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More East End Pubs, Then & Now

June 23, 2013
by the gentle author

I am spending the whole weekend in the pub – publishing this second instalment of the collaboration with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archive in which Spitalfields Life Contributing Photographer Alex Pink selected photographs of public houses from the collection, and then set out with his camera to pay them a visit and see what he discovered.

The Vine Tavern, Whitechapel 1903

The Vine Tavern, Whitechapel 2013

The White Hart, Whitechapel 1960

The White Hart, Whitechapel 2013

The Dover Castle, Shadwell 1992

The Dover Castle, Shadwell 2013

The Londoner, Limehouse 1974

The Londoner, Limehouse 2013

The Kings Arms, Cable St 1994

The Kings Arms, Cable St 2013

The Grapes, Limehouse 1975

The Grapes, Limehouse 2013

Duke of Norfolk, Globe Rd 1985

Duke of Norfolk, Globe Rd 2013

The Artichoke, Whitechapel 1990

The Artichoke, Whitechapel 2013

The Old Blue Anchor, Whitechapel 1973

The Old Blue Anchor, Whitechapel 2013

Bromley Arms, Bow 1981

Bromley Arms, Bow 2013

The Morgan Arms, Bow 1961

The Morgan Arms, Bow 2013

The Dickens Inn, St Katharine Docks, 1975

The Dickens Inn, St Katharine Docks 2013

The Alma, Spitalfields 1989

The Alma, Spitalfields 2013

Prospect of Whitby, Wapping nineteen-eighties

Prospect of Whitby, Wapping 2013

The Black Horse,Leman St nineteen-eighties

The Black Horse, Leman St 2013

The Dean Swift, nineteen-eighties

The Dean Swift, 2013

Archive images courtesy Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives

New photographs copyright © Alex Pink

Visit Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives for opening times, collections & events.

You may also like to take a look at

Alex Pink’s East End Pubs, Then & Now

Alex Pink’s Spitalfields, Then & Now

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Donald Parsnips permalink
    June 23, 2013

    I wonder how many stars The Vine Tavern got
    on its hygiene rating.

  2. Paul Kelly permalink
    June 23, 2013

    Sad to see some of these establishments are now living quarters and no longer serving ale. I wonder if in thirty years any of these places will remain? The Taxman has killed off many privately held pubs. In some places the Wetherspoons chain have had to move in ; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing , because we still need somewhere to slake our thirst. It just would be a terrible shame if we lost the authenticity of a homely private enterprise.

  3. Caroline permalink
    June 23, 2013

    I’m so pleased to see photos of the Old Blue Anchor Inn, Whitechapel, thank you.

    My great great grandfather George Church owned it, and built the current building in 1854.
    The previous building burnt to the ground on Christmas morning 1853. Newspaper accounts say the cause of the fire was ‘enveloped in mystery’ but that the property was well insured by the Sun Fire Office…
    The ‘affrighted inmates’ fled through a side door before the entire building was engulfed in flames, fueled by the large quantities of spirits on the premises, and toppled into the street. The buildings on either side were also extensively damaged, but nobody was hurt.
    The pub remained in the family till the late 1870s.


  4. Gary permalink
    June 23, 2013

    Congratulations Gentle Author on still being able to see to present the blog after spending the entire week-end in the pub.
    The “Morgan Arms” in Coborn Road won pub of the year a few years ago when it was managed by Tanya.

  5. matt rosemier permalink
    June 23, 2013

    These two issues of “Pubs, Then and Now”, have been brilliant. A little sad when one is gone, but encouraging to see so many still around.

    thanks GA.


  6. Cherub permalink
    June 24, 2013

    My husband remembers The Londoner as being the pub the late actress and jazz singer Queenie Watts had. I think by the time I moved down to London in the mid 80s it had become a Chinese restaurant then afterwards I think it may have become a nightclub?

  7. June 24, 2013

    Two of the best posts I’ve seen, so far. Has anyone got a photograph of the gable end of the pub in Great Eastern Street that used to have a huge plaster incised sign proclaiming the site of the first pub to sell porter? It is currently covered by a modern hoarding, so you can only see it if you peer down the side of the hoarding and look up and down. Very frustrating and typical of Corporate Greed.

  8. Peter Holford permalink
    June 25, 2013

    Disappointed not to see any of my family’s pubs here but there were so many pubs in the East End that it was always a long shot. Fascinating to compare the before and after – always a winning format for me!

  9. June 26, 2013

    I can’t believe how long I just spent comparing each pair of photos. Great post.

  10. E Ropati permalink
    June 28, 2013

    What about THE GEORGE TAVERN a Grade II listed public house 373 Commercial Rd/ Jubilee St E1 formely known as the HALFWAY HOUSE established in 1654 mentioned by CHAUCER, PEPYS & DICKENS.

  11. Limey in Ohio permalink
    August 8, 2013

    I was hoping one of my old haunts, The Lord Tredegar, featured in this article. Sadly, it doesn’t. I spent many an evening there in about 1984 when it was run by Geoff and his wife (Ena?). I suppose I’ll have to make a trip back to my ho,eland some time soon to see it.

  12. November 19, 2013

    What a fantastic set of pictures. I’ve not been in any of them, but as someone who appreciates pubs in all their glory (and warts) this is an excellent record of how they’ve changed, or not or gone completely. I really like the way that you’ve tried to get the same angle and perspective on each one…something I’ve failed to do consistently!

  13. Ernie Leahy permalink
    February 20, 2014

    Queenie watts had the Iron Bridge Tavern

  14. Andrew Sinclair permalink
    June 11, 2014

    Queenie Watts also owned the Rose & Crown in Poplar – another East End boozer consigned to history…..

  15. paul meekins permalink
    July 1, 2016

    hi all. I was at sea (merchant navy) thru the 70s and remember some of these pubs, I stayed in anchor house in canning town, and drank sometimes in the princess of Prussia in prescot st, I was manager of the don Ludwig student house (greys inn rd for a while, prob some of the above is spelt wrong but it was a long time ago!

  16. April 29, 2017

    Hello anyone. I have just found my old Dad after many years of searching (I was adopted back in 1959) and discovered he used to sing in pubs in the east end probably in the 1970,s and 1980,s. Sadly he now has Altzheimers and is unable to communicate too well (he is 88 years old now). I have been able to speak to a couple of chaps who remember him singing and gave me some names of pubs where he would have performed. Iron bridge tavern. Two puddings. Duke of Fife. Pauls head. The bridge house. The peacock in Freemasons road. His name is Reg Foster but sometimes went under the name of Reg Dance. He would sing Matt Munroe songs and other stars of that era.
    I am keen to obtain some photos of him in his younger years and any information about him.

    Would be grateful if anybody out there has any memories of him. He also worked as a hod carrier on building sites but not sure when he retired from that work. I believe he used to spend some time in Spain singing aswell.

    Thankyou for any help


  17. Dudley Diaper permalink
    August 17, 2021

    My great great uncle Thomas Wadham Heal kept the King’s Arms, Cable Street in the 1890s. I drank there in 1985. I’m sorry to see it appears to have closed.

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