After having done some research to find out if any kind of co-operative had existed prior to the East End Trades Guild we found nothing. Even fourth generation traders such as Paul Gardner and Henry Jones had not heard of anything. That was until this wonderful picture was discovered by the Gentle Author of Spitalfields Life. Trades and Labour Councils were associations of Unions. The new Union Movement was very active in the East End. Workers organised themselves to act against the harsh living conditions imposed on them by industry.
The EETG is clearly different as it is small independent business owners who are organising themselves as opposed to workers. However, a similar principle applies. Small traders are organising themselves with the EETG to keep the streets of the East End vibrant and diverse, and to demonstrate the cultural, social and economic significance of independents in the East End.
Used by kind permission of the Bishopsgate Institute