Stalker in Jack the Ripper row vandalises women’s Suffragette billboard

Vandalised with black paint... Suffragette billboard in Cable Street, opposite Jack the Ripper museu

Vandalised with black paint... Suffragette billboard in Cable Street, opposite Jack the Ripper museum - Credit: 38 Degrees

A billboard promoting a women’s heritage exhibition where Jack the Ripper stalked London’s East End has been vandalised with black paint carefully covering the venue details.

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billb

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billbaord in Cable Street [photo: Chris Field] - Credit: 38 Degrees

The billboard was unveiled on Monday opposite the black-painted Ripper Museum in Cable Street, five minutes from the Tower of London, aimed at directing potential visitors to the rival ‘East End Women’s heritage’ exhibition opening tomorrow.

But it was defaced in the dead of night ahead of this-evening’s official launch at St George’s-in-the-East church in Shadwell which celebrates “Suffragettes—not serial killers” instead of the 1888 Whitechapel Murders.

“It’s a shame,” exhibition co-curator Abbie Gillgan said. “But what we’re doing is bigger than the board and its graffiti.

“Our aim is to do something positive in response to the Ripper museum, and to tell stories of some of the great women who have helped shape the East End.”

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billb

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billbaord in Cable Street [photo: Chris Field] - Credit: 38 Degrees

The pop-up heritage exhibition has been set up in response to the Ripper venue which opened last July contravening its original planning application to Tower Hamlets Council promising “the only dedicated resource in the East End to women’s history”.


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The switch to a Ripper tourist attraction instead—after planning permission was given—caused a wave of protest led by the Bishop of Stepney and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets and a 38 Degrees online petition signed by 13,000 people calling for the planning permit to be revoked.

Petition organiser Becky Warnock said: “We aren’t surprised at the billboard vandalism.

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“This has been a divisive campaign—but for all the ‘negative’ there has been 10 times more positive support. So we aren’t too worried.”

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billb

Abbie Gillgan (left) and online petition organiser Becky Warnock who unveiled Women's Heritage billbaord in Cable Street [photo: Chris Field] - Credit: 38 Degrees

Three key sections of the billboard have been covered with neatly applied blocks of black paint.

The word “Don’t” was blocked out in the phase “Don’t go to the Ripper Museum”. Also blacked out was the phrase “sign the petition to celebrate suffragettes” and St George’s parish church on in a map showing the way to The Highway, E1 0BH, where the exhibition opening tomorrow is being staged.

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