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August 28, 2022

38 Vibrant and Colorful Vintage Pictures of London’s East End in the 1980s

The East End of London, often referred to within the London area simply as the East End, lies east of the Roman and medieval walls of the City of London and north of the River Thames. Aldgate Pump on the edge of the City is regarded as the symbolic start of the East End. On the river, the Tower Dock inlet, just west of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge marks the beginning of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and its older predecessors. 

Shops, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Beyond these reference points, the East End has no official or generally accepted boundaries; views vary as to how much of wider East London lies within it.

Beyond the small eastern extramural wards, the narrowest definition restricts the East End to the modern London Borough of Tower Hamlets. A more common preference is to add to Tower Hamlets the former parish and borough of Shoreditch (including Hoxton and Haggerston), which is now the southern part of the modern London Borough of Hackney. 

Marchant & Fegan Ltd, 322, Kingsland Rd, Dalston, Hackney, 1986

Other commentators prefer a definition broader still, encompassing districts such as West Ham, East Ham, Leyton, Walthamstow, parts or all of Hackney (the district, rather than the larger modern borough) and Ilford.

These pictures of the East End were taken by Peter Marshall. For more fascinating vintage photographs, make sure to visit his Flickr site.

Closed Saturday, Open Sunday, shop door, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, ca 1980

Great Eastern Mural, Westferry Rd, Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets, 1982

East & West Social Club, Cannon St Rd, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Mural, Wenlock Rd, Hoxton, 1986

A Faris Ltd, Whitechapel High St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986-8

Newco, Whitechapel High St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986-8

Palaseum Cinema, 226, Commercial Road, Stepney, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Regents Canal, Hertford Union Canal, Stoneway Walk, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Bill Mayes, Sandwich Bar, Commercial Rd, Limehouse, 1986

Cable St Mural, Cable St, Shadwell, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Cheshire St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Synagogue, Fieldgate St, East London Mosque, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Beauty Cloth Stores, New Road area, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Caribbean House, Community Centre, Bridport Place, Hoxton, Hackney, 1986

Ford Square, Stepney, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Washing, Yard, Cranford Cottages, Cranford St, Shadwell, Tower Hamlets, 1986

West Ham, J R Travel, Bonner St, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Shop, Hackney Rd, Tower Hamlets , Hackney, 1986

Black Cat Cigarettes, Advertising, flats, Dingley Rd, Islington, 1986

We Want Decent Housing in the E1 Area, Varden St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Mural, Cannon St Rd, Shadwell, Tower Hamlets, 1986, 1986

Asia Dry Cleaners & Laundry, 52, New Road area, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

River Thames, Sailing Ship, Isle of Dogs, Greenwich, 1986

Muslim Halal Butcher, 4, Hessel St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Market trolley, Hoxton Market, Hoxton St, Hoxton, Hackney, 1986

St Leonard Shoreditch, Poor Relief, Hoxton Market, Hoxton St, Hoxton, Hackney, 1986

Three boys, Stepney Green, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Florists', Packing, Tissue, Donovan Bros, Crispin St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1986

Mural, Caribbean House, Bridport Place, Hoxton, Hackney, 1986

Crown & Dolphin, Cable St, Cannon St Rd, Shadwell, Tower Hamlets, 1986

St Katherine's Dock, Tower Hamlets, 1987

Bath House, Bishopgate Churchyard, City, 1987

White Horse Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988

Navy outfitters, India Dock Rd, Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, 1988

Nursery, Blackwall Tunnel Approach, Bromley by Bow, Tower Hamlets, 1988

Coffee Bar, Cheshire St, Spitalfields, Tower Hamlets, 1989




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