Arnold Circus

As the sun was shining, I went to investigate what was happening in Arnold Circus, the beautiful centrepiece of the Boundary Estate, where there was a low-key, local demonstration about the fact that the Council has sent contractors in to rip up the pavements in order to introduce a new scheme of pedestrianisation. Dan Cruickshank was there, talking knowledgeably, as ever, about the history of paving stones, how wooden setts were used in the west end to reduce the noise of the coach traffic, cobbles in Calvert Avenue, and the quality of the York stone paving stones and granite kerbs laid out by the LCC and which are at risk of being lost:-

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3 thoughts on “Arnold Circus

  1. My mother lived there from 1916 until 1944 and used to tell us stories about it when we were children. Since then I’ve learned about its remarkable history – the Arts and Crafts idealism of the LCC’s architects, the fact that there were so many Jews attending Rochelle Street School that it closed for Jewish holidays, the unlikely alliance between squatters and a Tory GLC in the seventies that brought a Bangladeshi community there, and the restoration of its shops and the arts centre in the old school building. I’m sorry to read that Tower Hamlets Council is so insensitive to its history and it’s fabric and I wish I’d been able to join the campaign to preserve it.

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