Alternative look at Stratford’s past
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 August 2012
You may have noticed Stratford is a bit busy these days. Its only hosting most of the Olympic Games! the greatest sporting show on earth.
When London was awarded them the district and East London was thrust into the global spotlight as the centre of the extravaganza. Largely portrayed as bleak, derelict and deprived, the area’s true vibrancy has been repressed and drowned in the tide of official Olympic messaging. Yet, in contrast to the media depiction of Stratford as an obscure corner of the city, the East End of London has played a key role in London’s recent history.
Over The Border: The Other East End is an absorbing history of the area from the 11th century to the present day. Pushing the boundaries beyond the typical tales of the Krays, Jack the Ripper and the Bow Bells, author Neil Fraser takes us ‘Over the Border’ - East of the River Lea.
Stratford and the surrounding neighbourhoods was London’s industrial heartland, Neil’s 194-page book provides a compelling insight into the effects of industrialisation with the arrival of the railways, docks and factories drastically altering the appearance and mentality of the area, transforming it from a collection of villages into a bustling and thriving urban sprawl.
Now the post-industrial era, aided by the Games, is set to reinvent the landscape once again, and provide London’s East End with a new identity.
Neil Fraser was born and grew up mostly in the North of England. He has lived in East London for twenty-one years, in West Ham, Barking, Stratford, and now in Leytonstone with his family.
Over the Border-The Other East End is published by Function Books at £9.99.
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