Bethnal Green Tube, Museum of Childhood exit | Map
Guided by Hilary
Short version: The "Lost Village" in London's Backyard
Long version: Originally a green and pleasant area attracting wealthy residents, by Victorian times the Bethnal Green district had become the poorest in London. The housing and sanitation were appalling. TB was rampant. Needless to say, the area was transformed following the Second World War bombing, subsequent slum clearance, and the rise of the big housing estates. All changed. Changed utterly. Or is it? Which is by way of saying, if you know where – and how – to look (and Hilary, OBE certainly does) – there are enough interesting hints and glimpses of the bad old days to take us back down the corridor of years. Let alone prompt some gob-smacking stories! In short, this one's very much of the beaten tourist track. It's Londoners" London. Which makes it a Snap! when you hear that it was here that Samuel Pepys stashed his diary away during the Great Fire. Oh and another shining thread... children of all ages, including seniors, will delight in the Museum of Childhood.
The Bethnal Green walk takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, August 11. Meet Hilary just outside Bethnal GreenTube, the Museum of Childhood exit