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‘85 years ago today the bully boys of Mosley’s British Union of Fascists set off on a provocative rally through the East End. It would pass through areas occupied by the migrant Jewish population; many of whose forebears had fled the pogroms in Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. Vilification of the migrant community was a central plank of the BUF’s policy of division and hatred. They did not expect organised resistance.

The dockworkers had been fed by the Jewish community whilst on strike, and they repaid the debt this day by standing alongside those Jews who did not want their shops trashed, nor the humiliation of the march. Several barricades were erected, and from Gardiner’s Corner to Cable Street, it was clear the BUF were not going to get through, and violence ensued. That day, my two grandfathers marched and fought with the two different sides. They lived a few doors apart in Stepney. They never spoke again, until 20 years later…when my mum and dad married!’ – Andy Wallace, Anglia Tours Guide

Anglia’s new walking tour of London’s East End focusses on Migration in Britain over the past 1000 years and features a visit to Cable Street to examine the battle that Andy’s grandfathers were involved in. For more details take a look at our website: