Search

Museum in Cable St about women and suffragettes turns out to be ‘Jack the Ripper’

23:52 28 July 2015

Ripper Museum opening soon in Cable Street

Ripper Museum opening soon in Cable Street

Archant

The neighbours thought they were getting a museum in their street celebrating the achievement of heroines down the ages in London’s East End.

Jemima Broadbridge (left) and Jenny Boswell-Jones outside Ripper Museum to open in Cable StreetJemima Broadbridge (left) and Jenny Boswell-Jones outside Ripper Museum to open in Cable Street

But instead, the wraps have come off at a converted shop in Cable Street—less than half-a-mile from the Tower of London—as the Jack the Ripper Museum.

The people of this busy one-way thoroughfare next to the Shadwell railway arches expected a “worthy” project was to open about events like the Suffragettes or the 1888 women matchmakers’ industrial strike.

But instead, they’re getting a commercial venture, ironically, about the 1888 Whitechapel Murders—and are felling a bit miffed.

“I feel offended by this museum of the macabre,” community campaigner Jemima Broadbridge told the East London Advertiser. “The sign outside suggested it would be a gruesome attraction.

Julian Cole and the Ripper MuseumJulian Cole and the Ripper Museum

“But Cable Street had nothing to do with Jack the Ripper—that was in Whitechapel, not here. It’s misleading to tourists.”

Cable Street has “a glorious history about resisting Mosley’s fascists in 1936,” Jemima points out. They don’t want that “muddled up by Ripper mythology”.

The original planning application to Tower Hamlets Council last summer included pictures of suffragettes and 1970s Asian women campaigning against racist murders around Brick Lane.

The application said: “The museum will recognise and celebrate the women of the East End who have shaped history, telling the story of how they have been instrumental in changing society. It will analyse the social, political and domestic experience from the Victorian period to the present day.”

Murder most foul... but residents in Cable Street wonder if Jack the Ripper should be celebratedMurder most foul... but residents in Cable Street wonder if Jack the Ripper should be celebrated

The planning document cites the closure of Whitechapel’s Women’s Library in Old Castle Street in 2013 and stresses that the “Museum of Women’s History”, as it calls the project, would be “the only dedicated resource in the East End to women’s history”—no mention of Jack the Ripper.

But pop along to 12 Cable Street and the black front shop has 2ft-high letters in red: “Jack the Ripper Museum”, with a skull and crossbones for good measure. Above are two fake Blue Plaques naming the Ripper’s fourth victim, Lizzie Stride, butchered in what is today’s Burner Street off the Commercial Road, and one of the many Ripper suspects, George Chapman.

Jenny Boswell-Jones, who has lived in the area 30 years, said: “This is just exploitation which is historically and totally inaccurate. This is really sordid and against women of the past and completely unacceptable.”

But there’s little residents can do now—the horse has bolted. They just feel misled by last summer’s planning application.

Berners Street where Lizzie Stride (inset) was murdered... but it's not Cable Street where Jack the Ripper Museum put a Blue Plaque to herBerners Street where Lizzie Stride (inset) was murdered... but it's not Cable Street where Jack the Ripper Museum put a Blue Plaque to her

Julian Cole, a documentary film-maker who runs the Cable Street Inn bed-and-breakfast hotel, said: “The change-of-use application a year ago sounded like a worthy idea.

“But they took down the hoarding last week and revealed the shop front of a museum celebrating London’s most notorious murderer of women—it seems like a sick joke.”

Builders and shopfitters have been adding the final touches this week to the converted three-storey Victorian terraced property with its added fourth floor.

The Advertiser approached No 12 earlier today and was told by a ‘minder’ not to photograph the shop—or the constabulary would be summoned.

Fear of Jack the Ripper, it seems, still stalks London’s shadowy East End.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 13:02
Shadow that would be cast by Bishopsgate skyscrapers

The mayor of Hackney has called on City Hall to give the final decision on the controversial Bishopsgate Goodsyard scheme back to the boroughs that rejected it.

Yesterday, 14:44
Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs

The aftershock of Britain’s vote to quit the European Union has hit London’s East End which was firmly in the ‘remain’ camp.

Yesterday, 12:00
Members of Laburnum boat club in Haggerston are ready for Regent's Canal festival

Hundreds of spectators are expected for Sunday’s free grand festival to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Regent’s Canal, with narrowboats running trips by east London’s Victoria Park.

Yesterday, 06:03
Europe experts from the London School of Economics believe it is 'safer to stay in the EU' (Photo by illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Tower Hamlets has voted to remain in the EU in line with most London boroughs, despite an overall vote to leave.

Thu, 07:00
The results of the EU referendum are not expected before 7am tomorrow Friday

Britain will go to the polls today to vote on whether or not to remain in the EU.

Wed, 18:57
Tribute on the Thames as Jo Cox's family make their way to Westminster for the rally on what would have been her 42nd birthday [photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas]

The Thames paid tribute today to tragic MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death almost a week ago as her family made their way up-river to the rally in Trafalgar Square on what should have been her 42nd birthday.

Wed, 13:01
Floral tribute to Jo Cox at Wapping

The dockside community of east London is sending its floral tribute up the Thames to Westminster at 2pm today for the mass rally at Trafalgar Square for MP Jo Cox starting at 4pm.

Tue, 17:29
The damage caused in Victoria Park after the Field Day festival. Photo Stephen O'Flaherty

A third of Victoria Park is out of bounds after Field Day festival-goers churned it up in the wet weather, and will stay fenced off until the end of July.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe