On our nightly tour, that follows the trail of Jack the Ripper around the mean streets of the East End of London, we try to give our clients the impression of what the streets they are walking through were like at the time of the Whitechapel murders.
To do this, we use contemporary press reports, many of which paint a vivid picture of the locals where the crimes occurred, and evocative black and white photographs that actually show the sites as they were at the time.
THE JACK THE RIPPER MURDER SITES THEN AND NOW
Over the last five or so years, several of the murder sites have, once again been redeveloped, and some of them are even unrecognisable to what they were in 2016.
So, as part of our commitment to bringing you as much information as it is possible to do, we have made a video presentation that actually shows you the Jack the Ripper murders sites at various times during their history.
A VIDEO TOUR
We begin the tour in Durward Street, which, in 1888, was known as Buck’s Row, and was the site of the murder of Mary Nichols, which took place in the early hours of the morning on Friday, August 31st, 1888.
In recent years, the vicinity of the site has been totally disrupted by the construction of the new Whitechapel Station – part of the Crossrail project – and the site has only been, once again, accessible since late February 2021.
However, I did film the site as it was before the construction work began, and this footage is incorporated into the video to give you a time travel experience of heading back through the various stages of the history of the site and its surroundings.
The tour then moves on to Hanbury Street, which was the site of the murder of Annie Chapman on the morning of Saturday, September 8th, 1888.
Again, the film features contemporary footage of the site as it is today, and atmospheric black and white photographs to show it as it was at various times in the past.
THE NIGHT OF THE DOUBLE MURDER
In the early hours of Sunday the 30th of September, 1888, the murderer returned to the East End (if he ever left it?) and murdered two women in the space of one hour.
The first victim that morning was Elizabeth Stride, whose body was found in Dutfield’s Yard, off Berner Street, and we pay a visit to the site to build up an impression of what it was like at the tie of the murder.
We then head to the eastern fringe of the City of London to pay a visit to Mitre Square, where, 45 minutes after the body of Elizabeth Stride was found in Berner Street, another lady, Catherine Eddowes, was found in the darkness of the Square’s south-west corner.
In recent years Mitre Square has undergone a massive transformation, and is now a fairly pleasant garden square, albeit it has, most certainly, lost the menacing atmosphere that it possessed up until 2016.
But, once again, we can use footage of the square as it was, and evocative old photographs, to create a mental image of how Mitre Square looked at various times during its history.
THE FINAL MURDER
On the 9th of November, 1888, the murder of Mary Jane Kelly, in her room at 13, Miller’s Court, off Dorset Street, spelt the end of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.
For many years, the site of Dorset Street was a service road for various industrial units, which was overshadowed by the White’s Row Car Park.
But then, in 2015, a redevelopment took place that saw a modern complex of offices and shops sprout from the site.
So, once again, our travel through time provides the viewer with a time-slip experience, enabling you to see the site of the murder at various times during its history, as well as being able to see it as it is today and see where the important locations in the story are presently located.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT
So, if you want to get the feel for the East End at the time of Jack the Ripper, and see those streets as they are today, then sit back, relax, and enjoy our videos journey through a slice of London’s history that, may be gone, but which is, most certainly, not forgotten.