The other day I made my way up to the roof top viewing platform of One New Change in the City of London. If you’ve never paid this a visit I’d highly recommend it. It’s located on Cheapside, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral and the vista it offers is absolutely stunning. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny. It’s 100% free of charge.
One of the things that you will notice, should you choose to make the ascent, is just how many cranes are now dotting the London skyline. Indeed, at the moment, London is much like a giant building site.
Nowhere is this more so than in the East End of London where a huge amount of construction has taken place over the last 15 years.
The new Crossrail station is under construction on Durward Street, formerly Bucks Row where the murder of Mary Nichols took place on 31st August 1888.
Whitechapel High Street, on which our Jack the Ripper Walking Tour begins each night at 7pm, has seen an awful lot of redevelopment in recent years.
Sadly we’ve just lost one of our favourite local pubs with the closure last Friday of the Aldgate Exchange Pub.
Mitre Square, where the murder of Catherine Eddowes took place on 30th September 1888 is in the process of being completely redeveloped, and the buildings around the site of the murder of Mary Kelly are in the process of undergoing the same fate.
Yes, there is no doubt that the face of the East End has changed, and will continue to change for the foreseeable future.
Thankfully, some of those who live in the area are now fighting back and are determined to monitor and, wherever possible, restrict the widespread demolition of the area’s historic buildings.
The East End Preservation Society was recently founded at a meeting at the Bishopsgate Institute with the stated aim of giving a democratic voice to those who wish to protect the heritage of this unique part of London.
If you do care about what happens around the district pop on over to their Facebook page and, at least, give them a like.
There is no doubt that the streets of Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Shoreditch have a distinctive atmosphere that you can feel the moment you leave the City of London. Currently, that atmosphere is under threat by those wish to turn it into just another city skyscape and, effectively, rip out its historic heart.
The East End Preservation Society deserves the support of all of us who have ever enjoyed walked those streets and fallen under the magical spell of the wonderful buildings found in them.