What is the London’s        EAST END?

 

CONTENT of THIS CHAPTER

 

1. WHERE IS IT?. HOW IS IT LIKE?. A BIT OF HISTORY 

2. THE EAST END IN POPULAR CULTURE

3. ILLUSTRIOUS EASTENDERS and EASTLONDONERS                 

4. BIBLIOGRAPHY, and other resources 

 

WHERE in Greater London you will find the EAST END?

On the right-hand side map  (that you can enlarge) I point to the TOWER OF LONDON. Slowly, direct your attention to the right of the map and you will see the meanders of the LEA RIVER and, a little further north, the adjacent channels. This is the LEA VALLEY. EAST of the valley, lies EAST LONDON. To the WEST of the Valley, the EAST END.

On the left-hand side map, I have outlined the main routes suggested in this guide

Are the NEWHAM districts part of the EAST END?. Answer and maps from LONDONIST. What about the districts of South HACKNEY? 

 

The EAST END is a group of districts located immediately to the East of the CITY OF LONDON (remember, on the other side, where you are going to spend most of your time in London, is the WEST END; those are common geographical names in England).
All those neighbourhoods are part of the London Borough of TOWER HAMLETS, which extends up to the course of the RIVER LEA. Areas like SHOREDITCH or HOXTON, or HACKNEY, as well to the East of the CITY, which I will cover  in future guide, are disputed whether they belong or not to the EAST END. In any case, they are districts belonging to the London Borough of HACKNEY. What about the East side of the LEA?. More controversy awaits you.

All of them, though, were extremely poor, industrial neighbourhoods, traditional receptors of immigration (due to their proximity to the port of arrival and the ease of finding work, in the port itself and in the numerous industries of the area). In the 19th, and first part of the 20th c. the Jews had 80 synagogues in the EAST END. Now, the mosques have clear predominance.


The industrialisation of the 19th century was unprecedented, in England. Few other countries reached the same levels of activity, at least at the start. And the use of steam was essential. Coal and steam suggest smoke. Since the winds normally blow from West to East, in the SE of England, it was common sense  for the most polluting industries (and not just those that emitted smoke) to be established to the East of the metropolis.
Central government, parliament, royal palaces were already, for historical reasons (the foundation of that WEST MINSTER, in the 11th c. to the West of medieval London.
Aristocracy followed on the wake of power and money. They did not have to suffer from the problem of pollution, right?. Now, you understand the reason of this division in London: the most upmarked areas are to the West.

 

Deprived neighbourhoods with high crime rate, dangerous, unappealing for any respectable Victorians; these were  areas of the metropolis where they did not have ever to be seen (and the population itself - the EASTENDERS - were considered avoidable and undesirable).

Unless they, at least some of the the middle and upper classes, intended, with good intentions, to improve their tough, painful lives and evangelise them.  The wealthy, thus, founded MISSIONS, which were considered synonymous to those that headed to other continents, populated by beings considered sub-human, and that needed to be civilised. This supremacist and racist vision was very common in 19th century Europe.

These were the neighbourhoods that witnessed the murders of the "alleged" (no one ever identified him) JACK THE RIPPER, that shocked English society. 70 years earlier, though, the RATCLIFF HIGHWAY MURDERS had already scandalised London. In any case, the right-thinking society mobilized to promote some more well-being in these districts.

In 1902, another JACK - LONDON, the American writer - wanted to challenge the awful reputation of the place and went to THOMAS COOK, the travel agency, to hire a tour guide who would introduce him to the EAST END. The agency advised him: seek the company of the police, man, rather than that of a guide! From his experience living in the EAST END came the book THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS and good photos.
ERIC BLAIR, the future GEORGE ORWELL, did something similar, a few years later, living here as a beggar, and wrote DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON.

 

 

 


You do nou have to worry, dear reader, the EAST END has changed a lot in recent years. However, that is true, only a few years ago I would not have dared to write a guide about it, because I would not have thought that this was a destination ideal for visitors, unless you were interested in social history. In fact, if you think well, on the tourist maps that are still published the East almost does not exist...


It is certainly still a working class area, although the industry and the port have disappeared. TOWER HAMLETS is ranked as the SIXTH most deprived municipality in GREAT BRITAIN.
But, first, most areas are safe. And, despite the dominance, of the BANGLADESH community (32%), currently the population is very varied, also including numerous Europeans, especially from the East, this multiculturalism has given the area dynamism. And the coexistence of different is pretty good, although not perfect.

And the neighbourhoods are vividly alive. If visiting street markets is one of your favourite pastimes, wait and see…


Many districts have been gentrified. Old workers' houses, built in the 19th century have been restored and middle-class families have come to occupy the neighbourhood. With the consequent emergence of a different type of retail and hospitality. Expect to come across many independent coffee shops serving flat whites and less greasy spoons offering beans on toast.

 

 

The LONDON EAST END in POPULAR CULTURE

 

EASTENDERS and other portrayals in film, television, music and literature

Yiddish Theatre

Music Hall

HOXTON

WILTON’S. WAPPING

BRICK LANE. SILVERTOWN 

Books 

He knew well the EAST END 

FAGIN. See ISAAC SALOMON, the fencer, in the following section

OSCAR WILDE

Opium dens

SAX ROHMER  

DR. FU MANCHU

East End Jewish writers 

ALEXANDER BARON

SIMON BLUMENFELD

COCKNEY  & COCKNEYS 

He speaks Cockney, but was born in ROTHERHITHE

“Alan  Partridge”  (STEVE COOGAN)  interviews a gangster 

Click image 


PIE & MASH and JELLIED EELS 

Historical PIE & MASH restaurants (GODDARD’S is in GREENWICH. Do not miss the place… I mean GODDARD’S and GREENWICH!)


PEARLY KINGS & QUEENS

Photo from ROMAN ROAD 

The annual HARVEST FESTIVAL.London traditions

CRIME & CRIMINALS


THE KRAY TWINS and the other infamous gangs families of London

And still more London gangsters


“IKEY” SOLOMON, the inspiration for CHARLES DICKENS’ FAGIN 

The WHITECHAPEL MURDERS: “JACK THE RIPPER”

The RATCLIFF HIGHWAY MURDERS: JOHN WILLIAMS (was he the actual murderer?)

More about EAST END CRIME

 My colleagues,  the Contemporary “RIPPERS” 


As I do not consider myself an authority on the RIPPER, I will offer you a couple of contacts…:

MAXIMUM LONDINIUM is going to show you, with pleasure, and with all detail, all the nooks and crannies of the… entrails of the 5 (?) prostitutes murdered in 1888 in those streets you are willing to visit. And, if you speak French, still better…. l’EVENTREUR has gone Gallic.

And, what about BIRGIT DER AUFSCHLITZER?. The same. Only that you will get the whole story with German precision. Phone +44(0)7910431401



 

 

 

ILLUSTRIOUS EASTENDERS and EAST LONDONERS

CLAUDIUS ASH. Goldsmith and pioneer of false teeth

Born in BETHNAL GREEN . factory in KENTISH TOWN

CLEMENT ATLEE. Statesman

Statue in  QUEEN MARY’S. UNIVERSITY OF LONDON campus


LUCIE ATWELL. Illustrator

DAVID BAILEY. Photographer

TERRY BALDOCK. Boxer 

The BARCLAYS and the GURNEYS. Bankers

DAVID BARCLAY

SAMUEL GURNEY 


(“DOCTOR) THOMAS BARNARDO. Philanthropist 


The BARNETTS  (HENRIETTA and CANNON SAMUEL). Philanthropists

And  those were Some of their deeds

HAMSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB 

WHITECHAPEL GALLERY

EAST END DWELLINGS 

TOYNBEE HALL


LIONEL BART. Writer and composer

DICKENS, the  musical 

The foundation stone of the modern WEST END


HARRY BECK. London Transport draughman


SIR DAVID BECKHAM. Footballer

JACK  KID BERG. Boxer 

Plaque in CABLE ST.

ANNIE BESANT. Social reformer & political activist

Visit the EAST END WOMEN’S MUSEUM

HANBURY STREET. Meetings in CHRISTCHURCH HALL


HONOR BLACKMAN. Actor

CAPTAIN WILLIAM BLIGHT

SIDNEY BLOOM. Restaurateur

…and catering for the famous


CATHERINE  & WILLIAM BOOTH. Philanthropists

DANNY BOYLE . Film maker

BOW. TREDEGAR SQUARE. His local


RICHARD BRANDON. Executioner

TUBBY ISAAC BRENNER. Jellied eels & other seafood vendor

The gulls ton st. stall

A famous destination


EDITH CAVELL. Nurse & War heroine 

STATUE IN ST.MARTIN’S LANE 

ROYAL LONDON. WHITECHAPEL She trained here

 CARLESS & HALTERMANN. Entrepreneurs


THE 1966  CHAMPIONS : players BOBBY MOORE, MARTIN PETERS, and GEOFF HURST & ALF RAMSEY, football manager

BARKING ROAD. EAST HAM

I keep repeating: 1966 was a great year…

SARAH CHAPMAN. Leader of the “MATCHGIRLS” strike

SIR JACK COHEN. Entrepreneur 

T.E. Stockwell + COhen

ASHFIELD STREET.   WHITECHAPEL. Lived here 

E.H. Plaque unveiled


CAPTAIN JAMES COOK. Explorer


LAURIE CUNNINGHAM. Footballer

NELLIE CRESSALL. Suffragette & Mayor of Poplar 


DANIEL DEFOE. Writer

JERMAINE DEFOE. Footballer & pundit 

DUTCH CIGARMAKERS


DANNY DYER. Actor

“Mick Carter”


PASSMORE EDWARDS. Businessman & Philanthropist


IDRIS ELBA. Actor

TRACEY EMIN

DAN FARSON. Journalist, Writer, Publican

With PAUL RAYMOND, Owner of half SOHO

Living in NARROW ST.

The COLONY ROOM. SOHO

Dr. JOHN FOTHERHILL. Physician


ELIZABETH FRY.  Prison Reformer 

If you have this type of notes you will have to visit the building to the left of the photo to the right 


ELIZABETH GARRET ANDERSON. Physician

GERMAN  (& some FRENCH as well) SUGARBAKERS

ALIE ST. CHURCH

SCHOOL

German invention 

The parliamentary leader of the anti-slavery movement

A playwright, poet and architect

The saviour of ST.PANCRAS STATION

Married to Royalty

A sugar refiner from WARRINGTON lies in its origins

MARK GERTLER. Artist

GILBERT & GEORGE. Artists

FOURNIER STREET 

 


LEN GOULDEN. Footballer

WEST HAM UNITED star

The infamous Nazi salute by the English team. BERLIN 1938


LESLIE and LEW GRADE & BERNARD DELFONT. (the WINOGRADSKY BROTHERS). Showbizz entrepreneurs 

KEIR HARDIE.  Statesman

CANNING TOWN. Former HALL and LIBRARY


THEODOR HERZL. Statesman


SIR ALFRED HITCHCOCK. Cinema director

LEYTONSTONE HIGH ROAD

HOXTON 

LEYTONSTONE LU STA.

“FRENZY”.    COVENT GARDEN

THE LODGER 

IRON MAIDEN

An Iron Maiden guitarist who turned down the chance to play professional soccer for West Ham

WEST HAM manager joining IM

CH.N.KATZ. Shopkeeper. Strings and paper bags

The last Jewish shop in  BRICK LANE

Mr.KATZ


GEORGE LANSBURY. Statesman

ANGELA LANSBURY 


 NINA FRANCES LAYARD. Poet, Pre-historian, Archeologist

See her findings in the IPSWICH MUSEUM

MURIEL & DORIS LESTER. Social activists


KINGSLEY HALL. COMMUNITY CENTRE Originally a. SETTLEMENT.

Next door BBB COMMUNITY CENTRE

CHILDREN’S CENTRE

Opened it 

The LISTER family

JOSEPH JACKSON LISTER father

Daughter GUGLIELMA 


MARIE LLOYD. Music Hall Star


DAME VERA LYNN. Actress & Singer

ELEANOR MARX. Social activist 

JOSEPH MERRICK & SIR FREDERICK TREVES

WHITECHAPEL RD. Site of the PENNY GAFF. Do not miss, while enjoying the market!


DANIEL MENDOZA. Bare-knuckle Boxer and writer

His book 

A distant cousin. Nope, not the Panther, the great actor. Honest!, it’s in WIKIPEDIA


“PEGGY MITCHELL”

The MOCATTA family. Businessmen and philanthropist 

Fountain in ST.BOTOLPH  BISHOPSGATE CHURCHYARD

FREDERICK DAVID 

The MONTEFIORE family. Businessmen and philantropists

MOSES, the dynasty  founder

Former school 

STEPNEY. FOUNTAIN in honour of LEONARD 

SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE.The current generation 

WILLIAM MORRIS. Craftsman, Entrepreneur, Socialist

MERTON. You are going to enjoy the visit to the market. And WIMBLEDON is around the corner

THE RED HOUSE. BEXLEYHEATH. SE LONDON


LORD DAVID OWEN. Statesman

NARROW ST. LIMEHOUSE

SYLVIA PANKHURST. Sufraggette and activist in defence of the disfavoured classes

WILLIAM PARKER, LORD MONTEAGLE

ALEXANDER PARKES. Entrepreneur 

PLASTIC. First manufactured in HACKNEY WICK

DR. JAMES PARKINSON

FOURNIER STREET

Former ST.LEONARD’S HOSPITAL 

WILLIAM HENRY PERKIN. Chemist and Discoverer 

Professor Charles Rees—wearing a bow tie dyed with an original sample of mauveine—holding an RSC journal named after Perkin


BENJAMIN POLLOCK. Printer of toy theatres

JOSEPH PRIESTLEY. Scientist


HARRY REDKNAPP. Football manager


FREDERICK JOHN REDMAN. War hero, receptor of the George Cross

STRATFORD RAILWAY WORKS 

ALLIOTT VERDON ROE. Pioneer of aviation 

ISAAC ROSENBERG. Writer & painter

The university of the Jewish East End 

The ROTHSCHILD family 

Buried in BRADY STREET CEMETERY. BETHNAL GREEN 

 NATHAN MAYER


MARCUS SAMUEL, the owner of THE SHELL SHOP of HOUNDSDITCH. Businessman

MARCUS SAMUEL JNR. FOUNDER OF SHELL and LORD MAYOR OF LONDON

LORD MAYOR 


ABBE SAPERSTEIN. Basketball executive


VIDAL SASSOON. Hairdresser 

S. SCHWARTZ. Grocer


JOANNA SCURR. Suffragette, Associate of S.Pankhurst

A fighter for the poor: Imprisoned councillor of POPLAR 

SEQUERET and BOURDILLON. Weavers


WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, BEN JONSON, the BURBAGES and others. Professionals of the early English theatre  (and, possibly, some of them, spies)

B.J’s duel 

Buried in a standing position in WESTMINSTER ABBEY

SMALL FACES

WINSTON Sr. Publican 


JOHN KEMP STARLEY. Inventor

Founder

BICYCLE before STARKEY. It looks that something is missing


TINCHY STRYDER. Singer, Raper and Designer

A British-Ghanaian


LORD ALAN  MICHAEL SUGAR.  Businessman & TV personality

Rags to Riches


BEN TILLETT. Docker & trade unionist

 A road in the ISLE OF DOGS . A dockers decent  pay


JOHN MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER. Painter. Publican?

DICK TURPIN. Apprentice butcher in Whitechapel. Well… a highwayman

Actor RICHARD O’SULLIVAN

CLAUDE DUVAL, the FRENCH one

BARBARA WINDSOR. Actor 

WORKERS at the Eastern Counties Railway's Stratford Locomotive Works

In 1891 Stratford Works set a new world record for locomotive erection, the workforce assembling an 0-6-0 freight engine in just 9½ hours.

ISRAEL ZANGWILL. Writer

More info about notable figures of East London


BIBLIOGRAPHY  & More Information

Only for local library members

 

As you will see, there are quite a few links to the attractions, places, institutions, historical facts or figures... Of course you can search more if you are interested in having more information on a certain topic. Most of them are, logically, in English, but you could find some in your own language.


There are WIKIPEDIA articles about all the neighbourhoods, buildings and institutions, characters, historical facts, food... of London. You will find some of them in different languages.

And on YOU TUBE there are many videos about neighborhoods and attractions, again, mostly in English.

You will see that some websites are linked with many times, and you may be interested in consulting about other topics or places. Here you have them: