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Between the World Wars 1919 – 1939

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Famous people who came from our area

Shirley Stringer, born 1932, grew up in a Warner maisonette near the Lea Bridge Gas Works (photo above left).  Her father worked at Shoreditch in the same hardware firm for which his father had worked.  Shirley had a talent for journalism.  Her interview of the carpet manufacturer Cyril Lord led to each leaving a marriage.  Shirley in her new relationship was then able to socialise with the glamorous, the wealthy and the famous, and she gave her recollections of the Leyton area a sourness worse than it deserved : “the gasometer, leering insultingly over our garden wall”, “our long grey street”, “the Savoy, a cinema which had a sharp distinctive smell of old celluloid and melting chocolates”.  She did not mention the handsome 18th c design of Chestnut House in Hoe Street but remembered that it had once been a lunatic asylum. 1

1  Small Beer at Claridge's, by Shirley Lord (1968)

David Bailey, Ray Beverton, Peter Coker, Don Henderson, Shirley Lord, Philip Moon, Frank Muir, Ruth Rendell, Eric Shilling. Philip Wilkinson


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