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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


Island Baths Tiller Road 1940s

Image Number:





Island History Trust Image Collection


Island Baths, 1939-40. On the left at back, Mr Holden, superintendent; seated in front, second from right, Mrs Holden. The building had been sandbagged and taken over as a First Aid Post and Decontamination Centre (gas); it was staffed by nurses and /or First Aid Personnel, and Ambulance Drivers. When the Post received a ‘First Alert', an ambulance was sent out, usually to somewhere else on the Island. This photograph was taken during the ‘Phoney War' or ‘Peaceful Period', in the side passage of the baths leading to the laundry. During the war the building was damaged by bomb blast and the living quarters made inhabitable, though it never received a direct hit. Mr Holden carried out his duties afterwards mainly from Poplar Baths in East India Dock Road. The family moved out to Twickenham for the duration of the war and Mr Holden made the journey to Poplar regularly and unfailingly until the autumn of 1945, when the living quarters were restored and he then returned to live there until his retirement in 1957. by Mrs Winnard