The Bow Quarter was from the mid 19th century to more than three-quarters of the way through the 20th the site of the famous Bryant and May match-making operation. At one point at the turn of the two centuries it was London's largest factory.
The site acquired by William Bryant and Francis May in 1861 had once been used for the manufacture of candles, crinoline and rope but had fallen into disrepair.
The factory saw many famous historical events: the Match Girls' Strike of 1888 started here, for example, culminating in the establishment of the first British trade union for women. A blue plaque outside the entrance commemorates the role of social pioneer and feminist Annie Besant in leading the demands for better pay and conditions.
Bryant & May were influential in fighting against the dreadful disease known as "phossy jaw", caused by the phosphorus used in the manufacture of matches. Some of the first welfare institutions in Britain for industrial
kers began on this site.
The factory was only finally closed in 1979, when it still employed 275 people. At its height more than 3,000 women and girls worked here.
Once again, the site fell into disrepair until in 1988 developers embarked upon one of East London's first urban renewal projects.
The majority of the apartments today are housed in former factory and office buildings. Arlington, for example, was built as offices in 1874; Lexington and Manhattan date from the factory site redevelopment in 1911. The Victorian cottages near the entrance provided accommodation for the company directors whilst Staten was built as extra office accommodation in the late '50s. Park Central was added in the mid 1990s.
With a regularly updated CCTV system across the whole site and security staff on duty 24/7 365 days a year, you should feel very safe in The Bow Quarter.
You must use your key fob - anyone entering The Bow Quarter on foot must come through the security gate and the security staff won't always know every resident (though they are very friendly, so please treat them with the courtesy you would expect).
Whether you are expecting guests or a pizza delivery, please warn them that they will be expected to tell security the name of the person and the building and flat number they will be visiting. The security staff will phone up in advance to check with you.
Every Bow Quarter property is allocated two FREE memberships to the Leisure Centre and two guest passes. So make the most of the quality and convenience of services and facilities so close to home.
Post & Parcels
The Bow Quarter prides itself on convenience. Living here you don't have to worry about staying home to get that recorded delivery or courier drop-off - the security staff will sign for it on your behalf and tell you about it as soon as you get back by giving you a slip.
Be prompt - please don't leave your parcels hanging around in the post room (which is open 8-9.00am, 12noon -12.30pm, 6.30-7.30pm and 9-9.30pm Mondays to Fridays; 10.30 to 11.30 in the mornings and 7 to 8 in the evenings on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays). After two weeks, unless you have specifically
forewarned the security staff that you will be away for an extended period, they will be returned to the sender.
Letters, - of course, each apartment has its own locked mail box conveniently located near the entrance to your building. Good news is that hand-delivered junk mail doesn't reach it. Guard your letterbox key though - the management don't keep spares and if you lose it you'll have to pay to get the lock changed.
And for sending your mail The Bow Quarter has its own high volume Royal Mail pillar box opposite the post room under the Arlington Arch, with collections once a day Monday to Friday only.
Shopping & Services
The Bow Quarter has its own supermarket open from 7 in the morning to 11 at night seven days a week all year round.
You'll find everything here from your morning paper and your evening DVD to freshly baked bread and vegetables straight from nearby Spitalfields.
If you don't want to cook there are plenty of ready made chilled meals. You can also choose a bottle of wine from the wide range to go with your meal.
Get your dry-cleaning done quickly and conveniently - a 24 hour turnaround is standard. And if you want to use the on-site laundry rooms in the Manhattan Block, then you can buy your tokens in the shop.
Clean your flat with the spring cleaning and carpet cleaning service