Probably waiting eleven months or so is not the best way to create a cohesive picture report. But when I got to London last year, I hit the ground running by going to a meetup billed as a walk around the East End. Since I got sick for several days afterward, any report on the walk got set aside. Now, having seen Mossie's excellent recent reports on other parts of this area, it occurs to me that perhaps he and Patrick will be kind enough to fill in any inevitable gaps caused by my ignorance and the passage of time. Anyway, gotta do something with the photos I accumulated!
The group met in Bishopsgate and meandered eastward from there. We'll start off with a view of a "mean streets" building now all spruced up ~
I assume this was already a venerable pub when it became part of the Nicholson's chain ~
You can use this to proceed from in front of The Magpie, turning left to move toward the next two pictures ~
Didn't this just make my little touristic heart go pitty-pat ~
If you wish, you can stand on this very spot on September 2017, through the miracle of street view ~
Moving on, help in orientation is needed here ~
We are now in Spitalfields. A little googling reveals that Frying Pan Alley takes its name from a shop sign, common with ironmongers and braziers, and also used for taverns.source
Now we're on ~
No surprise that Artillery Passage is quite near to ~
This area has a well-deserved reputation for twisty-turny narrow passages ~
Always interesting to see someone else's take on some of the smaller enclaves that you wouldn't know unless/until you stumbled on them. Some of my ancestors were born and grew up not far away from there, so would have known those little streets quite well, I imagine. That said, I don't actually know that much about the back ends between Liverpool St and Spitalfields.
Thank you, Mossie and Patrick! Please jump in to correct any inaccuracies I might wind up putting in this report. Patrick, I imagine the area has already changed even from when I was there last year. As you'll see, it's being commercially exploited and gentrified with a vengeance.
That's an intriguing comment, Kerouac -- I guess we shall see.
Continuing on, here's a bit more of Artillery Passage. Referring back to commercial exploitation, this map shows the Old Artillery Ground which was sold off to speculative builders in 1682. The date on the building probably refers to the Spitalfields Market grant of 1682.
This jewelry store's window reflects the building across the street ~
And here is that building, once the home of Providence Row, a night shelter for destitute men, women & children on Crispin Street ~
One of its entrances ~
I would say that this picture proves that, if not the poor, at least the less economically advantaged are always with us. But judging by what I'm seeing online, that group may have been squeezed completely out since I took this photo in May of 2017. Here is a picture taken from the same angle, advertising a one-bedroom flat for £425,000. And here is an article spelling out the history of that inflation.
This picture shows why the area is such prime real estate. The building on the left is marked "Tenter Ground". Click on that link for a wonderful interactive timeline map.
Another institution in the area is the former Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor: The ... Kitchen opened in Leman Street in 1854 and relocated to Butler Street (now Brune Street) in 1902. In the 1950s it was still regularly feeding 1500 clients. When the premises closed in 1992 to merge with Jewish Care in Beaumont Grove it still had some 100 elderly clients on its books.source
Note the soup tureen carved into the lintel ~
You can see that there are regular, non-high-rent businesses holding out, but also ample evidence that many had closed forever ~
Construction workers enjoying the sunshine on their lunch break ~
Bjd, it was showing as sold when I found the link. Still, that looks like a heck of an uptick in property values in less than a year. I can't agree with characterizing London as an architectural mish-mash. To me what is glorious about it is its phoenix nature and the way that the different kinds of architecture display the city's history. Kerouac's remark makes me want to see Brussels more than ever!
This gorgeous old factory is located at 40 Fashion Street: GCU London is a postgraduate campus of Glasgow Caledonian University specialising in Banking and Finance, Risk Management, International Fashion Marketing, Luxury Brand Marketing, Public Health and Construction Management. (Wikipedia)
Looking in the upper right window you can see some of that International Fashion and Luxury Brands ~
Further along, here is some evidence of the thriving street art in the area ~
It's making me crazy that I can't read the first part of this sign -- "Steam Dept."?
There are still some signs of small business life, but more and more of them are being shuttered ~
LaGatta, let's assume that those parlors don't use saws to do the work!
Mossie, the short answer is no, but if I found the right theater, the facade remains. Be sure to scroll down in this link to see the modern-day location.
Here we are at the entrance to Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel. The area is named for a medieval ‘white chapel’ which stood on the site until 1952. The park is named for a victim of a racially motivated murder and the contemporary wrought iron arch is in his honor. source
In the second picture below you can see the City of London College building across the street from the park. If you go here, you can use the miracle of Google street view to explore the area as it was in 2014.
The next stop was bittersweet in that it was its very last day of operation in that venerable location. Whitechapel Bell Foundry made the US Liberty Bell & that of Big Ben, among many other significant bells both religious & secular.
As we exit, I give a quick glance of admiration at the beautiful brickwork and graceful lines of these old manufacturing buildings ~
The very large London Muslim Centre occupies 82-92 Whitechapel Road. The East London Mosque, situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets between Whitechapel and Aldgate, serves Great Britain's largest Muslim community. (Wikipedia)
The last of the charity enterprises we saw that day. This one, named for the founder of the Salvation Army, is at 153 -175 Whitechapel Road. It is the largest Salvation Army center in the country and one of the largest working with homeless men in London.
Now, on to Whitechapel Market ~
I love the juxtaposition of signs in this picture ~
Exotic plastic ~
Kudzu! For sale! To be planted on purpose!
I think this is a fitting image to close out our visit to this very varied part of London. Thanks for joining me!
That is lovely. But I find masked women very sad. In many cultures, certainly around the Mediterranean, women have worn scarves or veils for ages, often as a sign of their respectable status, but those things that disappear them really bother me, and it is certainly not because I think "western culture" is necessarily emancipatory, with stiletto heels and other crap.
Post by patricklondon on Apr 11, 2018 10:55:17 GMT
Hah! I was just up at Whitechapel this morning, and suddenly remembered I had a batch of photos I took some years ago with a vague idea of doing something on Whitechapel and Ridley Road markets (it was not long after the re-opened East End Line had been extended up to Hackney and beyond and re-branded as the Overground - whoops, eight whole years ago). I must dig them out, as they made an interesting comparison, Whitechapel being markedly more influenced by south Asians, and Ridley Road more Afro-Caribbean on top of the old East End.
Thanks, LaGatta. The area fascinated me in the way its past and present history and the constant state of social flux is so evident even to the casual tourist.
Well go on then, Patrick! -- Go on go on go on go on. That would indeed make an interesting comparison and you take such great pictures. It wouldn't be only an interesting comparison, but a deeper look at this vibrant part of London.
Fabulous read and photographs! I really enjoyed all the links to related articles and maps. I have not had the opportunity to visit London yet, reports from the past month or so make we want to get there.
You are an alert and appreciative traveler, so I know you would love London. I was very pleased that I allowed myself so much time there last year, as there is an infinity of things to see. You would probably extract even more from the place than I did, since you are such a good planner.