Great Eastern Railway to Ilford Bethnal Green

Great Eastern Railway from Liverpool Street to Ilford
The Line runs north eastwards from Bethnal Green Station
TQ 35445 82160

This posting covers only the south west portion of the square

This part of Bethnal Green covers part of two main roads - Cambridge Heath Road and Mile End Road. There is philanthropic housing, churches and council estates.  There was also a great deal of industry - sheet metal and rope in Cambridge Heath Road where the remains of what were often imposing head offices can still be found.  Mile End Road has its statue of Salvation Army founder Booth, a mosque and a cinema - along with the remains of one of the massive east London breweries, in this case Charringtons. In the back street gin was distilled and pickles pickled.

Post to the west Three Colt Lane
Post to the north Bethnal Green

Bellevue Place
Cottages 18th-19th brick terrace with garden paved walk from Cleveland Way., with ‘true cottage gardens’.

Cambridge Heath Road
This was at one time called Cambridge Road and also partly Dog Lane.  The heath is an area now built over at the northern end.
223 Morain House. This was a sheet metal works for Sol Schaverien and Sons, Ltd built on the site of a mission hall. Schaverien eventually concentrated on their umbrella manufacturing business here moving to a site at Mile End in the 1980s. The building has since been used by an electrical equipment business with a series of art galleries in the office accommodation.
231 The East London Electric Theatre opened in 1911 operated by Frank Stebbing. By 1918 it was called the East London Picture Palace and closed in 1919.
205 1940s office block on a site which before the Second World War was the Three Colts Pub. The pub was there before 1820 and may have closed before the Great War.
93 Sovereign House. Site of the Foresters Cinema which was opened as a hall attached to the Artichoke Public House from 1825, and converted into the Foresters Music Hall in 1889 by Edward Clark. Known as the Royal Foresters Music Hall from 1901-1904 it reverted back to Foresters Music Hall from 1904, when it was operated by the MacNaghten Vaudeville Circuit. In 1916 was re-named the New Lyric Music Hall and was also known as the Lyric Theatre. It closed in 1917 re-opened in 1926 when it opened as the Foresters Super Cinema with alterations by George Coles.  In 1937 it was taken over by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. It suffered from damage in the Second World War, and was closed in 1947 and re-opened in 1949.  It was eventually closed in 1960 and demolished in 1964
Bethnal Green Gardens.  This quarter square covers only a tiny portion of the southernmost end.  The gardens cover an area safeguarded by trustees as ‘Poors Land’ since the 1690s in order to stop development.  The section covered here consists of ornamental gardens and some tennis courts.
The bridge taking the Great Eastern Railway over Cambridge Heath Road is a replacement of 1893
Mile End Station. This was built in 1841 on the Eastern Counties Railway and from map evidence it may have been on the south east side of the road.  In 1872 it closed having been replaced by replaced by Bethnal Green Junction
135 The Carpenters Arms. This was present in what was then Dog Row in 1849 and at 34 Cambridge Road in 1861. It was rebuilt after the Second World War on a different site as part of Donegal House on the Collingwood Estate
Brick arch surmounted by a globe and a small public garden on the corner with Cephas Street as some sort of entrance to Globe Town.
Rope walk. Before the 1890s a rope walk ran from Three Colt Lane between this road and Buckhurst Street

Cephas Avenue
This was originally St. Peter Street and was laid out in a straight line, running north from Mile End Road and centred on the church. The housing was built up from the 1830s to the 1890s.
50 ½ Katherine Wheel pub. Closed and now housing

Cephas Street
In the 19th the east end of the road, near the church, was called St. Peter’s Street and the end near Cambridge Heath Road was Devonshire Street
Frank Dobson Square.  Named after the artist of with Woman with a Fish which had been acquired by the London County Council in the 1960s as a feature for the Cleveland Estate. . The 1950s statue was used as a drinking fountain until vandalised and then removed. There is a replica in Millwall Park.
John Scurr Primary School.   John Scurr was born in 1876 and grew up in Poplar. He was secretary of the Poplar Labour League and District Chairman of the Dockers’ Union.  He was elected to Poplar Borough Council in 1919 and in 1921 he was sent to Prison for refusing to levy Poplar’s share London County Council rates. He was later an Alderman of the LCC. And MP for Mile End Ward in 1923 and played a leading role in 1930 Education Bill. The school is housed in a 1920's three-decker building which appears to be part of what was Cephas Street School. John Scurr School appears to previously have been in Wessex Road in the site now used by the Bangabandhu Primary School.
Cephas Street School. This was a School Board for London school built as an elementary school in 1928. It was badly bombed in the Second World War.  It is assumed that ‘School house’ in Cephas Street is one of the original school buildings.
Smith, Druce & Co.  Phoenix Gin Distillery. This had an artesian well
St. Peters Court. Housing in what was St Peter’s Church. This was built in 1838 for the Metropolis Churches Fund. It was designed by Edward Blore, but bombed in the Second World War. The Vicarage was to the west of the church and the Sunday school to the east

Cleveland Way
Cleveland Estate. Designed and built by the London County Council Architects Department in 1962
64 Crown Pickle Works. Barons Crown Pickles & Binnella Ltd. This was on the site of what is now Lamplighter Close.
56 Golden Eagle pub demolished in 2000.  There are now flats on the site.

Colebert Avenue
Previously Devonshire Street
Moses and Solomon Almshouses. Thus charity was set up to to relieve the poverty and to ameliorate the condition of the Jewish poor of the Metropolis. It consst of Twelve tenements Founded in 1838 by Lyon Moses and the late Henry Solomon, and administered by the Jewish Board of Guardians. The almshouses appear to have remained there until the early 1950s. There now appears to be ball courts on the site.
Barrows Charity Almshouses. Barrow’s Almshouses were founded by Joseph Barrow. The Almshouses of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, founded in 1703 were amalgamated with the Montefiore Almshouses, founded by Sir Moses Montefiore, and the Pacifico Almshouses, founded by Dr. Emanuel Pacifico, and they were all removed to a new set of buildings in Devonshire-street on the site of Barrow's Almshouses, and opened in 1894. They appear to have gone by the Second World War. The site is now flats.
Cigar Box Factory

Hadleigh Close
Railway Viaduct. The skew bridge was replaced in 1880 with a substantial iron bridge carried on cast iron Tuscan columns. The bridge is said to be of interest for its five slanting rows of columns.
Blind arch to the east, with a pylon-formed buttress to its left and beyond a further row of five arches.

Hayfield Passage
Recalls the time when hay carts would travel down to the hay market in Whitechapel High Street.

Malcolm Place
Railway Viaduct – a Section of the north side of the Eastern Counties Railway Viaduct built 1838-40, for which John Braithwaite was engineer. It is in brick, and includes a number of arches and buttresses. A skew bridge spans Malcolm Street to Braintree Street. This viaduct carried the first railway to connect London with East Anglia. The arcade along Malcolm Street was originally called Railway Place. The viaduct is from the first generation of railway building.

Mile End Road
A wide thoroughfare with broad pavements with gardens and shrubberies. The open land attracted large institutions in the 19th including workhouses. It was here that Jewish tailors came here to hear their leaders like Lewis Lyons. In 1898 Theodore Hertzl proclaimed Zionism here and in 1917 the Jewish Legion was formed here to liberate Palestine from the Turks.
31 Tower Hamlet Mission. Charis provides therapeutic residential care for addicts.  The was established in 1870 by Frederick Charrington, heir to a brewery fortune and set up as a charity by the Charity Commission in 1938, following his death. Charis opened in 1988.  There are three staff houses and an administration block. The central feature is a light well and a courtyard with a small fountain and pool give light and a feeling of peace and there is a Chapel for prayer and meditation.
Statue of William Booth. This is a copy of the statue by G.E Wade which is outside the Salvation Army Headquarters at Denmark Hill. It is painted grey and in fibreglass to defeat vandalism – the bottom s also filled with concrete. However the book which he once held is gone. It was put up in 1979 to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.
39 Statue of Edward VII.  Life-sized bronze bust of unveiled on 12 October 1911. Erected by the Freemasons of the Eastern District of which he was Grand Master.
69-90 Wickham & Sons.  Department store with an extensive frontage along the road. The Wickham family were originally drapers, trading from 69, 71 and 73 Mile End Road.  Built by Thomas Jay Evans
81 occupied by the Spiegelhalter family business of clockmakers and jewellers. The Wickham family acquired the entire block except the Spiegelhalter's shop at 81 and planned a major rebuilding of their shop. This time the Spiegelhalter family refused to part with their premises at any price. Their refusal to move led to the odd situation in which the new store was built around the family shop which continued to trade when Wickham’s opened on both its sides.
91 Al-Huda Mosque. Built in 1928 by Whinney, Son and Austen Hall as a bank and closed in 1987 after repeated bank robberies. In 2000 it became a Mosque, which serves the Somali Muslim community.
93-95 The Genesis Cinema. This opened in 1848 as the Eagle pub and music hall. This was later Lusby's Summer and Winter Garden and later Lusby's Music Hall which was burnt down in 1884. The owners, Crowder & Payne, hired Frank Matcham to design the Paragon Theatre of Varieties which opened in 1885. This had a revolutionary air extraction system which helped Matcham become the most successful theatre architect of his day. The drop-curtain was painted by. Charles Brooke and interior decoration was by the Framemaker's Gilders' and Decorators' Association. Charlie Chaplin made his first stage appearance here. In 1912 it was renamed the Mile End Empire and used as a cinema and was bought in 1928 by the United Picture Theatre circuit and then in 1934 ABC. ABC replaced the old theatre with a modern building designed by their chief architect, W.R. Glen. In 1963 it housed the Royal World Premiere of Sparrows Can't Sing hosted by Ronnie and Reggie Kray attended by the Earl of Snowdon because Princess Margaret was ill - the auditorium had been specially redecorated and a new wide screen had been fitted. As well as Barbara Windsor and half show biz of the day, there were trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and music from the Metropolitan Police Band. It was called the Cannon cinema when it closed in the 1980s. It opened as Genesis Cinema was opened in 1999, with Barbara Windsor as the guest of honour.
129 Adams House. This is remaining building of the Anchor Brewery. It is offices and flats called Charrington House. The name of Adams House comes from Adams Solicitors who own it.
133-135 house built in the 18th which  incomplete and reduced to first floor level. In the 1960s, it was used as a garage, and used for the storage of car tyres. In 1994, an arson attack almost led to the loss of the panelled interior.
137-139 Malplaquet House. Built as one of three in 1742 by Thomas Andrews and named after the Battle of Malplaquet. Brewer Harry Charrington lived 1794 -1833 and following his occupancy the house was subdivided, and shops built on the front garden. A number of small businesses were there in the 19th - a bookmaker, a printer and 1910-1975 by the Union of Stepney Ratepayers. Architect Richard Seifert provided new shop fronts following repairs to Second World War bomb damage. In the 1990s, Spitalfields Trust helped save it from demolition. In 1998, Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan bought it from the Spitalfields Trust. In 2010, it was described as "possibly the most superbly restored, privately owned Georgian house in the country
156 Hayfield Tavern. This pub dates from the 18th, it was the brewery tap for Charrington’s Brewery and the rooms upstairs were where Brewery directors met for private dining and meetings. It was called the Pearly Queen from 1970 and is now the Hayfield Masala,
166 Early 19th house. Painted brick with parapet. Modern shop on ground floor.
168 This was the Black Horse. It was originally a Charrington Brewery house.  It has its original pub fa├žade and inside is has a tiled mural of a black horse.  It later became a gay bar and is now closed.
182 site of Augustus Attwell's butcher's shop. Mabel Lucy Attwell was born here in 1879 and became a popular illustrator of children's books.
Anchor Brewery – This was Charrington's Brewery. It had been built in 1757 by Westfield and Moss, replacing their Bethnal Green brewery. In 1766, John Charrington, and After Moss retired in 1783 John and Henry Charrington were in full control of the business.  By 1783 John Charrington and his brother Harry were the proprietors. In 1785 they installed a steam engine and by 1808 they were second in the list of the leading 12 London brewers. After Charrington's death in 1815, the business was continued by his son, Nicholas. In 1833 Charrington's began brewing stout and porter as well as ale. At its peak it produced 20,000 barrels of beer a week. In 1872 they bought a brewery in Burton on Trent and thenceforth operated the two breweries. They also bought up 40 other brewers between 1833 and 1930. Frederick Charrington, heir to the Charrington Brewery, began his Temperance movement in Whitechapel, and he relentlessly pursued brothel keepers, hounding them out by noting their activities in his black book. . In 1967, Charrington formed Bass Charrington Limited. The Anchor Brewery ceased production in 1975, but remained the company's head office. Most of the brewery buildings had been demolished and has been redeveloped as housing, offices and a shopping centre as the Anchor Retail Park.

Wylen Close
Gouldman House. Tower block of reinforced concrete frame on stilts part of Cleveland estate

Aldous. London Villages 
British History Online. Bethnal Green
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cinema treasures. Web site
City and East London Beer Guide
Closed Pubs. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
East London History Society Review
Genesis Cinema. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
John Scurr School. Web site
London Encyclopaedia,
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site
Lucas, London
Malplaquet House. Wikipedia. Web site
Meulenkamp and Wheatley. Follies.
Panoramaeast. Web site
The Green, 
TourEast. Leaflet


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