8 Ensign Street

1994-5 flats

8 Ensign Street
Contributed by Survey of London on March 5, 2019

An early shophouse at 12 Ensign Street survived into the late 1970s in the shadow of the Sailors’ Home. Jack Georgiou, ice cream maker and restaurateur, was here from the 1930s. By 1959 Abdi Warsama Shirreh, who also ran a hostel on the other side of Ensign Street, was running a café that became the ‘Somali Restaurant’. The larger site had been acquired by the Sailors’ Home, so passedwith it  to the Look Ahead Housing Association in the 1970s. In 1994–5 that organisation employed Levitt Bernstein Associates, architects (Edward Cox), and J. J. McGinley Ltd (Builders) to erect a four-storey yellow-brick faced block of twelve single-person ‘move-on’ flats, designed for individuals in transition from hostel to independent living.[^1]

^1]: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, Building Control files 21689, 25705: Post Office Directories