In Search of Jack Nissenthal
Yesterday, I decided to find out more. searching the Internet, showed no trace of Cottage Row in Bow, so I took the bus to my nearest big library; the City of London, library in the Barbican Centre. There displayed in a cabinet was a map of poverty for London and a Cottage Grove could be easily seen in Bow Neighbourhood, but not a Cottage Row. My up-to-date A-Z didn’t show Cottage Grove at all. So the librarian and myself concluded that development had taken place and the street pattern had been changed. Rhondda Grove seemed to occupy the same place as Cottage Grove.
This picture shows the end of Rhondda Grove. Note the Cottage Grove sign with a date of 1823.
It is a pleasant street now with most of the terrace and other houses now fully modernised.
There appeared to be not too many spaces or new properties, that would be typical of bomb damage.
So was this the street where Jack Nissenthal grew up?
I then went to Tower Hamlets Archive Centre in Bancroft Road just around the corner.
They did confirm from a 1920s London Street Atlas, that there was only one Cottage Row in London at the time of Jack’s birth and that was in South East London. Cottage Grove had not yet been renamed. On searching the large scale maps of the area, I did find that the street seemed to have been renamed in the late nineteenth century. There were also a few mews houses behind the street. So could one of these been known locally as Cottage Row?