Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Shoreditch bazaar: Fashion Street
Jack the Ripper brings me to that other East End area of wonderful fascination - that of
the Siege of Sidney Street and the anarchists. Half a century ago, the East End remained
a closed book to the rest of London; hence the alarm created by the Houndsditch murders
and the ensuing gun battle of Sidney Street. Londoners realised the unpleasant fact that
there were gunmen in their midst and a vast floating population of refugees and anarchists
living somewhere or other only a short distance from the opulent City. Peter the Painter,
that elusive, unsatisfactory figure, and his gun-toting friends have always fascinated me,
and I have visited the scene of their operations time and again. Whenever I go, in spite of
modern changes (though there is a great deal left unchanged), I seem to see the top-hatted
figure of Winston Churchill peering round a doorway during the gun battle, and policemen
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