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Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Seamen’s Missions in East London

Once again many thanks to Eric Pemberton for his postcards about institutions that were organised in the 19th Century to cope with the large number of seaman arriving in the London Docks.

Seamen’s missions were often part of the outreach work of various Churches who tried  to provide support to sailors  all around the world.

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While almost all the Missions founded for Seamen in  London have disappeared , one  institution still survives  and retains its original function after more than a century. This is the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest  (QVSR) which started life as the Wesleyan Seamen’s Mission of the Methodist Church in 1843.

The Methodists had also supported the work of the British and Foreign Sailors Society, however in 1890s they decided they needed to expand their services and build their own mission the Queen Victoria Seamans Rest in Jeremiah Street in Poplar.

As well as providing accommodation  it also provided educational and recreational facilities. Remarkably it still provides accommodation and other facilities for seamen, other forces personnel and homeless people in need.

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Also in Poplar, on East India Dock Road was the Missions to Seamen Institute run by the Anglican ministry which opened in 1893. It contained a church, gymnasium, coffee bar and educational facilities.  The Institute closed in 1932 but the building still remains today.

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One of the most famous Seamen missions  was  run by the British and Foreign Sailors Society in Limehouse nicknamed Jack’s Palace or Passmore Edwards Sailors Palace.

It was known for it’s superior accommodation which often was for officers, Once again the building is still there but is now a block of flats

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Other Posts you may find interesting

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – The London Hospital

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards Poplar and East India Dock Road

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Isle of Dogs 2

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Isle of Dogs

Eric Pemberton’s Postcards – Limehouse

Eric Pemberton’ s Postcards – Limehouse

Eric Pemberton has lived on the Isle of  Dogs for 30 years and is a well known figure working for the local community.

Eric has a great interest in local history and very kindly has given me access to some of his  collection of postcards and ephemera about the Isle of  Dogs and surrounding areas.

Over the next few months I will share these with you.

We start with Limehouse:

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A postcard from early 20th century showing all the sights of Limehouse.

Commercial Road, West India Dock Rd, East India Dock Rd, Sailors Palace,Town Hall,

St Annes Church, Burdett Rd, Salmon Lane.

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The Passmore Edwards Sailors Palace or Jack’s Palace as it was known was a hostel for Seamen.

It was well-known around the world for its superior accommodation

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In 2013, the building still exists but has been turned into a block of flats.

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Burdett Road going to Mile End by Horse Drawn Tram 1906.

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A view of Limehouse from Commercial Road looking towards West India Dock Rd.

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The original Charlie Brown was a legendary East End character, this was his son who ran a pub in Limehouse.

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The Star of the East pub was run by the Baxter Family for many generations.

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In 2013 It is still there with two original gas lamps outside.