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            "title": "Former Royal Oak public house (with Wilcox’s New Music Hall and the Vine Court Synagogue)",
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                    "b_name": "Former Royal Oak public house",
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            "body": "<p>A public house on the east side of Vine Court’s entrance may have been the Morocco Slaves in the early eighteenth century. It became the Royal Oak, possibly in the 1750s when an establishment of that name might have been obliged to abandon a more easterly location near Whitechapel Mount for the formation of New Road. The Royal Oak was run by the Cragg family in the first half of the nineteenth century, James Cragg, William Cragg and then from the 1830s Richard Riley Cragg, who sought a music licence in 1849.[^1]</p>\n\n<p>Zebedee Wilcox, a ginger-beer maker with a shop on the site of 124 Whitechapel Road, took the licence in 1868 and converted an upstairs room to use as a music hall. This was a success so he took what had been a skittle ground and a yard to the rear beside Vine Court and in 1869–71 designed and built under his own supervision what he called Wilcox’s New Music Hall, a room about 31ft wide by 55ft deep with space for up to 700 people. There was a platform stage at the far or south end with balconies on the other three sides under an enriched plaster ceiling and a hipped roof. This originally bore a large lantern ventilator, removed in 1943. Opened in December 1871, this claimed to be ‘the most comfortable and the finest sounding hall in London’.[^2] The ‘lofty, handsome building’ had a grand chandelier and decorations by Francis Johnson, a local (Charlotte Street) paperhanger. Buvelot Rattigan officiated, and the Manager was Pat Corri. The place was a success, but Wilcox, perhaps in poor health (he died in December 1873), soon sold up. In July 1872 the music hall closed, ostensibly to permit the building of a ‘handsome frontage’ and completion of the decoration of the hall’s interior.[^3] If not already at that point, by November the proprietor was George Robinson, who since 1868 had been running Wilton’s Music Hall, latterly in competition with Wilcox. Robinson pulled down the old pub and had it ostentatiously rebuilt in 1873. An intended conversion of the music hall to tavern use was abandoned.</p>\n\n<p>The Royal Oak is no longer in use as a pub, but it stands as a fine example of blowsy Victorian pub architecture, and was listed in 1973. Was Robinson, like Wilcox, his own architect? The wide five-bay three-storey front is of red brick, but so lavishly embellished with stucco architraves and pilasters that this is easily overlooked. There are lacy upper-storey iron balconettes on elaborate corbels, and a half-round attic window beneath a pediment is flanked by caryatids carrying hopper heads. The west bay stands over a full-width carriage entrance to Vine Court with brick jack-arching. Two slender ornamental cast-iron colonnettes survive in ground-floor interiors.</p>\n\n<p>Though Robinson's motive in closing Wilcox’s might have been to protect Wilton’s, he left Grace's Alley in April 1873 to base himself at the Royal Oak. But he sold up in 1874 with a defensive advertisement, his ‘colossal building’ having been received with scepticism. Numerous short-lived proprietors followed. Music-hall use appears not to have returned. Up to 1887 the hall was used by the Netherlands Choral Society, a club for Jews of Dutch origin. What were called ‘music rooms’ were deemed unfit to be licensed for that purpose in 1888. Nevertheless, Samuel David Isaacs, proprietor of the pub, carried out alterations in 1890 to adapt what was still called a music hall for Yiddish theatre. Led by Eliyohu Zalman Yarikhovski, who had translated Verdi’s 'La Traviata' into Yiddish, the Oriental Working Men’s Club staged shows here until January 1892 when, unlicenced, it was shut down and Yarikhovski, his brother Benjamin, and others were prosecuted.[^4]</p>\n\n<p>There followed another conversion of the music hall, this time for synagogue use. The <em>Kovno Chevra</em>, founded in 1874 by Lithuanian immigrants, were looking for new premises since the room above stables in Middlesex Street that they were using had been condemned. They found new accommodation here in what became Vine Court Synagogue through an agreement of June 1892 with the brewers Hoare &amp; Co. that excluded use of the cellars. Its committee of management, and the lessees when the synagogue opened in September 1892, were: Benjamin Ritter, a picture-frame maker of 17 Balls Pond Road, Dalston; Wolf Goldstein, a chandler of 12 Chicksand Street; Mark Sallant, a cigarette maker of 70 Brunswick Buildings, Goulston Street; Morris Harris, a tailor of 9 Spelman Street; and Lewis Lewis, a general dealer of 37 Fashion Street. Lewis Solomon, the Federation of Synagogue’s architect, had overseen minor alterations to the already suitably galleried room by June 1894, the works paid for through a mortgage to the Federation. An entrance at the north end of the west elevation gave direct access to the gallery. The Ark was on the south wall under a pair of round-headed windows. Solomon also saw to repairs after a ceiling collapse in 1909 that obliged re-consecration. By Whitechapel’s standards this was a large synagogue and its congregation grew through amalgamations, for example with the apparently Zionist-leaning Jerusalem Hevrah; Whitechapel Road Synagogue merged in 1932, bringing around 200 members to a congregation that regularly comprised around 400 people, further enlarged by transfers from Greenfield Road Synagogue in 1946. Another reopening took place in 1947, after repair and improvements following bomb damage. Thriving into the 1960s, but no longer ‘thronged week by week’, Vine Court Synagogue closed in 1965.[^5]</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2018/04/23/vinectsynagogue.JPG\"><em>The former Wilcox's New Music Hall and Vine Court Synagogue from the south-west in 2003</em></p>\n\n<p>The Royal Oak became Roosters around 1980, then closed in the 1990s. There are now flats above a restaurant (the Alhambra) and a shop (Salma Designer Abaya House) which also occupies the lower part of the former music-hall–synagogue as 17 Vine Court. Light-industrial (rag-trade) use had been introduced there by the 1970s. Around 2005 the hall was all but wholly rebuilt as a taller three-storey and attic block for twelve flats; one earlier round-headed window survives at the north end of the Vine Court elevation.[^6]</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), Land Tax returns; Tower Hamlets Ccommissioners of Sewers ratebooks; MR/LV/06/049; MR/LV/07/049; MR/L/MD/0315</p>\n\n<p>[^2]: <em>East London Observer</em>, 27 Jan 1872, p. 4: <em>The Era</em>, 11 April 1869, p. 7; 7 Jan. 1872, p. 13</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: <em>London and Provincial Entr’acte</em>, 6 July 1872, p. 3: <em>The Era</em>, 16 June 1872, p. 7: Post Office Directories (POD)</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: LMA, MR/L/MD/1781; ACC/2893/192; ACC/2893/333/001; District Surveyors Returns (DSR): Metropolitan Board of Works Minutess, 29 Nov 1872, p. 634 and 31 Jan 1873, p. 148: <em>The Era</em>, 7 June 1874, p. 2; 16 Jan 1892, p.8; 26 March 1892, p.16: <em>The Builder</em>, 29 March 1890, p. 239: POD: <a href=\"https://www.wiltons.org.uk/heritage/history\">https://www.wiltons.org.uk/heritage/history</a>: <em>Jewish Chronicle</em>, 9 Sept. 1892, p. 6: David Mazower, ‘Whitechapel’s Yiddish Opera House: The Rise and Fall of the Feinman Yiddish People’s Theatre’, in (eds) Colin Holmes and Anne J. Kershen, <em>An East End Legacy: Essays in Memory of William J. Fishman</em>, 2017, pp.159–60</p>\n\n<p>[^5]: <em>Jewish Chronicle</em>, 9 Sept. 1892, p. 6; 11 June 1965, p. 6: LMA, DSR; ACC/2893/190–4; ACC/2893/333/001–4: Gina Glasman, <em>East End Synagogues</em>, 1987, p. 18: Sharman Kadish, <em>The Synagogues of Britain and Ireland</em>, 2011, p. 135: Tower Hamlets planning applications online</p>\n\n<p>[^6]: POD: Tower Hamlets planning applications online </p>\n",
            "created": "2018-04-23",
            "last_edited": "2018-08-15"
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        {
            "id": 632,
            "title": "Redeveloping the public lavatories on Whitechapel Road",
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            "body": "<p>Harun Quadi settled in the East End in the early 1980, having originated in Comilla, Bangladesh. He describes how he acquired and developed the former below-ground public lavatories at 199A Whitechapel Road, and his plans for their redevelopment.</p>\n\n<p>\"I came in this country in 1973 [from Chittagong], I was a junior engineer for United Steamship Company, and that company sent me for further education in South Shields and in London.</p>\n\n<p>My home country is Comilla but I studied at Chittagong. I studied at Marine Academy in Chittagong, from there I finished my basic marine training then I was employed by Cunard Steamship Company in London.</p>\n\n<p>I finished my training as marine engineer. Two years training in Marine Academy Chittagong, and after the training then I had the apprenticeship for two years in a workshop, marine workshop. Then I was employed as a junior engineer in Cunard Steamship Company, London. Then Cunard Steamship Company, I worked four years with that company they sent me for a higher education as a marine engineer. I did my Marine engineer class one-two-three-four and chief engineer, in South Shields and in London. 1978 to '84 I completed my education.</p>\n\n<p>I lived in North London first, I was there for two years and after that I bought a house in auction in 23 Casson Street, London, E1 [in 1982]. That was a derelict house, I bought that house because I thought I'm an engineer, I could repair the house and make it for my own living and business.</p>\n\n<p>I bought it for £55,400 and it is a five storied building, it was derelict and about ten rooms was there, only one toilet at that time. It was cold and it was just only birds living there. As an engineer I got confidence and I employed one or two builders and I worked with them as well, I made that whole house habitable. That was my first venture, that was ten rooms and five floors. I lived in one of the floors and rented out all the four flats, four rooms for flats. They're not self-contained flats but it was like flats.</p>\n\n<p>I've owned [Bengal Cuisine] for the last 25 years, and then I bought two [derelict] properties in 1993 [one on Whitechapel Road and one on Commercial Street] which were [both former public] toilets.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Finding a business opportunity </strong></p>\n\n<p>In 1993, I was looking for some kind of development project and I thought that I could develop better than anybody else because of my engineering experience. Then I saw these two toilets were misused, they are full of rubbish, they are misused and say, it was in the market but nobody thought the idea of what it can be.</p>\n\n<p>Most of the people thought it could be storage, it could be toilet again but I got the information from the council, at the same time I studied it, I thought it could be business premises.</p>\n\n<p>[I didn’t know] what business but I [realised that] these two premises are in a very important location, I could [develop] them into some businesses then definitely the price will be improved, the property will be improved.</p>\n\n<p>199A [Whitechapel Road] at that time, it was only a toilet, there was no address on it. We applied for the address, we got the address which is 199A Whitechapel Road.</p>\n\n<p>I bought it for £15,500. There was many other people thinking of buying it, but the point is that they thought only to make it as a storage and they would not go more than more than the tag price but I thought that if the price went up enough, I would have gone more.</p>\n\n<p>Above-ground there was only railings there, [and] two entrances, one in each end.[It] was not being used at the time. Probably, at 1993 it [had been] unused for ten years probably, and it was a congregation place for drunk and addicts there. The whole place was full of rubbish, like cans and garbages, market garbages, and drunk population used to be there.</p>\n\n<p>People were very frightened of going there to do something. Even after I got the planning permission, I started doing cleaning it, cleaning it up and they were getting together the drunk people there, saying that, \"You cannot do anything here, this is our place and we are claiming it and we'll stay here and we'll not go anywhere\", but I just took things easily and slow and steady. I convince them that they have to move.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Developing the site</strong></p>\n\n<p>I cleared it up and after that I applied for the planning permission. The planning permission to [convert it to] a business premises [not to build] was not easy. [Then], we got into [an] idea that we could make one story building on the ground floor. I applied for TFL permission, then we got a planning permission also. It could be 1997-8. Until that time, it was empty.</p>\n\n<p>[The architects were] Clements &amp; Porter [who were], at that time, very young, enthusiastic architects in this area. They were looking for a job and they said that, \"This is wonderful project, I'll take it.\" I felt good that they're taking the venture with me.</p>\n\n<p>[A] One-story building was a challenge. We [had] to convince the local authorities, the councilors, the people. There was investigation [as to] whether it is feasible because it is middle of the pavement. It is not in easy place, middle of the pavement very unusual planning permission also.</p>\n\n<p>[The planners were] difficult to persuade. First, our next-door neighbour was saying, \"That is right in front of my shop then it is going to shade me\". Then I got all the information what is the regulation of the shading. We found out that we're 20 feet away, minimum 20 feet away from the other building. We have taken all the light readings also. Those readings, even I may call it tall building, it doesn't shade according to the planning regulation. At the same time to be more sympathetic towards our neighbour we made it glazing so that one side to another side it is transparent also. That problem we overcome by rules.</p>\n\n<p>We [gained] planning permission A3 for restaurant. Basement it was toilet, and that from the toilet we have clear it up, and then basement was part of the restaurant kitchen, and the ventilation part, down with the kitchen is elementary, so fan was there. [In] the basement, this little part my wife made it with a little [beauty] parlour there.</p>\n\n<p>Building was not very difficult. We had an Indian Sikh builder and our architect was Clements &amp; Porter. She was good in supervision the building also reasonably good. It was blocks. Most of them are breeze blocks. I think breeze blocks looks very temporary. We cladded with tiles, black and white tiles. We put black and white tiles which was resembling to the next building to the building. I found out later that black and white tile was not a good idea, because black and white tile still [makes it look like a] toilet [while] we are going to make a restaurant, so people probably might mistake with the toilet.</p>\n\n<p>I think I completed the building work over 1998. Because restaurant business was reasonably good, but again, as a restaurant, we put a service restaurant. Service restaurant was not very good there, that was a market store, all around, so other peoples are there. That was not very suitable for a service and more expensive restaurant. It could've been very cheap and fast food restaurant could've done a lot of better.</p>\n\n<p>[The construction] cost about £200,000. We got a grant of £60,000. That's really boosted, helped to build the building.</p>\n\n<p><strong>The accident</strong></p>\n\n<p>[In] about 2002 or 3 [the restaurant] met an accident. At night some coach banged on it. The building was just partially damaged but council came down they said, \"No, it is not safe so we will take take it down\". I was not in the country, I was abroad and in the meantime this accident happened.</p>\n\n<p>It was a shock. I saw the pictures that were sent to me. I hurried to flied back to London. What to say? I couldn't do much. The council put barriers all around and after the council slowly cleared all the ground and barriers still remained, but then that barrier remained about four-five years. People started [chuckles] throwing rubbish inside the barrier because of the market. We had a hard time to clear all this rubbish almost every day.</p>\n\n<p><strong>New design ideas</strong></p>\n\n<p>Then my wife went to architect MacCormac. She got the planning permission, old planning permission back. They were reputed architect also. They made a very good restaurant design again there in 2004 or 5. After it was cleared. They got planning permission easily this time just because it was a restaurant before. Very similar type of building, but better design.</p>\n\n<p>Now, I forgot to say I [thought that I] could do something better. I don't want to just keep on running a restaurant. It's a beautiful site, good site. It could be beautiful for any other things. I want to make, basically, a good building. That building, it could be restaurant, it could be any other businesses, if some more enthusiastic or some more energetic company comes, a resourceful company comes, they can use it in a very much better way than me.</p>\n\n<p>I hired an architect, Neil Bell from Sweden. He designed us 14 storied building there. He said that we can make a Japanese board hotel. 50 rooms, Japanese Board Hotel. I was very excited about it. Then I discussed with various planners. I went to the planning office with my architect also. They said they didn't know, 14-storied building it could be very difficult. He was saying that, \"Look, it is the gateway to the city\", and the Council Office says they thought that, \"Gateway? No, it's not the gateway\".</p>\n\n<p>Then when we saw that we cannot do a 14-storied building, it was only imagination. Looked very, very well. I gathered some sponsors also to build it up. Whatever the money cost, we could have raised it. Then Neil Bell was saying that why not do something smaller than the building next door building. [There are] some five six-storied buildings, we [wanted to go] as high as them.</p>\n\n<p>We are now trying to make around one, one and a half, two-storied building, so that [the] planners like it.”</p>\n\n<p>Harun Quadi was interviewed by Shahed Saleem on the 17th January 2018 at No.12 Brick Lane</p>\n",
            "created": "2018-04-30",
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            "id": 95,
            "title": "The Ladies Swimming Bath and Recreation Hall, c.1893 to 1938",
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            "body": "<p> </p>\n\n<p>For several years women and schoolgirls were only given access to the swimming baths on Wednesdays, so that they might ‘acquire the art of swimming’. However the increasing demand for a ladies swimming bath prompted a new scheme to be commissioned. Architect Bruce J. Capell of 70 Whitechapel Road was appointed to this end in 1893 and £13, 000 was borrowed to fund the building work. Robert Booth acted as engineer and William Goodman was the building contractor. [^11]</p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p>The ladies swimming bath was officially opened in spring 1897 although a plaque claimed July 1st 1896. Neither date represented a full opening however, for work was completed only in January 1902. A new floor to cover the first-class swimming baths was finished in 1904 allowing for the Baths to be granted an entertainment license for music and dancing. In 1910 a cinematography box was inserted at the gallery level of the second-class baths allowing for projections into the first-class swimming baths. The floored over hall could seat 1,000 people according to a schedule of 1921. [^12] Up until the outbreak of the Second World War, this hall was well used by different community groups and businesses, accommodating plays, concerts, film nights, bazaars, lads brigades, boxing, political rallies and the Jewish Sabbath meetings of the Zionist Society. [^13]</p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p>Capell’s design further extended the Goulston Street entrance frontage, this time to run almost in line with the new swimming baths before receding back on a sharp diagonal to meet the existing party wall to the south. The ladies swimming bath was created within the area formerly occupied by the men’s second-class slipper baths and was lit by two large skylights. The female first- and second-class slipper baths remained largely in place on the ground floor. The men’s slipper baths were instead moved to a new first-floor area situated above the new entrance. The additional floor also allowed for more generous living quarters for the superintendent, whose sitting room was endowed with a projecting bay window in red brick. The first-class baths and the new ladies’ baths were lined with polished marble; the floors and dressing compartments in an artificial ‘Victoria’ stone. [^14]</p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p>One local speaking of his experiences in the 1920s noted that, ‘the baths were like a community centre for Jews, especially elderly Jews’ in their preparation for the Sabbath. Local schoolchildren, Jewish and non-Jewish, were also long-standing beneficiaries of the Baths, often receiving free use of the pools, entering on markedly reduced ticket rates as well as enjoying frequent swimming galas. The swimming baths were also used by the city’s plentiful swimming clubs for adults. In September 1890 for example the first-class pool hosted the galas of the Jewish Working Men’s, City Police, Falcon Club and African Swimming Clubs. [^15]</p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p>A drawing of 1938 by the Borough Engineer and Surveyor shows the washing places within the wash house removed, replaced by additional women’s slipper baths after resisting any material alteration for almost a century. Next to these, a new ‘establishment laundry’ is depicted, purposed to wash and dry the hired towels and drawers. All entrances to Old Castle Street are closed off. Evidence of the implementation for this plan is lacking; it was probably interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. However the existence of such a proposal indicates the declining usefulness of the old ‘wash house’.</p>\n\n<p>[^11]: THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/1, p.154-5, p.373; LCC Mins, 27 June 1893, p.669; 26 Jan 1897; 12 Oct 1897, p.1121; 9 Nov 1897, p.1185</p>\n\n<p>[^12]: THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/2, p.134; LMA, GLC/AR/BR/07/0377, 28 Jan 1902; 25 Nov 1904; 1 Dec 1910; 4 Jan 1911; 26 May 1911; 16 May 1911; 19 Dec 1911; Schedule of 1921; THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/2, p.229</p>\n\n<p>[^13]: For example, see applications: THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/2, p.183, p.233, p.235; LMA, GLC/AR/BR/07/0377, 15 July 1940; THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/2, p.242</p>\n\n<p>[^14]: THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/1, p.353</p>\n\n<p>[^15]: <em>Jewish Chronicle</em>, 3 Aug 1990; LMA, GLC/AR/BR/07/0377, 12 April 1938; THLHLA, L/SMW/D1/1, p.116</p>\n",
            "created": "2016-07-27",
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            "title": "The Establishment of the Mosque",
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                "properties": {
                    "b_number": "",
                    "b_name": "East London Mosque",
                    "street": "Whitechapel Road",
                    "address": "46 Whitechapel Road",
                    "feature_type": "WHITECHAPEL_BUILDING",
                    "count": 13
                }
            },
            "body": "<p>In 1905 a number of prominent Indian Muslims in London ‘conducted the ‘Eid prayers in Hyde Park, near Marble Arch, in spite of sleet and snowfall’.[^1] The lack of a place for indoor Muslim worship in the Imperial capital led Syed Ameer Ali, an Islamic scholar and the first Indian Privy Councillor, to convene a meeting at the Ritz Hotel in 1910 that led to the founding of the London Mosque Fund, established to carry forward the building in London of a mosque for Muslims of all nationalities and schools of thought. Early supporters included the Aga Khan, as well as some prominent non-Muslims, notably Lord Lamington, T. W. Arnold, Lord Ampthill, Sir Ernest Houston, Sir John Woodhead, Earl Winterton and Dr A. J. Arberry. Initially Friday prayers were held in rented rooms in the West End. However, from 1935 London’s East End was preferred as a place for this worship, and for the intended mosque. The area’s docks meant that many sailors, mainly ‘lascars’ from Bangladesh, had settled there, beginning in the 17th century, but in significant numbers only from the mid 19th century, giving the locality a Muslim population of 500 to 1,000 in the 1930s, much the largest concentration of any part of London. It was perhaps also relevant to the Fund’s shift that in 1928 the London Nizamiah Trust had been separately established to provide a mosque in central London.</p>\n\n<p>The King’s Hall in Commercial Road, E1, was rented until 1940 when sufficient money (about £3,000) had accrued to permit the purchase of three early-19th-century terrace houses at Nos 446-450 Commercial Road. Following a programme led by Lt. Col. Sir Hassan Suhrawardy, Chairman of the London Mosque Fund Executive Committee, the converted houses opened as the East London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre on 1 August 1941, the first prayer being led by the then Ambassador for Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hafiz Wahaba.  The capacity of this, London’s first mosque, was said to have been about 400, spaces other than the prayer hall being devoted to use as a hostel for Muslim sailors.</p>\n\n<p>This was always seen as an interim measure, but the wherewithal for further development was lacking. In 1975 the Greater London Council, in a compulsory purchase order for a housing development, acquired and demolished the Commercial Road property. The mosque was re-housed in temporary pre-fabricated premises at No. 43 Fieldgate Street, at the back of its present site. First plans, by Michael Jonas, architect, were drawn up in 1978, and publicised with an estimate of £1 million. These were reconsidered and it was a second scheme by an Egyptian architect that gained planning permission in 1981. Funds were raised and the foundation stone was laid on 23 September 1982.  However, the mosque committee again scrapped the plans. New designs by John Gill Associates, architects, gained planning approval in April 1983 and building work continued through 1984.</p>\n\n<p>The East London Mosque was completed at a cost of about £2 million, the largest single contribution of £1.1 million having come from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia. The mosque was officially opened on 12 July 1985 by Muhammad Sulaiman Jetha, Chairman of the Council of Management, with Sheikh Abdullah bin Subail, Imam of Masjidul Haram, Makkah, saying the first prayer. Some council members had resisted the provision of such a large building, the capacity for which was initially stated to be 2000, but the decision to go ahead proved foresightful if not overcautious, given that already at the opening it was recognised that the building would be ‘inadequate to house the ever increasing flow of visitors’.[^2] The capacity was quickly uprated (without extension) to 3000, but  even this is insufficient to meet demand. Regular attendance is said to be in the region of 2000 each day across five prayer sessions. The mosque was seen at the time of the visit on which this report is based to be serving overflow capacity at the mid-day Ramadan prayer, and it is reportedly regularly inadequate for Friday prayer attendance. Festival prayers have to be conducted in shifts.</p>\n\n<p>The role of the mosque has extended from its core purpose as a prayer hall, with ancillary, though essential and fundamental, community support functions increasing. The mosque principally serves the Whitechapel locality, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets having a large Muslim population, predominantly of Bangladeshi origins (54,554 of a total population of 190,514 in Tower Hamlets in 1999 were defined by ethnic group as Bangladeshi and 71,839 of a total population of 196,101 in Tower Hamlets in the 2001 Census were defined as Muslim), but the broader-based origins of the foundation has meant continuing use by other Muslim ethnicities. The East London Mosque’s three imams are from Bangladesh, following the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, as do virtually all of Tower Hamlet’s mosques, but emphasis is given to the use of English, to encourage younger people to become involved. The East London Mosque is the largest and most influential mosque in east London, and one of the most important and heavily used places of Muslim worship in Britain.</p>\n\n<p>The growth of community support roles has embraced many forms, from formal on-site religious and general education, to partnerships in support of local-authority schooling, young adult education, and English-language, as well as Bengali, Somali and Arabic language classes. Beyond education the mosque provides support in matters of housing, employment, funerals and personal counselling. It also endeavours to present Islam to wider society, aspiring to be a bridge between London’s Islamic and non-Islamic populations.</p>\n\n<p><br>\n[^1]: Sir Ernest Hotson, at the opening of the East London Mosque in 1941, as quoted by Fatima Ghailani, <em>The Mosques of London</em>, 2000, p. 34.<br>\n[^2]: Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, Secretary of the East London Mosque Committee, as quoted in the <em>East London Advertiser</em>, 19 July 1985.</p>\n",
            "created": null,
            "last_edited": "2018-03-09"
        },
        {
            "id": 858,
            "title": "14 Cable Street and 2 Ensign Street",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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            "feature": {
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                "properties": {
                    "b_number": "2",
                    "b_name": "",
                    "street": "Ensign Street",
                    "address": "2 Ensign Street (with 14 Cable Street)",
                    "feature_type": "WHITECHAPEL_BUILDING",
                    "count": 2
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            "body": "<p>Plain Georgian shophouses at 4–10 and 14 Ensign Street were cleared in phases between 1911 and 1954, No. 10 having been the Black Horse public house since at least the 1780s. Minor redevelopment plans for sites around the western Cable Street corner with Well (Ensign) Street were repeatedly intended but not carried out from the 1920s to the 1980s. No. 2 at the corner hung on, held by Dr Morris Korn into the 1970s, his surgery squeezed alongside a café run by a Mrs Aranzulo. The four-storey brick block that is 14 Cable Street and 2 Ensign Street, seven flats over a shop, was built around 1998, half-heartedly emulating its neighbour to the south without the coherence of its predecessor.[^1]</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: Goad insurance map 1953: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Building Control file 21689: Post Office Directories: Ordnance Survey maps: Tower Hamlets planning applications online</p>\n",
            "created": "2019-03-05",
            "last_edited": "2019-03-05"
        },
        {
            "id": 102,
            "title": "Listed building description of 88 Whitechapel High Street",
            "author": {
                "id": 25,
                "username": "Aileen"
            },
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                    "b_number": "88",
                    "b_name": "88 Whitechapel High Street",
                    "street": "Whitechapel High Street",
                    "address": "88 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX",
                    "feature_type": "WHITECHAPEL_BUILDING",
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            "body": "<p>788/0/10224 WHITECHAPEL HIGH STREET 16-MAY-07 88</p>\n\n<p>II Shop of 1950s, with two signs of 1934-5 by Arthur Szyk, in early C19 building.</p>\n\n<p>The special interest of 88 Whitechapel High Street is limited to the two Arthur Szyk signs, one on the exterior and the other above the first floor lift shaft.</p>\n\n<p>SIGNS: The external decorative sign is situated over the entrance of the shop and is a metal relief, painted gold and fixed to the wall.</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2016/08/05/sol-whitechapel100371.jpg\">Shopfront of 88 Whitechapel High Street showing decorative sign by Arthur Szyk, 1934-5, and entryway to Gunthorpe Street. Photographed by Derek Kendall, February 2016</p>\n\n<p>The design is a Magen David, or Star of David, supported by two lions of Judah rampant and wielding sabres. Beneath is a pair of medallions, decorated with Menorot or seven-branched candelabra. The clawed feet of the lions rest on a thin turned base which is fixed to the wall.</p>\n\n<p>The most striking interior feature is a second sign, similar to that on the shop front, above the lift entrance on the first floor, depicting traditional Jewish symbolism often found on Torah Arks. The relief is painted in thick white paint. The design is two Lions of Judah holding the Luhot (the Tablets of the Law) inscribed with the first Hebrew letters of each of the Ten Commandments, topped by a Crown (the Keter Torah or Crown of the Law). At the base is a Magen David, with a heart at its centre. The clawed feet of the lions rest on a frieze of volutes and swirls. Originally, there were signs on each floor, and all but this one were destroyed in a fire in the second half of the C20.</p>\n\n<p>EXTERIOR: 88 Whitechapel High Street is a typical stock brick building of the C19, stuccoed to the front, which is not of special architectural interest. It is of four storeys and three window bays, and the roof is concealed behind a parapet. The shop front, which is of some interest, is faced in polished granite and the door and the window surrounds are brass. There are two display windows, one to Whitechapel High Street, the second on the return to the alley. Each has a single, wide aperture between a fascia and stall riser, both of veined marble. Above the marble fascia is an eight-light aperture with brass surrounds in an Egyptian-inspired shape with battered sides. This mirrors the profile of the opening to the alley, creating the impression of symmetry. Viewing the elevation as a symmetrical composition draws out the prominence of the sign, situated in the centre of the two openings to the window and the alley. There is white mosaic above the granite facing.</p>\n\n<p>INTERIOR: Inside, the shop retains a number of features from its C20 refurbishment which are of some interest. These include dark wood panelling, largely concealed behind the modern free standing shelves, a staircase leading to the basement with a plain square newel post and a prominent dentil cornice. The interior of the rest of the building, excepting the second sign, is not of special interest.</p>\n\n<p>HISTORY: 88 Whitechapel High Street dates from the early C19, though the shop front, windows and sections of the interior have been refurbished on two occasions in the mid C20. The first was by H P Sanders in 1934-5 for the Jewish Daily Post, a short-lived successor to the Jewish Express, as recorded in the Drainage Files at Tower Hamlets Local Studies Library. This involved the refurbishment of the upper storey offices and the erection of several signs, depicting Jewish emblems, two of which survive (one externally and one internally). Having been established in 1926, the Jewish Daily Post ceased circulation in August 1935 shortly after the refurbishment. The second reconfiguration dates from the 1950s when the ground floor shop was refurbished for Alberts Menswear who moved there in 1942, after their premises nearby was damaged in an air raid. In recognition of the building's continuing Jewish connections (Alberts were part of the Jewish rag trade), this refurbishment incorporated the older sign into the design of the shop front. The shop front design is in the fashion of the 1930s, as seen in the Egyptian-inspired Art Deco lights and the use of red neon, which continued in many commercial premises after the war.</p>\n\n<p>The signs at 88 Whitechapel High Street were designed by Arthur Szyk (1894-1951), a noted artist of Polish-Jewish origin. Szyk's authorship was ascertained by his biographer, Joseph Ansell, and further enquiries have revealed that Szyk's daughter remembers the artist working on the commission which she recalls was instigated by a Mr Solomon. Leaving London in 1940, Szyk became one of America's leading political artists by producing anti-Nazi cartoons during World War II. He was also a celebrated illustrator who created many works in the tradition of illuminated manuscripts. One such work was his Haggadah (the Passover story) published in London in 1940, after publishers in Poland and Czechoslovakia were reluctant to support the anti-Nazi work. For this reason, Szyk was in London sporadically from the early 1930s until 1940 when he toured Canada and the United States and eventually settled in the US after WWII. Szyk's work has recently been the subject of exhibitions at the Library of Congress and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, both in Washington DC. The signs are related to Szyk's other work, for example the design of the internal sign is also used in the title page for the Haggadah which Szyk created shortly after Germany annexed Austria in 1938, although it did not appear in the final version. This is, however, the only composition by him executed in sculptural form.</p>\n\n<p>The area around Whitechapel was the home of the majority of Jewish émigrés in the C19 and early C20 following the Pogroms of the 1880s in Eastern Europe, and is an area of great significance to the history of the Jewish people in Britain nationally as well as locally. Near to 88 Whitechapel High Street, the synagogue at 19 Princelet Street, the Jewish soup kitchen on Brune Street and the Jewish memorial to Edward VII on Whitechapel High Street (all Grade II) are testimony to the distinctively Jewish character of the area in the late C19 and early C20.The 1930s were a particularly significant decade in the area as evidenced by the anti-fascist demonstrations at Cable Street in 1936, which initially took place at Aldgate just metres from 88 Whitechapel High Street.</p>\n\n<p>SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: The two Szyk signs are of considerable special interest. Firstly, the elegant designs are unique and by an artist who is of considerable importance in the Jewish history of the C20. Szyk is not known to have designed any other relief panels and this is his only work in any medium in the UK. Secondly, the signs at 88 Whitechapel High Street are thought to be one example of a very small number of historic Jewish commercial signs in the country. The signs at 88 Whitechapel High Street use recognisable and distinctive Jewish emblems or language to announce the identity of the proprietors and are a prominent advertisement of ethnicity, suggestive of the proprietors' confidence that the design would be well-received in what was a distinctively Jewish area. This is of special historic interest in the context of the 1930s, when persecution of Jews increased in Europe and tensions in the East End of London resulted in clashes. The early C19 building at 88 Whitechapel High Street is by no means special in a national context, and the shop front, while interesting, is not remarkable.</p>\n\n<p>SOURCES: Joseph Ansell, Arthur Szyk: Artist, Jew, Pole (2004), 88. Post Office Directories, 1933-1945. Information from Kathryn Morrison, Sharman Kadish and Charles O' Brien. N. Pevsner, B. Cherry and C. O'Brien, Buildings of England: London East (2005). K. Morrison, English Shops and Shopping (2003) 60-61, 207. S. Kadish, Jewish Heritage in England (2006), 16-17.</p>\n\n<p>Selected Sources</p>\n\n<p>Books and journals</p>\n\n<p>Ansell, J, Arthur Szyk Artist Jew Pole, (2004), 88</p>\n\n<p>Kadish, S, Jewish Heritage in England, an Architectural Guide, (2006), 16-17</p>\n\n<p>Morrison, K, English Shops and Shopping An Architectural History, (2003), 207</p>\n\n<p>Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, O'Brien, C, The Buildings of England: London 5 East , (2005)</p>\n\n<p>National Grid Reference: TQ 33959 81431</p>\n",
            "created": "2016-08-05",
            "last_edited": "2018-07-13"
        },
        {
            "id": 17,
            "title": "Foundation and Construction",
            "author": {
                "id": 26,
                "username": "eheritage"
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            "feature": {
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                "properties": {
                    "b_number": "55",
                    "b_name": "St George’s German Lutheran Church",
                    "street": "Alie Street",
                    "address": "St George’s German Lutheran Church, 55 Alie Street",
                    "feature_type": "WHITECHAPEL_BUILDING",
                    "count": 13
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            "body": "<p>The lease of the ‘Little Alie Street’ site was purchased for £500 on 9 September 1762 and the new church was consecrated on 19 May 1763. The principal founder of the church was Dederich Beckmann (c.1702-66), a wealthy sugar refiner, who gave the substantial sum of £650, much the largest single benefaction towards the total of £1802 10s 9d that was raised for purchasing the lease and building the church.[^3] Beckmann was the father-in-law of the first pastor, Dr Gustavus Anthony Wachsel (c.1735-99). The early congregation was essentially made up of the area’s German sugar bakers and their families, alongside some refugees escaping war in the German provinces.</p>\n\n<p>The church was built by Joel Johnson and Company, which firm was paid £1132 in 1763. The lease aside, this accounted for virtually all the funds that had by then been raised.[^4] Johnson (1720-99) was a successful local carpenter who had made himself a contracting builder. In 1747 he had worked on a Baptist meeting house further west on Alie Street, and in 1754 he built himself a large workshop near Whitechapel parish church, the site of which on Whitechapel Road is now Altab Ali Park. From 1755-9 Johnson worked under the architect Boulton Mainwaring in the building of the London Hospital further east along Whitechapel Road. He was also said, in an obituary that credited him with ‘many chapels’, to have been the architect of the church of St John, Wapping, in 1756, a building with striking similarities to St George’s. However, it is possible that there too he was working under Mainwaring, who gave evidence about the state of the old Wapping church where Johnson did not. Indeed, Johnson himself related that he began ‘to strike into the business of an architect’ only in 1762. The absence of any record of payment to any other surveyor or architect at St George’s leads to the surmise that this is what he was doing at Alie Street. It cannot, however, be ruled out that Johnson’s firm was working under another designer, perhaps Mainwaring again. Johnson’s wife and infant son died in 1763-4 and he left the conduct of business to a partner, a Mr Langley, ‘troubling myself very little with the carpenters’ business’.[^5]</p>\n\n<p>Johnson &amp; Co. were paid another £494 3s in 1764-5, which probably related to an early extension of the church and the addition of the vestry block. Seams in the brickwork of the east and west walls show that the church was initially intended to be one bay shorter, and that during construction it was enlarged to the north. In keeping with this vaults do not extend under the north end of the church. It is also evident that the extension came during rather than either before or after the fitting out of the interior. Already in May 1763, when the church was consecrated, Thomas Johnson was being paid for a marble slab, probably the floor of the altar dais that survives, and a mahogany frame to a communion table. The box pews, which also survive, were evidently in by February 1764 when Errick Kneller was paid for the painting on them of 159 numbers. Kneller was also paid for painting two boards, presumably those still in place bearing the Ten Commandments in German. Others who received payments in 1764 included Paul Morthurst, carpenter and joiner, Thomas Palmer, plasterer, and Sanders Olliver, mason.[^6] It is notable that all these building tradesmen, except perhaps Kneller, appear to have been English. In its original architectural forms and constructional details, both outside and in, the church is not evidently German. The timing of all these payments suggests that the main body of the church went up in 1762-3, the north extension following in 1763-4, with the two-storey vestry block to the north-east being added in 1765-6, all complete by 21 August 1766 which date appears on the brick apron to a first-floor window of the vestry block.</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: Tower Hamlets Local History Library (hereafter THLHL), TH/8662/3, St George’s German Lutheran Church, Financial Summaries 1763-95, ff 1-2.<br>\n[^4]: Ibid.<br>\n[^5]: Johnson’s manuscript memoirs are held in the London Borough of Waltham Forest Archives, Acc. 10199. See also Howard M. Colvin,<em> A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840</em> (3rd edn, London, 1995), p. 548. Personal communication with Sir Howard sharing his further interpretation of Johnson’s achievements and memoirs.<br>\n[^6]: THLHL, TH/8662/3, ff. 3-4 and 6. Errick Kneller was not, it seems, a descendant of the German-born Court painter, Sir Godfrey (Gottfried) Kneller (1646-1723). Trained in London, Errick was granted his freedom through the Painter-Stainer’s Company in 1732 having been the ‘servant’ (apprentice) of Gerald Strong. This means that he was born c.1711, perhaps earlier, but not later. When Sir Godfrey died in 1723 he had neither sons nor nephews, leaving his estate to his wife Lady Susanna, and then to his grandson, Godfrey Kneller Huckle, not yet then 21, provided the latter used the surname Kneller. Sir Godfrey’s brother, Andrew Kneller, had daughters (Guildhall Library, MS 5668, Painter-Stainer’s Company Freedom Admissions Register, 1658-1820; The National Archives, PROB 11/594, will of Sir Godfrey Kneller, 6 Dec. 1723; J. Douglas Stewart,<em> Sir Godfrey Kneller and the English Baroque Portrait </em>(Oxford, 1983), pp. 60 and 182).</p>\n",
            "created": null,
            "last_edited": "2018-09-29"
        },
        {
            "id": 479,
            "title": "The Reminiscences of Doctor John Sebastian Helmcken (1824-1920)",
            "author": {
                "id": 22,
                "username": "sarahannmilne"
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            "body": "<p>Of German ancestry, John Helmcken's father and mother ran the White Swan Pub on Alie Street in the early-mid nineteenth century. Helmcken grew up there and latterly recorded his memories, which were edited and published by Dorothy Blackey-Smith in 1975 under the title '<em>The reminiscences of Doctor John Sebastian Helmcken</em>'. Below is an extract relating to his childhood:</p>\n\n<p>\"[Great Alie Street] was a highly respectable street, the Bowmans, Goodmans, McMurdos [?] - some government offices and a number of houses that at some distant period had been occupied by grand people. Dr Graves lived exactly opposite our house. There was a blacksmith's shop at the rear and a carpenter's shop, belonging to Mr Branch, had been a stately mansion, with grounds surrounding: the front was still covered with a grape vine, which bore fruit abundantly, but did not always ripen.</p>\n\n<p>There were the four streets - Alie, Leman, Prescott and Mansell, all respectable streets, and named after four [sons-in-law?] or grandsons of Goodman, who had been interested in the West Indies, but the estate or part of it was now in chancery. The Goodmans in my day had some coloured servants - and coachman. At the end of Little Alie Street was a place called Goodman's Stile, I suppose which used to be a stepping place into Goodman's Fields. In the rear of these four streets, was a large quadrangular field, unenclosed and barren, called by us the 'Tenter Ground' and here soldiers from the Tower of London used occasionally to be exercised, whilst young Goodman interested himself in breaking in trotting or other horses. This was our playground.</p>\n\n<p>On our side of the street stood Bowman's sugar refinery, and at the rear of our house, (having a black door leading to it) was a square - surrounded by sugar refineries, belonging to the Bowmans, Cravens and others. Immense buildings occupying acres! These were all ruined by Free Trade. How many times did I play in and about the refineries altho forbidden to do so! I learned all about sugar refining without knowing it. Later on I saw waggon loads of beetroots carried into the buildings. Sugar was to be made from beetroots. The experiments failed and one after the other the refineries shut down. </p>\n\n<p>There was a broad yard to our house, paved with flag stones, and huge walls on each side, the walls of other houses or boundary walls. Here was a good place to play ball and what not and a quiet place for mischief too, at least it would have been, had not neighbouring windows overlooked it! Alie Place was a good place too, but Mrs Graves would not allow play there; that is to say when the boys became boisterous she ordered us all home - and we obeyed; sulkily if you please.\"   </p>\n",
            "created": "2017-09-28",
            "last_edited": "2017-09-28"
        },
        {
            "id": 839,
            "title": "Former Mercantile Marine Office, 18 Ensign Street",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
            },
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                    "address": "18 Ensign Street",
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            "body": "<p>The Mercantile Marine Act of 1850 introduced regulations to improve conditions and discipline in the merchant navy, formalising some of the anti-crimping arrangements introduced by the Sailors’ Home. Mercantile marine offices were set up in ports and run by the Board of Trade to register the engagement and discharge of crews and for the examination of masters and mates. One such office was immediately established in the Well Street Home, moving to the ground floor of the new Dock Street building in 1865. This became controversial in 1868 when an adjacent clothing store was established, to protect sailors from ‘slop’ transactions. Independent clothiers felt undermined by the seemingly official nature of this competition. Clothing sales in the Home were thus moved to a back yard in 1871 and the Mercantile Marine Office moved out in 1872 to be amalgamated with another office that had been near America Circus in a new building at St Katharine’s Docks.[^1]</p>\n\n<p>Facing lease renewal and dis-satisfied with the premises in the docks, the Board of Trade approached the Sailors’ Home in 1892 about a return of a Mercantile Marine Office. A 50-year lease of the south wing of the 1830s building and the Home’s stable yard further south was agreed, the Home undertaking to redevelop. The Home’s architect, John Hudson, now working as a partner in Wigg, Oliver and Hudson, prepared plans for premises to accommodate the engaging and discharging of crews and the examinations of masters and mates that were overseen by the Local Marine Board, which was also to be given a meeting room. Walter G. Gladding was the builder for the suitably mercantile classical three-storey and basement building that went up in 1893–4. Its ground-floor front is distinguished by polished granite, for Doric pilasters supporting a continuous fascia and flanking four entrances to separate the distinct uses. The red-brick faced upper storeys have stone cornices and cement-rendered Ionic pilasters and half columns with first-floor Serliana in an elevation the asymmetry of which is somewhat disguised by the busy-ness of its embellishment. The basement was a waiting room for the seamen, and the ground-floor spaces were used for their engagement and discharge. The first floor housed the Local Marine Board’s and other offices, the second floor the examination room, and space above was used to store deceased seamen’s effects. There was a hydraulic lift. White-glazed brick to the rear, butting up to St Paul’s Church, was used at the insistence of the Rev. Dan Greatorex.[^2] An ARP shelter was formed in the basement in 1939.[^3] </p>\n\n<p>Joseph Havelock Wilson, founder of the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union (renamed the National Union of Seamen in 1926) had set up an office in Wellclose Square before 1900. This moved to the east side of Ensign Street directly opposite the Mercantile Marine Offices in the 1930s, spreading from No. 15 to Nos 11–17, all cleared in the 1960s. The Department of Trade and Industry was still using No. 18 for signing–on crew and other purposes into the 1980s. Conversions for studios, flats and offices followed from 1985 to 1998.[^4] </p>\n\n<p>[^1]: The National Archives (TNA), MT9/63/M1082/1872; MT9/91/M10699/74: Post Office Directories (POD)</p>\n\n<p>[^2]: TNA, MT9/508/M3895/94: National Maritime Museum (NMM), SAH/1/7, pp. 475–500; SAH/1/8, pp. 3–66 </p>\n\n<p>[^3]: NMM, SAH/3/2, p. 251</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: POD: Tower Hamlets planning applications online</p>\n",
            "created": "2019-03-01",
            "last_edited": "2019-05-16"
        },
        {
            "id": 18,
            "title": "Late Georgian Conflicts and Alterations ",
            "author": {
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                "username": "eheritage"
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                "properties": {
                    "b_number": "55",
                    "b_name": "St George’s German Lutheran Church",
                    "street": "Alie Street",
                    "address": "St George’s German Lutheran Church, 55 Alie Street",
                    "feature_type": "WHITECHAPEL_BUILDING",
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            "body": "<p>Despite having been enlarged during construction the church was soon found to be too small to meet early demand. In 1764 Pastor Wachsel was instrumental in securing temporary asylum for 600 Würzburger and Palatine emigrants who had been abandoned en route for America, finding them accommodation in London until they could be redirected to South Carolina.[^7] Whether or not this was a factor, there was overcrowding in 1768, many worshippers being forced to stand at the back.[^8] Beckmann, who is said to have been buried in a vault under the communion table, had left the church a further £500 when he died in 1766.[^9] Another legacy was discord between his son-in-law, Wachsel, and the other vestrymen. This led to a riot in the church on 3 December 1767. There were deep disagreements about the management and use of the church. This dispute, or Parteienkrieg as it was called, extended to liturgy, the nature of music in the church and the question of whether services should be held in English or in German. Wachsel introduced German hymns, then English hymns, and then sermons in English. Next he discharged the German choir and introduced ‘violins, trumpets, bassoons, and kettledrums’, this in spite of having his theological roots in German Pietism, which had moved away from complex church music. As if this was not bad enough the musical performances were said, with indignation, to have been accompanied by the eating of ‘apples, oranges, nuts, etc, as in a Theatre’. The church allegedly ‘become a place of Assignation for Persons of all descriptions, a receptacle for Pickpockets, and obtained the name of the Saint George Playhouse’.[^10] Amid fights and death threats a congregation that had been more than 400 had fallen to 130 by 1777. Despite an overwhelming vote for his dismissal in 1778 Wachsel held on to his post by going to law. Acrimony rumbled on. Having desisted for a time, Wachsel reintroduced music in 1786. At this point he was accused of violently assaulting the bellows blower. Another judicial intervention in 1789 ruled that Wachsel had misused the building, but arguments about the use of English continued up until his death in 1799.[^11]</p>\n\n<p>Early alterations to the fittings at the north (liturgical east) end of the church may have to do with this power struggle. In 1784 a payment was made towards ‘a Cloth Communion Table’, perhaps the canvas reredos that carries the text of John 14.6.[^12] That this is in German is perhaps significant. At some point after the reredos was introduced and before 1802 the railed sanctuary was made smaller, bringing communicants closer to the altar, but accommodating fewer. This may be explained through Pietism, which would have stressed preaching and personal devotion, while de-emphasising weekly communion. On the other hand, perhaps it was a pragmatic or ergonomic change, or even a matter of making space for the kettledrums. At the other end of the church two small curved-front upper galleries, possibly for children or a children’s choir, were put up on columns to either side of a small organ. This could have been a very early change, from the late 1760s when there was great demand for seating. The account of the dispute reveals that there was a bellows blower by 1786, and the organ was certainly present by 1802, by when there may have been renewed demand for seats. The previously mobile reader’s desk had been fixed to the north wall by this later date. In 1796 £55 2s 6 was spent on ‘repairing and fitting up the chapel, parsonage and other appurtenances’.[^13]</p>\n\n<p>The land immediately to the east of the church has always pertained to it. Much of it was a burial ground in the Georgian period, though there were perhaps always other buildings along the Alie Street frontage. A substantial three-storey eighteenth-century house immediately to the east was the pastor’s house. Beyond, a much narrower clerk’s house was repaired or rebuilt in 1805 when a single-storey school replaced stable and coach-house buildings further east, perhaps to designs by Samuel Page (1771-1852), a surveyor who drew a plan of the site in 1802 when deliberations about the future of the adjoining ground were underway. The foundation had included ‘German and English Schools’ from 1765, but it is unclear where the earlier school was accommodated. These ancillary buildings appear in a watercolour view of the Alie Street frontage in 1821 that is kept in the vestry.[^14]</p>\n\n<p>Wachsel’s successor, Dr C. E. A. Schwabe, was responsible for the school building of 1805. Schwabe was also the chaplain to the Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria’s mother, who was the patron of the schools and who is said to have worshipped regularly at St George’s. Through his 44-year pastorate the German community in Whitechapel continued to grow, and other churches came into being. From 1809 there was a German Catholic church, dedicated to St Boniface. Rebuilt in 1958-60 this continues on Adler Street, nearby to the east. In 1819 St Paul’s German Protestant Reformed Church opened on Hooper Square, just to the south, the congregation having its origins among late seventeenth-century Calvinist refugees from the Palatinate. The church was rebuilt on Goulston Street in 1887 and destroyed in 1941, the congregation then moving to St George’s.</p>\n\n<p><br>\n[^7]: E. Alfred Jones, <em>The Old Silver Sacramental Vessels of Foreign Protestant Churches in England </em>(London, 1908), p. 34.<br>\n[^8]: THLHL, TH/8662/3.<br>\n[^9]: THLHL, TH 8662/3, f. 3; National Archives, PROB 11/921 for Beckmann’s will.<br>\n[^10]: THLHL, TH 8662/56, ‘Statement of Facts on behalf of Elders and Vestrymen of German Lutheran Chapel’, n.d., with letter from the church committee to the parish about the judicial ruling, 25 July 1789.<br>\n[^11]: TH 8662/4, St George’s German Lutheran Church, Minutes and Proceedings at Vestry Meetings, 1796-9.<br>\n[^12]: THLHL, TH 8662/3, f. 26v.<br>\n[^13]: THLHL, TH 8662/3, ff. 20v, 21v; TH/8662/4; TH/8662/241, plan and section of 1885; TH 8662/244, lease of 30 January 1802 with plan by Samuel Page, surveyor; TH/8662/279, St George’s German Lutheran Church, expenditure book, 1796-1826.<br>\n[^14]: THLHL, TH/8662/4a, St George’s German Lutheran Church, Minutes and Proceedings at Vestry Meetings, 1799-1815; THLHL, TH/8662/244; ‘A Front View of the St George’s German Church, Minister’s House and School in Little Alie Street, Goodman’s Fields’, watercolour of 1821 in former committee room over vestry.</p>\n",
            "created": null,
            "last_edited": "2018-09-29"
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        {
            "id": 135,
            "title": "Haji Taslim Ali",
            "author": {
                "id": 15,
                "username": "jamil"
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                "properties": {
                    "b_number": "",
                    "b_name": "East London Mosque",
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            "body": "<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/features/954/hajitaslim.JPG\"></p>\n\n<p>Through most of the 1960s, it was difficult to talk about the East London Mosque on Commercial Road without reference to Haji Taslim Ali and his close friend, Sulaiman Jetha, secretary and later chairman of the Mosque’s Trustees. Haji Taslim (Syed Abdul Momin Ali) was invited by Sulaiman Jetha (see above) to sign up as a member of the East London Mosque Trust in 1955, and subsequently appointed (and re-appointed every few years) as the Mosque’s ‘honorary welfare office’ and superintendent. In 1960, based on a formal agreement with the Trustees, Haji Taslim began providing a Muslim funeral service from the Mosque.</p>\n\n<p>Haji Taslim was born in Sylhet, north-eastern Bangladesh (then East Bengal), and began working as a coalman in the boiler room of British merchant navy ships that would take on crews in Calcutta. By his early twenties he had travelled the world, but during the Second World War his ship was torpedoed in the English Channel. The crew were rescued and taken to Chatham, where he was offered the choice of staying in Britain till the War was over, or a passage back to British India – he decided to stay, taking up odd jobs, mainly as a kitchen hand, eventually finding a job in the Daimler car factory in Coventry. There he met his wife, Josephine Mary Morgan, a divorcée later known as Hajja Mariam Ali<strong> </strong>(see below). After various business ventures, including employment in Saudi Arabia, Taslim Ali returned to London because he felt a calling for religious and community service. East London residents today recall how Haji Taslim would drive his own car to pick up children for the madrassa, and then drop them home afterwards. In April 1970 he was attacked by skinheads as he was locking up the mosque at night and hit over the head with an iron bar. He recovered well, and with Sulaiman Jetha was a keen participant in the work of the Muslim missionary association, Tablighi Jamaat, offering facilities to visiting groups at the Mosque till around 1974. ‘Haji Taslim Funerals’, located at the East London Mosque’s new Maryam Centre, continues to provide an essential community service, under the management of his son Gulam.</p>\n",
            "created": "2016-09-14",
            "last_edited": "2018-03-09"
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        {
            "id": 470,
            "title": "Photos and notes on data centres",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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                    "b_name": "Camperdown House",
                    "street": "Braham Street",
                    "address": "Camperdown House",
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                    "count": 6
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            "body": "<p>See more photos here: <a href=\"https://wheretheinternetlives.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/6-braham-street/\">https://wheretheinternetlives.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/6-braham-street/</a></p>\n",
            "created": "2017-09-04",
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        {
            "id": 131,
            "title": "Historic England list description for 24-32 New Road",
            "author": {
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                "username": "amysmith"
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                    "street": "New Road",
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            "body": "<p>Excerpt from Historic England list entry for 24-32 New Road (listed at Grade II):</p>\n\n<p>5 terraced houses. Early C19; numbers 24 and 26 with later shops. Yellow stock brick, all with stuccoed ground floors except number 28. 3 storeys and basements. 2 windows each. Numbers 22 and 24 - recessed square-headed entrances with overlights and panelled doors. Number 22 ground floor sash converted to shop window. Upper floors with gauged brick flat arches to recessed sashes; number 22 with late C20 glazing. Parapets. Interiors believed to retain some original features. Attached cast iron railings with urn finials to areas. Numbers 28-32 - recessed square headed entrances with overlights and part glazed panelled-doors; number 30 has an architraved surround with panelled jambs; number 32 with original patterned overlight. Number 28 ground floor sash converted to a shop window; numbers 20 and 32 have segmental arched sashes in shallow segmental arched recesses. Plain stucco first floor bands. Upper floors with gauged red brick flat arches to recessed sashes. Parapets. Interiors believed to retain some original features. Attached cast iron railings with urn finials to areas.[^1]</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: Historic England, National Heritage List for England, list entry number: 1242006 (online: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1242006, accessed 26 August 2016).</p>\n",
            "created": "2016-08-26",
            "last_edited": "2016-08-26"
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        {
            "id": 16,
            "title": "Altab Ali Park",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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                "properties": {
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                    "b_name": "Altab Ali Park, including the site of the parish church of St Mary Matfelon",
                    "street": "Whitechapel Road",
                    "address": "Altab Ali Park",
                    "feature_type": "OPEN_SPACE",
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            },
            "body": "<p>On 4 May 1978 Altab Ali, a 25-year old clothing machinist of Bangladeshi origin, was murdered in Adler Street, Whitechapel, beside the park that was then called St Mary’s Gardens, a name that recalled the Church of St Mary Matfelon (the medieval ‘white chapel’) which had stood on the site until 1952.</p>\n\n<p>This attack galvanized resistance to racism in the area and beyond. A decade on, Tower Hamlets Council commissioned David Petersen, an artist–blacksmith, to make the park’s wrought-iron gateway arch to commemorate victims of racist violence. Put up in 1989 at the park’s Whitechurch Lane corner, it playfully combines Mughal and Gothic ornamental motifs. Following a local campaign, the Council renamed the gardens Altab Ali Park in 1994. Five years later the south-west corner of the park gained a Shaheed Minar (Martyrs’ Monument), a semi-circular concrete plinth with five white steel screens, representing a mother and children, the former to the centre bow-headed in front of a blood-red circle. This is a smaller version of a Shaheed Minar in Dhaka, Bangladesh, designed by Hamidur Rahman, which commemorates activists of the Bengali language movement killed in 1952. Long desired and petitioned for, a Whitechapel monument began to be planned in earnest in 1996, though not at first with this site in mind. The Bangladesh Welfare Association marshalled contributions from 54 organisations and worked closely with the Council. Another copy of the Dhaka monument was made in Oldham in 1996–7. Its designers, the Free Form Arts Trust, were brought in and commissioned to make Whitechapel’s structure larger. Landscaping and the plinth were handled by the Council, and Arts Fabrications made the monument. It was unveiled on 17 February 1999 by Humayun Rashid Choudhury, Speaker of the Bangladeshi Parliament.</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2017/12/06/dp179974-cropped.jpg\"><em>Altab Ali Park in 2014 (photograph by Lucy Millsom-Watkins)</em></p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p><em>Since 2000</em></p>\n\n<p>Further landscaping followed in 2002 with a new diagonal path through the churchyard that bore an inscription of part of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, ‘The shade of my tree is offered to those who come and go fleetingly’. The lettering disappeared when another relandscaping of Altab Ali Park was undertaken in 2011. The layout that followed was designed by muf architecture/art as ‘a matrix of the religious and the secular’,[^1] and celebrated as ‘a grand collage’.[^2] It includes a raised green terrazzo walkway and bench that marks parts of the outline of the site’s Victorian church. Stone fragments carved by apprentices at the Building Crafts College were scattered to suggest the lines of the preceding church. Further south, hillocks, boulders and tree stumps articulate the land east of the Shaheed Minar and, with a small platform, open up a longer view of the monument.</p>\n\n<p><em>Earlier history as a churchyard</em></p>\n\n<p>Whitechapel’s churchyard, which has its origins in the thirteenth century, had been walled round and made more or less co-extensive with the present-day park by the 1720s – the eastern part was occupied by a rectory and its private garden. Notable burials in the churchyard included those of Richard Brandon in 1649, said to have been the executioner of Charles I, and Sir John Cass in 1718. The burial ground came to be badly overcrowded and in 1846 its appearance was said to be ‘very far from creditable to the parish’.[^3] It was planted with trees and shrubs in 1850–1 under the supervision of Samuel Curtis (who had landscaped Victoria Park), and burials ceased in 1854. A record from 1875 lists 87 gravestones and monumental slabs in the churchyard. These have since been largely removed or tidied to the site’s edges, a notable exception being a chest tomb for the Maddock family (local timber merchants), a stout early nineteenth-century monument of Portland stone with a marble armorial panel. This remains in place in what was the south-east part of the churchyard.</p>\n\n<p>The drinking fountain that now faces Whitechurch Lane was originally on the Whitechapel Road, put up in 1860 ‘from one unknown yet well known’, as it is inscribed, perhaps a reference to the Rev. William Weldon Champneys, Whitechapel’s long-serving and reforming rector who left the parish in that year. Early for a public drinking fountain, it has a Norman arch with pink granite colonettes and back panel set in a gabled ragstone surround. The form of the central motif closely followed the example of London’s first free drinking fountain, put up at Snow Hill in 1859 to great public acclaim. The larger Whitechapel fountain was moved round to Church Lane in 1879, then in 1894 moved again a bit further north to make way for the red-brick building at 2 Whitechurch Lane, which was originally St Mary’s Clergy House. A K2 telephone kiosk was placed to the fountain’s right around 1927 and a K6 kiosk followed in the 1930s. The former remains in place.</p>\n\n<p>Rebuilding of the church in the 1870s presented an opportunity to widen the adjacent stretch of Whitechapel Road, so in 1878 a (still existing) stone-coped red-brick boundary wall went up along a new setback line. It was designed by the church’s architect, Ernest C. Lee, using Suffolk bricks identical to those he had used to face the church. Two former entrances from the Whitechapel Road are now blocked, the larger one still marked by remnants of stone steps.</p>\n\n<p>When the churchyard wall was built it was proposed that tombstones and human remains should be moved to allow part of the grounds to be an ‘ornamental garden’.[^4] This objective was achieved in 1885 when the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association assisted in opening the churchyard to the general public as gardens with an improved layout, seats and a caretaker. There was an entrance charge of a penny. But public use was not sustained and in 1938 proposals for reviving the public garden were blocked by the Rev. John A. Mayo who was concerned that the churchyard would ‘become the resort of undesirable characters’.[^5]</p>\n\n<p>The church and rectory were bombed out in 1940. Once the ruins had been cleared, and with the unfenced land indeed attracting uses that aroused criticism, the London County Council set out in 1957 to buy the churchyard to be a public open space, preparing a scheme for planting and landscaping. Legal delays as to title meant that it was 1966 before St Mary’s Gardens could be opened. The lines of the seventeenth-century church were set out in concrete blocks flush with the ground. First intentions had been to mark the medieval ‘white chapel’, but without funding for archaeology this was impossible.</p>\n\n<p>On 4 May 2016, Tower Hamlets Council launched Altab Ali Commemoration Day as an annual event.</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: <em>Building Design</em>, 11 March 2011, p.4<br>\n[^2]: <em>London Evening Standard</em>, 16 Nov. 2011<br>\n[^3]: <em>The Builder</em>, 15 Aug 1846, p.388<br>\n[^4]: <em>The Builder</em>, 3 Aug. 1878, p.812<br>\n[^5]: <em>East London Observer</em>, 3 June 1939</p>\n",
            "created": null,
            "last_edited": "2019-06-10"
        },
        {
            "id": 370,
            "title": "Recording the Whitechapel Pavilion in 1961",
            "author": {
                "id": 147,
                "username": "JohnEarl"
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            "body": "<p>It was a dauntingly complex task, as to my (then) untrained eye, it appeared to be an impenetrable forest of heavy timbers, movable platforms and hoisting gear, looking like the combined wreckage of half a dozen windmills!  I started by chalking an individual number on every stage joist in an attempt to provide myself with a simple skeleton on which to hang the more complicated details.  Richard Southern's explanations enabled me to allocate names to the various pieces of apparatus, correcting my guesses.  (‘Stage basement’ for example was, I learned, an imprecise way of naming a space with three distinct levels).  He also gave me a brilliant introduction to the workings of a traditional wood stage and to the theatric purposes each part fulfilled.  </p>\n\n<p>The attached sketch attempts to give a summary view of the entire substage.</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2017/06/01/pav.JPG\"></p>\n\n<p>It is set at the first level below the stage, with the proscenium wall at the top and the back wall of the stage house at the bottom.  In the terminology of the traditional wood stage, this is the ‘mezzanine’, from which level, all the substage machinery was worked by an army of stage hands. In the centre, the heavily outlined rectangle is the ‘cellar’, deeper by about 7ft below the mezzanine floor.  Housed in the cellar are a variety of vertically movable platforms designed to move pieces of scenery and complete set pieces.</p>\n\n<p>It may be observed at this point that not all of this apparatus will have resulted from one build.  A wood stage had the great advantage that it could be adapted at short notice by the stage carpenter to meet the demands of a particular production.  The substage, as seen, represents a particular moment in its active life.</p>\n\n<p>There are five fast rise or ‘star’ traps for the sudden appearance (or disappearance) of individual performers (clowns, etc) through the stage floor.  The three traps nearest to the audience are ‘two post’ traps, rather primitive and capable of causing serious injury to an inexpert user.  Upstage of these are two of the more advanced and marginally safer ‘four post’ traps.  In both types, the performer stood on a box-like counter-weighted platform with his (usually his) head touching the centre of a ’star' of leather-hinged wood segments.  Beefy stage hands pulled suddenly (but with split second timing) on the lines supporting the box, shooting him through the star.  In an instant, it closed behind him, leaving no visible aperture in the stage surface.</p>\n\n<p>Farther upstage is a row of ’sloats’,  designed to hold scenic flats, to be slid up through the stage floor. Next comes a grave trap which, as the name suggests, can provide a rectangular sinking in the stage (‘Alas, poor Yorick’).  Finally, a short bridge and a long bridge, to carry heavy set pieces, with or without chorus members, up through (and, when required, a bit above) the stage.  These bridges were operated from whopping great drum and shaft mechanisms on the mezzanine. </p>\n\n<p>In order to get all these vertical movements to pass through the stage, its joists, counter-intuitively, have to span from side to side, the long span rather than the more obvious short span.  This makes it possible to have removable sections ‘(sliders’) in the stage floor, which are held level position by paddle levers at the ends.  When these are released, the slider drops on to runners on the sides of the joists and are then winched off to left and right.</p>\n\n<p>The survey of the Pavilion stage was important at the time because it seemed to be the first time that anything of the kind had been done, however imperfectly. Since then, we have learned of complete surviving complexes at, for example, Her Majesty’s theatre in London, the Citizens in Glasgow and, most importantly, the Tyne theatre in Newcastle, which has been restored to full working order <em>twice</em> (once after a dreadfully destructive fire) by Dr David Wilmore.  Nevertheless, the loss of the archaeological evidence of the Pavilion is much to be regretted..</p>\n\n<p>I can have enjoyable fantasies about witnessing an elaborate pantomime transformation scene from the mezzanine of a Victorian theatre.  The place is seething with stage hands, dressers and flimsily clad chorus girls climbing on to the bridges, while the stage is shuddering, having been temporarily robbed of rigidity by the drawing off of the sliders.  Orders must be observed to the letter and to the very second, but there can be no shouting, however energetically the orchestra plays.  Add naked gas flames to the mix…</p>\n\n<p>That's enough!</p>\n",
            "created": "2017-05-30",
            "last_edited": "2018-01-22"
        },
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            "id": 176,
            "title": "The frightening 'sticky-out bit' in Gower's Walk",
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                "username": "eric"
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            "body": "<p>Memories of Eric Shorter, b. 1936</p>\n\n<p>Still in existence, the warehouse near the bottom of Gower's Walk on its eastern side had a small jutting-out piece of building that throttled the street in a sense, taking away some of the street width. It is visible on maps of the past. I have always referred to it as ‘the sticky-out bit’. Its function was never clear to me, and I never saw it in use in any sense. But in recent times, I have seen that it is now fitted with a narrow roller blind, and must be some sort of awkward goods in/out facility. As a child this sticky-out bit bothered me, because if I were walking in either direction to/from Hooper Street, then it afforded a hiding place for any of the strange folk who used to be present in Whitechapel at the time. So when passing it, I would tend to hug the Tilbury Warehouse side of the road so as to see waiting strangers before they saw me.</p>\n\n<p>The overall structure of Gower's Walk was that the street was effectively a deep trough bounded by high walls all along. There was nowhere to escape.</p>\n",
            "created": "2016-11-01",
            "last_edited": "2017-10-18"
        },
        {
            "id": 535,
            "title": "Davis Feather Mill (c.1856-c.1960)",
            "author": {
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                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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                    "b_number": "59-63",
                    "b_name": "Central House, London Metropolitan University",
                    "street": "Whitechapel High Street",
                    "address": "Central House, 59-63 Whitechapel High Street",
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            "body": "<p>A prominent local business, the Davis Feather Mill occupied a site behind Gardiner’s Corner from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Its collection of factory-warehouses spanned between Whitechapel High Street and Manningtree Street, with elevations to both streets.</p>\n\n<p>The establishment and success of the feather mill can largely be attributed to one man, Isaac Davis, born in Whitechapel in Catherine Wheel Alley in 1830, his father a Jewish feather merchant. Davis’ close personal acquaintance with the difficulties of life in nineteenth-century Whitechapel spurred him on to enter into an apprenticeship with a London-based cigar manufacturer, which was followed by a period working in American cigar factories. He returned to Whitechapel in 1856 with money in hand and the ambition to reform and expand his father’s East London business in order to bring the high-quality feather beds of the rich to within reach of the poor. He set up shop at 63 Whitechapel High Street in the same year. The young entrepreneur began by importing vast quantities of feathers from around the world in such a way as to dominate the market. He then innovatively deployed steam technology to clean the feathers, and shrewdly purchased second-hand feather beds for rehabilitation and upgrade. He was reported to have caused ‘something like a furore’ on account of the low prices of his goods. By 1890, Davis effectively monopolised the feather-bed market, having also diversified into quilts, rugs and other household furnishings.[^1]</p>\n\n<p>The transformation from humble family business to a large-scale commercial success was enabled through a similarly significant expansion of premises. Over two decades, Davis acquired 59–62 Whitechapel High Street and the patchwork of properties behind this, stretching back to Manningtree Street. The most extensive redevelopment of the site occurred in the mid-1880s when Davis employed the local architect John Hudson to design a new factory-warehouse. The three-storey block was said to be ‘magnificent…containing all the latest improvements and built throughout with a view to the health of the large number of hands now employed.’[^2] The mill was however prone to fires; only a few days after its re-opening in 1888, it was severely damaged. Sporadic fires afflicted the premises in subsequent years leading to semi-frequent rebuildings, yet the business continued to flourish, operating on the site until about 1960 despite suffering a direct hit during the Blitz in 1940.[^3]</p>\n\n<p>Isaac Davis died in 1913, having fulfilled his youthful ambition to become a public benefactor. At the Great Synagogue (Duke’s Place), his father and grandfather had acted as Beadle and Assistant Beadle respectively and Isaac himself was a generous supporter of many local Jewish causes including the Jews’ Hospital, Jews’ Orphan Asylum and the East London Synagogue.[^4]</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2018/01/02/screen-shot-2018-01-02-at-145101.png\"></p>\n\n<p><em>Portrait bust of Isaac Davis by Alfred Drury, A.R.A. published in the 'Jewish Chronicle', 4 April 1913.</em></p>\n\n<p>[^1]: eds. W. Rubinstein, M. Jolles, H. Rubinstein, <em>Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History</em>, 2011, p.203; <em>The Observer</em>, 17 March 1888</p>\n\n<p>[^2]: <em>The Observer</em>, 17 March 1888</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: <em>Morning Post</em>, 29 March 1888; PODs 1933, 1958</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: <em>Jewish Chronicle</em>, 4 April 1913; <em>East London Observer</em>, 20 Sept 1913</p>\n",
            "created": "2018-01-02",
            "last_edited": "2018-01-02"
        },
        {
            "id": 691,
            "title": "122 Whitechapel High Street",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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            "body": "<p>This sliver of a building between Old Castle Street and Tyne Street is all that remains of a two-stage development of 1880-2 that included 118-120, the other side of Tyne Street, 118 demolished in 1959 and 119 and 120 c 2004. In 1880 the sites of 118-120 and 122 (there was no 121 by this time) were cleared at a cost of £400 by the Whitechapel Board of Works (the Metropolitan Board contributing £200), which described the entrance to Newcastle Street, through a low archway in No. 120, as ‘narrow and crooked with no footway’. The blank and scarred Old Castle Street flank wall of No. 122 shows the ghostly imprint in roofline and chimney breasts of No. 123, a rebuilding, with No. 124, in 1765-6 of dilapidated timber-framed houses on the east of Castle Alley/Moses and Aaron Alley, following a dispute over the party wall between the two houses ‘intermingled over and under each other’.[^1]These 1760s houses, largely rebuilt in 1860 following a serious fire, briefly adjoined No. 122 until they were demolished in 1883 in connection with railway engineering works, the site fenced off, with an open railway ventilator in part, until built over with roadway in 1899 and added to the public way to improve the entrance to Old Castle Street, which had been widened in 1878.[^2]</p>\n\n<p>The builder, and probable developer of Nos 118-20 and 122 in the 1880s, was Benjamin Cook of Stonecutter Street, Farringdon.[^3] The buildings are (or were) in a token Queen Anne manner, red brick with dentil cornices to the second floor, and some terracotta florets above the first-floor and brick aprons beneath the second-floor windows. The corners of 122 and 120 were canted around the entrance to Newcastle Street.[^4] Rag-trade tenants occupied most of No. 122 from when it was built until the Second World War, after which it was a café, the upper floors offices and workshops.[^5]By 1972 Reed Employment Agency had an office at No. 120, and in 1989 its founder, Alec Reed, established in No. 122 the charity Womankind to support women’s rights and channel development aid to women.  Financed for three years by Reed the charity then moved to larger ofices. The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations also had its offices here when it was founded in 1989.[^6]  The shop at No. 122, having been a stationers and bank, is currently an estate agent. The building was sold in 2005 by Warner Estates to its then tenant, Vishnu Patel, for £750,000, though permission given in 2008 to demolish the building and redevelop it with a six-storey block of flats with ground-floor shop to the designs of Clements &amp; Porter architects was not implemented.[^7]</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives (THLHLA), P/HLC/1/14/3/1-2; P/HLC/1/14/4/1-2: Transport for London Group Archives (TfLGA) LT000612.030 </p>\n\n<p>[^2]: TfLGAr, LT000612/030: THLHLA, TH/2780: <em>Rochdale Observer</em>, 9 Dec 1859, p. 4: Metropolitan Board of Works Minutes (MBW), 18 Oct. 1878, pp. 469, 22 Nov 1878, p. 667</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), District Surveyor's Returns (DSR), The National Archives, IR58/84815/3225, /3227, /3228-9: <em>London City Press</em>, 9 Nov 1867, p. 7: <em>Daily Telegraph and Courier</em>, 24 Feb 2881, p. 6: <em>South London Press</em>, 16 Dec 1882, p. 15: <em>Globe</em>, 9 May 1883, p. 2</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: DSR: MBW, 26 Nov 1880, pp. 708-09, 4 March 1881, p. 365</p>\n\n<p>[^5]: Post Office Directories (POD)</p>\n\n<p>[^6]: THLHLA, POD: LMA, SC/PHL/01/405/77/120/39/4:<em> Guardian</em>, 16 Feb 1987, p. 16: <em>Observer</em>, 5 March 1989, p. 35: <em>Guardian</em>, 22 May 1990, p. 3: <em>Guardian</em>, 1 Nov 1993, p. 46: <a href=\"https://www.womankind.org.uk/\">https://www.womankind.org.uk/</a> </p>\n\n<p>[^7]: London Stock Exchange Aggregated Regulatory News Service, via Nexis online: Tower Hamlets planning applications online</p>\n",
            "created": "2018-07-04",
            "last_edited": "2019-07-05"
        },
        {
            "id": 871,
            "title": "Expansions on Prescot Street for the tea office and coffee works (demolished)",
            "author": {
                "id": 14,
                "username": "rebecca.preston"
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                    "street": "Leman Street",
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            "body": "<p>In 1925 L. G. Ekins designed a small, shallow two-storey extension to the tea department warehouse, extending two bays from the main building along Prescot Street with a third reaching over the original entrance to the yard.[^1] By 1934 he was planning three much larger steel-framed blocks, a coffee works and separate tea offices on the sites of 62–64 Prescot Street and 65–69 Prescot Street and a furnishing and hardware warehouse directly opposite at 9–14 Prescot Street.[^2] The plans for these were certified in 1935 and 1936, at which time some or all of the houses and workshops at 62–69 and 9–14 Prescot Street and the properties on the north side of the block at 32–44 South Tenter Street were in CWS ownership. Some were already demolished by 1935 but the Co-operative Union Ltd still occupied the ‘top floor offices and warehouses’ at Nos 66–69.[^3] Unlike Ekins’s furnishing warehouse, which in mass and style was a continuation of his Administrative Offices and Bank, the tea office and coffee works had the more utilitarian character of his interwar warehousing in Goodman Street and Lambeth Street to the east. Less immediately impressive than his Expressionist work (see below), these streamlined buildings, all now demolished, perhaps demonstrate his response to Modernism as well as the functional demands of the departments they housed. Work started on the tea office in about 1936 and both it and the adjoining coffee works were opened in about 1938.[^4] The tea office was square in plan with an open area at its core and rose seven storeys above a granite plinth, faced in dark red or brown bricks between bands of metal-framed windows, with a central entrance in Prescot Street. Within were display rooms, offices, a boardroom and, on the fourth floor, the publicity department and cinema.[^5] The coffee works, which abutted on its west side, was a smaller rectangular-shaped block of four storeys that completed the run of E&amp;SCWS buildings west from Leman Street.[^6] The two buildings shared a granite plinth but above this the coffee works differed from its neighbour and was more obviously functional in design, with equal bands of glazing and dark brick running end-to-end on the Prescot Street and St Mark’s Street frontages, broken up with columns clad in white-glazed bricks.[^7] This block contained areas for coffee roasting and preparation, offices and a saleroom, while the basement was designed for bean and root storage.[^8]</p>\n\n<p>[^1]: London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), GLC/AR/BR/17/077204.</p>\n\n<p>[^2]: LMA, GLC/AR/BR/17/077326/02; District Surveyors Returns (DSR) serial no. 1935.0333.</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: Metropolitan Borough of Stepney Valuation List, 1935, p.95, Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives (THLHLA), L/SMB/C/1/3; LMA, DSR, serial nos 1935.0333, 1936.0491, 1936.0154, 1936.0093: 110–20 Leman Street plans (large), 1929, LMA, GLC/AR/BR/19/3339.</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: LMA, DSR serial no. 1936.0491, 1936.0093; ‘Changing the Skyline at Leman Street’, <em>The Producer</em>, June 1936, p. 182.</p>\n\n<p>[^5]: ‘Changing the Skyline at Leman Street’, <em>The Producer</em>, June 1936, p. 182; LMA, GLC, AR/BR/07/2914, E&amp;SCWS tea offices.</p>\n\n<p>[^6]: THLHLA, Building Control file 23306, 62–64 Prescot Street; Great Prescot Street drainage plans, THLHLA, L/THL/D/2/30/119.</p>\n\n<p>[^7]: LMA, SC/PHL/01/396/73/10916 and SC/PHL/01/396/73/10917, photographs, 1973.</p>\n\n<p>[^8]: THLHLA, Building Control file 23306, 62–64 Prescot Street; L/THL/D/2/30/119, Great Prescot Street drainage plans: ‘Changing the Skyline at Leman Street’, <em>The Producer</em>, June 1936, p. 182.</p>\n",
            "created": "2019-03-29",
            "last_edited": "2019-03-29"
        },
        {
            "id": 799,
            "title": "Toynbee Theatre",
            "author": {
                "id": 2,
                "username": "surveyoflondon"
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                    "address": "Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street",
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            "body": "<p>In December 1935 a grant of £10,000 was announced that enabled J. J. Mallon, Warden of <a href=\"https://surveyoflondon.org/map/feature/379/detail/\">Toynbee Hall</a>, to launch an appeal that resulted in the bulky New Building, usually known as Toynbee Theatre, on the site of the old St <a href=\"https://surveyoflondon.org/map/feature/376/detail/#st-judes-church\">Jude’s National Schools</a>. Designed by Alister MacDonald, the son of the former Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, it was built in 1937-8 by Griggs &amp; Son Ltd, builders of Victoria Street.[^1] </p>\n\n<p>It was a functional Modernist building, four and five storeys high, steel-framed with white-tile and beige brick facings but no street frontage, tucked as it was behind <a href=\"https://surveyoflondon.org/map/feature/382/detail/\">St George’s House</a>, Gunthorpe Street. Staircase towers at the west corners lit by vertical strip-glazing served four floors of corridors and offices surrounding the two main rooms: a theatre to seat 400, with a stage 19ft deep and a proscenium opening 28ft 6in wide. Above the theatre was a music room, used in the daytime as a juvenile court room, on the second floor were classrooms, a laboratory and two art studios, and on the top floor a dining room and recreation room separated by removable partitions. A light steel framework was built over the roof enclosing it as an area for sports and play.[^2] </p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2018/12/24/102585.jpg\" style=\"\">The former music room at Toynbee Studios, December 2018. Photograph © Derek Kendall.</p>\n\n<p>The interior is more forgiving than the exterior. The theatre has half-height flush pine panelling stained to resemble an exotic wood and a shallow double-pitch ceiling with cyma recta curves and concealed lighting at its apex. The music room has a few Art Deco embellishments - a shallow coffered ceiling and full-height stained pitch-pine panelling with fielded panels (an abstracted linen-fold syle, reminiscent of an open book), the wood said to have come from the old Waterloo Bridge demolished in 1932. The panelling is separated by glossy semi-circular columns without capitals, and there are ebonised skirting boards.</p>\n\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/media/uploads/2018/12/24/102594.jpg\" style=\"\">The theatre at Toynbee Studios, December 2018. Photograph © Derek Kendall.</p>\n\n<p>In 1939 a pair of murals, one of The Furies, the other of, apparently, Pegasus and Athena, were painted on the curving proscenium wall flanking the stage by Clive Gardiner (1891-1960), Mallon’s brother-in-law, in a similar, though more tonally muted, manner to that he used in his poster designs for London Transport.[^3]</p>\n\n<p>The theatre reflected Mallon's cultural interests, more highly developed than those of his predecessors. It hosted the Toynbee Drama Festival, which continued after the war, and in 1946 the first children’s theatre in Britain was established there, supported by, inter alios, John Gielgud, Bernard Shaw and Alec Guinness.[^4] The theatre stood empty from 1959 but its parlous financial situation was resolved in 1962 when it was leased to the LCC, and opened in 1964 as the Curtain Theatre by the Inner London Education Authority.[^5] </p>\n\n<p>The Curtain Theatre closed under the Thatcher government in 1984 but in 1995 the building was leased by the charity Artsadmin and opened asToynbee Studios, a centre for individuals and small companies to develop new performing arts work, with an extra floor was added. Alterations were made to turn the adjoining former Toynbee Hall drawing room of the 1880s into a bar/café and a new entrance was created by glazing the remains of the old colonnade, now abutting Profumo House, that had run between the drawing room and the Warden’s Lodge.[^6] </p>\n\n<p>[^1]: London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), District Surveyor's Returns (DSR): Asa Briggs and Anne Macartney (Briggs and Macartney), <em>Toynbee Hall: The First Hundred Years</em>, London 1984, pp. 119-20: LMA, GLC/AR/BR/07/02782; GLC/AR/BR/19/02782; GLC/AR/BR/13/111025]  </p>\n\n<p>[^2]: Briggs and Macartney, pp. 111-12: DSR</p>\n\n<p>[^3]: Briggs and Macartney, pp. 112, 120: Roseberys London Fine Art Auction, 15 Dec 2015, Lot 656</p>\n\n<p>[^4]: Briggs and Macartney, pp. 133-4</p>\n\n<p>[^5]: Briggs and Macartney, pp. 150-1, 155: David Chia Jun Weng, ‘The Performing Arts Story at Toynbee Theatre’, Toynbee Hall pamphlet, c. 2015: LMA, GLC/AR/PL/43/032</p>\n\n<p>[^6]: Tower Hamlets planning applications online: David Chia Jun Weng, ‘The Performing Arts Story at Toynbee Theatre’, Toynbee Hall pamphlet, 2015</p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p> </p>\n\n<p> </p>\n",
            "created": "2018-12-13",
            "last_edited": "2018-12-24"
        }
    ]
}