Waterlow Estate History

Documenting the history of the Waterlow Estate in Bethnal Green, East London. Comprising Wilmot, Corfield, Ainsley and Finnis Street the Waterlow Estate was built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company starting in 1869.

About

The Waterlow Estate

Comprising Wilmot, Corfield, Ainsley and Finnis Street in Bethnal Green, East London the Waterlow Estate was built by the Improved Industrial Dwellings Company starting in 1869. The Estate was the largest of all the IIDC developments and the majority of it still stands today.

About this site

When I started researching the history of the Waterlow Estate a few years ago I realised that with enough time and digging there’s plenty of information to be found, but rather than just leave this information scattered across the web and gathering dust in various archives I decided to pool everything together and leave it here for others to enjoy

Along with the more factual content I’d really love to bring to life the personal histories of those that have lived in the buildings over the years. As such I’m really keen to hear from past tenants of the Estate, especially if you’re prepared to share your experiences and photographs.

There’s a couple of posts I’m working on .. if you could help me fill in some details I would love to hear from you:

  • I’d love to hear stories about The Lamb pub on the corner of Wilmot Street and Three Colts Lane.
  • I’ve heard a rumour about a man who lived on Wilmot Street in the 1960s who won the pools. Apparently he paid the rent of everyone nearby, can anyone tell me more about this story ?
  • Does anyone know where the Wilmot, Corfield, Ainsley and Finis Street names come from ?
  • Does anyone remember Copelands stationers on Ainsley and Wilmot street ?
  • Was there a horse knackers yard on Three Colts Lane ?
  • I’m putting together a longer series of posts about the streets that were cleared in the 50s and 60s to create Weavers Fields. Did anyone live on those streets that could tell me more about them ?
  • What was Ayshford house in Weavers fields ?

Please get in touch via the comments with any information or corrections.

8 Comments

  1. Reading this just makes me want to have a huge reunion of the people who live or lived in the waterslow estate area and discuss the history, it would be amazing to hear what it was like before,first hand. I would really be up for it! Im sure others will too, I still visit my old house alot , i love to just walk past by it just for my memorys sake.

  2. Thank you so much for creating this site and adding such wonderful pictures and stories.
    I moved in to Wilmot Street about five years ago and have gradually become more and more interested in its history.
    I was so amazed to read today that the west side of Corfield Street was demolished and am eager to do some more research.
    Thanks again and look forward to finding out more.
    D

    • Sydney

      March 8, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Hi Douglas, Glad you like the site. I’ve been looking into the 1960s and 1980s renovations quite a lot recently and have some new images to post when I get some time. I’ve also been researching Weavers Fields and have quite a lot to share there. Please do drop me a line if you find anything interesting that I haven’t covered here !

      many thanks

  3. I have a reply to your questionnaire but foolishly have lost your Web address. Could you please advise.

  4. Hey there. Love your site – amazing content. I’m not sure if you’re interested but I recently rediscovered some of the Barratt sales literature from the mid-eighties redevelopment. Let me know if you’d like some scans.

    Either way, great stuff. Gareth.

  5. Hi, my name Susan Allen, I lived at 328 Wilmot St from 1958 – 1964, as a young child.
    Our flat was above the two shops that fronted the estate opposite Bethnal Green mainline station. My Grandfather had the newsagents , which was under out flat, next door to the Grocer’s. The entrance to our flat was between the two shops.
    My Aunt and her family lived in the flat above us at number 330.
    She remembers the rent strike, when the flats were taken over and the rents doubled. They planned a march against the rise but the estate was eventually taken over by council and rent was set at a reasonable amount.
    She also remembers the week that one of the residents, Charlie Cooper, had a big win on the pools and paid all the resident’s rent for a week, which was quite something at the time!
    As our family had the shop, we did know lots of the residents at the time but I was very young and my memories are quite vague.
    I do remember the shire horses delivering the beer for the pub next door – and the live singing every night from the Lamb pub. .

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