To be a true Londoner - A Cockney, you have to be born within hearing distance of the church bells of St. Mary Le Bow, Cheapside, in the City of London of London. Before the advent of motor traffic, the sound of the Bow Bells apparently reached 6 miles to the East, 5 miles to the north, 4 miles to the West and 3 miles to the south.
'Cockney' or 'cock's egg' was a 14th Century term applied contemptuously by rural people to native Londoners who lived rather by their wits than their muscle. In time, the term became synonymous with working class Londoners and it lost its once denigrating qualities. To most outsiders a Cockney is anyone from London itself. Today's natives of London, especially its East End use the term with pride - 'Cockney Pride'.
Cockney Online takes a look at East London and the places where some of our capital’s best-kept secrets are hidden ... a distance from the traditional London Tourist traps, yet somewhere well know to William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.
We visit the colourful Cockney Street Markets and traditional Pie & Mash shops. We look back at the gangland of the notorious Kray Twins and the haunts of Jack the Ripper. On the way we also meet many well known personalities and celebrities who were born in or close to the East London. If you love television and films we’ll show you some of the places where they’ve been made.
View from the 'London Eye' - looking towards the City of London The East End has well defined geographical boundaries formed by the City of London to the west, the River Thames to the south, the River Lea on its eastern edge and Victoria Park in Hackney to the north.