Pedestrians take over street for 1929 East End birthday bash
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”
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.
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.”
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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.
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.