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Thanks for remembrance and best wishes!

I spend a week in an apartment on the Isle of Dogs on two separate occasions last fall. A good friend moved from Amsterdam to a new job and I helped her look for an International primary school and housing. Did a lot of searching from Limehouse to City Island and all in between. Thanks for your insight into the history of which I had just scant knowledge. Still lacking as of today. I felt astonished and amazed how the real estate developed North of the Isle of Dogs and how people are left behind. The whole infrastructure of roads and schools were below standards compared to continental Europe and The Netherlands. The city/district bureacracy hasn't changed a bit from thirty some years ago.

History of Poplar in London's East End

In the mid-1600s, Poplar had a population of around a thousand - a mere hamlet linking the much larger villages of Limehouse to the west and Blackwall to the east. These villagers lived along what is now Poplar High Street, but it was events next door, where the East India Company had just set up its shipyard, which were to change everything.

The company took over the little village. In 1628, it bought the land to the north of the high street, building its almshouses there. These were replaced by the new council offices, and then by the recreation ground (lying between Hale Street and Woodstock Terrace).

It also built Poplar Chapel, in Woodstock Street, for the workers. The bosses worshipped elsewhere - merchants and shipbuilders making their homes out in the Essex countryside (then only a mile or so to the east) or in the rich suburb of Limehouse.

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Poplar now meant a lot more than the hamlet, and from 1817 the parish of Poplar covered the Isle of Dogs, Blackwall and, looking down from the high ground to the north, the village itself. With Millwall Docks joining the West and East India, Poplar could claim to be the hub of the greatest maritime trading centre in the world.

New buildings were raised, reflecting the new size and importance (if not affluence) of the village. Poplar Chapel was enlarged and became St Matthias, new District Board of Works offices were built next door and a town hall was erected next to All Saints.

But Poplar had already peaked. Although the population continued to grow until around 1900, little housing was built after 1870. The docks were already in decline, although it would be another 90 years or so before they would be shut altogether. In 1886, a new dock opened down the Thames at Tilbury, and Poplar's lifeblood was choked off. The shops on the high street closed and the little alleys off the once-bustling thoroughfare quickly declined into slums. [Clearing the Slums - 1935 (Pathé)]

The fisherman's dockland Hamlet of Bow Creek

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by Oui on Wed Aug 2nd, 2017 at 04:39:01 PM EST

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