Vintage pictures show historic Whitechapel in the early 20th century

Gareth Richman, Ella Wills

Fascinating vintage pictures have given a glimpse of life in London's East End in the early 20th century.

These black and white images taken between the 1920s and 40s show Londoners in Whitechapel, in Tower Hamlets.

The district has a rich multicultural history, and is known as the location of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders of the 1880s.

During the Victorian era the area became associated with Charles Dickens and his works, which depicted problems of poverty and homelessness.

But vibrant images from the 20th century show an improving way of life in the area, with people pictured enjoying jellied eels, market scenes and a thriving art community.

August 1927: Sunday crowds at Whitechapel market (Getty Images)

In one image huge crowds are seen at the outdoor market on Whitechapel Road.

The lively market near trendy Brick Lane is still going strong today, with Londoners able to pick up everything from speciality Asian ingredients to fruit and veg, flowers and knick knacks.

circa 1900: Exterior of The Great General Hospital For East London (The London Hospital) in Whitechapel Road (Getty Images)

Another photo depicts The London Hospital, now the Royal London Hospital, which is famed for treating Joseph Merrick, known as "The Elephant Man".

Mr Merrick died at the hospital in 1890 after suffering from a condition believed to have been proteus syndrome.

1931: Women arrange works at the Whitechapel Gallery (Getty Images)

A replica of his skeleton is on display at at the Royal London Hospital Museum and Archives.

Other images show people of Whitechapel enjoying local shops and street entertainers.

While others depict contemporary election campaigns and artists arranging their works at the Whitechapel Gallery.

The gallery now hosts contemporary art exhibitions and film screenings.