Blog Archives

Historical events and places in London’s East End.

The Sinking of The Princess Alice

A tale of a pleasure trip on the River Thames from London Bridge that turned into a terrible tragedy that shocked the nation. The text is taken from a book passed down to me by my grandfather called: Fifty Great Disasters & Tragedies That Shocked The World. Published in the opening years of the 1930s and a book I read many times as a young child. Fascinated by the stories.

Read more…

Posted in East End History


MacDonald Syer Ltd – 1949 Margate Kent.

My grandfather (left back row) worked for MacDonald Syers for years. They were a lift engineering and electrical business based in Calvin Street, Shoreditch East London.


Here they all are very smartly dressed on a works outing to the seaside. Margate in Kent in June 1949.

Photo taken by Sunbeam Photo Ltd, 82 Sweyn Road,

Read more…

Posted in East End History


Coventry Road Ilford Essex

Here are a couple of images from the house I grew up in. Most of Ilford in Essex was built up around the late 1800s, during the Victorian style of architecture.


I can remember I used to talk to my friend who lived next door through our bedroom walls.

Long before soundproofing and cavity insulation was thought of. Also every house had a lovely tiled front path,

Read more…

Posted in East End History


My Grandfather – Lift Engineer and Electrician.

My grandfather worked for a company based in Calvin Street, Shoreditch, East London. He spent most of his working life as a lift engineer / electrician in London.


Pre and post WW2. Here he is in action, working on machinery that must now be very very old!

Read more…

Posted in East End History


London Police Officers – Old Photos.

I’ve just started to go through my old photo albums and scan in some of the more interesting London images.

What I Know About This Photo.

The chap standing on the left is my grandfather’s step-father. He was one of the founders of the Met Police’s flying squad. A highly trained fast response police driver. I can assume that they have attended a burglary or attempted burglary at A.

Read more…

Posted in East End History


Henry VIII and East London History

If you walk past the BSix Sixth Form College building in Hackney’s Clapton area, you may not notice anything too unusual about the site. But, this was once the site of one of the most impressive Tudor homes in the East End and, at one point in time, it was one of the royal palaces of Henry VIII.


The original building that came to be known as King’s Place and latterly Brooke House,

Read more…

Posted in East End History


East London Food

The East End of London offers some interesting options for local cuisine not found anywhere else in the capital, or in the rest of the UK for that matter. You may have to dig around a little to find some of these once-common traditional delicacies, but, if you want to experience real East End life, this is certainly worth doing!

London’s East End Food

The area is also renowned for other cuisines introduced by immigrants over the years.

Read more…

Posted in East End History


History of Bow Brewery

The East End of London has been home to many major breweries over the years and even to a couple of distinctive types of beers. In the 19th century, the Mann, Crosman and Paulin’s brewery in Whitechapel created a beer that is held to be the daddy of the modern brown ales that are still drunk today.


In Bow, a brewer called George Hodgson and his son created India Pale Ale at the Bow Brewery,

Read more…

Posted in East End History


Poplar Upper North Street School Disaster

When we think about war damage in London, we tend to think about the Second World War. After all, the Blitz in 1940 caused significant damage all over the East End. Many civilians lost their lives, their homes and their places of work in the East End.


This area was a natural target for bombing raids, as it was so close to the docklands areas that were vital to the war effort.

Read more…

Posted in East End History


The Battle of Cable Street – East London

In the 1930s, one narrow East End street, Cable Street, became the location for one of the most famous anti-fascist clashes in England’s history. On the day, local residents fought against the fascist and anti-Semitic principles of Sir Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirt followers.


The Battle of Cable Street has become a celebrated anti-fascist event.

Oswald Mosley and the East End

Oswald Mosley was a politician who switched across the Conservative and Labour parties before setting up the British Union of Fascists in 1932.

Read more…

Posted in East End History


Recent Comments

  • Tim Bowler on Second World War Bombing Raid South Hallsville SchoolMy Mum and Nan lived in Lansdowne Road, Silvertown and went to Hallsville School for shelter from the nightly raid but it was full. A policeman who my Mother knew
  • Jack on The Sinking of The Princess AliceI visited the Museum of Docklands last week where there is a small exhibition of artifacts from the disaster and a regular talk by one of the guides.
  • d sullivan on The Blind Beggar Pub, East London Historycan anyone remember going hoppicking in kent namely goudhurst my wife whent with her parents when she was a baby as she got older she not only did hoppicking on
  • george rogers on MacDonald Syer Ltd – 1949 Margate Kent.I worked for mc Donald syer in about 1977 at calvin st I remember mr pope managing director frank forderer electrical forman terry currie mate sid motor winder jack armour
  • Roger Hudson on Henry VIII and East London HistoryWhen I used the Hackney College, Stoke Newington site, library in about 1991 I saw a book entitled "History of Brooke House" or similar. Was this transferred to the Brooke
  • Auntie Mel on The East End in the 1950sI believe Nonnatus House is a fictionalized place based on another--just go to the Call the Midwife website to read all about it.
  • Christina (Tina) on The East End in the 1950sMargaret, we lived in Poplar which I mentioned above, there was only me & my Brother, there were only my mum and my Aunt in her family, but my Dad
  • Christina (Tina) on The East End in the 1950sJean, your name rings a bell, as does some other things you have mentioned. Where did you live?
  • Angie on The East End in the 1950sHi Jean Ally of what you said rings bells of what my mum told me. Do you remember the "Barwicks" that lived on Chrisp st?
  • Jean Hoar on The East End in the 1950sCall the midwife brings back loads of memories of my childhood. I was born in 1952 in Poplar. Both my parents were one of thirteen children. My mothers family originally

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 76 other subscribers.