I had some visitors from Texas who wanted to do a Jack the Ripper tour so much they even booked it before they came to London. We had an afternoon tour and the Jack the Ripper and it was properly scary. We met up for our tour just outside Whitechapel Gallery in the East End and set off in the dark with our wonderful guide. She was from the East End and was a real expert on the topic who researches ‘Jack’ every day so she knows everything there is to know it seems and has her own theory as to who he was. She led us around the sites of the murders for an engrossing two and a half hour tour full of stories about the era, giving us lots of context. It was a very tough area at the time with people living incredibly hard lives and especially the women who were driven to drink and life on the streets. She warned us and then came the grisly details of the murders and even photos of the victims, but these were optional! It was not the sort of thing I would usually do as I’m not keen on the horror stuff but our guide was so knowledgeable that the time just flew by. No photos of this tour as it was a very dark night!
The afternoon before Jack saw a great Indian lunch of very tasty curries at Tayyabs near Whitechapel, a wander up Brick Lane dropping into a wonderful bright cloth shop with such cheery staff, a quick shopping trip in Spitalfields and a nip to the Tate Modern to show them the wonderful Sunflower Seeds by Ai Wei Wei (see blog from 22nd October). We spent time admiring the night lights over the Thames and it was a great photo opportunity. What an afternoon and evening – we all enjoyed it and loved packing so much in.