Search

Protesters plan to picket new Jack the Ripper museum opening today in Cable Street

PUBLISHED: 10:25 04 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:29 04 August 2015

Ripper Museum opening soon in Cable Street

Ripper Museum opening soon in Cable Street

Archant

Protesters gather this-evening outside 12 Cable Street near the Tower of London to picket against today’s opening of the Jack the Ripper Museum.

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

Demonstrators gathering at 5.30pm include nearby residents of Shadwell, groups from across London, trade unionists and historians.

It is the first of two planned pickets, with the second planned tomorrow evening by members of the Class War protest organisation.

Among the women’s groups today are the National Assembly of Women, the Women’s Assembly Against Austerity and the Emily Wilding Davison Memorial Campaign.

Many plan to dress up posing as figures from the Suffragette movement, as Wartime nurses, from the Bryant & May match girls’ industrial strike in Bow in 1888—the year of Jack thew Ripper’s Whitechapel Murders—or as one of the 1968 Ford Dagenham equal pay women strikers.

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

“East London has proud tradition of women campaigning for social change, from the Suffragettes to the Dagenham Equal Pay strikers,” community campaigner Jemima Broadbridge said.

“But these women and their powerful contribution have been shamefully overlooked and misrepresented by a museum that seeks to present women only as victims of East London’s most notorious serial killer.

“It is not the museum celebrating East End women that received planning approval. We were shocked to discover ‘Jack the Ripper’ inscribed in sensationally-bold red letters with skull-and-crossbones and a shady silhouette of the elusive ‘Ripper’ glamorized in a top hand and cloak.”

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs announced on Friday he was boycotting today’s opening because the planning application by the owner, former Googgle website diversity director Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, didn’t mention the Ripper.

Nearest Ripper murder to Cable Street was Lizzie Stride whose mutilated body was found in a yard in Berners Street, Stepney,  today's Henriques Street Nearest Ripper murder to Cable Street was Lizzie Stride whose mutilated body was found in a yard in Berners Street, Stepney, today's Henriques Street

An application last December was to convert a disused shop and extend it to “create a world class museum that celebrates the historic, current and future contribution of the women of the East End”, which was approved in January.

The hoardings were removed last week to reveal the new shop front as a Ripper museum, first reported exclusively in the East London Advertiser.

Branding on merchandise on the museum’s website included glass tankards and T-shirts. The merchandise page has since been taken down.

Campaigners are now calling on the local authority and the Arts Council to help fund a project to establish a proper museum honouring the women.

Sarah Jackson, co-author of East London Suffragettes who wants to create a women’s history museum in the East End, has 300 supporters for the idea.

“The Ripper museum is a huge missed opportunity,” she argues. “East London has an incredibly rich social, political, and cultural history and women were part of all of it, although their voices are seldom heard.”

Katherine Connelly, co-organiser of the protest and biographer of suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst, said: “The public were misled about the museum. The anger shows the enthusiasm there is for a museum that tells the stories of women’s struggles.”

Museum owner Mark Palmer-Edgcumbe was reported last week to be offering to donate revenue to a charity that campaigns to end violence against women. But the charity distanced itself by posting a statement on its website saying it had not been consulted.

The original planning proposal prepared by Waugh Thistleton Architects says the museum will provide “a centre of excellence in the study of women’s history locally, nationally and internationally”. The “Museum of Women’s History”, as the application called it, will “retell the history of the East End through the eyes, voices, experiences and actions of the women that shaped the East End.” The architects have since said they were not informed of the plan for a Ripper museum.

The closure of the Metropolitan University’s Women’s Library at Whitechapel in 2013 was cited in the application as showing demand for the museum in Cable Street—but no mention of Jack the Ripper.

Latest East London News Stories

I recently met with the new police officers the council is funding in the borough and discussed with them the steps being taken to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour across Tower Hamlets.

Yesterday, 10:53

The pioneer of the Race Relations Act is among leading figures in the education and legal professions addressing today’s diversity and leadership lecture and scholarship awards at the University of Law in Moorgate.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Fri, 18:30

Meet the emergency team at the London Independent Hospital in Stepney Green who are on official standby for the World Taekwondo grand prix and World Para Taekwondo championships.

Fri, 17:17

A teenager drifting towards street crime after being expelled from his east London college has won second place in the ‘Young Builder of the Year’ awards at a Houses of Parliament ceremony.

Fri, 16:46

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 16:15

There will be no TfL Rail services this weekend as engineers continue carrying out track and station improvement works to prepare the line for Crossrail.

Fri, 15:26

More that 7,300 households have been caught without a TV licence across east London in the past 12 months, according to latest figures.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now