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A Final Push!

March 12, 2022
by the gentle author

Map drawn by Adam Dant


Thanks to your generosity, over the past month we have already reached over 90% of our target and now we have until midnight on Monday to raise the final £400.

The amount of goodwill has been truly uplifting with over three hundred and fifty supporters so far from across London, UK and the world.

If you know of anyone who you think might like to help, please drop them a line this weekend or forward this email to your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Tours will commence at Easter and run throughout the summer.







There are more stories to be told about Spitalfields and I want to hear them !

Jonathan Pryce

Wishing you great success!

Hallie Rubenhold

It is wonderful to be able to support such a lovely project telling the true human stories of the people of the East End of London. Thank you to The Gentle Author who has brought us so much pleasure to start our day with such a gentle morning blog . This Community Tourism Project is a privilege to contribute to. It is going to be a real enhancement to this part of London. I love London. I am a Londoner I proudly have my name on the Globe, the Millennium Bridge, the National Theatre, the William Morris Gallery. We are proud to be in the stones of London.

Jane Jewell

My father’s family came from the area. My great-grandfather who was a cabinet maker had a workshop off Brick Lane and met his wife there. The Gentle Author deserves our support for this wonderful work revealing the history and characters of the East End.

Novel Entertainment

Oh what a truly wonderful endeavour – I think Polly, Annie, Elizabeth Catherine and Mary Jane will be soo glad and proud and relieved too wish they were here to join in … perhaps they will…

Sophie Thompson

Another brilliant initiative from that most gentle of authors and showing a steely determination not only to push back against naff exploitation tourism but to practically offer something much more interesting.

Iain B

I am pleased to support this project. I have ancestors who lived and worked in Spitalfields in the weaving and carpentry industries. My paternal family owned a furniture business in Old Castle Street. I have a 5x great grandfather who was a Master Weaver trading in Grey Eagle Street.

Sarah Cartwright

What a great idea. I’ve long thought that the emphasis on the negative sides of London’s East End was a bad thing for both the people of the area and education. This will go some way towards righting that wrong.

Marie Nicholson

We wish you every success with these tours celebrating the rich and diverse history of Spitalfields. They will be a superb alternative to the awful and exploitative tours which troop through the area in their fifties and more. Thank you.

Jonathan Critchley

Sharing stories of real people is so important. It will help ‘populate’ this incredible area with figures from the past in our imaginations; and I know that The Gentle Author will genuinely represent that past with accuracy too!

Ngaire Bushell

Yvonne Cheyney, Southern California follows the Gentle Author each day. Her sister, Audrey Kneller, was featured in one of the stories about Elder Street and the Jewish East End. We look forward to going on one of the tours in the future.

Yvonne Cheyney

This is an absolutely necessary project, and one I support with every atom I have. Although I am not from the East End of London, or even the UK, the opposition to the darker and sinister tours of the same area, this project by The Gentle Author needs all the support possible.

Sebastiaan Eldritch-Boersen

It’s very simple really – the truth does set us free – so we need to learn the truth about the world we have all come from. And it is an amazing story.

George Staw

Best of luck to you, from Arizona!

Leah Wolfe 

Thank you for your much needed example.

Susan Thorne

Have been reading your blog for many years and now want to walk with those beautiful words in my head.

David Warwick 

Great project and initiative – which should have a really positive impact in ensuring the amazing story of this special area of London is properly shared and in a sustainable way. All the very best.

Howard Davies

In honour of our Gentle Author

Ellen R Sippel 

I worked on Fashion Street for seven years — it’s a fascinating area, with a fascinating history, and deserves so much more than the ghoulish tours. I do hope you get this project off the ground.

Andrew Beaven 

Dear Gentle Author, I totally support your cause to share the extraordinarily rich history of the people and buildings of Spitalfields with a wider audience and to take back the subject matter from the ghoulish, crowd-pleasing topic of Jack the Ripper. I have for years brought groups for tours of Spitalfields with Charlie de Wet but at present, she is, as you may know, unable to do them but I have an audience who would love to discover the important history of Spitalfields on one of your tours. Very best wishes with the project.

Sue Stamp

Hello from Australia. Always read your ‘feed’. Best of luck!

Jim Carroll 

You are the only person, Gentle Author, to tell my school life story on a public site. You gave me back my dignity and heralded my poetry. Thank you.

Andy Strowman

Thanks from a Canadian fan for all the entertaining stories about the life and times of the people & places in Spitalfields.

Bonnie Burgess

Particularly admire your calling out the misogyny which is all too endemic and has to be challenged. I hope you wont overlook, by name, the profound influence of many out and proud same-sex attracted people in the neighbourhood through the ages.

Richard Kirker 

It is so important to celebrate the many and varied individuals who live and work in Spitalfields. It has a rich history that could add so much to the understanding of those who visit London. Spitalfields must not continue to be defined by the murderous acts of one vile individual.

Vivienne Palmer

Wonderful endeavour. There is so much history of creativity, beauty and also pain and poverty in our area. It will be lovely to see this told well, as inimitably it shall be. Thankyou.

Linda Wilkinson

I’ll probably never get a chance to do one of your tours (Vancouver, Canada is a LONG way away), but I am happy to support you.

Susan Henry

What a brilliant idea. My ancestors lived in Spitalfields, some were silk weavers, and I’d love for people to learn more about their way of life that doesn’t revolve around a certain serial killer or the workhouse! Wish I could chip in more, but good luck!

Helena Smith 

There is so much more to the Spitalfields area than Ripper tours. A strong change of focus is an excellent idea. We are happy to support with our best wishes.

London Historians

This is REALLY important work led by a person of great integrity with a genuine commitment to his community and home area. Its brilliant to have something really positive for Spitalfields and Spitalfields people happening and be able to support it.


From across the sea: When my grandsons (now aged seven) make their first visit to London in a few years’ time, I want to be able to place them in the hands of the Gentle Author! I have so much enjoyed the blog and the books.

Heather E Cole 

Three cheers for the Gentle Author’s tour of Spitalfields!


This is a great initiative to hear the real voices and experiences of real East Enders! #SaveBrickLane


Man, what a great idea. I’ve always thought Jack the Ripper tours were gross, and I’d love to go on something like this.

Jean Ping

So glad to see The Tour about to become available to everyone who wants to walk in the footsteps of Spitalfields past, present, and future. We Torontonians may not get there this year but we’ll hold onto the tickets. Thank you, GA, for all you do for your blog followers and the residents of London! All best wishes to you.

Linda Grandfield

I’m happy to help. I regularly (at least before the pandemic) bring university students with me to London. I’m looking forward to booking a tour when we return to traveling! The blog is fabulous and can’t wait for the tour.

Kathy J Callahan

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Katherine permalink
    March 12, 2022

    This is such a joy! Thank you so much for all your amazing stories.

  2. March 12, 2022

    Would you like my mother’s story? She always thought of herself as a genuine Cockney East Ender. My parents were both born in Leytonstone just within the sound of bow bells. I had Grand-parents who worked in the white metal trade as it was called then. Probably working with silver. White metal meaning silver that has not got it’s assay mark. To return to my mum she was brought up in Hackney up the road to Bethnal Green.
    She knew all the old songs and the old cockney rhyming slang. The way she spoke of Hackney she was proud of it and I don’t see why not even if some would not have her attitude. I don’t see anything wrong in being proud of the East End either.It was a poor area. That’s all. The poor are often the people who created the wealth of this country though they don’t always get much credit for it.

  3. March 12, 2022

    Why not broaden your interest in the East End to other parts of it ? Perhaps you will?

  4. Jill Wilson permalink
    March 12, 2022

    Good luck!

    I will forward this to some more people I know who might be interested – and hopefully might contribute!

  5. Elizabeth Howell permalink
    March 12, 2022

    I am looking forward to booking a tour when we are in London this summer.
    It is so important to preserve and represent a neighborhood that as contributed so much fairly and truthfully.

  6. March 12, 2022

    You are a gem, Gentle Author. I’ve been a reader of this blog for years and I still love it to this very day. It never grows old, the writing is always superb, and your love for the East End is palpable.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! xo

  7. Laura Williamson permalink
    March 12, 2022

    Glad to chip in a small amount. The concept of the tours profiting from the appalling murders of women has always sat ill with me, ghoulish and disrespectful. There is so much more to the area, such rich layers of history and you will bring these stories to life. Good luck!

  8. John Campbell permalink
    March 12, 2022

    It would be great if one of your more media savvy readers could contact/highlight that ITV seem to have a constant prime time slot for programmes about the Yorkshire ripper or the Soham murders. They show these vile documentaries of violence against women and children and promote these programmes off as entertainment. Why do we have to revisit the Krays, moors murderers, Jack the Ripper etc on a weekly basis I have no idea. Make programmes about something new please ITV.

  9. Melissa permalink
    March 14, 2022

    Morning! Just made a donation and encouraging my daughter to book a tour when she visits her half sister in London this coming autumn. So exciting! Best of Luck!

  10. Melissa Delano permalink
    March 14, 2022

    * hope the tours extend into autumn

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