Petticoat Lane 1903

Today’s blog takes you on a journey back in time and take a look at Petticoat Lane as it was in 903, 15 years after the Jack the Ripper murders.

There’s something quite eerie about this black and white film in that you are actually staring into the faces of some of the men and women who would have lived through the autumn of terror, when the Jack the Ripper murders were taking place in the East End of London.

Petticoat Lane as a street name doesn’t actually exist any more – nor did it exist as a street name in 1888. Earlier in the 19th century its name had been changed to, what at the time, was considered the less offensive, Middlesex Street. And, as can be seen on this black and white film it became a very busy thoroughfare when the market was taking place on a Sunday morning.

Middlesex Street, or Petticoat Lane, marks the boundary between the City of London and the East End of London.

It features on our Jack the Ripper Tour in that we walk over the very section of the street where this clip was filmed on our walk around the murder sites and use it to show the differences that occurred between the Metropolitan Police (in whose jurisdiction the majority of Jack the Ripper’s crimes took place) and the City of London Police (on whose territory the murder of Catherine Eddowes took place).

The great thing about these black and white films is that they enable us to look back in time and, effectively, see the faces of those who knew the area as it was at the time of the infamous Whitechapel Murders.

So, please enjoy this little time capsule of a film and, to see how this street looks  today, come and join our Jack the Ripper walk and enjoy a tour that will, in the words of one international newspaper, almost convince you that “you’ve been transported back in time”.