Front Gardens

Hedges and creepers were planted in the front gardens and while the box privet shrubs were originally cut by maintenance workers, the task of hedge trimming later fell to the ground floor tenants, who were responsible for the front garden as a whole. Pride was encouraged by the awarding of garden prizes and from 1951 the Warner Challenge Cup was presented to the Leyton Garden Guild for an annual competition on the Leyton Estate.

Early dwellings had low brick walls topped with curvilinear cast iron railings (still evident
on some balconies) however the villas on Pretoria Avenue had more ornate wooden fencing, and gate posts were topped with stone pier caps. Metal fencing was removed for the WWII effort and later replaced by much plainer versions with cement bases. Tenancy agreements prohibited tenants from beating mats against walls or fences and those living in blocks of flats were not permitted to hang washing on balconies.

Front paths for earlier dwellings were paved with 6” x 6” red and black quarry tiles in a diagonal pattern.

© Kirstin Sibley, 2014