ImageCities filled to overflowing and London was particularly bad. At the start of the 19th Century about 1/5 of Britain’s population lived there, but by 1851 half the population of the country had set up home in London. London, like most cities, was not prepared for this great increase in people.
Railway Arms, Stepney - The Railway Arms was situated at 60 Sutton Street. This pub was established by 1881 and closed in 1998, never reopening after a fatal stabbing incident. The pub lay derelict for many years, but has recently been substantially renovated and now serves as a barbers’ shop, cafe and pool rooms (see below). The pub had been a Watney’s Brewery house, and old Watney’s signage can still be seen on the rear wall.
My great-grandfather on my father's side was from what later became Italy. He was a political refugee, being an adherent of the devoted republican Giuseppe Mazzini (died in 1872) who fell foul of the new kingdom of Italy - Garibaldi had the sense to retire to his farm! So great grandpa moved to England and ended up running a pub in the East End of London. This old photo shows a similar pub. (Info via my brother John Bowyer).