Queen Mary professors record audio guide of East End for Olympic visitors

Olympic visitors can explore the colourful history of London’s East End with a new audio guide with academic commentary from university professors.

TV historian Amanda Vickery, an expert on Georgian life and times, is among the experts to lend their research and voice to the free audio from the University of London’s Queen Mary College at Mile End.

A narrator guides visitors from stop to stop, from Liverpool Street station into Spitalfields, along Brick Lane and Whitechapel Road to Stepney Green, while oral history recordings and readings add colour to the academic insight.

Listeners at each of the 12 stops hear explanations about significant sites, events and figures that have shaped East End life over the centuries. Even the infamous are included, like the Krays’ gangland shooting in the 1960s or Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel Murders of 1888.

“The audio brings world-class research to a wider audience,” explained Queen Mary’s Prof Peter McOwan. “It highlights the East End’s global significance, past and present, now the focus of the world.”

Other contributing voices are historical geographers Dr Alastair Owens and Prof Miles Ogborn, Jewish East End expert Dr Nadia Valman and migration expert Prof Parvati Nair.

The guide is aimed at Olympic tourists, residents, schoolkids and university students. It can be downloaded to MP3 players or smartphones from Queen Mary’s website: www.qmul.ac.uk/eastendtour

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[Pictures: Emma Lowry]



- Artillery Passage, boundary between the wealthy City and East End poverty

- Petticoat Lane, commercial hub of the Jewish East End

- Jewish Soup Kitchen, help for refugees fleeing Russian persecution c1900

- Christ Church, Spitalfields, Nicholas Hawksmoor’s 1720 architectural gem

- Spitalfields’ architectural legacy of French Huguenot silk-weavers

- Brick Lane Mosque, originally a Huguenot church, later a synagogue, that embodies the waves of immigration to the East End

- Fulbourne Street, where Jack the Ripper murdered one of his victims in 1888 and where Lenin and Trotsky met other Russian radicals of the day

- Blind Beggar, pub where the Krays carried out a gangland shooting in the 1960s

- Mile End Waste—the Speakers’ Corner of the East End where Salvation Army founder and social reformer William Booth campaigned to end poverty in the 1860s and 70s