Do you remember London’s Zil Lanes?

They were special traffic lanes created during the London Olympics for the officials and politicians. As a local I was outraged by those, yet four years on I had completely forgotten about them until I rediscovered this photo I’d taken.

2012 Olympic Lane, London
2012 Olympic Lane, London

London’s history is exactly like this. If you look around you everything looks completely normal, so you’d never guess what went on here 75 or 150 years ago.

I’m running my Mile End historical walk again next Tuesday evening. When setting up a guided walk you try to find things that you can point at and then explain their significance. Once I started properly researching I found that the greatest part of Mile End and Bow’s local history is not to be seen on the streets at all. Fragments of the past do linger on, but many significant locations have been rebuilt twice over.

Taking to the streets is a great way to explore local history. I will be bringing copies of old maps, newspapers and street directories out with me to help bring Mile End’s rich and fascinating history to life for you.

“Vanished Without Trace”  Mile End will run again next Tues evening (23rd Aug) at 7pm. The walk starts at the northern end of Eric Street, next to Mile End Tube, behind William Hill’s shop. It lasts about 2 hours and costs £5 per person. Do join me if you can.