Category Archives: London’s immigrant communities

Whitechapel to Sierra Leone

Number 212 Whitechapel High Street is an unremarkable stretch of London street today — though doubtless home to good works as the site of the Methodist Church’s Whitechapel Mission. But two centuries ago, it was one of the linchpins of a … Continue reading

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Cigar makers of the East End of London

The trading vessels that set off for the New World, for Asia, and for the West and East Indies from the 16th century onward, brought back a number of goods, without which it’s impossible to imagine the London of today. … Continue reading

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St Patrick’s Day … London Irish historical connections

I REALISED as I looked around my Essex classroom 40-odd years ago that pretty much all of us came from somewhere else. The name were Jewish, Welsh, Scots or Irish: even digging back a couple of generations, my own provenance … Continue reading

Posted in Black East End of London, London's immigrant communities, Religion and the East End | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Stepney by Samantha Bird

MAGNIS AD MAIORA runs the legend beneath the coat of arms of the London Borough of Stepney – ‘from great things to greater’ for those of us unlucky (or lucky) enough to not have studied Latin at school. But how … Continue reading

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Bengalis in London’s East End

It was a baptism such as happened in City and East End churches thousands of times each year, if rather grander than most, as the Lord Mayor of London was in attendance. The year was 1616 and the venue St … Continue reading

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The Cable Street riot of 1919

Rioting on Cable Street. And unemployed East Enders taking out their frustrations on the immigrants they believed had taken their jobs. But it wasn’t 1936, and it wasn’t Oswald Mosley and his BUF attacking the local Jewish population. 17 years … Continue reading

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The end of Chinatown in Limehouse

The Chinese community in Limehouse reached its peak just after the First World War. Though previous estimates put the numbers at around 3,000, they are now thought to have numbered no more than 300. But the London newspapers were working … Continue reading

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Cable Street – 74 years on

In 1936 a battle took place on the streets of the East End that was to focus the eyes of Britain on the growing threat of fascism in its midst. A plaque on a wall in Dock Street tells the … Continue reading

Posted in East End at war, Jewish East End, London's immigrant communities | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Brick Lane bombing

THE targeting of Brick Lane may have a twisted logic for Saturday’s bombers. If there’s one area that has shown the ability of Londoners to welcome and absorb incoming cultures it’s Spitalfields, as wave after wave of immigrants have settled … Continue reading

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History of Brick Lane

Back in April 1999, Brick Lane was the second target in a bomb campaign targeting minorities in London. A week earlier Brixton, with a large Black community had been targeted. A week later, a Soho gay pub, the Admiral Duncan, … Continue reading

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