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What's On

Unite and Resist

Exhibition and Events
3 August - Saturday 15 February 2020
Our new exhibition showcases original archives from our collections which illustrate the prolific activism of the people of Tower Hamlets in the latter decades of the twentieth century. From the Stepney School Strike to the Battle of Brick Lane, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Stop Clause 28, the exhibition shines a light on these and other important moments in the borough’s recent history including several lesser known struggles.

Other upcoming local history talks

1919 Anti-Black Riots: 100 years on
Thursday 22 August, 6.30pm-7.45pm
In May 1919 the Strangers’ Home for Asiatic Seamen in West India Dock Road was surrounded by a hostile crowd. African, Caribbean, Chinese, Arab and South Asian sailors had kept the merchant navy running during the First World War, but as peacetime began and competition for jobs increased, workers from Britain’s colonies living in port cities across Britain became the targets of racist attacks by gangs of white seamen. We welcome back historian S. I. Martin for a talk marking the centenary of the 1919 riots and exploring what happened here in the East End. Drop in, no booking required.

Fighters of the East End
Saturday 7 September, 11.00am-1.00pm
Join author Bob Lonkhurst in conversation with former amateur boxer Howard Morris.  Bob, a long time senior member of the British Boxing Board of Control, is one of the greatest living historians of the Noble Art. The East End has been home to boxing for centuries, with the sport being practised in a many clubs and venues throughout Aldgate, Whitechapel and Stepney, producing a disproportionate number of the world’s greatest champions. Bob’s latest project is to trace the history of East End boxing in three volumes. In this conversation we shall give you glimpses of the rich history and incredible stories of the individual fighters.  

This event is free, and booking is not required. Bob will bring along copies of his book for purchase.

Suresh Singh: Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh
Saturday 7 Septmeber, 2.30-4.00pm
In the first London Sikh biography, Suresh Singh tells the candid and sometimes surprising story of his father Joginder, who came to Spitalfields in 1949. He sacrificed a life in the Punjab to work in England and send money home, yet found himself in his element among the mishmash of people who inhabited the streets around Brick Lane.

In the book, chapters of biography are complimented with Sikh recipes by 
Jagir Kaur.
Suresh Singh will be in conversation with Stefan Dickers of the Bishopsgate Institute and show photographs from his family collection. This event is free, and booking is not required.

East End History Club 2019
The East End History club is a great opportunity to explore our collections in an informal environment. You can expect photographs, maps and pamphlets relating to the East End, exploring the landscape of the borough, social housing, migration, the docks and more. 

Saturday 16 February, 2.00-4.00pm 
Saturday 6 April 2.00-4.00pm
Saturday 15 June 2.00-4.00pm
Saturday 17 August 2.00-4.00pm
Saturday 19 October 2.00-4.00pm
Saturday 7 December 2.00-4.00pm

Teas and coffee provided and it's free to attend. There is no need to book.

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.

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