DAA Residential
Whats in Wapping

A Wapping family history in the 1920’s

A Wapping family history in the 1920’s

Monica Thompson’s mother had told her many stories about the Turks Head pub in Wapping, which her grandparents ran back in the 1920’s.

After researching family history, Monica has now very kindly shared her discoveries as well as some fantastic original photographs of life here in Wapping – as it was almost 100 years ago.

Monica visited the Turks Head café this summer and said “I was so pleased to see the sign of the Turks Head still there …really enjoyed seeing they have a new red door!”

1920’s Wapping, Green Bank and the Turks Head pub

“My Grandparents Thomas and Beatrice Cotts managed the Turks Head for a number of years living there with three Girls, who went to the local school and later went to Howrah House Convent School in Poplar.

I have a jug that my Grandparents used to give to customers at Christmas time with their name, year 1925 and Turks Head, I keep it very treasured.

My Grandmother used to cook between twenty and thirty hot dinners every day for the dockers. My Mum used to say all she can remember every day was a sink full of cabbage that had to be washed at least three times before cooking.

The friendliest place to live, play and make friends with so many memories of processions, from the local St Patricks Catholic Church, around all the streets in the area.

A lot earlier, in 1781 my Grandmothers family were living in Wapping, they were Watermen and their son’s were Watermen apprentices.

It was at the time when they rowed passengers across the Thames before Tower Bridge was built. When the bridge was finished they were given compensation and freedom of the water.

The next generation of the Metcalf family were Lightermen, they passed it down to their son’s, as he was an apprentice until such time he became a Lightermen. One Son went to work for a small shipping company and bought a small vessel himself which were water carriers, carrying fresh water up and down the Thames to larger ships.”

Thank you and good luck Wapping!

Many thanks to Monica for writing to What’s in Wapping and letting us to share her history and photographs.

Monica concluded saying “I am really impressed that you are keeping Wapping alive and good luck to you all”.

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  • Gillianamuir

    Absolutely fabulous. Good to share too.

  • Helen

    This great story made me thirsty. That red door certainly gets folk going …