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What's On

David Granick: The East End in colour, 1960-1980
Saturday 3 February – Saturday 5 May
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
We are delighted to announce a new exhibition of previously unseen photographs by David Granick which depict Stepney, Mile End, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Limehouse and the Thames riverside in the warm hues of Kodachrome film. In the decades following the end of the Second World War, the East End was a place usually captured in black and white, so these photographs present a rare chance to see views of these neighbourhoods in the 1960s and 1970s - some still familiar, many since vanished - in colour for the first time.

David Granick was born in 1912 and lived his whole life in Stepney. A Jew, a keen photographer and a long-serving member of the East London History Society, he gave lectures on various local history themes illustrated with colour slides taken by himself or his fellow members of the Stepney Camera Club. Bequeathed to Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives after his death in 1980, where they have been preserved ever since, these photographs show the East End on the cusp of social change.

These amazing photographs are now to be exhibited for the first time at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives, from Saturday 3 February to Saturday 5 May. To coincide, selections from the David Granick collection are also to be published in a beautiful hardback book, The East End In Colour, 1960-1980, by Hoxton Mini Press. This book can be purchased directly from us at the discounted price of £15 during the exhibition.

The book and exhibition have been curated by local photographer Chris Dorley-Brown. A few years ago, volunteers began gradually to scan the slide collections we hold, and a few were posted on our social media. Chris, a collaborator of ours on a number of recent projects, immediately recognised the special quality of those taken by David Granick and volunteered to digitise them all himself in a higher quality, removing any dust and scratches.

For this exhibition, our staff have worked with Chris to present the images as Granick originally showed them during his lifetime – using a carousel slide projector. Visitors are invited to take a seat in a darkened area in the centre of our exhibition space and watch eighty of Granick’s slides appear on screen in rotation. In addition to this, copies more than 200 images will be hung on the walls of the exhibition hall with a blank space beneath ready for you to add your memories of the people or buildings pictured.

The exhibition is free of charge. The first few events we have scheduled to tie in with this exhibition are listed here. Please keep an eye on our social media, website and future issues of this newsletter for more events to be added in March and April.


Finale event: Coming here, being here
Saturday 17 February, afternoon (time tbc)
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Numbi Arts present the final exhibition and other creative outputs resulting from their current project to archive British Somali presence in the East End. Free, all welcome. Following this event, the exhibition will be hosted on our first floor landing.

Printmaking workshop: Portraits of Inspirational East End Women
Saturday 3 March, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
A wide range of events for Women's History Month will be taking place across the Idea Store network and the full programme will be announced shortly. Here, we are hosting a creative workshop for participants to produce linocut portraits of inspirational women from the East End. Some of the resulting images may be kept for a future exhibition. Participants will create a one- or two-colour lino portrait by tracing images from your own photographs or those supplied from our collections onto lino. Cutting tools, lino and inks will be supplied. Open to all over the age of 12. This event is free of charge but booking is essential due to limited capacity - email localhistory@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 1290 to book your place.


East End History Club
Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives
Are you interested in the history of London’s East End? If so, come along to one of our FREE drop-in sessions. You’ll have the chance to browse through old photographs, maps, newspapers and archival documents relating to a range of popular subjects, such as housing, health, immigration, work, school, leisure and much more! These sessions are ideal for those who are curious about local history and want to find out more. There’s no need to book, just drop in. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. Suitable for adults and children (11+).

Upcoming dates:

Saturday 3 February 2018, 2:00 - 4:00pm
Saturday 17 March 2018, 2:00 - 4:00pm


Online exhibition
We are pleased to report that a new online exhibition is now available. From Town Hall to Local History Library & Archives: a short history of our service and premises, 1861-2015 is based on research undertaken for last year's 50th anniversary celebrations of the borough.

If you've ever wondered about the history of our Grade 2 listed building here on Bancroft Road, these web pages will reveal all.

Local History Library & Archive Newsletter