About Betnal Green & Bow

The East End has always stood for cultural diversity, progressive social ideals, community involvement, and artistic expression; from Toynbee Hall, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Columbia Road Flower Market, Spitalfields and the Womenís Library, the spirit of community in the East End continues to flourish.

Tower Hamlets has been inhabited for 2000 years, with a detailed history going back to the Roman invasion of 43AD. The world famous Tower of London stands on the River Thames on the western boundary of the borough. It dates from the reign of William the Conqueror in the 11th century and in the past 900 years it has been used as a fortress, royal palace, zoo and state prison.

Much of borough was marshland at this time. As London expanded and the pressure for development intensified, the land was gradually drained and reclaimed. A cluster of small communities was established, known locally as the hamlets around the tower - which is the origin of the borough's name.

The area's population spread south from Spitalfields and Whitechapel as works to prevent flooding of the Thames allowed many new houses and wharves to be built at Blackwall, Poplar, Shadwell and Wapping.

These areas grew as centres of shipbuilding and repair. Lime kilns to make mortar for the building industry were established, giving their name to Limehouse. The construction of Bow Bridge over the River Lee in Henry 1's reign improved access to the tide mills on the east bank.

Bethnal Green and Bow is one of Britainís most multicultural constituencies. I hold advice surgeries every Friday, meetings are by appointment only. If you have a matter that you wish to discuss with me, please contact my constituency office by telephone on 0207 613 2274.

If you wish to find out more about what is going on in the Borough of Tower Hamlets you can do so by logging on to www.towerhamlets.gov.uk or by calling their main reception on 0207 364 5000.