Gas holders at Beckton
|Population||33,247 (ward, 2021) |
|OS grid reference||TQ435815|
|• Charing Cross||8 mi (12.9 km) W|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||E6, E16|
Beckton is a suburb in east London, England, located 8 miles (12.9 km) east of Charing Cross and part of the London Borough of Newham. Adjacent to the River Thames, the area consisted of unpopulated marshland known as the East Ham Levels in the parishes of Barking, East Ham, West Ham and Woolwich. The development of major industrial infrastructure in the 19th century to support the growing metropolis of London caused an increase in population with housing built in the area for workers of the Beckton Gas Works and Beckton Sewage Treatment Works. The area has a convoluted local government history and has formed part of Greater London since 1965. Between 1981 and 1995 it was within the London Docklands Development Corporation area, which caused the population to increase as new homes were built and the Docklands Light Railway was constructed.
Beckton is named after Simon Adams Beck, the governor of the Gas Light and Coke Company when work building Beckton Gas Works began in November 1868.  The name New Beckton was used in 1881 for the workers estate at Cyprus. 
Prior to industrialisation, the area that became Beckton was remote and unpopulated Thameside marshland, known as the East Ham Levels.  Urban development took place in the south of the parish of East Ham, the part of the parish of Barking to the west of the River Roding and the part of Woolwich parish that was north of the River Thames. The western extremity was in the parish of West Ham. There was also a county boundary, with Barking, East Ham and West Ham in Essex and Woolwich in Kent. The whole area became part of the expanded Metropolitan Police District in 1840. Reflecting an increase in population, local boards were formed for Woolwich in 1852, West Ham in 1856, East Ham in 1878 and Barking Town in 1882. The section in the detached part of Woolwich parish came within the Metropolitan Board of Works district in 1855 and in 1889 this area became the County of London under the control of the newly formed London County Council.  The Barking Town and East Ham sections now came within the Essex County Council area, but West Ham instead formed a separate county borough because its population was high enough. East Ham was also elevated to this status in 1915. This continued until 1965 when the London Borough of Newham in Greater London was formed from territory that had been part of East Ham, West Ham, Barking and Woolwich. Beckton was within the London Docklands Development Corporation area from 1981 to 1995.  
Beckton Sewage treatment works were first established in 1864 as part of Joseph Bazalgette's scheme to remove sewage (and hence reduce disease) from London by creating two large sewers from the capital, one on each side of the Thames and known as the Southern and Northern Outfall Sewers. The Beckton sewage works (TQ448823), at the end of the northern outfall sewer, is Europe's 7th largest and is now managed by Thames Water. The outfall sewer has been landscaped and now also serves as the Greenway cycle track through east London. 
The site was mooted in 2005 as the location for a desalination plant, but the proposal was rejected by Mayor Ken Livingstone as environmentally unacceptable. The scheme has been resurrected by the successive mayor, Boris Johnson, as part of a deal with Thames Water to reduce delays in fixing roadworks throughout London. The sewerage works has been expanded to handle the flow from the Thames Tideway Scheme. 
Situated north and east of the Royal Docks, the area was formerly heavily industrialised, and was the location of Beckton Gas Works, the largest gasworks in Europe, which served the capital. An adjacent by-products works also produced a wide variety of products including ink, dyes, mothballs, and fertilisers, all by-products of the process of turning coal to coke in the production of town gas. Britain converted from town gas to North Sea natural gas over the period 1966-77 and the Beckton gasworks were closed in 1976. 
An extensive toxic spoil-heap from the Gasworks was known ironically as 'Beckton Alps'. Originally running from the Northern outfall sewer south to Winsor Terrace, this was landscaped in the 1980s. Part became a 25 metres (82 ft) high Artificial ski slope for a time, opened by Diana, Princess of Wales, with a viewing platform at the summit and a Swiss-style bar at the foot. However, the site is now derelict. 
Immediately after the Second World War, large numbers of prefabs were built in Beckton to house those made homeless by the war. The prefab-lined streets were all named after well-known generals and war heroes, but in the redevelopment of North Beckton in the 1980s, these were all swept away with the exception of Eisenhower Drive. 
Containerisation during the 1960s, and the development of the docks at Tilbury, released all the land from the Thames up to the A13 which had been earmarked for a new, North Albert Dock. The original District Plan envisaged a large Council-owned estate, and major infrastructure works—including a huge drainage scheme with pumping stations—were put in place. However, following the creation of the London Docklands Development Corporation, much of the land was sold off resulting in today's blend of largely private housing. 
In more recent times, industry has left the area, leaving huge areas of brownfield land, and Beckton has been redeveloped as part of the Docklands project. It now comprises mainly housing and several out-of-town shopping centres, and the architecture is mostly post-1982. Small areas of Victorian housing survive in Winsor Terrace, originally built as accommodation for Gas Light and Coke Company staff, and in the 'Nottingham' estate off Prince Regent Lane. It is served by local buses and Beckton DLR station, which acts as the terminus of the DLR's Beckton branch. 
Beckton absorbed the localities of Cyprus and Winsor Park, which was built in the 1870s to house gasworks employees. Several original properties survive on Winsor Terrace, with two-up-two-downs for the workers and generously proportioned end-of-terrace houses for foremen. North Beckton, bordering the northern end of Woolwich Manor Way, was mostly built up in the late 1980s with a network of short streets, even shorter cul-de-sacs and dinky homes, many built as part of social housing schemes. 
In the early 21st century, Beckton burgeons south and further east, towards Gallions Reach, being an essential part of the Thames Gateway. "Gallions Hotel", part of the Furlong City development by the lock that links the Royal Docks to the Thames, was formerly a rail terminus which connected with passenger ships leaving for all parts of the British Empire.[ citation needed ] Many colonial officials and their families spent their last night in Britain in the Gallions Hotel, which was mentioned by Rudyard Kipling in his novel, The Light That Failed.  : 301
In 2003, the largest Shopping Park in London, Gallions Reach was built. There are another three retail parks in the area; Beckton Triangle Retail Park, Beckton Gateway and Beckton Retail Park. 
Its boundaries are the A13 trunk road to the north, Barking Creek to the east, the Royal Docks to the south, and Prince Regent Lane to the west. The area around Prince Regent Lane is also known as Custom House. Modern Beckton is divided into East Beckton, Mid Beckton, North Beckton, West Beckton, South Beckton and Cyprus (named after the British capture of Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, which occurred as the original estate was being built).[ citation needed ]
Beckton is at the western end of the London Riverside redevelopment zone of the Thames Gateway. Transport for London is planning a new bridge, the Gallions Reach Crossing, which will connect Beckton to Thamesmead on the southern bank of the River Thames.[ citation needed ]
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Beckton is home to a significant Lithuanian community. 
There are Docklands Light Railway services from Beckton Bus Station to Canning Town Bus Station, Stratford International Bus Station and Tower Gateway DLR Station. There are a number of stations serving Beckton DLR Station, Beckton Bus Station. The nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Beckton for Mid and North Beckton; Cyprus for Cyprus area; Beckton Park for South Beckton and Royal Albert for West Beckton. Beckton is near the London City Airport and Woolwich. Beckton is served by many Transport for London bus services connecting it with areas including Barking Station, Beckton Bus Station, Beckton DLR Station, Beckton Triangle Retail Park, Canning Town Station, Canning Town Bus Station, Canning Town DLR Station, Central London, Chadwell Heath TFL Station, Dagenham, East Ham, Gallions Reach Shopping Park, Ilford, London City Airport, Manor Park, North Woolwich, Royal Albert, Stratford and Wanstead
The area is served by TfL bus services 101, 173, 262, 300, 366, 376, 474, 673, 678; and night bus N551
Beckton is a London Buses bus station in the neighbourhood of Beckton, east London. The station is owned and maintained by Transport for London.
The Gasworks were still extant—although derelict—in the early 1980s, when Stanley Kubrick's team came scouting for an area that could double for the battle scenes in his 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket . The Gasworks rough concrete structures were painted with Vietnamese script, and then strategically dynamited so as to resemble war-torn Hue. Retail parks now cover most of the Gasworks site.[ citation needed ]
Other notable films shot in and around the Beckton area during the 1980s included the 1981 James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only , which featured extensive aerial views of the Gasworks in the pre-credit sequence.[ citation needed ] Beckton was also used as a location in Michael Radford's 1984 feature film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four —the Gasworks served as the setting for Orwell's "Proletarian Zones".[ citation needed ]
The video for Loop's 1990 single 'Arc-lite' was filmed on the set of Full Metal Jacket,  as was the video for the 1997 Oasis single, "D'You Know What I Mean?"[ citation needed ]
Andrew Birkin's 1990 film of Ian McEwan's novel, The Cement Garden , was also filmed in Beckton and starred Charlotte Gainsbourg.[ citation needed ] In several scenes of The Cement Garden, aircraft can be heard taxiing at the nearby London City Airport. Winsor House, which served as the backdrop to the film was later demolished and the Winsor House Hotel stands there now.[ citation needed ]
In the opening minutes of the 2007 Simon Pegg film Hot Fuzz, the Tate & Lyle factory, Silvertown, and the City Airport aprons can be seen through the window blinds of Building 1000.[ citation needed ]
Footballer Jermain Defoe was born in Beckton. Defoe has said Beckton has "made him the man he is today". On 13 February 2006 Jermain Defoe scored his 100th Premier League goal against Charlton. He celebrated making a "B" sign with his hands to commemorate Beckton. [ citation needed ]
On 14 May 2010 Beckton was the location of a terrorist attack on local Member of Parliament Stephen Timms. He was approached by 21-year-old Islamist Roshonara Choudhry during his constituency surgery at the Beckton Globe library and stabbed twice in an attempted assassination. Timms survived the attack and the perpetrator was jailed for life.  
The University of East London Docklands Campus is a campus of the University of East London (UEL) situated in the Docklands area of east London in the Cyprus area of Beckton. The campus opened in 1999. It is one of three UEL campuses, the others being the Stratford Campus and the new University Square Stratford location.[ citation needed ]
Kingsford Community School is a secondary school located close to Beckton DLR. It opened in September 2000, and educates full-time children from the ages of 11 to 16.[ citation needed ]
The London Borough of Newham is a London borough created in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963. It covers an area previously administered by the Essex county boroughs of West Ham and East Ham, authorities that were both abolished by the same act. The name Newham reflects its creation and combines the compass points of the old borough names. Situated in the East London part of Inner London, Newham has a population of 387,576, which is the third highest of the London boroughs and also makes it the 17th most populous district in England. The local authority is Newham London Borough Council.
Canning Town is a London Underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and London Buses station in Canning Town in London, England. It is designed as an intermodal metro and bus station, fully opening in 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extension - replacing the original station site north of the A13. On 11 November 2015, the Mayor of London announced that it would be rezoned to be on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Travelcard Zone 3.
North Woolwich is an area in the London Borough of Newham in East London. It is located on the northern bank of the River Thames, across the river from Woolwich. It is connected to Woolwich by the Woolwich Ferry and Woolwich foot tunnel.
Custom House is a railway station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) – on which it is branded Custom House for ExCeL – and on the Elizabeth line, by the Royal Docks, in Custom House in the London Borough of Newham, London, England. It is situated in Travelcard Zone 3. It takes its name from the old Custom House, which formerly stood nearby, and ExCeL London which it serves.
Royal Docks is an area and a ward in the London Borough of Newham in the London Docklands in East London, England.
Beckton is the eastern terminus of the Beckton branch of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in the Docklands area of east London. It is in Travelcard Zone 3.
Royal Albert DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in Beckton in east London. The station serves the western end of the north quay of the Royal Albert Dock, from which it takes its name. A view of the London City Airport is available.
Abbey Mills Pumping Station is a sewage pumping station in Mill Meads, East London, operated by Thames Water. The pumping station lifts sewage from the London sewerage system into the Northern Outfall Sewer and the Lee Tunnel, which both run to Beckton Sewage Treatment Works.
Cyprus is a station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) located in Cyprus, to the south of Beckton, in the Docklands area of Newham, east London. It is named after the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The station serves the University of East London Docklands Campus and the eastern end of the north quay of the Royal Albert Dock.
Gallions Reach DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in the Royal Docks area of east London. It serves the University of East London (UEL) Docklands Campus as well as recent residential developments around Royal Albert Dock. The station is located on the DLR's Beckton branch, between Cyprus and Beckton stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 3.
West Silvertown is a Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in Silvertown which opened in December 2005. It is located on the Woolwich Arsenal branch. Trains run Westbound to Bank in the City of London and Eastbound to Woolwich Arsenal, passing through London City Airport station.
The Eastern Counties and Thames Junction Railway in east London connected the Royal Docks with the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR). Authorised in 1844, it opened in 1846, and was absorbed by the ECR in 1847. The ECR amalgamated with other railways to form the Great Eastern Railway in 1862.
Beckton railway station was a railway station in Beckton, London originally owned by the Gas Light and Coke Company, to serve the (then) recently built Beckton Gas Works. The line was opened for freight in 1872 and to passengers in 1874. It was leased to the Great Eastern Railway from 1874.
Beckton Gasworks was a major London gasworks built to manufacture coal gas and other products including coke from coal. It has been variously described as 'the largest such plant in the world' and 'the largest gas works in Europe'. It operated from 1870 to 1976, with an associated by-products works that operated from 1879 to 1970. The works were located on East Ham Level, on the north bank of the Thames at Gallions Reach, to the west of Barking Creek.
The Docklands Light Railway extension to Dagenham Dock was a proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Dagenham Dock in East London, to serve the Barking Riverside development and the wider Thames Gateway area.
Beckton Sewage Treatment Works, formerly known as Barking Sewage Works, is a large sewage treatment plant in Beckton in the east London Borough of Newham, operated by Thames Water.
Gallions Reach Shopping Park is a major out-of-town retail park in Beckton, east London, England. Located on Armada Way beside the River Thames, Gallions Reach is the largest retail park in London and the M25, containing 34 units in an area of 324,000 square feet.
The Gallions Reach Crossing is a proposed River Thames crossing close to Gallions Reach in East London, running between Beckton in the London Borough of Newham and Thamesmead in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Originally a proposed ferry crossing replacing the Woolwich Ferry, later plans suggested either a bridge or a tunnel. It is being developed in conjunction with the Belvedere Crossing, just downriver.
The Docklands Light Railway extension to Thamesmead is a proposed Docklands Light Railway (DLR) extension to serve the Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead redevelopment areas of East London.