Search

Pedestrians take over street for 1929 East End birthday bash

PUBLISHED: 08:01 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 05 October 2010

Wentworth Street off London's Brick Lane... cordoned off for pedestrian festival

Wentworth Street off London's Brick Lane... cordoned off for pedestrian festival

A BIG birthday bash’ was held in London’s East End with a plain, old fashioned street party. They turned the clock back to 1929 to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Living Streets’ charity on August 13 to “show what we think streets should be used for”

By Mike Brooke

A BIG birthday bash’ was held in London’s East End with a plain, old fashioned street party.

They turned the clock back to 1929 to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Living Streets’ charity on August 13 to “show what we think streets should be used for.”

The charity, the oldest campaigning organisation for pedestrians in the world, was footing’ the bill for the festival outside its offices in Whitechapel’s Wentworth Street, off the famous Brick Lane.

NO CARS

They’ve even got Wentworth Street cordoned off to traffic so East Enders could come out for a good old cockney knees-up.

“Over the years our streets have become less about people and more about traffic,” said the charity’s chief Tony Armstrong. “We hope the day makes people realise our streets can be social spaces like they once were.”

The day was packed with events and stalls. Blue Badge guide Rachel Kolsky brought to life the varied history of the East End’s streets, transporting people back in time with stories of the Huguenots, the Jews and today’s Bengalis. The Whitechapel Gallery nearby was showing films as part of the celebrations.

TRAFFIC

The charity started out as the Pedestrians’ Association in 1929 before changing its name to Living Streets.

It met for the first time on August 13 that year in response to increased motor traffic.

There was no Highway Code, pedestrian crossings or speed limits back then.

Within a year, the Pedestrians’ Association was lobbying for driving tests and compulsory third party insurance.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser