It has had various names in its history, such as Hare Street, and today forms part of Brick Lane Market on Sundays. The Cheshire Street part of the market is home to various Bric A Brac stalls; prior to the area become popular with artists, the market was a source of basic items (clothes, toys etc.) for working class people from the East End.
The street runs parallel to the former Bishopsgate Goods Yard and the main railway track into Liverpool Street and the railway viaduct that used to carry trains into the good yard is one of the oldest brick rail viaducts in the world, the listed Braithwaite Viaduct. It is possible to see the original brick work of this viaduct from Grimsby Street, a tributary of Cheshire Street.
The Carpenters Arms pub, now re-opened, is also located on Cheshire Street. The notorious Kray twins bought the pub for their mother, who used to hold court in it at weekends. According to the last proprietors of the pub, the Krays installed a bespoke bar surface during the time they owned the pub - the surface employed was allegedly a coffin lid. Reggie Kray's funeral procession went along Cheshire Street in 2000. Cheshire Street is also home to the Repton Boxing Club, London's oldest boxing gym, alma mater to boxers such as Maurice Hope, Billy Walker, and Audley Harrison, and underworld figures such as "Mad" Frankie Fraser
According to electoral registers and Kelly’s Post Office Directories, 119 Cheshire Street was formerly a hairdresser’s and became Lee’s Café in 1947. It was closed in 1957.
The shooting of Ginger MarksEdit
Marks was accidentally shot dead on Cheshire Street by Freddie Foreman, the intended target being George ‘Jimmy’ Evans who was with Marks at the time. Foreman’s brother George had been having an affair with Evans’ wife and in late 1964, Evans had gone to George Foreman’s home and shot him in the groin as he answered the door. The intended killing of Evans in Cheshire Street was an act of revenge. Evans escaped, but Marks, killed on the spot, disappeared. His body has never been found, but Freddie Foreman later revealed that it had been disposed of at sea.
Just after midnight one morning in January 1965, Ginger Marks was shot dead in the street when he was walking with a friend, George Evans. According to Evans, a car drove up alongside them, slowed down and a voice called out 'Ginge' to which Marks turned around and was shot. Evans panicked and ran around the corner and hid under a parked lorry. When the police came they found blood on the pavement, a bullet hole in the wall and a used cartridge, plus the black, horned rimmed glasses which Marks always wore, however, there was no sign of him. It is presumed his body was taken away and the body was disposed of, but it is unknown where or how.
Present Day EditA large proportion of the Victorian buildings along the street have been demolished, not only from World War II bombings in the 1940s but from slum clearance in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Carpenters Arms, Repton Boxing Club and the Wood Close School are some of the only original buildings to survive. Consisting mainly of 1990s and early 2000s buildings, today the street houses the Hauser & Wirth Coppermill art gallery.
The nearest London Underground stations are Bethnal Green and Whitechapel.