The East End is the industrial part of London. It grew with the spread of industry to the east of the City and the growth of the port of London. It covers a wide area, there are many wharfs and warehouses along the river banks.
The East End is one of those areas of London where people from abroad have come to find work. For centuries foreigners have made London thier home. Some have had to leave their country for religious or political reasons. Others have wanted to find a better life. Some have brought new skills and started new industries. The immigrants have also brought their customs, traditions and religion into the East End, so you can see a mosque, a church and a synagogue not very far apart.
The East End markets are famous throughout the world. Petticoat Lane market takes place every Sunday morning and has become one of the sights of London. The street-salesmen will offer you all kinds of goods and promise that they are of the highest quality and much cheaper than those you can buy in the West End.
Traditionally, someone born in the East End is known as a cockney, although this name is now given to anyone who speaks like a Londoner. Cockneys change certain vowel sounds so that the vowel sound in “late” become more like that in “light”. They pronounce “day” as [dai], “may” as [mai] and “rain” as [rain] instead of [rein]. Another peculiarity of cockney pronunciation is dropping H’s at the beginning of words, so that “he” sounds like [i:], “head” like [ed] and “how” like [au]. These and other peculiarities of cockney pronunciation are described by the great British playwright Bernard Shaw in his “Pygmalion”.