• Behind the Blue Lamp


In 1845 a rented station and section house were located in Devons Lane, Bromley-by-Bow. The building was owned by Mr C. J. Robbins of High Street, Bromley who rented the property annually to the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police. It consisted of an old brick and slate building, with a charge room and two cells. At the rear was a small yard. It was given up in 1860 and no longer used for police purposes.

In 1859 the Receiver leased land in the Bow Road from the Rev. G.J. Driffield, Rector of Bow for a period ninety years. Positioned at ‪116b Bow Road, immediately opposite Fairfield Road, the station was built in 1860 with accommodation for thirteen constables on the second floor whilst the married Inspector resided in three rooms on the first floor.

The future Chief Inspector Donald Swanson served here as Police Sergeant 71K for three years.

During 1880 there was a boundary revision of the Divisions of G, H, K and Y. It stipulated that Bow was to become the new Divisional station for K Division, and that this status had now been removed from the previous Divisional headquarters at Stepney, which was transferred from K to H.

The Met reviewed its building stock in the early 1900s and considered that Bow Police Station was no longer suitable for modern day policing. They viewed a number of sites for the new station and found a suitable freehold site for a station being offered by Lord Tredegar at 111, 113, 115 & ‪117 Bow Road, at the corner of Addington Road. Home Office approval was given for the purchase and accordingly a new station was completed for occupation on 20th July 1903.

In 1913 one famous prisoner at Bow Road was Suffragette Silvia Pankhurst, who was detained in the cells.

Information taken from the new book BEHIND THE BLUE LAMP. Click here to learn more.

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© 2020 ADAM WOOD.
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