Stepney Streets

The streets of Stepney were looking ghostly in the pale winter light as I walked from the drycleaner to the farm.

The new London Hospital looks a bit sinister, sheathed in aluminium:-

A blue plaque commemorates the birth place of Sir Jack Cohen:-

Signs of former grand schemes of municipal improvement, built to replace ten Mercers’ houses destroyed by bombing in January 1918:-

The old pub culture at every street corner:-

Latham House, the dream of postwar Stepney:-

The houses on Bromley Street, built between 1829 and 1843 by Daniel Goodey, a local bricklayer:-

The remains of the cartouche on the Stepney Jewish School, now in Ilford:-

An odd letterbox (maybe it was Bert Irvin’s who had a studio in the school):-

The row of houses including 35, Stepney Green was built by James Mayfield, a bricklayer from Ratcliff, some time round 1730.   35 itself was used as the Stepney Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption as the sign reveals above the front door:-


5 thoughts on “Stepney Streets

  1. Ivan Gaskell says:

    You are on the way to becoming a latter day Charles Booth. I’m sure you know his work as an observer of London’s streets and their inhabitants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Charles Booth, Life and Labour of the People, 2 vols. (London: Williams and Norgate, 1889-91); second edition, Life and Labour of the People in London, 9 vols. (London and New York: Macmillan, 1892-97); third edition, 17 vols. (London and New York: Macmillan, 1902-3). His archive is at the LSE, and much of it is available online:

    • I’ve just been reading the chapter on his work in Dan Cruickshank’s book about Spitalfields: very illuminating it is, being able to chart the character of a neighbourhood street by street. Happy Christmas ! Charles

  2. Joan says:

    I think you may have captured the very flat I grew up in in Latham House. We were on the second floor from the top with a view of St Dunstan’s. We moved in at Christmas 1963 when I was six months old and were rehoused to a lower rise block sixteen years later (by which time the block was a difficult place to live in). It wasn’t blue in those days. It probably should boast a plaque for the docker’s leader Jack Dash who lived on the floor above us. At this time of year I particularly remember Christmas Eve in the flats when we would return from midnight mass at St Mary’s and St Michael’s Church and be met by the milkman delivering the Christmas Day milk.

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