In order to wet your appetites, here are some excerpts from the book.
One from each of the main writers.
From “Bethnal Green Underground” by Sally Flood
What tempted this move was the tragedy that took so many lives in the underground after the big guns were fired in the park, that were then mistaken for a bomb.
To go back to the beginning, this was where we took shelter from the bombing during the second world war, the small Anderson built in the playground of the flats didn’t feel safe when the bombs took off in the forties.
Each evening the family would take our bedding and important papers and queue by the gates to go in, there we would find a space big enough to throw our blankets down and stay together, this was then our space for the night.
I remember one night sleeping under the tunnel that runs sideways from the platform, this particular night we could hear banging and hammering from the pipes overhead and water running down the wall, we were told the next morning the water gates were threatening to burst and we were lucky to get out alive.
From “Childhood” by Dorothy Lloyd
“Well you can tell people as you grow up, that you lived to tell the tale after going through the mouth of a Whale”. I have told this many times over these last 75 years.
Each morning meeting for assembly all children would pass the clock to salute the ‘Union Jack’.
Irene, my sister seems to have been with me forever. Although there is an age gap of three and a half years, I do not remember her coming into my life at all.
My little sister would run to the front door crying, with her arms outstretched, she wanted to come to school with me.
Standing chatting to a new girl, I stood outside Chisenhale Road School, Bow. She told me she had an older sister, who was 12 years old. “My goodness,” I gasped “12 years, oh my, she is old”.
From “Tales of a London Cabbie No.7” by Barry Gendler
Having received confirmation that the trip was on, we set about preparing the cabs for what was to be a long and arduous journey.
The mechanics of the vehicles were carefully checked, and whatever needing repairing or replacing was attended to.
Finally we needed three sets of tyres, but how were we going to get them without incurring the high price of decent tyres? We decided we were prepared to offer the unique story (which it was at that time), to anyone who would supply and fit the tyres.
Dunlop was first, who said they were interested, but only wanted to sponsor one taxi, which we refused.
We then moved on to Pirelli, with the same request, which again was refused. As we were leaving, I said loud enough to be heard by all present, “Let’s try Dunlop”. On hearing that they quickly changed their minds, and agreed to sponsor all three cabs, in exchange for publicity rights as regards advertising. We agreed.
From “Merchant Navy Day” by Ann Hamblin
. Now, should I take a sandwich? The service does go on a long time, by the end I will be feeling a little bit hungry.
The No.48 bus goes to London Bridge, then a short walk up Lower Thames Street to Tower Hill. A friend had decided to come with me this time, on walking along Lower Thames Street we were amazed at the amount of cyclists on the road, very young children cycling along with their parents, there must have been thousands. We afterwards found out that it was Boris Johnson’s London Sky Ride, they were cycling around Central London, Buckingham Palace, the Houses Of Parliament, St. Pauls Cathedral, and of course, they cycled past Tower Hill where the service would be taking place.
The service takes place in Trinity Square Gardens out in the open. On reaching the gardens my friend and I walked around looking at the thousands of names on the actual memorial stones of the seamen who had died in two world wars, my brother was one of them.