The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 34 The East End and the Docks

Stepney 1

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34. THE EAST END AND THE DOCKS. From Fenchurch St. Station trains run every + hour via Leman St. (for St. Katherine's Docks), Shadwell, Stepney, Limehouse, West India Dock, Millwall Junction, and Poplar (for the East India Docks), to (3+ miles) Blackwall (fares 5d., 4d., 3d.); with connection at Millwall Junction for South Dock, Millwall Dock, and (4+ miles) North Greenwich (9d., 7d., 5+d.). The East London Railway affords access to Shadwell (for London Docks), Wapping, Rotherhithe, and Surrey Docks (for the Surrey Commercial Docks). From Fenchurch St. Station trains ply two or three times an hour via Stepney, Burdett Road, Bromley, and Canning Town, to the Victoria and Albert Docks, where there are six stations: Tidal Basin, Custom House (for the offices of the Victoria Dock), Connaught Road, Central (for the offices of the Albert Dock), Manor Way, and (8+ miles) Gallions (10+d., 10d., 7+d.) . At the Central Station there is a buffet and at Gallions a small hotel. Less frequent trains from Liverpool St. Station, via Bethnal Green and Stratford, join this route at Canning Town. OMNIBUSES Nos. 5, 15, 23, and 40 and TRAMWAYS Nos, 65 and 67, running along Commercial Road East, pass near the West India and the East India Docks; and Omnibus No. 47 and Tramways Nos. 68 and 70 pass near the Surrey Commercial Docks. Extending to the east of the City, between Bethnal Green and the Thames, is the densely populated borough of STEPNEY (population 279,804), comprising Mile End on the north, Stepney (in the narrower sense) about the middle, and St. George in the East, Wapping, Shadwell, Ratcliff, and Limehouse succeeding each other from west to east along the river. It is a region of poor streets, inhabited largely by a 'marine' population; but the common belief that every British subject born at sea belongs to Stepney parish is quite unfounded. Its main thoroughfare is the long and busy Commercial Road East, which diverges from Whitechapel High St. a little to the east of Aldgate East Station and runs east south east, via (1+ miles) Stepney Station, to (1+ miles) Limehouse. The huge warehouse near the west end of this street, above the railway goods depot on the right, is used by the Port of London Authority, chiefly for the storage of tea. About + mile to the north of Stepney Station, via Belgrave St. (continued by High St. and White Horse Lane to Mile End Road), is Stepney Church, mostly 15th century, with the tombs of Sir Thomas Spert and Sir Henry Colet, a Saxon rood, and other interesting details. In the wall of the south aisle is a stone with an inscription (1663) stating it to have been brought from Carthage. At Nos. 18-26 Stepney Causeway, a turning off Commercial Road to the west of the station, are Dr. Barnardo's Homes, an institution of world-wide fame, supported by public subscriptions and maintaining an average of about 7500 orphan and destitute boys and girls. There are over 160 separate households and branches in London, the Provinces, Ireland, the Channel Isles, Canada, and Australia. The Homes may be visited daily from 2.30 to 5 (except Sunday and holidays). The Institution never rejects a destitute child, and within the last 60 years has rescued over 101,000 children. Many of them are sent as emigrants to Canada, where 98 per cent are reported to turn out well. It is known that 10,715 Barnardo boys served their country in the army, navy, and mercantile marine during the War; their Watts Naval School (at Elmham, Norfolk) trains for the navy, while the Russell-Cotes Nautical School (at Parkstone, Dorset) trains for the merchant service.