 1929 in Newcastle Street, by Phyllis Holdstock”

1930s. Decorations for either the Jubilee or Coronation celebrations.

1937 Coronation celebrations, by Daisy Woodard. This photo was taken in the short section of Newcastle Street across Stebondale Street, in what is now Millwall Park.

1937. “Newcastle Street, which won the barrel of beer for the best decorated street in Cubitt Town during the Coronation celebrations in 1937. In the cart: Mrs Sophie Roberts, Tommy Hart and Rosie Jenkins astride the horse. The street had been decorated three times because rain kept spoiling the decorations. ( Looking towards Christ Church ) . Donated by Daisy Woodard”

In 1937, Newcastle Street was renamed Glengarnock Avenue. Quite a few streets in Poplar were renamed in the same year, usually at the request of the London County Council in order to resolve duplicate street names within the same postal district (for example, British Street was renamed Harbinger Road because there was – and still is – another British Street off Bow Road). However, I have no information about why Glengarnock was chosen as the new name.

1945. Street party outside the Newcastle Arms. Photo: Island History Trust

The section of Glengarnock Avenue between Manchester Road and Stebondale Street was completely destroyed during WWII and prefabs were built along both sides.


1948 Christ Church wedding guests. The remains of Glengarnock Avenue are visible in the background. Photo: Turner Family / Maloney / Island History Trust

1956. “Jean Morgan (nee Rump) with niece Jacqueline Rump (married name Rogers) in Glengarnock Avenue 1956. Jean husband drove this vehicle for Trinity Wharf, Rotherhithe.”  Photo and text: Rump Family.

In 1966, Galleon House and other flats belonging to the Schooner Estate were built on the west side of the street.

1966. The view from Galleon House, with a couple of prefabs still standing in Glengarnock Avenue.

Two years later, other flats were built on the other side of the street, viewed here from the entrance to Millwall Park (the same location as the 1937 Coronation street party above).

1972. Photo: Woodard Family

The construction of this new estate was accompanied by the closure of the junction between Manchester Road and Glengarnock Avenue in order to restrict the flow of traffic. The isolated ‘top half’ of Glengarnock Avenue was renamed Glenaffric Avenue.

1969. Glenaffric Avenue with its new street sign. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there is also an old, faded Newcastle Street sign on the wall, and some local residents still used this old name. Photo: Hugo Wilhare.

In the 1970s, colour was introduced to the Island (that’s a joke, well….it’s meant to be).

1970s. “Wendy and Janice”. Photo: John Bunn

1970s. Photo: Charlie Surface

1977. Jubilee Street Party. Photo: Mick Lemmerman

1977. Jubilee Street Party. Photo: Mick Lemmerman

1977. Jubilee Street Party. Photo: Mick Lemmerman

The late Ray Subohon filmed some of the party and many other events related to the Jubilee celebrations, and was kind enough to let me upload his film to YouTube. The party is featured in this film:

Glengarnock Avenue is looking a bit messy in this 1980s image (a collage of screenshots from a news video featuring the work of the Island History Trust – Jan Hill from the IHT is walking towards the Island Resource Centre).


1981. Screenshot from the Childrens’ Film Foundation film, 4D Special Agents

1986. Glenaffric Avenue. A collage of screenshots from the TV series, Prospects

Circa 2010

It was all change again in Glengarnock Avenue not long after the previous photo was taken. In 2011 Telford Homes began the construction of new housing: apartment blocks were built on the site of the garages and all other open space along Glengarnock Avenue, and Capstan House was demolished so that the development could continue along Stebondale Street. It is known as ‘Parkside Quarter’, which presumably is more marketable a name than ‘Schooner Estate’.


And finally, the view today…..

Glengarnock Avenue from Manchester Road

Glenaffric Avenue from Manchester Road



This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Church St aka Newcastle St aka Glengarnock Ave aka Glenaffric Ave

  1. Tom Wilson - Stonebow Heritage says:

    I’m trying to get hold of the author of this blog to ask about a picture on this page:

    I work for the Environment Agency, and we are putting up some interpretation boards alongside the former Billingsgate Dock. I’d like to suggest we use this image but I can’t without knowing where it came from. Can you let me know?

    Billingsgate is pretty interesting, I think. It was a ferry site, and there have been a few along that stretch of water.

    Many thanks,

    Tom Wilson
    Heritage Advisor
    Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 Programme (TEAM2100)
    Managing the tidal flood defences of the Thames Estuary for the Environment Agency

    t +44 20 7998 0299 m +44 77 9265 7496

  2. Jo Rowlands says:

    Thanks for all these wonderful photos and accounts of the area.

  3. Geraldine says:

    Thank you for this very interesting article. My great great grandparents lived at 26 Church Street according to the 1871 census and then in the 1891 and 1901 census the address was shown as 26 Newcastle Street. Having read your article, I now know which part of the street this would have been. Its great to see a photo of the type of house in which they would have lived. Shame it all got flattened in WW2.

  4. DC says:

    The actor in front of the brown VW Beetle is Bryan Marshall who was also in The Long Good Friday and an episode of The Professionals which was partly filmed in and near The Gun Pub. I suspect this makes him the actor with the most appearances in Isle of Dogs filmed programmes/films if indeed that’s a category.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.