East End Tours

Charnowalks East End guided tours

I’ve lived my whole life in Bethnal Green, and am developing my portfolio of East End tours; those I have created so far are listed alphabetically below. Please click on the picture to get a more detailed description of each tour. (This will open in a new window.)

Please click HERE to go to the Schedule: it will tell you what tours are on offer at this time, and will you give links to follow in order to book your place.

The Nichol Slum 1889 - Charnowalks East End Tours

The Nichol slum 1889

THE BATTLE FOR BETHNAL GREEN

As London expanded in the nineteenth century to become the world’s biggest metropolis, it absorbed many small communities. This new urban context brought many challenges to these areas: housing for the huge influx of people, health issues caused by overcrowding and poor (and often non-existent) sanitation.

This tour explores how Bethnal Green faced those challenges; in many ways it continues to face the challenges of the urban context.

 

George Orwell 1940 - Charnowalks East End Tours

George Orwell 1940

BETHNAL GREEN IN SO MANY WORDS

This is a tour with readings. Through the words of authors such as Iain Sinclair, Arthur Morrison and Monica Ali, Bethnal Green is revealed. Most famously George Orwell used his experiences in Bethnal Green when writing one of the twentieth century’s most important novels.

The works selected range from 1896 to 2003 and include a fight scene at the very railway footbridge where it was set.

 

Boundary Street 1890 - Charnowalks East End Tours

Boundary Street 1890

THE DARK SIDE OF THE GREEN

Bethnal Green is an old parish, and old sins cast long shadows. Why should you think twice before accepting a drink from John Bishop and Thomas Williams? Or before letting the Reverend Benjamin Russen teach your daughter? And just what did happen at the Bluecoat Boy in 1911, and at the Carpenters’ Arms in 1965?

These stories of crimes and misdeeds in Bethnal Green span the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

 

Neville Chamberlain leaves Berchtesgaden - Charnowalks East End Tours

Neville Chamberlain leaves Berchtesgaden

JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE

The East End was devastated by the Second World War, but the hardships of the Home Front weren’t the only impact on the area. Post-War development sought to create a brand new London, one which turned its back on the past and looked only to the future.

This tour explores the effect on Bethnal Green of wartime struggles and post-War ambitions, as well as the pre- and post-war political context. It’s a story of resilience and of disaster, of the darker and brighter sides of human nature.

 

Australian Aboriginal cricket team 1867 - Charnowalks East End Tours

Australian Aboriginal cricket team 1867

LOOKING FOR CLUES

So many clues get overlooked, though they are in plain sight and are passed by crowds of people everyday. That gateway could be a railway station or a cemetery; was that building a workhouse or an asylum? So many stories wait behind sometimes the smallest of details. They remind us that we are living in just one chapter of an ongoing narrative.

This tour takes in two very different settlements – Mile End Old Town and Bethnal Green – and gives tongue to the mute clues which tell of their pedigrees.

 

Page 1 of the 'Dear Boss' Letter - Charnowalks East End Tours

The ‘Dear Boss’ Letter

THE RIPPER ENIGMA

So deeply have the Ripper Murders touched our collective imaginations that they have passed into London folklore, but what actually happened between August and November 1888? And why do the murders grip us still?

This is no grim sideshow of a tour; rather it explores the five murders within their social context. Also we explore the public perception, and issues that arise from the murderer’s peculiar signature.

 

1882 Thames Docks (detail) - Charnowalks East End Tours

St Katharine and London Docks 1882

TIDEMARKS FROM THE POOL

Once maritime trade brought a vivid and exotic life to the riverside areas of the East End. Though in the 1970s this flood tide of trade ebbed downriver to Tilbury Docks, it left behind a wealth of heritage. These are the tidemarks which remind us of those exciting times when the world came to London.

From St Katharine’s to Shadwell this tour explores the Port of London and the experiences of the merchant seaman ashore. It conjures up the vibrancy of the riverside East End.

 

 

All pictures sourced from Wikimedia Commons

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