Between Chapman Street and Commercial Road
As Weller's 1868 map [left]
shows, north of the railway viaduct [red - the blue line is the
underground railway] between Cannon Street Road and Watney Street ran Lower and Upper Chapman Streets
[now Bigland Street and Chapman Street]. Miss Chapman, from the family whose local properties formed part of the Earl of Winterton's estates, was a benefactor of Christ Church Watney
Street. In between ran Chapel Street, which was presumably named for Andrew Reed's Independent/Congregational chapel on Cannon Street Road (which became Trinity Episcopal Chapel in 1831), though there had also been a small 'Free Chapel'
at 2 Lower Chapman Street.
a lovely - now fragile - Valentine (an early example of
commercially-produced cards), and its envelope, sent to Sarah Wiseman
at 5 Chapel Street in 1836; we're grateful to Carolyn Kelly for
permission to display this.
By the time of the 1868 map, Chapel Street was renamed Tait Street, after Bishop Tait, who, despite being distinctly unhelpful over the Ritualism Riots, had visited the area during cholera epidemics. The King and Queen
public house was at 51 Tait Street. Confusingly, after portions of
Walburgh Street, Tait Street and Tillman Street were closed in 1962 to
enable LCC residential development, part of Walburgh Street was renamed
Walburgh Street [the southern end of which was originally Pleasant Row - in all probability it wasn't!] ran
north-south under the viaduct from Cable Street to Lower Chapman
Street. W.C. Hood's St George's Dye and Colour Works was at no.20a (shown right on Goad's 1899 insurance map). The Chemical News of 23 November 1874 noted to
obtain a good writing ink, dissolve Geigy's soluble aniline black in
water. This colour is manufactured by John R. Geigy, Basle,
Switzerland, and is much used for that purpose; it can be obtained in
this country from W.C. Hood, Walburgh Street. The Printing Times of 1880 reported that one of Hood's specialities was a liquid printing ink which is said to be very useful and economical, drying well. The following year the journal announced
that he had produced a number of new dyes and inks of various colours
for home consumption and export, which he had named 'Cycloids'. The
colours included methyl green, eosine, safranine [both red], magenta,
violet, blue, black, grey, brown, orange and yellow.
Seaward Brothers was a long-established
firm of wharfingers / carmen / general carriers. In 1835 a
partnership between William Seaward and Ann Huckle, carmen, was
dissolved. His sons Richard and Samuel, born in the 1820s, developed
the business; by the 1880s they and their families were living in
Croydon, Richard described as a wharfinger & wool-broker, and
Samuel as a head carrier & wharfinger. In the 1890s they were the
sole forwarding agents for the Aberdeen Steam Navigation and London
and Edinburgh Shipping Companies, with Upper and Lower Wharves in
Wapping, offices at Eastcheap and Queen Victoria Street in the City
and premises at Great Hermitage Street, Wapping, as well as a carters' yard in Walburgh
Street, occupying part of the site of the former chapel burial ground (as did with Hasted & Sons' cooperage, the rest becoming part of Raine's School playground) - all shown on the map above.
James O. Freedman in Finding the Words
(Princeton 2007) tells how his father was born in 1898 in Walburgh
Street, when his parents were en route from Lodz to the USA; he was
fostered by a Christian family when his mother died suddenly and his
devastated father went off to South Africa. They refused to give him up
when his father made it to the USA, so a kidnap was arranged - the boy
travelled to Philadelphia, aged seven, in the company of a Mrs Wolf.
1905 the British Esperanto Association was formed, and Philip Kalisky
of Walburgh Street was Vice-President of the East London Esperanto
Guild, and taught a weekly class at St George's Street School on The Highway [left is Walter Crane's plate for the national journal, and some early enthusiasts]. Right
are pictures from the 1920s looking south and north along Walburgh
Street, and a peace party after it was blitzed in the Second World
War, showing the damage done by the 1,00-pound bomb that fell on the night of 18/19 September 1940. Edith Wyeth's childhood home was at number 33.
The writer Jean Fullerton [left as a child growing up locally], a nurse married to Kevin Woolmer, a priest in Chelmsford diocese, based parts of her novel No Cure for Love (2006) in the area, and also chapter 11 of A Glimpse of Happiness (Orion 2009), which describes a party after a nuptial mass at St Mary & St Michael,
in the early 19th century, the couple having first married at St George-in-the-East as the law at the time
Right is the street from Commercial Road in 1963.
The streets running south off Commercial Road, between Cannon Street Road and Watney Street, were (from west to east), Rampart [formerly Little Turner], Richard, Jane, Anthony, Fenton, Buross, Hungerford, Planet [for a time Star] and Devonshire Streets.
Richard Street's short remnant now forms the entrance to Mulberry School for Girls [left].
Jane Street ran from Lower Chapman Street to Commercial Road; right
are two images from the 1950s and a Coronation party in 1953. (Again, now it is only a few yards long, with no houses). In 1958 much of the street was subject
to a compulsory purchase order under
Part III of the 1957 Housing Act (to which there were objections - a few of the houses had been well-maintained). Here are Rachelle Marks' memories of growing up in the street until the family was rehoused in 1951.
from Commercial Road [where a few yards survive - this section was
previously Catherine Street, with Catherine Court on Jane Street]
through to Cable
Street. In 1885, the single death attributed to typhus was at
Anthony Street (General Register Office). Here is the list of
traders in the street from the 1921 London Street Directory:
 In 1934 he was landlord of the Prince of Wales in Chrisp Street, Poplar. In 1936 George Henry Jefcoate of Clapton left £23,813 to William and Frederick Jefcoate, beerhouse keepers, and in 1946 George Jefcoate of the Golden Lion, Soho, left £12,560 to Frederick and George Jefcoate, publicans.
2 Marks Goldberg, painter
24 Emmanuel Segal, chandlers shop [i.e. a general store]
84 [previously 13] Ship, Jacob Rosefeld
23 Lewis Guyster, butter dealer
47 Woolf Sack, chandlers shop
49 Alex Greespun, baker
53 Albert Lawrence, insurance agent
95 [Railway Arms] Frederick Jefcoate, beer retailer 
As a teenager in the post-war years, the actor and playwright Steven Berkoff [left]
lived for a time in Anthony Street. His father Abraham (Al) had run a
tailor's shop in Leman Street, cutting lavish zoot suits for West
Indian settlers, and supplying some of the Jewish East End boxers. The
family's move to the USA was unsuccessful, so they returned to two
rooms and an outside WC, with chickens in the yard, in Anthony Street. Here
are some of his
memories of his childhood: the Troxy cinema in Poplar on Saturday
mornings, the Palaseum on Sunday afternoon, swimming at Victoria Park
lido in the summer and at Betts Street baths in the winter. He was a
of the late Harold Pinter at Raine's School, then in
Fenton Street housed Stertzover synagogue. Right are the remains of the street, from Commercial Road, in 1963.
Buross Street: in 1837 Henry Stephens, gentleman, of Marylebone and Ebenezer Nash of Buross Street, tallow chandler, were granted a patent for Certain
Improvements in Manufacturing Colouring, and rendering certain Colour
or Colours [more] applicable to Dyeing, Staining, and Writing -
the word 'more' was added a few months later on advice, suggesting a
difficulty of some kind. Stephens was presumably the inventor's patron.
The Refiner's Arms, originally
numbered 23, then for a time 25 Cannon Street Road, and then 52 or 53
Buross Street, was extant before 1838 and finally closed around 1989
(but continued as a social club). Its 1870 landlord Edwin Barker was
one of a number of publicans to go bankrupt. In the latter part of the
19th century it was the venue for St George's Musical Union's Friday
evening entertainments. As Professor Bill Fishman, chronicler of life in East London, pointed out in East End 1888, this was part of the positive side to pub culture, alongside the negative image portrayed by many clergy and others: They
sold wholesome food and according to the degree of respectability of
the house, hired out backrooms for musical concerts and dances, where
pianos plus a tuner and even an orchestra could be supplied. The Christian socialist priest Stewart Headlam held a similar view, noted here.
In 1892 the pub was also the venue for the formation of a local branch
of the Costermongers' Union (they had had a friendly society since
1850). The flashpoint for this was a prosecution, by Holborn Board of
Works, under the 1817 Metropolitan Paving Act (commonly known as Michael Angelo Taylor's
Act), of a costermonger called Summers for setting up his stall in
Farringdon Street, and the belief that the further similar prosecutions
against street traders were imminent. Its membership was one-third
Jewish. In the coming years, together with cabmen, the union was active
- particularly in the Bethnal Green area - in opposing restrictions on
licensing, traffic (1902) and Sunday trading (1905). The chair at the
formation meeting had been taken by Harry (Hananel) Marks
whose election to Parliament in 1895 for St George-in-the-East - as a
Conservative, narrowly defeating the Liberal John Williams Benn - was
challenged on various grounds, including his support for the
costermongers; the findings (reported in 5 O'M & H 89) were:
A scrutinised recount increased Marks' majority from 4 to 11.
president of a philanthropic society to help the poor of the
constituency which distributed tickets for free coal, but distribution
was not political and it was not corrupt. Marks' subscription of 5 guineas
to help costermongers fight a ban on placing stalls was legitimate.
Free drinks at a smoking concert were paid by the Irish Unionist
Alliance and not by Marks. A campaign statement that Benn had a
skeleton in his cupboard was not made by an agent of Marks. A
recriminatory case failed when it accused Benn of false statements of
fact failed because the leaflet in question was published before the
Act came into force; the case did establish that Benn's payment for
linen banners was illegal.
There was a synagogue in the street.
Hungerford Street, like the above streets, was closed off in 1964. In 1889, as part of a series of local strikes, there was a rent strike,
and a banner appeared across the street with the words As we are on strike landlords need not call, plus the rhyme
Our husbands are on strike; for the wives it is not honey / And we all think it not right to pay the landlord money.
See further Gerry Mooney Class Struggle & Social Welfare (Routledge 2000).
Everyone is on strike; so landlords do not be offended. / The rent that's due we'll pay when the strike is ended.
Lower Chapman Street [now Bigland Street]: at the eastern end of the street a Board School [left, today] was built in 1873; see here for more details, including its spot-listing. After closure, for a time it became an outpost of the University of Greenwich's
School of Earth Sciences, as 'Walburgh House', before becoming Darrul Ummah, an
Islamic centre. On the
corner of Walburgh Street, at no.18, was the Australian Arms pub, built some time before 1851 and in its later years a Courage's house; it was burnt out in 1989 and subsequently demolished - now rebuilt as a supermarket, with flats over [right, at each stage]. The Chapman Arms was at 25 Lower Chapman Street, from the 1850s to the 1920s or later, and the Victoria Arms at 77. John Keil, who lived in the street, is named on the war memorial
in St George's Gardens. Gosling Gardens [far right - named for Harry Gosling] is a small park off Bigland Street.
In 1934 two 4-storey blocks of 'philanthropic housing' were built in the area (incorporated rather awkwardly, says Pevsner in London vol.5 (Penguin 2005)) by the Chapman Development Trust: Chapman House on Bigland Street [left], next to the Congregational Church's Coverdale & Ebenezer building, and in a more 'progressive' style, designed by Joseph Emberton, Turnour House [right], with 15 flats, on Walburgh Street - named after the Winterton family, who were significant local landowners (see here for a picture of a visit of Lady Winterton to Tillman Street). Also named for them is Winterton House,
a tower block on Deancross Street (now outside the parish), built in
1968 with a concrete service core, light steel external columns and
precast lightweight concrete floors and external GRP cladding - one of
only four towers built to this system and later virtually rebuilt (the
other three have been demolished). It was one of a pair with Gelston
Point, off Watney Street. Luke House on TIllman Street is a 22-storey block of 1965 [far right].
Left is Chapman Place in 1956, before the area was substantially redeveloped. It now includes Bigland Green Primary School,
which hit the headlines in 2010 when a dismissed teacher made
allegations that it was aggessively Islamic and hostile to Judaism and
Christianity: a difficult time for the school! We welcome classes who visit the church for curriculum activities. Pace Place remains, but there is now nothing left of Mary Street and Ann Street which ran between Upper and Lower Chapman Streets (and Little Ann Street the other side of Lower Chapman Street), nor of Duke Street at their eastern end, nor of the various local courts and alleys, including Albion Place and Friendly Place (north and south respectively off Chapel/Tait Street) and Victoria Place.
East of Watney Street
in what now forms part of the parish of St Mary Cable Street (so not documented on this site), from north to south are Blakesley Street [formerly Upper (western part) and Lower (eastern part) John Street], Tarling Street, Sheridan Street [later, and confusingly, John Street], Spencer Street, Martha Street and the continuation of Cornwall Street, all bisected by Cross Street (with Cross Court and Sun Court), and ending at Sutton Street (with Philip Street between Cross and Sutton Streets).
South of the viaduct
is Cornwall Street [formerly
Upper (western part) and Lower (eastern part) Cornwall Street], with
three blocks of flats - Newton House, Richard Neale House, and Maddox
House [right]. At the junction with Cannon Street Road, against the viaduct, is a small informal memorial garden, pictured here.
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