Hooper Square development entrance to internal flats

main entrance to Hooper Square development of flats of the mid-1990s

Hooper Square as was
Contributed by eric on Nov. 8, 2016

I walked around the walls that once bounded what is now Hooper Square many times as an early teenager in the 1950s. Back then the walls around this space were tall, and held up a set of railway sidings at first floor level. The space enclosed at ground floor level was a dark cavern of railway storage, I think, with a small network of tracks and a few railway wagon turntables. I never saw any of these, but I often saw wagons being drawn from the northern side of Hooper street by capstan haulage, across the road from the ground floor of the great Tilbury Warehouse (Commercial Roads Goods Depot) which ran along the side of Gower's Walk. The space occupied by railway trackwork associated with the Tilbury was a bit larger than the space now shown as Hooper Square, and a large overbridge in Hooper Street topped wooden doors that opened at ground level to let trucks be pulled across the road from one dark cavern to another. On top of the bridge was a fan of short railway sidings and tracks that led into the Tilbury itself at first floor level. The capstans (there were a few) were powered by the Pump House at the western end of Hooper Street.

Before Hooper Square
Contributed by eric on Jan. 15, 2017

Before the building of Hooper Square in the mid-1990s, at least a small part of Hooper Street where Hooper Square is now contained the main façade of the firm of Browne & Eagle, wool importers. This façade was visible when, as a child in the 1940s and early 1950s, I walked down Gower's Walk to go shopping with my mum. When clean, the façade made a pleasant change from the dreariness of Gower's Walk, and I always looked forward to seeing it. I knew that just beyond and above it were the railway sidings leading in to the Tilbury Warehouse.

View of the entrance to Browne & Eagle wool warehouse
Contributed by eric