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Richard Ivey In Toynbee St

July 11, 2016
by the gentle author

Photographer Richard Ivey took these pictures recording the extravagant derelection evident in the buildings to the east of Toynbee St in Spitalfields, some of which have been decaying for forty years

Photographs copyright © Richard Ivey

These photographs are reproduced courtesy of Architeckton

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14 Responses leave one →
  1. Shawdian permalink
    July 11, 2016

    Outrageous : So many people need help and so much can be done with these buildings. What an absolute waste. 40 years and not one person has come forward to enquire about what is
    happening to the brick & morter. Wonderful pictures of examples of utter human waste.

  2. July 11, 2016

    I love those buildings – what gives Gentle Author?

  3. Rod permalink
    July 11, 2016

    Thank you for brightening my days

  4. frank hadley permalink
    July 11, 2016

    Fond memories of toynbee st. getting haircut at the jewish barbers, who often had local celebrities call in for a cut and shave with hot towel. the cobblers shop across the road, plus it was a good short cut to spitalfields away from the busy commercial st.
    many thanks for posting.

  5. Ian permalink
    July 11, 2016

    I used the launderette in this block from 1981 to 1984 when I lived nearby. Who owns this block and why has it been derelict for so long?

  6. July 11, 2016

    I wonder why these properties are being allowed to decay – what a pity. Valerie

  7. pauline taylor permalink
    July 11, 2016

    What is going on here GA? Have these properties been bought up by a developer who has not got permission to redevelop them so they are just being left to decay. They do not look beyond repair and refurbishment to me and surely they would make ideal premises for small independent businesses, what is going wrong with our country when things like this are just allowed to happen. We have similar empty properties where I live some of which belong to our council and they are just being allowed to rot, consequently they are vandalized and are targets for arsonists. I am worried that, as a nation, we have just become so incredibly lazy about the appearance of our towns and cities, and I believe that owners of properties like these should be forced to refurbish them and to let them to small businesses at affordable rents. It is obvious that as thing stand rows of empty and derelict shops like this are so unsightly and wasteful.

  8. alex rhys-taylor permalink
    July 11, 2016

    My understanding is that these are council owned properties. Until about three years ago, they also had a couple of shops in them. There was a relatively acceptable application to develop these into housing, again, about 4/5 years ago, although it fell flat. I also suspect that a local housing association might have had their eye on them as part of their (now shelved) plan for displacing residents on the neighbouring housing estate.

    I have, however, seen a lot of interest in these buildings over the last few weeks so may be something is on the cards. In my view, the council have sat on them, letting them deterioriate while waiting for the best offer. It’s is a shame because there were viable businesses running out of them until the council turfed them out.

  9. JeanM permalink
    July 11, 2016

    What a terrible waste, it is about time that the powers that be organised reuse of these
    buildings although it is the same throughout Britain, no matter where you look there are
    always some derelict buildings, somebody owns these sites and should be made to either
    repair them or sell them on. Perhaps then they wouldn’t need to start building on green
    field sites.

    We can but hope.

  10. Fay Cattini permalink
    July 11, 2016

    I love this little street and it is such a shame that it has been allowed to become derelict. Whoever owns it should be made to restore it to its original look but I fear this won’t happen. I don’t think it is listed in any way, but shame on Tower Hamlets Council for not taking action. It would certainly enhance the area, especially being so near the markets.

  11. vanda permalink
    July 11, 2016

    I hate seeing beautiful old buildings going to ruin. They have such an abundance of of history and stories to tell. Its such a pity they cant talk. Can these buildings not be restored / revamped to enable people who are on limited income a place to stay. To the councils concerned – Please do something, dont let them go to rack and ruin.

  12. July 11, 2016

    These units have for too long been boarded up

    they have a really interesting character and grain that if used would radically improve the character and grain of the street

    Sadly it seems the retail small business grain seems under threat

    Anything that replaces has to respect the interior layouts character and innovation of these buildings

  13. Malcolm permalink
    July 14, 2016

    How strange, I was photographing these buildings only last week.
    I took some pictures in the ’80’s and returned a few years ago to see what it looked like.
    I hope these buildings can be saved from the developer’s grasp.

  14. RP1 permalink
    August 22, 2016

    I understand the council put the site out to tender late last year, with a view to being knocked down and developed into flats with retail units at ground floor.…/11-31-Toynbee-Street-Brochure.PDF

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