|No. 1 Bow Road|
Photo by Jon Spencer
With this in mind I settled into Tower Hamlets Archives. With 80 years worth of Post Office Directories at my disposal I was sure I could come up with some interesting histories of these terraces. The Directories (or Kelly’s Directories, the name under which they were published) are a fascinating series of volumes dating back to the early 1800s which among other things attempt to list every inhabitant or workplace at every address in London.
It is also interesting to see that most of the names of inhabitants throughout the 1800s seem to be of English descent but in the first half of the 20th century a number of other ethnicities seem to crop up, especially those of Eastern European descent. This helps to paint an interesting picture of the Mile End Road in relation to events in Europe and the world at the time.