Some further digging in the archives today has revealed some confusion as to the source of the Wantz Stream. One news paper clipping from 1951 gives the source as “just south of Hainault” later stating “Six hundred years ago it was called the Wythendenbroke. Later it was known as Wisdom River.”
The book, The Dagenham Murder, suggests that around the mid 1800s until the early 1920s the stream woudl have been known locally as Tanners’ Brook after the tannery based somewhere in the area of the old Clap Lane.
The stream these days is rather quiet and unremarked, but on the 28th May 1964 after an exceptionally heavy rainstorm the stream over flowed its banks and flooded a large area including Oxlow Lane, Reede Road, Shafter Road, Dewey Road, Sandown Avenue and Crown Street. An area covering both sides of the District Line rainway and the Pondfield Park.
The response from the Council was to extend the culverting of the stream from the area of Pondfield Park to the end of Church Lane, where it has remained ever since.
I think I shall have to pay a visit to the British Geological Survey this week to see if I can find out the official source of this stream.