Tower Hamlets at Street Level – the tours

The Tours:

[Please scroll right down to find out all you need to know about the guides!]

‘Bow: Take a Bow’ led by Julian Walker.

This tour introduces you to the rich heritage of Bow and Bromley; from centuries past to the immediate past and to present ventures. It also introduces you to women who have played a pivotal role in the development of society.

‘The Great Essex Road from Stepney Green to Aldgate’ led by Mary Best.

Following the last mile or so of the medieval drovers’ eastern highway approach to the City, which also became in time the High Street for the East End, this tour takes a look at some of its gems, and considers some of the people who left a mark on its history.

‘Why Limehouse? And Where?’ led by Judy Stephenson.

Limehouse is a historic area, but how has it developed? And what is its context, historical and geographical? This tour takes you into the heart of Limehouse and its environs, to show you what it has been and what it is.

‘What is Heritage?’ led by the Tower Hamlets Walkshop.

This tour covers a number of sights between Bethnal Green and Mile End tube stations, and will challenge what you think about what heritage means.

‘The Dark Side of the Green’ led by David Charnick.

Come and visit sites connected with chapters in the criminal history of Bethnal Green, from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is no salacious tour through the dark side, though, as these stories are put in their contexts, social and legal.

‘Poplar: A Model of Urban Regeneration?’ led by Andrew Parnell.

From its development during the days of the docks, Poplar has been a focus for radical development and regeneration. This tour shows the various waves of development in the area, and how these are reflected in the urban landscape.

The Guides:

The Tower Hamlets Walkshop

The Walkshop is derived from this spring’s intake on the Walkie Talkie adult education course; the tour is guided by six trainee guides from the Walkshop and by David Charnick (see below).

Mary Best

Mary is a Clerkenwell and Islington Guide with interests in Greenwich, Southwark and the East End.

David Charnick

David was born in Bethnal Green in 1964 and has lived there ever since. He qualified as a City of London guide in 2013, but he has been working also to develop a structured guiding culture in the East End. This includes devising the ‘Walkie Talkie’ adult education course, which gives a gentle introduction to how guiding works, with specific reference to Tower Hamlets.

Andrew Parnell

Born and brought up in East London, Andrew has long been fascinated by the East End, where he now resides. His walks focus on the constant cycles of change in the East End, from rural retreat to overcrowded, industrialised hinterland to modern, urban centre, in particular observing the effects of these changes on the built environment. Andrew is a qualified City of London Guide, winner of the Katrine Prince Prize for Best Practical in 2011.

Judy Stephenson

A life long Londoner, Judy Stephenson has spent the last decade guiding on the buses and on foot through the streets of London.  As a recent resident in Tower Hamlets, she is delighting in exploring the area, and was on the pilot course for guiding in Tower Hamlets, which is now established.

Julian Walker

Julian trained as a Clerkenwell & Islington Guide in 2009, and has since gone on to qualify as a City of London Guide. He is a lifelong Londoner and came to the East End ten years ago, but if he had known how historical and fascinating the area is he would have got here a lot sooner! He now looks forward to showing others around his adopted home.

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