Category Archives: East End eccentrics

Call the Midwife … an unlikely hit?

By John Rennie WHEN WE originally wrote about Call the Midwife a few years ago, it seemed likely that Jennifer Worth’s book would join the ranks of hundreds of other East End memoirs – if better written and more entertaining … Continue reading

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Charles I’s pirate – John Mucknell

WHEN TODD STEVENS set off for a shallow shore dive off Scilly one winter’s day, he had high hopes. Previous expeditions had yielded gold coins, 17th century guns and an anchor. It was all a legacy of the Scilly Isles … Continue reading

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Oscar Eckenstein, mountaineering pioneer and pal of Aleister Crowley

NO OBITUARY notice seems to have appeared when Oscar Eckenstein died in 1921. No mentions in the press, no plaudits from his fellows in the British mountaineering fraternity, and no reminiscences of daring climbs or brilliant innovations. Yet this East Ender … Continue reading

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Henry Mayhew’s dodgy statistics on London

Just how drunk were Victorian East Enders? Did button makers quaff more pints in a day than opticians? Did bookbinders sink more gin than drapers? Hard statistics to collate and crunch you might think, but it didn’t stop the inexhaustible … Continue reading

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Frederick Charrington

Frederick Charrington had everything going for him. He was young, tall, good-looking and, best of all, he stood to come into millions as heir to one of the great brewing families of the East End. But Fred was no idle … Continue reading

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Jack Broughton – cockney boxer

Jack Broughton … boxer Lennox Lewis’s triumphant defence of his world heavyweight title, and the emergence of East End Olympic hero Audley Harrison, confirm one thing – unfashionable and controversial though boxing may be in many quarters, the East End … Continue reading

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Charlie Brown’s Pub

IT is a familiar landmark to East Enders driving back from Essex, and anyone taking the M11 up to Stansted will have passed over it. But where did the Charlie Brown’s roundabout, one of London’s busiest intersections, get its unusual … Continue reading

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Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green

He gave his name to one of the most famous, or infamous, pubs in Britain, and is now a byword for the East End, even for people who have never been here. But who exactly was the Blind Beggar of … Continue reading

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