The People’s Panorama is an ambitious project to create a community heritage resource recording and documenting the six-kilometre stretch of road from Aldgate to Stratford in East London. The project will celebrate the High Street at this historic point in its development and act as a record of the route from central London to the 2012 Olympic Park.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Zahra Rajaei's thoughts on researching Whitechapel High Street

'I have had a great time exploring my section of the High Street 2012 so far! My section includes Whitechapel Art Gallery, which I’ve visited very often and it is one of my favourite buildings on the high street. During my first visit all my focus was on the gallery and it was only after coming home and doing a bit of on-line research that I realised my section has a lot more to offer.

I realised I had completely missed a fine work of art just above the entrance of 88 Whitechapel High Street. It is quite hard to spot the sign of 1934-5 by Arthur Szyk, it is said to be a sign showing the editorial heart of the Jewish Daily Post. Arthur Szyk was a US based Jewish artist well known for his illustrations, this piece was made while he lived in London and is one of his few 3D pieces.  
I also found that The White Hart Pub is not just any old pub, it has a fascinating history. It was only during my second visit that I learned about the mysteries of the pub and that it has been a pub for more than 200 years. It is definitely worth a visit if you are interested in finding our about the darker history of Whitechapel! 

Photo by Jon Spencer

Although I have gathered a lot of information I still think there is more to it, one more week to discover the wonders of Whitechapel High Street.'
Zahra Rajaei
Zahra has been recording information about buildings
along High Street 2012 using her iphone

Friday, 10 February 2012

Barry Blinko, one of the volunteers, writes about his research so far...

I recently received the section of High Street 2012 that I am to research and it is close to Bow Church.  'Easy' I thought! A group of council blocks of flats and a couple of large old buildings.  Then I went along to February's training session at the archives.  I realised that before the blocks of flats were built there was something else there.  Suddenly not quite so easy.

I began my archives research this week and it became really interesting. I began to get a sense of the area. There used to be lots of shops of bygone trades - a chandlers, an eel stew shop, a clog maker, harness maker and so on.  Also I found that at one time there was a music hall - The Eastern Empire Music Hall then renamed the Bow Palace Music Hall.

The trades that seemed almost guaranteed survival were the funeral directors and the public houses!  Within a short distance there was the Bow Bells, which still exists complete with a reported ghost in the ladies toilet, Bird in Hand, Black Swan, Three Cups, White Horse and the Bombay Grab. Six pubs, a music hall and a cinema all in a short distance and only on one side of the road!  It shows that it must have been a lively area. 

I look forward to continuing my research and learning more.

Barry Blinko

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Visit to Tower Hamlets Archives!

The Peoples Panorama volunteers visited Tower Hamlets Archives over the weekend and then braved the cold to find out the current uses of buildings along High Street 2012. The archives are full of fantastic resources that will provide lots of information about the buildings along High Street 2012. For example; Post Office records dating back to the mid-18th century, which tell you exactly who was using all of the buildings along the high street over the last 150 years, alongside folders of images and many fascinating maps of the area.