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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


Westferry Road

Image Number:





Island History Trust Image Collection


c.1950. Grace Eunice Sarah Stiff (nee Kneeshaw) with daughter June, in her shop at 103 Westferry Road Grace Kneeshaw was born in 1912 at 32 Strafford Street, Millwall, into a family of eight children. She went to St.Luke’s School and then worked at Morton’s the confectioners in Westferry Road; in 1936 she married Joseph Stiff at St.Luke’s chuch. they moved to Becontree and had a son, Leslie. In 1942 the family returned to the Island and bought the shop at 103 Westferry Road. Named it “Gracie’s Drapers”. Grace worked there while Joe worked at Wallis & Co in Cuba Street, sheet metal works. In the shop Grace sold all manner of things, from buttons to dresses, including knitting wool and patterns. It was also a dry cleaners, and she had a machine for mending ladders in nylon stockings. In 1944 Grace and Joe adopted a baby girl aged six months, this was June (in the picture). In 1950 Grace had a mastectomy and her health deteriorated over the next few years She died in March, 1958, aged only 46. Joe and June moved away to Rainham, but Leslie and his wife Maureen remained on the Island into the 1960s. Donated by Unknown