A key part of our aim in creating this website is to catalogue and give context to photographs, documents and other archival objects that help to represent London's rich boxing heritage. If an item relates to an individual featured in the East End Boxing Lives project, it can also be found in that part of the site. But we continue to collect and upload a much wider range of images as we build an extensive database of London boxing artefacts.
The entire database can be searched from this page. Enjoy exploring our archive, and if you have any images or memorabilia you would like to contribute we would be very pleased to hear from you.
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Premierland (pronounced Pree-mier-land) stood on Back Church Lane, just off the Commercial Road. It opened in December 1911 and a then unknown Ted Kid Lewis boxed on its first show.
In 1924 business partners Victor Berliner and Manny Lyttlestone took control and guided Premierland through its most successful era. A 1920s boxing boom meant there were three (sometimes four) shows a week. The crowds were a mix of Jewish and Irish immigrants and native cockneys: mostly men who worked as dockers, barrow boys or street traders at nearby Petticoat Lane. Some were current or ex professional boxers, and generally those who weren't had at least boxed for boys' clubs.
Kid Lewis, Kid Berg, Teddy Baldock, Kid Pattenden, Harry Mason, Nipper Pat Daly and Dick and Harry Corbett were some of Premierland's biggest stars. Former fighter Jack Hart was the 'house' referee for much of the '20s and mostly officiated from outside the ring.
Following a court ruling, in late 1930 Premierland was returned to its owners, Fairclough and Sons, who then used the building as a motor vehicle garage. (Words: Alex Daley)