East End Poverty and City Wealth
Paul Johnson

Introduction The City of London--the most famous "square mile" in the world--represents the greatest geographical concentration of wealth in Britain, and contains some of the country's most expensive real estate. Yet, just a stone's throw from the marble-clad, high-rise palaces of finance in the adjacent borough of Tower Hamlets lies an area of considerable deprivation and dilapidation.

This boundary between the wealth of the city and the poverty of the East End has been almost unchanged for over 200 years, despite the massive economic growth and social changes that have caused other parts of London to be completely transformed. What accounts for this state of affairs? Why has so little of the wealth of the city trickled eastwards? And what are the chances that this entrenched pattern of physical proximity and economic divergence will be challenged and changed in the twenty-first century?

In this video presentation, Paul Johnson considers some of the issues that have affected the development of Spitalfields and the East End for over a century. Each clip represents a location in this area, which provides a unique insight into the paradox at the heart of the East End: that the cultural and social diversity and richness of this area has come hand in hand with the economic deprivation.
Paul Johnson explores the history of Spitalfields in the East End of London. Click the hotspots on Charles Booth's map of 1901 to view video clips of Paul at various locations around the East End.

All images included in the video clips courtesy of The Jewish Museum, Finchley.
The Jewish Museum