Bethnal Green Travel Guide

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Bethnal Green Things to Do

  • Alice Denman Fountain

    In the park between Bethnal Green Station and V& A Childhoodyou will come across this drinking fountain dedicated to two East End localpeople who lost their lives to save others.Peter was twenty five years old, single and working as a carman next to the burning house.Alice was a twenty seven mother to six children. The youngest to die was a three...

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  • London Buddhist Centre

    The London Buddhist Centre it's a Grade II listed building and is the main location of the Triratna Buddhist Community in London, formerly known as the friends of the Western Buddhist Order.The red brick Victorian building it used to be an old fire station which it closed down in 1969 and 1970 it got destroyed further by fire. The London Buddhist...

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  • Bethnal Green Old Town Hall

    Bethnal Green Town Hall was built in 1910 by architects Percy Robinson and William Alban Jones and it was extended in 1936-1939. The main entrance to the Town Hall it was from Cambridge Heath Road but when the extension was built the main entrance it through Patriot Square.The statue over the front entrance of the Town Hall shows a stately matron...

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  • St John on Bethnal Green Church

    The day I visited this church it was for the Bethnal Green tube disaster memorial last year. The church it's very wide and what it striked me when I first entered it was the ceiling. The ceiling looked like an overturned boat with timber frames holding it up. St John on Bethnal Green church was built on a the Green and Poor’s land which it's an...

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  • Attending the Memorial Service Stairway...

    Last year I'm was able to attend the service for the one hundred and seventy three civilians that died during the Second World War by Bethnal Green tube station were the disaster had happened.I have attended the service at St John's church just opposite the memorial and were the tragedy struck and then we had taken part in a procession to the...

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  • Stairway to Heaven Memorial

    The biggest tragedy of civilians lost during the Second World War has happened in Bethnal Green tube station in East London on a cold winters night third of March 1943. During the Blitz when London was bombed continuously every night as the London docks were not far from Bethnal Green civilians had been taken shelter in the tube stations.On the...

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  • V & A Museum of Childhood.

    I do visit the V&A Museum of Childhood when they have got specific exhibitions as last years exhibitions was all War Games and as I'm was around the area for a memorial service I went along to see the exhibition and since they have renovated I haven't been in. The museum it has changed for the better since the renovation with much more natural...

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  • The Council Chamber

    The council chamber it was where local council meetings were taken place before it was closed down The panels are made of Australian walnut wood and now it's one of the places that weddings take place. The windows, light fittings and the air vents are all Art Decor, In the Council Chamber they do hold most of their wedding ceremonies as it's one of...

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  • 1897 Electric Street Lights

    Between the V& A Childhood museum and the park in a small alley that takes you into Globe Road you will see around five to six electric street lights which there were made and installed in 1897. I don't know if they are the oldest in the area but I'm was surprised to come across them.Above the base there's a decorative part with small roses...

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  • The Camel Pub- A traditional pub.

    The Camel pub it's a very small narrow cosy traditional East End pub which it hasn't lost it's charm over the years.I been here for a drink as my partner wanted to try some of their draught ales. The atmosphere it was a mixture of East End from the landlady and bar staff and a bit upper market from the newbies in the area.The staff were friendly...

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  • Mosaic Murals @ Globe Primary school

    The mosaic murals at the Globe Primary school in Bethnal Green was created by the Artyface team. Artyface it was started by Maud Milton in 1999 after finishing her degree in mosaics and ceramic art. The idea for the mosaics with the animals it was inspired by the name of the school Globe and all the murals have animals on them from around the world...

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  • De Montford Suite

    The £2.700 night suite at Town Hall hotel it's on two floors and the day I have visited it was going to be a wedding so they were getting the room ready. On the lower room it had a stained glass, an original fireplace which it was obstructed by the bar and a piano on one corner of the room. The first floor room it was the bedroom which it was open...

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  • The interior @Town Hall Hotel

    When I stepped inside the Town Hall hotel my jaw nearly hit the ground, The elegance, style and the beauty of the hotel with so many original features it was so striking that i didn't know what to see first. I had the opportunity to visit this on the Open House weekend. In every room of the hotel you can perform a wedding. The ground floor lobby...

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  • Toys on the Pavement

    On the pavement outside Bethnal Green Tube Street by the Salmon and Ball Pub there are several metal arcs with toys engraved on them. There's a duck flying an airplane, a book, a bus , a teddy and a few other which it looks like toys and which they must be linked to the Museum of Childhhod which it's a few metres away.I couldn't think for any other...

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  • 'Ave a Drink Dahn the Salmon!

    The Salmon and Ball is situated on the corner of Cambridge Heath Road and Bethnal Green Road. There has been a pub here since 1733, but the present building only dates from the mid 19th century. The pub was originally called 'The Salmon', alluding to the fact that in the 17th century salmon could be caught in the Thames. 'Ball', being a ball of...

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  • Locked in Love

    While I was shopping in Brick Lane Market in July 2014, I came across this chain link fence with love locks fixed to it in Braithwaite Street, a short distance from the market.A love lock is a padlock which couples fix to a fence or similar public fixture to symbolise their love. The couples names are written on the lock then, once fixed to the...

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  • On Mother Kelly's Doorstep Down Paradise...

    Many of you will have heard the old music hall song 'On Mother Kelly's Doorstep' made famous by Danny la Rue, but did you know that the song is about a real place and a real person?Paradise Row is made up of terraced houses dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries. The gardens in front of the terrace was once a small strip land that formed...

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  • Stairway to Heaven

    On 3 March 1943 the worst civilian disaster of World War II happened at Bethnal Green tube station. The station was being used as an air-raid shelter and when the sirens sounded hundreds of people rushed into the station seeking safety. The search lights went on and as the anti-aircraft battery in nearby Victoria Park launched a salvo at the enemy...

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  • Art, Amens and Alcohol.

    The Church of St John on Bethnal Green was designed by Sir John Soane. Built between 1826 and 1828 it is a Grade I Listed Building.In 2000, the church commissioned artist Chris Gollon to paint the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The work was funded by pubic subscription and took nine years to complete. The paintings were finished in 2009 and are on...

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  • A useful place to know.

    This is another place that is difficult to categorise on VT as it has several functions. It is a bar, restaurant and comedy club all in the one building. I have not eaten here nor been to any of the shows so I shall treat it here as a thing to do.The Backyard Bar is the brainchild of the prominent British comedian Lee Hurst who is well-known as a...

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  • A great little chippy.

    I am never quite sure whether to put takeaway food places in the restuarant section or the things to do section so I have developed a sort of rule for it. If a place has any sort of seating at all it goes in the restaurant section and if not it is a thing to do. The Fish Plaice on Cambridge Heath Road falls into the latter category. However, don't...

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Bethnal Green Restaurants

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    Beigel Bake: Well Worth The Wait!

    by HackneyBird Written Mar 3, 2014

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    The Beigel Bake in Brick Lane market is, in my opinion, the best beigel shop in the East End. It's very popular, as you can see by the queue which was out of the door and onto the pavement on the Sunday I visited. Don't let that put you off though, the staff deal with the orders quite quickly and you won't have to wait long to be served.

    The beigels are baked on the premises and there are many different varieties of beigels and fillings on offer and everything is written up on the menu behind the counter.

    Favorite Dish: I had a salt beef and cream cheese beigel with mustard and dill pickle. The beigel was really fresh and the salt beef tender, succulent and flavoursome. My beigel cost £4.20, the dill pickle was 20p extra. It was absolutely delicious! Just the thing to keep you going when you are out and about!

    Open:- 24 hours daily.

    Prices:- £1.95 - £5.95.

    Beigel Bake, Brick Lane Queing for beigels. Inside the Beigel Bake Salt beef and beigels Salt beef and cream cheese beigel.
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Bethnal Green Nightlife

  • East End kneesup updated.

    I remember when I moved to London in the late 1980's that Bethnal Green Road was one of the hotspots of nightlife in the city. It seemed that there was a nighclub or very lively pub on just about every corner and it really was very lively at the weekend. That really is no longer the case. For a variety of reasons, there are far fewer pubs and I...

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  • I know it's only rock 'n' roll.

    Update January 2013.I do like to keep my tips as up to date as I can and there has been a change in the music scene now in the Salmon and Ball. The original tip, which I shall leave here for interest, was written almost four years ago. The rock bands no longer play here regularly but there are occasional blues outfits, normally very good. If the...

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Bethnal Green Local Customs

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    East End Gansters or Local Heroes?

    by HackneyBird Written Jul 13, 2014

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    This is not a local custom review as such, it's more of a local history review. I thought it might make interesting reading so I decided to put it here.

    The East End gansters, Ronnie Kray (1933-1995) and his identical twin Reggie (1933-2000), were notorious in Bethnal Green for their gang and it's violence.

    Born in Hoxton to Violet and Charles Kray, they moved to 178 Valance Road, Bethnal Green when they were 5 years old. During their teens they were arrested several times and each time they avoided being sent to prison. Then, in 1952, they were called up for National Service. They reported for duty but tried to leave a short while later. Their corporal tried to stop them, but Ronnie hit him in the face, leaving him seriously injured. The twins went AWOL, returned home and were eventually arrested, but not before beating up a police officer who tried to arrest them. They were held in the Tower of London before being sent to Shepton Mallet Military Prison to await court-martial. After sentencing, they were sent to the Home Counties Brigade Depot Jail in Canterbury, Kent. Their behaviour during their time in prison was so bad that they both received dishonourable discharges.

    Before their conscription and subsequent discharge from the army, the twins both had careers as amateur boxers. Their prison sentences and discharges out pay to that and they turned to crime full time.

    They bought a run down snooker hall and used it as a front for their protection rackets and other criminal activities. By the end of the 50's the brothers were involved in hijacking, arson and armed robbery and used the proceeds from these crimes to fund the purchase of other clubs and properties. They were given a nightclub, Esmarelda's, in Knightsbridge (the Berkley Hotel stands on the site today), giving them influence in the West End and making them celebrities rather than criminals. In the 60's they were seen as charming, prosperous nightclub owners and socialising with stars such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Diana Dors and Barbara Windsor, peers of the realm and MP's helped to enhance this image.

    The Krays luck ran out in 1968 when Ronnie was arrested for the murder of George Cornell and Reggie for the murder of Jack 'the Hat' McVitie. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 30 years. Their older brother, Charlie, who was a member of their gang, was sentenced to 10 years for his part in the murders.

    Ronnie Kray was certified insane and spent the rest of his life in Broadmoor Hospital. He died of a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 61.

    Reggie Kray was classified as a Category A prisoner, not allowed to mix with other prisoners and denied all liberties. In his later years, he was downgraded to a Category E prisoner and was transferred to Wayland Prison, Norfolk. He was finally released from Wayland on compassionate ground for inoperable bowel cancer in August 2000 and died in his sleep on 1 October 2000.

    Charlie Kray served 7 years in prison and was released in 1975. He was sentenced again in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth £69 million. He died in prison of natural causes in April 2000.

    The Krays are buried in their family plot at Chingford Mount Cemetery. Their funeral services were all held at St Matthew's church, Valance Road, and on each occasion thousands of people lined the streets of Bethnal Green to pay their respects.

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Bethnal Green Off The Beaten Path

  • Through The Eyes Of A Child ~ # 3

    If you have come to this page other than by way of Part 1 I suggestg you go there first as this will make much more sense.There are many interactive things to do at the Museum of Childhood and as you can see, my grandson made full use of them on the day we visited.There are a selection of Zoetrope's that you can spin to watch the pictures move....

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  • Through The Eyes Of A Child ~ # 2

    If you have come by this page other than by way of Part 1 I suggest you go there first as this will make much more sense.There are many fascinating things to see in the Museum of Childhood, far too many to write about here, so I thought I would share a few of my favourite displays.The doll's house in the main photo is one of the museums collection...

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  • Through The Eyes Of A Child ~ Part 1

    The Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood is a branch of the Victoria and Albert Museum housing its collections of toys, children's books and other material connected with childhood.The main prefabricated iron structure was part of the temporary buildings built for the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1856. It was moved to its present site in the late...

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Bethnal Green Sports & Outdoors

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    The home of boxing.

    by planxty Written May 5, 2009

    Anybody who follows boxing at all will have heard of the York Hall, Bethnal Green, it is simply legendary. The East End has always been known for it's boxing with many young men trying to fight their way out of the poverty that was traditionally associated with the area. The local flyweight WBC champion Charlie Magri] is merely one example from a long line. Charlie, incidentally, is now a successful businessman in the area.

    There are still regular boxing nights held here, and the atmosphere can be quite terrific. At the time of writing this tip, a quick look at the website shows several professional boxing nights including a British welterweight bout. There are also the so-called "cage" fights and amateur nights as well.

    If boxing is not your thing, York Hall is a completely equipped leisure centre in it's own right.

    Equipment: Nothing to watch the boxing, appropriate gear for other activities.

    York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, UK. York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, UK.

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