East End History

MacDonald Syer Ltd – 1949 Margate Kent.

My grandfather (left back row) worked for MacDonald Syers for many 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 …

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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. …

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Second World War Bombing Raid South Hallsville School

One of the worst incidents to involve civilians during a Second World War bombing raid took place in South Hallsville School in Agate Street in Canning Town in 1940. For years, people believed that the highest number of civilian casualties in an air raid had happened in another area of the East End, when an …

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Billingsgate Market Brief History

Now located in the East End’s financial capital, Canary Wharf, Billingsgate is one of the capitals’ best known fresh produce markets and its oldest wholesale market. Held to be the leading inland fish market in the country, Billingsgate has a long history, dating back to the 1400s, if not further. Billingsgate’s Early History Historically, people …

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London’s East End and The Blitz

During the Second World War, the Germans started a range of strategic bombing missions across Britain. The worst of the bombing raids came to be known as the Blitz. This is an abbreviation of the German word “blitzkrieg”, or lightning strike. Starting in 1940, the Blitz devastated many major cities in the country – London …

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V1 and V2 Rocket Attacks in East London

In the early years of the Second World War, bombing raids tended to use traditional bombs and incendiary devices. These were used to great effect in sustained attacks during the Blitz, for example. However, later in the war, the Germans developed new technologies and created the V1 and V2 rockets or flying bombs. These were …

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The Thames Tunnel. Connecting East London

The Thames Tunnel, built between 1825 and 1843 was the first underwater tunnel in the world. It spans the Thames between Rotherhithe and Wapping in the East End of London and introduced the UK to the Brunel family. The Thames Tunnel – Connecting Wapping and Rotherhithe. The tunnel was conceived by Marc Isambard Brunel, father …

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