Recently, our photographer in residence, Laura Prieto, joined our guides for a Saturday night tour around the various Jack the Ripper haunts and got some great images of the tour and of the area.
Laura is a fantastic photographer – she is also the author of the acclaimed book East End Light and Dark, published by Mango Books (you can get details of the book by following this link), so our expectations were, to say, the least, great!
Laura most certainly didn’t disappoint.
So, for today’s blog – or phlog – I’d like to hand over to Laura, who will now take you on a journey through Whitechapel and Spitalfields on an April night in 2016.
THE EVENING BEGINS
As the night closes in, Paul Metcalfe, John Bennett and Philip Hutchinson line up to welcome the people who are gong to join them on the Whitechapel CSI guided Ripper Walking Tour. Paul is jealously guarding his images that will show the streets of the East End as they were in the autumn of 1888!
INTO THE SHADOWS
The image that Paul is holding in the previous photograph is of George Yard as it was in 1890. It is now called Gunthorpe Street and it is the first stop on our nightly wander through the haunts of history’s most infamous serial killer.
THE MURDER OF MARTHA TABRAM
It was in George Yard that Martha Tabram, who some believe may well have been the first victim of Jack the Ripper, was found murdered in August 1888. In this photograph the tour participants gather close to the site of the murder as our hunt for the Whitechapel Fiend gets under way.
THE QUEEN’S HEAD SIGN
Elizabeth Stride, the third victim of Jack the Ripper was known to drink in the Queen’s Head, at the junction of Fashion Street and Commercial Street. Recent building work at the property has resulted in the sign becoming visible for the first time since the early 20th century.
PHILIP HUTCHINSON – THE ANNIE CHAPMAN MURDER SITE
Philip Hutchinson chills and enthrals his group as he tells them the story of the events surrounding the murder of Annie Chapman, generally believed to have been Jack the Ripper’s second victim, who was murdered at this site in Hanbury Street on the 8th September 1888.
SPITALFIELDS MARKET – A LOCAL LANDMARK
At the time of the Whietchapel Murders, Spitalfields market was just one year old, having opened in 1887 to honour the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is one of several buildings that has survived since that long ago era. On this night in April 2016, the full moon looked particularly prominent and lent an additional eeriness to an already eerie location.
One of the most poignant locations that we encounter on the walk is Christchurch Spitalfields. Its soaring white tower and spire dominate the immediate surroundings today, just as they did back in 1888. It is a sobering thought that every one of Jack the Ripper’s victims would have looked up at this edifice on an almost daily basis.
JOHN BENNETT IN MITRE SQUARE
Our tour ends in Mitre Square on the site of the Murder of Catherine Eddowes. Here John Bennett takes his group through the gruesome events of the morning of 30th September 1888, when her body was found on the site where the group is standing in the photograph.
THANKS TO LAURA
So, there you have a selection of photographs taken on our tour on an atmospheric night in 2016. You can, of course, visit these locations for yourself by booking on to our guided walk.
But, if that isn’t an option for you, we hope that these photographs have given you a flavour of the area where the murders occurred as it is today.
So, in closing, I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Laura Prieto for capturing so well, the atmospheric locations that we visit on the tour.