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Digital Gallery Images

The Gallery includes images of the borough's streets and buildings and portraits of people and communities. The Digital Gallery images are displayed as thumbnails. Full size images can be viewed by clicking on a thumbnail.

How do I obtain a copy of an image?

Photographic copies can be obtained from Tower Hamlets Local Studies and Archives (there is a charge for this service) or a maximum of 5 digital copies can be emailed to you. If you would like to use the images for publication or display please contact us at


‘The North Pole' Manilla Street 1960s

Image Number:





Island History Trust Image Collection


George Alfred O'Neal (1896-c1970) photographed here about 1960, in ‘The North Pole' pub; George was in the army most of his life, otherwise worked as a labourer; his home was in Oliffe Street, and in later life he lived in Mellish Street. (Oliffe Street was known as ‘one-lamp street'). With George is George Smith (whose mother, old Mrs Smith, had been an Island pawn-runner). George Smith lived for most of his life in Canada, where he lost half a foot in a saw mill accident. At home he worked as a boiler-scaler for local firms, such as Samuel Hodges. He died in Cuba Street, before 1964. In the background is Jim Scully, of Havannah Street, who had been a dock worker, and later a shedman in 17 and 18 sheds - otherwise known as ‘N' and ‘Q' sheds. He died whilst having a drink in the ‘Blacksmiths’. by Joe Wright