Category: East London

Getting to grips with Tower Hamlets (the borough that begins immediately east of the City of London) can be confusing.

Looking at the statistics will tell you that this is one of the poorest boroughs, not only in London but in the country as a whole (it has the highest level of child poverty in the UK according to official figures).

Yet Tower Hamlets is also home to the prosperous business district of Canary Wharf and many lavish apartment developments along the north bank of the Thames. Wealthy bankers live and have their homes just strides away those in cramped flats and struggling to meets ends meet. If ever you wanted a picture of inequality, this is it.

But for me Tower Hamlets is a story change and transformation.

Over the last 500 years the area has undergone considerable development, with the East End (which is mostly contained within the borough of Tower Hamlets) and its docks having initially emerged as an overspill to the burgeoning City.

And today Tower Hamlets, following successive waves of immigrations, is one of the most diverse parts of the country.

Dr Barnardo in Stepney

Like others in the 19th century, Thomas Barnardo planned to train as a doctor and use his new skills to help the poor on the other side of the world. As a medical missionary, he set his sights on ministering to the needy in China. The fact that […]