About eastlondonhistory.com

Eastlondonhistory.com started in 2001 as a spin-off from the pieces I wrote (and still write) for East End Life, a weekly newspaper published by Tower Hamlets Council and delivered free to every home in the borough. Over the years it’s mutated from a text-only website produced first in HTML (hard), then in Dreamweaver (easier) and now in WordPress (my dog could do it). And as it has developed I’ve added lots of other stuff that doesn’t go into the paper. Increasingly too I’m being dragged outside the East End by history stories … hugely enjoyable, though there aren’t enough hours in the day to cover everything. Over the next months we’re going to be upping the multimedia content considerably (lots more video, photos and maps) and we’re also going to be exploring the vast swathes of open data now out there on the internet: we’ve made a faltering start with murder maps, mortality maps and the rest … so watch this space.

We’re also very keen to get more readers involved in writing for the site. I know that the most interesting stories are the ones that people tell you, and there’s a huge treasure trove of oral history out there waiting to be discovered. So if you’ve got a story about the East End, old or new, we’d love to hear it. Don’t worry if you’re not a professional writer, we can tidy it up for you. So tweet me on @londonhistory.

John Rennie


6 Responses to About eastlondonhistory.com

  1. Dr John Maiden says:

    I am organising an event to take place at Toynbee Hall on 21 September this year – a partnership between The Open University and King’s College London – entitled ‘Religious Diversity in the East End: how can history inform the present?’ It is a ‘knowledge transfer’ event, rather than an ‘academic’ conference. I’d be very grateful if you could advise me on how I could advertise this to those with an interest in the history of the East End. If you are able to help at all I can send you publicity.
    Best wishes,

    Dr John Maiden

  2. I am organising an event about the three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) in the East in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. We had young people aged 16-25 interview people of different faiths during the era and prepare their oral history findings with a presentation and poster, these are set to be displayed at several locations throughout the East End such as the East London Mosque, Tower Hamlets Archives and Jewish Cultural Society. It would be great if you could help me with ways to advertise and also if you’d like to come to our opening event that would be fantastic.

    Kind regards,
    Hannah Waring

  3. Paul Fredericks says:

    A People’s History of London – by John Rees and Lindsey German

    A book launch will be taking place on Thursday 19 July at 7pm at the Brick Lane
    Bookshop. The event is free, but booking is essential. Please email info@bricklane-
    bookshop.co.uk to secure your place. Brick Lane Bookshop, 166 Brick Lane, E1 6R
    The forgotten history of London: the world capital of revolution

    In the eyes of Britain’s heritage industry, London is the traditional home
    of empire, monarchy and power, an urban wonderland for the privileged,
    where the vast majority of Londoners feature only to applaud in the

    Yet, for nearly 2000 years, the city has been a breeding ground for
    radical ideas, home to thinkers, heretics and rebels from John Wycliffe
    to Karl Marx. It has been the site of sometimes violent clashes that
    changed the course of history: the Levellers’ doomed struggle for
    liberty in the aftermath of the Civil War; the silk weavers, match girls
    and dockers who crusaded for workers’ rights; and the Battle of Cable
    Street, where East Enders took on Oswald Mosley’s Black Shirts.

    A People’s History of London journeys to a city of pamphleteers,
    agitators, exiles and revolutionaries, where millions of people have
    struggled in obscurity to secure a better future.

  4. Amine says:

    Hi There;

    I am doing a short film about East London, the film will be screened at 21 Artist Exhibition in Canning Town at the beginning of December. I currently collecting stories about East London and would love to interview someone who has interesting story about East London, ideally someone who captured the memories on pictures. Could be stories about their local pub, restaurant or street.

    Some of the work I did are on my website, and if you are interested, we could meet and discuss it further.


  5. Diana says:

    Hi John,

    My name is Diana de Paz, I am a student of Publishing at Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, and I am in a group of four people who are entitled to create a fictional publishing house. We have included in this our final project Arthur Morrison’s A child of the Jago and I am right now working on its cover. I got to your website in search of a photograph that could serve for it, and I really liked the one from Petticoat lane. Therefore, I would really appreciate if you could inform me about to whom this photograph belongs.

    I hope it’s not too much bothering, I’ll be waiting for your answer.
    Thank you very much in advance,

  6. brian bishop says:

    can’t find a contact form and not sure if John Rennie is a nom de plume, or, if not, it is harder to find the contemporary guardian of the moniker amongst the many historic references that google picks up.
    In specific, I’m inquiring because of your article tagged the “turk’s head club” if that may be the same “turks head club” where Johnson and Reynolds were first prone to hose ‘the Club’.

    thanks for any info you might have,


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