Tower Hamlets’ role in the Story of London

Crossness pumphouse – part of the Story of London Photo:

Tower Hamlets’ history as a pioneer of social housing will be showcased as part of the rich history of London as a centre of invention, art, creativity and pioneering science  from this Friday, when the Story of London returns to the capital.

Originally initiated in 2009 by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, this year’s ambitious cultural festival runs from Friday 1 until Sunday 10 October. Around 100 events are being planned for audiences from every corner of the capital to get involved in, encouraging them to share in the story of the most exciting city in the world. One of the aims is to raise the profile of cultural attractions throughout the city, to people living locally, as well as Londoners from other areas, and tourists. Organised in partnership with a range of organisations, including funding partners the Heritage Lottery Fund , English Heritage and Renaissance London, events are taking place all across the city.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London is a city where around almost every corner there has been a great ‘eureka!’ moment. Full of pioneering bright sparks in every field, there are hundreds of stories to be discovered. From the inventor of the incandescent light bulb to surgical techniques, from beer making to fashion and digital art, London continues to play a crucial role in every sphere of human activity. The Story of London is about invention, ideas and exploring the city. Who knows, you too might be inspired to instigate the next big thing.”

Events and activities include film, music and live performance, guided walks, talks and debates, exhibitions and workshops. From art, fashion and poetry, to history, science and technology, to transport and the environment, there will be something to suit every interest.

The season will include the legacy of Jimi Hendrix at the Handel House Museum; the development of surgical practices at the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons; a new project that ‘remixes’ archive film to create new visions of London; and the chance to create your own version of London’s future ‘in a box’. Environmentalist Sir Crispin Tickell will be speaking at the Museum of London; musician Billy Bragg and architect Sir Terry Farrell at the British Library. Poet John Hegley will be taking part in a special Poems on the Underground event at LSO St Luke’s. For details of other events, go to

But don’t miss the amazing London Walk focusing on Joseph Bazalgette who developed London’s first sewage, putting a stop to annual epidemics of cholera that devastated the city in the 19th century or take the guided train journey through Brunel’s tunnel at Rotherhithe – the first to be constructed under water,

Nigel Barker, Acting Regional Director of the London region of English Heritage, which is a partner in the event, commented: “Without its pioneers, visionaries, and risk takers, London’s unique heritage would be much the poorer – extraordinary and innovative feats of engineering have resulted in some of the city’s greatest landmarks. Initiatives like the Story of London are an increasingly important in these times of financial restraint – they champion free access to, and enjoyment of, our capital’s outstanding history and heritage. English Heritage are delighted to again be supporting the Mayor’s Story of London.”

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