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Stepney Then & Now

Samantha Bird

Pitkin

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Price: £14.99

Publication date: 1 June 2013

Category: Regional History

Stepney is an area with many well-known associations and images from the poverty-stricken slums of the late nineteenth century to the iconic borough it became for architecture during the Festival of Britain. Stepney also had to soak up heavy bomb damage during the Blitz and sent her children away to safety in the Second World War. For those left behind they faced their own war. Among Stepney’s rich history there was the classical confrontation between Mosley’s fascists and the socialist left at the ‘Battle of Cable Street’, and the earlier dramatic ‘Siege of Sidney Street’ when Liberal Home Secretary Winston Churchill rooted out an anarchist cell. There was the rise and fall of the great local docks, the immigration of large numbers of Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The growth of the Labour Party and the surprising ascendancy of the Communist Party were also witnessed and much more besides. Here is Stepney as it was then compared to how we see it today