To many authors the only East End crimes of note are those that concern Jack the Ripper or the Kray Twins – both of which are covered in other books in this series. Here the reader will discover a selection of other criminal activities from piracy, to theft and the fencing of stolen goods, to the humorous cases of the burglar who fell asleep on the job, and the escapologist who ran away. Added to this is a potpourri of curiosities unique to the area …
– There are characters to meet such as Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man), Captain James Cook, and Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.
– Strange events like the banquet held in a tunnel under the Thames, and the boy who was carried off by an escaped Bengal tiger and lived to tell the tale.
– Feats of engineering such as London’s first rope railway, the building of the SS Leviathan and its troubled double launch, the construction of the Post Office Underground Railway, and the 10th most dangerous tunnel in Europe.
– Oddities such as London’s most confusing set of traffic lights, the dirtiest public house in London, the City dragons, and a set of murals dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock in Leytonstone.
– Tragedies as with the Princess Alice Disaster, the water pump that killed hundreds of drinkers, the loss of life at Bethnal Green Underground station in 1943, and the first V1 rocket to fall on London the following year.
– Memorials like he monument to the Virginia settlers, and the statue to William Gladstone at Bow, both have fascinating stories behind them, as does the Grecian Temple and Turkish Baths to be found at Liverpool Street, Wickham’s department store, the tallest church clock in London, the only lighthouse in the Capital, the first ‘Container City’, and the only genuine American diner left in London.
With 35 places to read about and explore, East London has never seemed so interesting!