I'm pretty sure that as a kid in the mid-1960s, going to school at Tower Hill School further along Chamber Street, that this building was a garage used by Post Office Telephones, the forerunners to today's BT.
For a number of years now, it has been a car wash.
Records in the London Metropolitan Archives relating to the Sun Insurance Office show that in 1807, number 14 Chamber Street was occupied by William Hegley who carried out the trade of Gun Maker. Research on Hegley indicates he was a manager at the gun-making business of Daniel Goff, who had been Master of the Gunmakers Company, London. It appears that when Goff died in 1840, Hegley took over the contract for the supply of guns to the East India Company.
This single-storey brick building was erected in 1920–1 for the Lep Transport and Depository Co. Ltd as a garage and receiving depot, originally 26 Chamber Street, incorporating space in arches under the railway viaduct. J. S. Campion was the builder. By 1930 the CWS had a lease from the London and North Eastern Railway Company of what was then known as 14–15 Chamber Street and Arch 53/54. The premises continued in use as a CWS garage up to 1968 and have since been adapted to use as a carwash.
Plans in 1987 for a community centre on land to the west came to nothing. The huge Royal Mint Gardens development, begun in 2018, incorporates railway arches further west, the conversion and navigability of which promise a revival of the south side of Chamber Street.1
London Metropolitan Archives, District Surveyors Returns; GLC/AR/BR/17/45017; GLC/AR/BR/07/2914: Post Office Directories: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, L/SMB/C/1/3; Building Control file 20896: Tower Hamlets planning applications online ↩
From at least 1930 the Co-operative Wholesale Society leased premises for a garage from the London and North Eastern Railway Company at what was then known as 15 or 14–15 Chamber Street and Arch 53/54. This was occupied by the ‘Secretary, CWS’ in 1935 and was still in use as a CWS garage in 1968.1 It is presently a carwash.
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, L/SMB/C/1/3, Metropolitan Borough of Stepney Valuation List, 1935, p.39. ↩