Posts Tagged ‘Tower Hamlets’

Independent Living Ends, Robin Hood Gardens

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Independent Living Ends, Robin Hood Gardens. On Tuesday 30th June 2015 I joined disabled people at Downing St marking the ending of the Independent Living Fund before going to Robin Hood Gardens, a brutalist estate in Poplar doomed for demolition.


DPAC’s ILF Closing Ceremony – Downing St to Old Palace Yard

Disabled people and supporters of DPAC, Disabled People Against Cuts, met outside Downing St to bring a petition with over 25,000 signatures calling for a continuation of this essential support for the disabled.

Sophie Partridge, disabled Actor, Writer & Workshop artist

The Independent Living Fund which was coming to an end on that day had given them to money to employ support to enable them to live with dignity and for many to continue in work and make a contribution to society. Without it they fear they will simply be shut away and left to rot, many fearing they will now be left for many hours at a time in incontinence pads.

Paula Peters

Outside the gates of Downing Street they wrote slogans on incontinence pads; Paula Peters of DPAC had a message for Iain Duncan Smith, then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions responsible for the ending of support, ‘I want dignity – I want to be treated as a human – You wear one of these I. D. S. They are awful’.

A campaigner dressed as Brittania was among those who had come to hand in the petition which had gained support from a video by the stars of Coronation Street and the Graeae Theatre Company’s 2014 UK Tour of The Threepenny Opera. One of those stars spoke in front of the gates of Downing Street.

John Kelly as Schimmel leads the march

From Downing Street the campaigners marched the quarter mile or so to Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament, led by John Kelly as Schimmel, the equine star and proud battle horse of the Threepenny Opera.

Here they were joined by others including Labour MP John McDonnell who spoke at the rally marking the end of the Independent Living Fund, at the end of which a wreath with the message’s ‘RIP ILF’ was laid.

DPAC’s ILF Closing Ceremony


Robin Hood Gardens – Poplar

Two walls of flats protect an inner garden area

The ILF protest had ended a little before 1pm and it was a fine day and I decided to take another visit to Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, where demolition had begun after the refusal to list the site. Listing had been recommended for listing by the advisory committee of English Heritage in 2009, but the then Minister of Culture Andy Burnham had issued a certificate of immunity against listing which expired in 2014.

These are large and desirable properties, but often have been used to house difficult residents

A further attempt was then made to have the site listed, supported by almost every well-known British architect, but Historic England, now responsible for listing buildings rejected this.

A wall at left screens the estate and there is a lower service and parking area

An open letter signed by many leading architects including Richard Rogers made clear the value of the site, and I quoted from this in My London Diary.

The buildings, which offer generously sized flats that could be refurbished, are of outstanding architectural quality and significant historic interest, and public appreciation and understanding of the value of Modernist architecture has grown over the past five years, making the case for listing stronger than ever.”

The end of the ‘street in the sky’

The refusal to list on both occasions was clearly a political one, almost certainly driven by the huge profits demolition and rebuilding on the site would make for the developers.

As with the award-winning Heygate Estate in Southwark, and the fine Central Hill Estate at Gypsy Hill, Lambeth, the local council, Tower Hamlets, was keen to get rid of the estate and had carried out what I described as “a well funded campaign of vilification“, seeing it “only as a large area with potential for redevelopment at a higher density“, working with “developers who see any area of social housing in London as rich pickings for redevelopment and sale to the rich.”

A large enclosed playground at the south end of the site

By the end of June 2015 most of the west block seemed empty and boarded up and I was unable to gain entry. But I could roam the large garden in the centre of the estate, now let to grow wild, and went inside the still occupied east block, going up to the highest public level, a ‘street in the sky’ built rather less wide than the architects had originally intended, overlooking the Blackwall Tunnel approach. From there I took a number of pictures of the views from the block looking towards the east.

The south end of Robin Hood Gardens was on Poplar High St

As on a couple of previous visits I talked briefly with some of the residents who all told me they were pleased to be living in the block and sad they would have to leave – though some did complain about the lifts (I think only one of the two at the entrance I went in was working.)

Knocking down buildings like these which are structurally in good condition is inexcusable in terms of the huge carbon footprint involved in their construction, demolition and rebuilding. The estate could and should have been refurbished at relatively low cost and would have continued to provide good quality homes for many years. Its replacements – the west section already built – are of lower quality and will almost certainly not last as long as this could have done. The advantage of their roughly three times higher density is at the expense of possible amenity.

As well as walking in and around the estate I also took some pictures of it from the surrounding area, and some other pictures you can see on My London Diary, including a few when I stopped at Canning Town station and took a few pictures of people on the new footbridge across Bow Creek.

Robin Hood Gardens


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Rip Down the Ripper Facade!

Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Rip Down the Ripper Facade! When Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, a former former head of diversity for Google got his architects to apply for planning permission to turn a building on Cable Street in East London into a ‘Museum of Women’s History’ the application stated it would “recognise and celebrate the women of the East End who have shaped history, telling the story of how they have been instrumental in changing society. It will analyse the social, political and domestic experience from the Victorian period to the present day.” The application his architects submitted was illustrated with pictures of suffragettes and other notable women from the past.

Rip Down the Ripper Facade!

But when the boards around the site came down in 2015, everyone was shocked to see it was instead it had been turned into a ‘Jack the Ripper Museum’, exploiting the unfortunate women who had been the victims of a series of unsolved murders in the East End in 1888. The architect who made the application and others who had been consulted made clear they had been duped into supporting the project and there were protests outside by members of the local community including the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Rev Adrian Newman, and Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs.

Rip Down the Ripper Facade!
Class War Womens Death Brigade arrive for the protest

But most of the protests outside the tacky tourist attraction have been by Class War and its supporters along with feminists including London Fourth Wave Feminists who, together with Class War’s Womens Death Brigade organised the protest I photographed on June 19th 2016. These groups continued to protest after others – including Tower Hamlets Council – appear to have given up.

Rip Down the Ripper Facade!
London Fourth Wave Feminists were there waiting

The council in 2016 refused retrospective planning permission for the shop front and ordered changes to the signage and the removal of a metal roller shutter, which the shop had installed after a window was broken by persons unknown in the middle of the night – not during one of the protests outside as Wikipedia (and possibly the shop owner) suggest. I think I was present at all of the various protests except for the first rather tame event which the local council had arranged to calm things down after Class War and others had widely advertised one for the following evening.

Class War women had brought inflatable plastic hammers

The planning decision was appealed by the shop, and even after their appeal failed the council failed to take enforcement action and it was not until 2018 that the shop front was redesigned. Bad publicity from the protests possibly contributed to the commercial failure of the shop, though there were also poor reviews from visitors who felt it not to be value for money.

Black-clad protesters arrived set off some red smoke

Class War did not of course ‘Rip Down the Ripper Facade’ but the action was typical of their street theatre with inflatable plastic hammers and a little coloured smoke, while the Fourth Wave Feminists came with cat masks and posters to make clear why they were opposed to the shop’s glorification and profiting from violence against women. Eggs were thrown at one of the signs the shop had been ordered to remove and the windows were liberally covered with stickers, but there was no permanent damage.

Rip Down the Ripper Facade!
Ian Bone reaches past police to post a sticker on the window

During the roughly hour long protest there were no customers who came to try and enter the shop, and none inside left. Although London was spilling over with tourists on a Sunday afternoon in June, apparently none wanted to visit this particular tourist attraction. It had been hoped it would close after it was put up for sale in April 2021, but appears still to be open.

More on My London Diary: Rip Down the Ripper Facade!


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Old Ford, Hertford Union & Hackney

Monday, April 11th, 2022

Old Ford, Hertford Union & Hackney

Gunmakers Lane, Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-33-Edit_2400
Gunmakers Lane, Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-33

The short street which goes across the canal on Three Colts Bridge probably got its name from the pub, the Gunmakers Arms, which stood opposite it 438 Old Ford Road on the west side of St Stephens Road – and perhaps there were once some guns made nearby. In April 1915 the pub was taken over by the East London Federation of Suffragettes, led by Sylvia Pankhurst, a more militant and working class breakaway from Women’s Social and Political Union who turned it into a day nursery and clinic.

The Connaught Works here on Old Ford Road was a furniture factory and is said to date from the 1920’s though it looks earlier and was extended to the east around 20 years later.

Gunmakers Lane, Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8am-34-Edit_2400
Three Colt Bridge, Gunmakers Lane, Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-34

This early 19th century cast iron bridge presumably dates from the building of the Hertford Union Canal which opened in 1830. It is Grade II* listed Scheduled Ancient Monument. A pub, the Old Three Colts, was close by at 450 Old Ford Rd from 1792 or earlier but was I think demolished a few years after WW2. St Stephens Road used to be called Three Colts Street, possibly because this pub was more or less at its end.

Victoria park Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-35-Edit_2400
Victoria park Rd, Homerton, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-35

The Three Colts Bridge leads to the Gunmakers Gate of Victoria Park, and I walked across the park to Victoria Park Road. This gothic fantasy of a building is now the Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy but was built in 1864-5 by Robert Lewis Roumieu as a French Protestant Hospital by a Huguenot charity, La Providence, who had decided to move out of earlier almshouses and hospital in Finsbury to a larger and more rural site here.

After WWII, La Providence moved to Rochester, selling the building to Roman Catholic nuns, the Faithful Companions of Jesus, and it reopened as the St Victoire Convent Girls’ Grammar School. When I made this picture it had become Cardinal Pole RC School and in 2014 was sold to be an academy school. The building is Grade II* listed.

Terrace Rd, Church Crescent, South Hackney, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-21-Edit_2400
Terrace Rd, Church Crescent, South Hackney, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-21

These Tudor-style group of cottages are thought to have been built in 1847-8 to designs by George Wales who was the architect of Monger’s almshouses further down Church Crescent. The other houses between the two sites are more classical in design but also thought to be by Wales.

They are Grade II listed and still there and look now rather neater, with the middle property of the Tudor three having had its brickwork cleaned and looking considerably brighter. It also appears to lack the variation in colour of the darker brickwork which I find more attractive, though perhaps it looks more like when it was newly built.

Terrace, Cassland Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-25-Edit_2400
Hackney Terrace, Cassland Rd, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-25

This remarkable terrace at 20-54 Cassland Road overlooking Cassland Crescent is Grade II listed and was built from 1794 using funding from subscribers who made monthly payments over a period of four years, with the houses being allotted by ballot to a subscriber as each was built. All 18 were completed and occupied by 1801. This kind of co-operative funding of a development predates the earliest more conventional building societies.

James Taylor, gallery, Collent St, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-26-Edit_2400
James Taylor, gallery, Collent St, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-26

The James Taylor warehouse was built in 1893 in Collent Road, which was described by the James Taylor gallery as “Formerly a Victorian factory, china warehouse, squat and film location.” Around ten years ago it was transformed with the facade and front building on the site being retained, along with a long wall along the north almost to Cresset Road as a part of a complex redevelopment with up to 10 storeys containing 69 flats, office space and an underground car park.

I made a few more exposures around Well St and I think my walk probably ended on neaby Mare Street, where I photographed the Crown pub (not online) and then probably caught a train from Hackney Central.


Clicking on any of the pictures will take you to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse other images in the album.


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Old Ford, Middlesex Filter Beds & Hertford Union

Sunday, April 10th, 2022

After my stay in Paris in August 1988 I was back in London and managed to fit in one more walk before the end of the month, starting from where I had finished one of my previous walks in Bethnal Green.

Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-66-Edit_2400
Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-66

Old Ford Road runs parallel to Roman Road but a couple of hundred yards to the north, and almost certainly follows the real Roman route to the east out of London, fording the River Lea somewhere close to where the Northern Outfall Sewer (The Greenway) now crosses. The river here is a part of the Lea Navigation and now very much more constrained between banks than it once was, though then it will still have been tidal here.

There was a route here even before the Romans, leading along the way of modern Oxford St and Old Street to Bethnal Green and Old Ford and then continuing through what were then marshes to Wanstead Slip north of Stratford and on the Colchester.

There are long stretches of Victorian houses as well as modern flats along Old Ford Road, but the house at the left of this picture is No 218, and is a terrace beginning with 196 and ending at 224 a little to the west of the bridge over the Regent’s Canal and immediately north of the Cranbrook estate.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-52-Edit_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-52

I wasn’t sure what to make of this establishment on Roman Road, which seemed to be both a Patisserie and Bar, offering Light Lunches & Coffee, as well as catering for all functions, with rather curious window decoration and an odd bit of statuary in its entrance.

Middlesex FIlter Beds, Lea Bridge, Waltham Forest, 1988 88-8am-42-Edit_2400
Middlesex Filter Beds, Lea Bridge, Waltham Forest, 1988 88-8am-42

I did a lot more walking without taking many photographs, going south down Usher Road and then going east to cross the East Cross Route on Wick Lane before joining the towpath on the opposite bank of the Lea Navigation to get to the Middlesex Filter Beds at the north corner of the Hackney Marshes – something over 2 miles before I took the next black and white pictures in what had been turned into a nature reserve.

The filter beds were built in the early nineteenth century to combat cholera in London by providing clean drinking water which was still killing thousands but were unable to cope with the increasing population and were finally closed in 1969, left to become a nature reserve. I think they may have recently been made open to the public when I made this short visit. Going back more recently they seem to have been made a little less overgrown than they had become over the 19 years since they were abandoned. This image seems to me the more interesting of the five frames that I took – film was still expensive.

Lea Navigation, Eastway,  Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-45-Edit_2400
Lea Navigation, Eastway, Hackney Wick, Hackney, 1988 88-8am-45

Walking back south along the towpath I made three exposures of this derelict building with its broken windows and the reflection in the canal by the Eastway Bridge. I probably took few pictures on this part of the walk as I had photographed fairly extensively along the Lea a few years earlier – some pictures you can see in the book ‘Before the Olympics‘ which has images from the source to the Thames.

Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-46-Edit_2400
Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-26

At Hackney Wick I crossed the bridge and took the towpath beside the Herrtford Union Canal, a short section joining the Lea Navigation to the Regent’s Canal. Then there were still a number of canal wharves, mainly for timber, though it was a few years since commercial traffic here had ended.

Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8am-32-Edit_2400
Hertford Union, canal, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-32

Another view of the same wharf, and one of the lorries which now served them rather than canal boats. The Challenge, owned by the Docklands Canal Boat Trust, a registered charity formed in 1985 that provides boating holidays and day trips for people with disabilities, is a specially built boat for the purpose – and it was a challenge to get the money to build it. Still in operation it is now based on the Lea at Clapton.

Hertford Union, canal, Hackney Wick, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8am-31-Edit_2400

Hertford Union, canal, Hackney Wick, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8am-31

There was still plenty of timber along this stretch of the canal.

More from the end of this walk in a later post. You can see a larger version of any of these pictures by clicking on them which will take you to my album 1988 London Photos.


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Matches, Care Spares, Flats and the Roman

Friday, March 18th, 2022
Fairfield Works, Wick Lane, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8b-21
Fairfield Works, Wick Lane, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-21

This is the east side of the Bryant and May match factory. The main Grade II listed building was built in 1909-10, architects Holman and Goodsham, making this the largest match factory in Britain. But parts of the building are earlier, and Quakers, William Bryant and Francis May who had gone into business making matches in 1843 (at first because of their religious conviction only making safety matches) moved to a former candle factory on Fairfield Road in 1861. Various new buildings were added before the 1910 building. The factory closed in 1979, was listed in 1988 and is now the Bow Quarter, a gated private estate with 19 houses and 714 flats. The building at right of the picture was demolished and replaced by a new block.

But safety matches, which needed a special striking surface containing red phosphorus were not as popular as the strike-anywhere matches (lucifers) made with the more dangerous white phosphorus in the match-heads and the factory soon switched to producing these as well. The relatively few men and the several thousand “matchgirls” working in the plant, mainly of Irish descent, commonly suffered from phosphorus necrosis of the jaw, known as ‘phossy jaw’ cause by white phosphorus vapour. The first symptoms were usually toothaches – and the company insisted that any workers suffering got all their teeth removed or be sacked. This poisoning led to a disabled jaw and eventually to death in around a fifth of cases.

Complete removal of teeth was common in the UK before the beginning of the National Health Service after World War II, as only the wealthy could afford any proper dentistry. Toothache can be agonising and was often treated by tying strong twine around the offending tooth, fixing the other end to a door handle and getting someone to slam the door. Both my parents (born around 1900) were given full extraction of teeth and a replacement ‘Full Set’ of upper and lower teeth as a wedding present in 1932.

The match-girls were not only subject to this horrible occupational disease, but discipline at work was excessively strict, with fines taken from their wages for trivial reasons – lateness, a dirty workbench, talking or having dirty feet – as well as having to pay for their own glue and brushes. The sacking of one of the girls in 1888 provoked the Matchgirls Strike – which they won after two weeks, getting better working conditions and a proper grievance process and ending the fines and other deductions from their wages.

Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-12-Edit_2400
Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-12

This scrapyard, for all makes of car spares, open seven days a week was next to the A102 (M) East Cross Route, built between 1967 and 1973 as a part of Ringway 1, most of which was then quickly abandoned after it became clear the complete environmental destruction building it would take. It became the A12 after being transferred to TfL in 2000, as they were not given the powers needed to run motorways.

The massive 1970s slab block flats of Lefevre Walk were replaced in 1993-2006 by the Tower Hamlets Housing Action Trust with a mix of houses and flats with a traditional street layout designed in close consultation with the community.

Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-16-Edit_2400
Old Ford Rd, Old Ford, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-16

A view from the edge of the scrapyard.

Look, Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-63-Edit_2400
Look, Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8c-63

As well as the Olympus SLR with which I made most of the pictures on my walks and with a second SLR body with colour negative film, I also carried a small Minox 35 camera in my jacket pocket whenever I went out. This was the smallest 35mm camera ever made, only 3.9 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches, just large enough to hold a 35mm cassette at on side and the take-up spool on the opposite side of the film gate. The 35mm f2.8 lens folded back into the camera body when not in use and the camera fitted easily even into a shirt pocket.

I had several models of the camera over the years, and often used it when I wanted to be less conspicuous, carrying the camera in one hand it was almost invisible. It was also virtually silent in operation. At times on my walks when I had packed away the SLRs in my camera bag it was more convenient to take pictures on the Minox, but the 36 exposure film might contain pictures from several walks and other occasions.

It isn’t always easy to fit the pictures into place in my walks but I think from Old Ford Road I spent some time taking pictures – including this and those below – on Roman Road in the centre of Bethnal Green, but they may have been made the previous day.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-12-positive_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-12

Two women with a push chair on Roman Road talk as they walk along the street. Just visible behind them are two other children with them.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-13-positive_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-13

Men walk on the opposite side of the stree in front of Shirley’s Antiques – Houses Cleared, with the text from a previous occupier still visible on the first floor frontage.

Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-15-positive_2400
Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7u-15

Men walk on the opposite side of the street in front of Shirley’s Antiques – Houses Cleared, with the text from a previous occupier still visible on the first floor frontage.

The next installment on this walk will include more pictures from Roman Road taken as I made my way to Bethnal Green tube and the end of the walk.


You can click on any of the images to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album.


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More Bow – a Grave, Halls, Co-op, Canal & Pub

Monday, March 14th, 2022

More Bow – a Grave, Halls, Co-op, Canal & Pub continues my walk on Monday 1st August 1988 – the previous post was Bow, Kingsly Hall, a Nursery, Grime, Quakers & more.

Bear Family, Memorial, Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Mile End, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-54-Edit_2400
Bear Family, Memorial, Tower Hamlets Cemetery, Mile End, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-54

The family vault of the Bear Family is marked by one of the more impressive monuments of Tower Hamlets Cemetery, with a long list of names, ages ad date of death which is headed by George Huxley Bear, who died in 1855 aged 4 years and six months. Several of the other entries are also for children, though their father lived to the age of 76. Child mortality was very much a feature of Victorian life.

I made two other pictures of this memorial, with its stems of wheat at the bottom and the consoling text from John XII, v 24 “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” As with all the other pictures you can click on this one to get a larger version and then browse back and forward to see them.

Bromley Public Hall, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-41-Edit_2400
Bromley Public Hall, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-41

Until last year this was the Tower Hamlets Register Office. The Grade II listed building dates from 1880 and was built as the vestry hall for St Leonard’s parish and extended in 1904. At least one web site confuses this with the much older and very different Bromley Hall, on the Blackwall Tunnel Approach road, though to be the oldest brick building in London, built around 1490 but extensively remodelled with a Georgian frontage around 1700.

Former Co-op store, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-42-Edit_2400
Former Co-op store, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-42

Stratford Co-operative & Industrial Society built this splendid store on Bow Road in 1919, proudly listing the names of its leading members under the bee hive signifying co-operation.

In my youth every high street (and some rather lower) had its own Co-operative store, benefiting from the huge buying power of the Cooperative Wholesale Society. We bought most of the few new clothes we could afford there as well as shoes and other items, and it was the Co-op who delivered our milk seven days a week. My mother’s Co-op number is still etched in my memory, essential when making any purchase, and leading to a ‘divi’ at the end of the year which saw us through Christmas.

In 1988 this was the PLH Kakkad Supermarket and although it sold a wide range of goods its frontage was devoted to Rothmans, “The best tobacco money can buy“. More recently it became a Costcutter and then a Nisa local since around 2008.

Lea Navigation, St Thomas Creek, Bow Back Rivers, Stratford, Newham, 1988 88-8b-46-Edit_2400
Lea Navigation, St Thomas Creek, Bow Back Rivers, Stratford, Newham, 1988

I walked further east and crossed the busy Bow roundabout to take this picture looking across the Lea Navigation and up St Thomas Creek, one of the Bow Back Rivers. Stratford High Street at right is now lined with tall flats, and Global Caravans with one stacked on top of a couple of containers is long gone, along with almost all of the rest of the industrial buildings. A few of those nearest on the left before Cooks Road remained but in derelict condition in 2021.

Bow Theatre, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8b-32-Edit_2400
Bow Theatre, Bow Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-32

Walking back west up Bow Road took me to Bow Theatre on the west corner of Fairfield Road. This Grade II listed building was a new Poplar Town Hall built in 1937-8 and was said to be the first modernist town hall, designed by Ewart Culpin and his son Clifford. The frieze by David Evans depicts the various trades of the builders of the town hall and is said to include a welder, a labourer, a mason, a carpenter and an architect. Unfortunately it is hard to decide the occupations of some of those in my picture, partly as they are not critically sharp.

After Poplar became a part of Tower Hamlets, this was no longer a town hall, but remained in use for some years as council offices and also as a theatre. The council sold it in the 1990s and it is now Bow Business Centre.

Caledonian, pub, Fairfield Rd, Blondin St, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-34-Edit_2400
Caledonian Arms, pub, Fairfield Rd, Blondin St, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-34

The Caledonian Arms on the corner of Blondin St is still standing but no longer a pub, having closed around 2000 and extensively converted to office and residential use in 2010. The building possibly dates from 1851 though it may have replaced a former building later that century. For years a Watney’s pub it later became owned by Shepherd Neame.

The cafe on the opposite corner has gone completely, its site part of a car park for new buildings down Blondin St. The name suggests that the street was built at the time of the famous tightrope crossing of the Niagra by ‘The Great Blondin‘ in 1859.

Douro St, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8b-35-Edit_2400
Douro St, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-35

This was a short street with small houses shown in the picture with front doors opening directly onto the street and a car breakers behind the fence at left.

The cobbles and the small houses are still there, but the car breakers have been replaced by a large block of flats, Altius Apartments, at 714 Wick Lane, with 4 floors and a roof garden, at a taller 9 floor tower at the east end. The guide price for one of those small houses in the ‘Bow Quarter’ is given as £800,000 and the estate agents rather creatively describe Douro St as ‘tree-lined’.

Tredegar Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-36-Edit_2400
Tredegar Rd, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-36-Edit_2400

Tredegar Rd is just to the north of Douro St, on the other side of the flats. I think this is at its junction with Wick Lane and I think absolutely nothing of what was in my picture remains, with even the road layout having altered at least slightly.

What was H Bates & Son Scrap dealers is now occupied by a block of around 12 floors, offices at ground level and flats above, but the ‘Bow Quarter’ area is so different that this could well be another nearby corner – also covered with new housing. But my next pictures show I turned south down Wick Lane to the rear of the former Bryant & May match factory, where the next instalment of this walk will begin.


Click on any image to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse other images. You can view most of the sites today on Google Streetview.


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Bow, Kingsly Hall, a Nursery, Grime, Quakers & more

Sunday, March 13th, 2022

This post continues from my previous post on this walk by me on 1st August 1988, Coventry Cross, Gandhi, Graffiti, Drag Balls …

Stroudley Walk, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-21-Edit_2400
Stroudley Walk, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-21

The buildings of the Diary and the Rose & Crown are still standing at the north end of Stroudley Walk where it meets the end of Bromley High St, but the closed diary became Hussains Convenience Store and then Jalalabad Grocers and half is now a mobile phone repair shop.

The Rose & Crown had opened here around 1720, as the Bowling Green Inn, though the building here is from the 1880s. It closed in 2007, was boarded up for some years before reopening around 2014 as a coffee bar and fast food restaurant.

This was formerly the north end of Devons Road, and a sign for this painted on the brickwork at the left of the pub had virtually disappeared when I made this picture in 1988. Later repainted it has now almost disappeared again.

Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-25-Edit_2400
Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-25

I wrote more about Kingsley Hall and the sisters Muriel and Doris Lester in the previous post on this walk. They used a legacy from their younger brother Kingsley to set up a house where they lived in relative poverty and served the neighbourhood as well as campaigning for peace and justice across the world. A plaque on the building records that Mahatma Gandhi lived in a small cabin here during his three month stay attending a government conference as a representative of the Indian National Congress. You can read and see more about his visit and the sisters on the Muriel Lester web site.

This image gives a better view of the whole building, which dates from 1928. It faces the Devons Estate, built for the London County Council in 1949 and described by Pevsner as being in their ‘pre-war manner, but with all the drabness of post-war austerity‘. Those moved from slums into its maisonettes and flats would have taken a far more positive view and the estate was solidly built and well-designed to the standards of the day.

Clyde House, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow,  Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-26-Edit_2400
Clyde House, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-26

Clyde House is still there at 46 Bruce Road, looking in rather better condition now. Built in 1884 it appears to have been built as a pair with its double-fronted neighbour at 48.

Children's House, Nursery School, , Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow,  Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-11-Edit_2400
Children’s House, Nursery School, Bruce Rd, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-11

Sisters Muriel and Doris Lester helped to set up the Children’s House on Bruce Road 1923. Doris had trained as a teacher and they commissioned Charles Cowles-Voysey to design a building based on Maria Montessori’s ideal learning environment for young children. The school was opened in 1923 by H G Wells and is still a school, run by Tower Hamlets Council.

Inside there is a 12 metre mural painted in 1935 by Eve Garnett, the illustrator, artist and writer of the first children’s book about working class characters, The Family from One End Street, in 1937. There is now a campaign to save and restore the mural which is dirty and damaged and the web site is asking for donations to pay for this.

Regent Square, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-8a-15-Edit_2400
Regent Square, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-15

The Crossways Estate, built in 1970 was apparently at the time known as the ‘Pride of Bow’, for its three 25 storey towers and a low rise block, Holyhead Close, built over the railway line. Later it was more prosaically referred to as the ‘three flats.’

It was here that Grime developed in 2003, after Rinse FM squatted in a flat and broadcast illegally from here, and it was also where Dizzee Rascal and others grew up.

Like many council developments the area around the estate was hard to navigate, with walkways and roads often not shown on maps. My contact sheet says ‘Regent Square and gives grid reference 375827 for the first of the five images I made. The three towers were Hackworth Point, Mallard Point and Priestman Point and are on Rainhill Way.

And also like many council estates, it was subjected to a policy of ‘managed decline’ and by 1999 was in a very poor state, so bad its demolition was under consideration. Tower Hamlets decided to retain and refurbish the estate which passed to Swan Homes after a residents ballot in 2005. Its towers now refurbished and clad more brightly this is now the Bow Cross Estate.

Bow Church, station, DLR,  Crossways estate, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-56-Edit_2400
Bow Church, station, DLR, Crossways estate, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-56

The ‘three flats’ seen from Bow Road and Bow Church DLR station which opened on 31 August 1987.

Mornington Grove, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-61-Edit_2400
Mornington Grove, Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8b-61

Mornington Grove not only gets a mention in the London 5: East volume of Pevsner (p619) which describes these houses as “unusually grand for the area” but also has an extensive web site covering its history by Ken Ward, a resident in the street, from which this information is extracted – and which has far more detail. And it really is an interesting history – if you have the time do click the link and read more.

The land of a nursery here was bought by the Quaker meeting in Ratcliff in 1812, and houses on Mornington Road were developed by them from 1854-1889 – those on the east side in this picture being among the later development. Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington was the son of the first Earl of Mornington, and the fourth Earl lived nearby on the north side of Bow Road.

Many of the houses in Mornington Road were compulsory purchased and demolished for the Whitehapel and Bow Railway (later the District Line) and others by World War II bombing of what had in 1939 been renamed Mornington Grove. Under the Quakers, at least 5/7th of the rents of the houses went to the support of the poor.

Most of the houses in the street, by then under multiple occupation, were sold by the Quakers to a housing association in 1980, becoming social housing, though many have now been sold off.


More from Bow in the next post from my walk in 1988. You can see larger versions of any of these pictures by clicking on the image which will take you to my album 1988 London Pictures from where you can browse.


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Coventry Cross, Gandhi, Graffiti, Drag Balls …

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

Coventry Cross, Gandhi, Graffiti, Drag Balls …

Stanstead House, Devas Street, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets 1988 88-8a-53-Edit_2400
Stanstead House, Devas Street, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets 1988 88-8a-53

My previous walk on 31st July ended at Bromley-by-Bow, and I returned there the following day to continue my wanderings, starting on Devas St and the Coventry Cross West Estate, built by the LCC in the early 1950s, and in 1988 it had recently passed from the GLC to Tower Hamlets. Like all council housing it was very much compromised by the opposition under Thatcher to social housing, with the ‘right to buy’ policies selling off properties to tenants on the cheap and local authorities being largely prevented from building more as well as being starved of cash.

The estate serves as a reminder of an age where councils were able to provide large numbers of socially rented homes before we moved to an era dominated by private profit. Many council tenants who bought their own properties found it very impossible to pay back the loans they had taken on, and sold them as soon as they were able, with many of them now privately rented as ‘buy to let’ properties with rents several times social housing rates.

The six-storey Newmill House at left is linked to the four storey Stansted by a massive archway, with another the west linking to another six storey block, Brimsdown. The estate is now managed by Poplar HARCA and has been renovated around ten years ago.

Stanstead House, Devas Street, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets 1988 88-8a-54-Edit_2400
Stanstead House, Devas Street, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets 1988 88-8a-54

A portrait orientation view of the same arch into the estate. When built Newmill House at left, a long block running parallel to the Blackwall Tunnel Approach, contained 55 flats.

Gandhi plaque, Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets 1988 88-8a-42-Edit_2400
Gandhi, plaque, Kingsley Hall, Powis Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a42

North of the railway line, my walk took me to Patrick Connolly Gardens, now rather lost in the Devons estate, and then on to Powis Road where I made this picture of Kingsley Hall.

Kingsley Hall was opened in 1928 by philanthropists and peace campaigners Muriel and Doris Lester who opened the centre using the legacy from their brother Kingsley who died in 1914 when only 26. They had previously helped to set up a Children’s House on Bruce Road nearby in 1923. Muriel Lester (1883-1968) was one of the world’s leading pacifists, and is thought to have been unsuccessfully nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1930s.

The building had previously been Zion Chapel built by Strict Baptists but was then disused. The sisters were also Baptists, but of a very different nature, they were radical and committed to a social gospel and justice issues and the hall became a centre for their community work with Muriel also serving as its pastor. They donated their wealth to serving the people of Bow and lived a simple and humble life.

Muriel had met and travelled with Mahatma Gandhi often in her work as Travelling Secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and when he came to London as the representative of the Indian National Congress Party to argue in a conference for independence he rejected the suite offered him by the government at the Hilton Hotel, saying he would rather stay with Muriel Lester at Kingsley Hall. He stayed there for three months, living in a cell on the roof in the same simple style he did in London.

Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988
Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-44

I doubt if I would have photographed this street corner were it not for the message ‘big Love’ in large letters on the corrugated iron sheeting. Though it does look as if the writer went on to write something beginning with HATE. This was somewhere fairly close to Kingsley Hall.

Edgar Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-46-Edit_2400
Edgar Rd, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-46

The fence here has several messages as well as some peeling posters. The longest text reads ‘AS LONG AS WE HAVE NOT SMASHED EVERYTHING THERE WILL BE RUINS!!’, an exceedingly philosophical example of graffiti which I’ve not seen elsewhere, though I wonder if it could be from a song lyric.

Considerably more common is the ‘VICTORY TO THE MINERS’, and I think the Female Sign – the planetary symbol for Venus ♀ – may mean the painter was a woman.

Tudor Lodge, Bromley High St, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-31-Edit_2400
Tudor Lodge, 85, Bromley High St, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-31

This may have had some connection with Tudor House, whose grounds were bought in 1898 by the LCC to make a public park, which is now Bromley Recreation Ground a couple of hundred yards away, but more likely just with the Tudor family who lived in Tudor House and in the Old Palace closer to where Tudor Lodge used to be.

The archway informs us that this was Tudor Lodge Sports and Social Club, catering for Weddings and Funerals; over a door at left it tells us the ‘Bow Bridge Sports & Social Club Meets Here’. It was by then a large men’s social club, but the impressive cross above the doorway suggests that this was originally a Christian institution of some kind, perhaps a convent or priory

In the 1980s it became a venue for Drag Balls which had begun as the Chelsea Arts Ball, before moving to the Parchester Hall and then on to here. Later in the 90s was the home of Ron Storme’s Transvesti Extrodinaire club.

There is now a completely different modern Tudor Lodge at 95 Bromley High St on the corner with St Leonard’s Road.

How Memorial Gateway, St Leonards Priory, St Leonard's St, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-33-Edit_2400
How Memorial Gateway, St Leonards Priory, St Leonard’s St, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-33

The only part of the parish church of St Mary with St Leonard to survive following bombing in 1942 and the building of the Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road. The church was built in 1843 to replace the former chapel of St Leonard’s Priory, a Benedictine nunnery first recorded in 1122 and destroyed after the dissolution of monasteries in 1536, after which its chapel had been used as a parish church. Chaucer wrote of the nunnery as the “Scole of Stratford atte bowe“.

The How Memorial Gateway was erected in 1893 as a memorial to the Rev G A How, vicar of the church from 1872-93. It is Grade II listed and in poor condition.

Bromley High St, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-34-Edit_2400
Bromley High St, Bromley-By-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-34

There is still a large tree and a telegraph pole on the corner of Bromley High St with St Leonards Street, but the lower buildings on the left of the picture were demolished a year or so ago.

Just visible in this picture is the coat of arms of the London County County on 72-4 Bromley High St (Barry wavy of six Azure and Argent on a Chief of the last the Cross of St. George charged with a Leopard of England. The Shield is ensigned with a Mural Crown Or – though it’s too small on the photo to see any details) announcing this as the Bow Bridge Estate, which was completed in 1934. I hope Poplar HARCA kept this when they demolished the building.

My walk through Bow will continue in a later post. Click on any of the images above to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the album.


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Spratt’s, Far Famed Cakes and Bromley by Bow

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

Spratt’s, Far Famed Cakes and Bromley by Bow. My walk on 31st February 1988 was coming to an end as I made my way towards Bromley-by-Bow District Line station to begin my journey home. You can see the previous part at Lansbury, Brownfield, Teviot and St Leonards Road.

Footbridge, Railway, Spratt's Patent, Clutton St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-15-positive_2400
Footbridge, Railway, Spratt’s Patent, Clutton St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-15

St Leonard’s Road beyond Langdon Park becomes Uamvar St, an odd name whose origin I can’t find. It used to be a little west of its current route and I think with St Leonard’s Road used earlier to be Bow Lane. I soon turned left onto Clutton St and climbed onto the footbridge over the railway. The bridge has now been replaced by a metal structure on which it would be rather harder to write ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘I Love You’.

The railway line here carries the Docklands Light Railway line from Poplar to Stratford, but had been a part of the North London Railway (founded in 1846 as the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway.) The Spratt’s Patent Limited Offices Fenchurch St are still there, with an entrance from Fawe St.

Farfamed Cake Company, Fawe St, Footbridge, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-16-positive_2400
Far Famed Cake Company, Fawe St, Footbridge, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-16

The Far Famed Cake Company began in 1881, and was bought by Fitch Lovell in 1950. They merged it with another company to form Hales Trent Cakes in 1962. In 1974 this was bought by Lyons. The factory had employed around 320 people. I think this site is now occupied by a large new block of flats with some shops on Morris Road.

Spratt's Patent Limited, Fawe St, Poplar, 1988 88-8a-62-Edit_2400
Spratt’s Patent Limited, Fawe St, Poplar, 1988 88-8a-62

Separated by a long yard from the block of Spratt’s Patent beside the DLR is another block of Spratt’s Patent Limited, still there and now the A B Fine Art Foundry.

Foresters Arms, pub, St Leonards Road , Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-63-Edit_2400
Foresters Arms, pub, St Leonards Road , Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-63

The Foresters Arms at 253 St Leonards Road, on the corner with Clutton St, a former Charrington & Co pub closed in 2004 and was sold. It was extended and converted to 6 flats in 2005. There had been a pub on this site since before 1856. It still has an address on St Leonards Road lthough my map calls the road huere Uamvar St.

Limehouse Cut, Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-64-Edit_2400
Limehouse Cut, Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-64

I continued my walk up Uamver St and on to the Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, and this picture was taken beside Tweed House, part of which can be seen at the extreme left. The buildings in the centre have now been replaced by a lower-rise redevelopment but that visible above the wall at the right of the picture is still there.

This section of the Limehouse Cut towpath was then rather overgrown and little used. It is now much busier, with a new floating section taking the path from Bow Locks under the busy tunnel approach road.

Nursery, Flats, Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-52-Edit_2400
Nursery, Flats, Blackwall Tunnel Northern Approach, Bromley-by-Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-8a-52

I photographed this mural on a nursery and clinic in the flats beside the Blackwall Tunnel North Approach close to Devas St. This was part of the Coventry Cross West Estate, built by the LCC in the early 1950s as an addition to their 1935 Coventry Cross Estate. The name Coventry Cross came from a long-closed pub in the area since 1690 – at 68 St Leonards Street in 1861. The estate passed to the GLC and then TOwer Hamlets before after consultation and vote they joined Poplar HARCA.

From here is was a short distance to the end of my walk at Bromley-By-Bow District line station – from where I began my next walk in early August 1988

This had been an good walk for me and I hope readers will have found the pictures and text about them interesting. There are some more pictures from it in my album 1988 London Photos including some from earlier in the day at Petticoat Lane, in Whitechapel and Tower Hamlets cemetery before I started the walk proper.


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Lansbury, Brownfield, Teviot and St Leonards Road

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

Lansbury, Brownfield, Teviot and St Leonards Road. My previous post in the series on this walk, Back to Poplar in 1988 contained information about George Lansbury, a leading politician in Poplar and around from when first elected as an MP in 1910 to his death in 1940. From 1932-35 leader of the Labour Party he was forced to resign because he stuck to his principles.

Lodore St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-45-positive_2400
Lodore St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-45

Because of its closeness to the docks and the River Thames Poplar had been one of the worst hit areas by bombs from German Zeppelins and bombers in World War I, but suffered far great damage in WW2, with almost a quarter of the buildings in the area being destroyed.

Redvelopment of the area after the war was slow, although part was finished in time to be included as the Live Architecture Exhibition section of the 1951 Festival of Britain, development of the whole of the area designated as the Lansbury Estate, between the East India Dock Road, Burdett Road, Limehouse Cut, and the North London railway line was only completed in the 1980s. The area at the south-east of this was developed by the GLC as an eastern extension to Lansbury, now known as the Brownfield Estate, designated in 1958.

By then its nature had changed with the original and highly praised plans begun under Patrick Abercrombie in 1943 and carried forward by Frederick Gibberd and the LCC Architect’s Department for the Festival being greatly modified, particularly after the Conservative Government which came to power in 1950 altered the housing priorities to provide more homes – which meant more high-rise.

From the GLC, the Lansbury estate passed to Tower Hamlets Council and was badly affected by Thatcher’s ‘right to buy’ and other policies against council housing. Much was transferred in 1988 to Poplar HARCA.

Balfron Tower, Willis St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-46-positive_2400
Balfron Tower, Willis St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-46

The iconic block of Balfron Tower is one of three – Balfron Tower, Carradale House
and Glenkerry House – listed blocks by architect Erno Goldfinger on the Brownfield Estate and dates from 1965-8. His development of Carradale House was held back so displaced local residents could be housed in Balfron and it was comleted in 1967-8, with Glenkerry House by Goldfinger’s studio being completed in 1972-5.

Goldfinger and his wife lived in one of the flats in Balfron for 8 weeks after completion. Balfron passed from Tower Hamlets to Poplar HARCA in 2007, promising residents to refurbish the building and re-house them there. They reneged on that promise, converting the block to luxury flats sold at market prices.

St Leonard's Arms, St Leonard's Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-32-positive_2400
St Leonard’s Arms, St Leonard’s Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-32

The St Leonard Arms at 162 St Leonards Rd is said to have closed in 1988 and was later converted to flats, probably in 2002. It had been there at least since 1861, when its address was 17 Wilson Terrace and St Leonard’s Road was then Bow Lane. In my picture from 1988 it looks as if it had closed some time earlier.

At the left the Grade II listed St Michael and All Angels, built 1864-5 is undergoing extensive building work – probably part of its conversion to flats as St Michael’s Court.

Five Ways Mission, War Memorial, St Leonard's Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-33-positive_2400
Five Ways Mission, War Memorial, St Leonard’s Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-33

Close to the church is an impressive war memorial with the “Christ with one hand raised in blessing and the other holding a wreath above the head of a kneeling warrior in the armour of a crusader“, sculptor A R Adams erected in 1920 with funds from a public “appeal, a football match and tickets for a special matinee performance at the queen’s theatre, high street on Saturday 24 April 1920“.

On the opposite side of the road is the former Fiveways Mission and a car hire service. This building is now smartened and extended at right as private housing.

Five Ways Mission, St Leonard's Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-34-positive_2400
Five Ways Mission, St Leonard’s Rd, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-34

A closer, head-on view of the properties at 161-165 St Leonard’s Rd, with some light flare.

St Leonard's Rd, Bright St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-36-positive_2400
St Leonard’s Rd, Bright St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-36

A view of from the side of the two properties and the adjoining former London Cooperative Society with a fading and crumbling advertisement for BALSAM for COUGHS and Colds (perhaps the word FRIARS’ had already gone.) Above the shuttered frontage is the word HEADACHES.

St Leonard's Rd, Bright St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988  88-7t-22-positive_2400
St Leonard’s Rd, Bright St, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, 1988 88-7t-22

On the side of the building is a giant sign for the TEVIOT FESTIVAL, OPEN TO ALL and an arrow pointing in its direction. I also photographed this sign in colour. Much of this area was redeveloped as the Teviot Estate, which is now being redeveloped by Poplar HARCA. It is now often called Langdon Park, a green area at the end of Bright St where there is a newish DLR station.

Teviot Festival, Bright St, Poplar, 1988TQ3881-001

My walk will continue in a later post.


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