The construction of Bethnal Green station began in the 1930s but it was first used as an air-raid shelter during World War II. In 1943, 173 people were killed in a crush whilst attempting to enter the shelter. Bethnal Green was opened as a station in 1946.
The place-name Blithehale, the earliest form of Bethnal Green, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon blithe (happy) and healh (corner). This ‘happy corner’ was cleared next to a natural spring and was once marshland and forest.
Just up the road from the station is the V&A Museum of Childhood, while Brick Lane – famous for its street market and curry houses – adjoins Bethnal Green Road.
Artworks are currently installed at the following stations