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The 'Other' Bow Quarter Plaque

When we look at the Bow Quarter, most of us find our eyes drawn to the plaque commemorating Annie Besant’s role in the 1888 Matchgirls Strike. We have previously outlined former resident Alan Cock’s part in getting this plaque.

However, the second rectangular plaque, which records both the Strike, and the Bryant and May manufacturing duration on the site, also merits the acknowledgement of the efforts of another local man – Joseph Waters.

The plaque is one of a number in the Bow Heritage series, as recently recorded in the 2019 article by Frederick O’Brien for Roman Road London [1].


These plaques all carry this logo:

The plaque trail was set up in 1990 by Bow Neighbourhood, then a branch of Tower Hamlets Council, and the Roman Road article proposes that the Trail should be enlarged and made more accessible. Currently, as far as maintenance and care is concerned, the Council’s current position is that the plaques:


are considered as private property owned by the freeholder of the building they are fixed to.“ [2]