Postcard of the month - #34 - March 2003
The Eastern Junction
In the early nineteenth century, this junction was constructed in order to bring together three new main thoroughfares of the East End: East India Dock Road, West India Dock Road and Commercial Road. These roads were needed to transport goods from the new docks on the north-side of the Thames to merchants in the City of London.
In the 1860s, another new road, Burdett Road, was constructed to join the junction from the north. At this time, the Eastern Hotel was built on a triangular site at the meeting of East and West India Dock Road. The "Eastern" became the name of the junction and, also, was known as the gateway to Limehouses historic Chinatown which was clustered around the West India Dock Road area.
Owned by Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, a local brewer in Brick Lane, the Eastern Hotel advertised itself in the 1900s as serving lunches from 12-4pm, with spacious billiard saloons, splendid clubrooms for private functions and spacious bedroom accommodation. The Hotel also had a bottling department where wines, spirits and beer could be purchased for consumption off the premises. For example, a gallon of finest scotch whiskey could be bought for under a £1.00! Also, Ships Captains could be supplied at wholesale prices and deliveries made to their ships free of charge.
The public house at #1 East India Dock Road is the Pigott Arms. It was demolished in the 1960s.
The Eastern Hotel had a couple of name changes after the Second World War. In the 1960s it became known as the Londoner and for a short period in the 1980s as Lipstick. Finally, the Eastern Hotel was closed, sold and demolished in the 1990s when another new road junction was laid out to meet the needs for better transport links, this time, to Canary Wharf.
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