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March 14, 2022

Fascinating Photographs of Old Shopfronts Taken in the East End of London in 1988

“In 1988 these ex-shops didn’t have long left. Long after the interiors had turned to dust, what you see are pretty much their last appearances on earth.”

Alan Dein’s photographs of East End shopfronts were taken in 1988 when many Tower Hamlets streets were on the verge of dereliction. Alan, an oral historian and broadcaster, lived in Stepney at the time. He decided to capture the diminishing, decaying local shops on film, many of them relics of the area’s Jewish community.

“My photographs of the derelict shopfronts record the last moments of the Jewish community in the area – the bustling world of the inter-war years had been moved into the suburbs, and the community that stayed behind was less identifiable. In the nineteen eighties they were just hanging on, some premises had been empty for more than five years. Like a mouthful of broken teeth, a boxer’s mouth that had been thumped, with holes where teeth once were.”

Hessel St

In Whitechapel

Redchurch St

Cheshire St

Hessel St

Quaker St

Toynbee St

In E2

Great Eastern St

Relocated to Edgware...

Brick Lane

Wilkes St

Goulston St

Hessel St


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