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Monday, 28 March 2011

The Ten Bells Pub

Black Mary didn’t take kindly to other women standing on her pitch outside the Ten Bells Pub. Also known as Marie Jeanette Kelly, Fair Emma, Ginger or by her best known name Mary Jane Kelly, poor Mary was to become the final victim of Jack the Ripper. Mary regularly drank in the Ten Bells Pub as did Annie Chapman another Ripper victim. Did the Ripper drink in the pub too? Well, we’ll never know, but it’s a possibility. Spooks Blackburn, pictured above, has re-created The Ten Bells Pub in Whitechapel 1888 and he gives information about the very interesting history of the London tavern. Spooks has installed a copy of a tiled picture showing a Victorian street scene from the interior of the real life pub. You can call in for a pint of beer, yes you can get a virtual pint in the bar! Sit and reflect on what life was like in those days, when the local pub was the nucleus of the area and a place for the poor to sit and chat and to keep warm on a cold winter’s night. Not for long for poor Mary and Annie though, they would be out on the cold streets plying their trade, trying to get a little money together for their rent and food. I wonder if the ghost of Mary hangs around outside the pub where she claimed her territory. One night as she stood there looking for clients a tall stranger approached “looking for a bit of business guv?” she asked…. Sad Mary took him home and the rest is history, Mary was Jack the Ripper’s last recorded victim.

Janey Bracken

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