One facet of the East End life not yet touched upon was the ubiquitous public house; like a church, a pub was always no more than a stone’s throw away, and more often than not, could be found on street corners.

The Spencer Arms was located on the corner of Dean Street and Spencer Street, next door to Abraham Nerhard’s grocery shop (seen far left). In the early 1900s, Silas Hill was landlord of the establishment, and lived on the premises with his family.

This photo dated c1910 is packed with detail, from the sign written boards, the peeling block walls, the net curtains in the upper story windows, and the wooden panelling on the ground floor. Etched glass was perfected in the 19th Century, and the Spencer Arms doesn’t disappoint with a fantastic display on the large window panes as well as the doors. As with many East End pubs, this one had a fabulous lamp over the door, no doubt to attract the punters out of the cold or another greasy pea-souper.

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