Skip to content

A Walk With Philip Cunningham

March 6, 2017
by the gentle author

While living in his grandfather’s house in Mile End Place during the seventies and eighties, Philip Cunningham used to explore the streets of the East End taking photographs.

“What the Germans had not bombed in the war, the GLC and the council were trying to pull down. There were ruins everywhere and it gave the borough a strange character,” recalled Philip, “There were asbestos prefabs all over the place but they slowly disappeared – the last two I remember were in Globe Rd. The residents were moved into new tower blocks yet they turned out to be unsatisfactory too.”

Shall we join Philip on one of his walks? He says meet him outside the Rinkoff’s Bakery in Whitechapel a generation ago and we can take it from there.

At Brady St Dwellings

Brady St Dwellings

At Brady St Dwellings

Brady St Dwellings

Brady St

Durward St, Whitechapel

Mural of Canon Barnett at Whitechapel Art Gallery

Brick Lane

Fournier St

Brick Lane

Folgate St

Grimsby St

Cheshire St

Spitalfields Coal Depot

Bethnal Green

Artillery Passage

Middlesex St

Old Castle St

Leadenhall Market

Alie St

At St George in the East

White Horse Lane

Mile End Rd

Mile End Rd

Mile End Rd

Mile End Rd

Alderney Rd


Photographs copyright © Philip Cunningham

You may also like to take a look at

Philip Cunningham’s East End Portraits

More of Philip Cunningham’s Portraits

Yet More Philip Cunningham Portraits

A Lost Corner of Whitechapel

Philip Cunningham at Mile End Place

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Philip Marriage permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Lovely! More please.

  2. March 6, 2017

    A fascinating record of the effects of time and change – although it is rather depressing to see how these once vibrant parts of old London were abandoned to decay and neglect. What, I wonder, do some of the various sites shown in these photographs of a generation or more ago look like today?

  3. frank hadley permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Great photo’s of the old east end . it looks pretty grim, having lived in old castle street 1948 – 1963 we didn’t see it like that as many people moved away and the area just fell into decay
    until re-development cleaned most of it up. if we had known how the house prices were to soar
    we would have held on and become quite wealthy as house prices have gone through the roof.
    still i loved growing up in the lane and nobody who hasn’t lived there will never have experienced
    the sheer buzz the area had it was full of characters and many good pubs to enjoy on a night out
    lastly it being a mainly jewish area you couldn’t wish for better neighbours.
    how i still miss the old lane,at least we have our memories.

  4. chris long permalink
    March 6, 2017

    the picture of 137 mile end rd – on the right, you can see the now wonderfully restored malplaquet house !
    i have checked the detail from google maps- the windows & brickwork are identical. the lower property to the left has since been demolished. as has all those shop fronts of course.
    i read an article about the shops being built in front & it triggered my memory of them.
    any more pictures, perhaps with malplaquet house fully in frame?

  5. Ros permalink
    March 6, 2017

    So worthwhile that these photos exist. That’s indeed how it was. Is it possible for the photographer to put more exact dates on any of them?

  6. March 6, 2017

    Fascinating picture – how time has changed things.
    Thanks sharing this information and keep up the great work.

    Really enjoy reading you blogs each day, although can’t work out how you find the time to do them.


  7. pauline taylor permalink
    March 6, 2017

    Why are steps and doorways always so fascinating. Look at the one in Alie St., who could fail to be intrigued, and does it still exist or has it fallen foul of a developer?

  8. John DLC permalink
    March 6, 2017

    I lived in Brady Street Dwellings from 1965 to c. 69/70.
    We were the only family in the block who weren’t Jewish (Dad Catholic, Mum CofE just to mix it up a bit). We were also probably the youngest family.
    Remember the street looking like that including Issy’s sweetshop and the brewery over the road.
    The thing is if that’s where you live you don’t realise it’s a poor neighbourhood it’s just where you live.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS