Fifty First State Press, in association with Bishopsgate Institute, proudly present the Two Puddings photographic / audio exhibition, opening January 14th and running until March 31st. A special Q&A event will be held on January 30th featuring award winning broadcaster Robert Elms interviewing author Eddie Johnson.
Our first publication, Tales from the Two Puddings, is a memoir by my dad Eddie Johnson, of our time living above one of East London’s most notorious pubs in the 1960s.
Due to a combination of its cream-tiled walls and the volume of blood spilt, it was also known locally as the ‘Butcher’s Shop’. It became one of London’s busiest and most fashionable pubs of that era, attracting a large, colourful cast of disparate characters including renowned actors, writers, singers, musicians, champion boxers, infamous gangsters, television personalities and World Cup-winning footballers. By the time the Puddings closed its doors for the last time, nearly four decades later, my dad was the longest serving licensee in London.
Tales from the Two Puddings is a poignant, at times hilarious, look back upon a lost world of East End eccentrics, local villainy, vindictive policemen, punch ups, and practical jokes, all now lying buried beneath the concrete blocks and sterile shopping centres of the ‘new’ Stratford.
‘Tales From The Two Puddings is a brisk and plain-spoken act of witness to the life of a territory whose history is under threat from boosters and land thieves. Here is a remembered and experienced truth, not a fable cooked up by a quango of computers. Valuable, funny, gleaming with recovered memory shards.’
Iain Sinclair – Author of Ghost Milk
‘Lots of West Ham players drank in the Two Puddings. I was a regular and even met my wife Sandra in the upstairs disco there and we’re still very happily married after nearly 44 years. I’ve got some very happy memories of those days but also remember that you didn’t take liberties with the Johnson brothers. They were proper boys!’
Harry Redknapp – Football manager and ex West Ham United player
‘Just out of school and starting work as a trainee reporter on the Stratford Express weekly newspaper the Two Puddings – sitting majestically across the Broadway – immediately became my first “regular” pub. I remember great nights there with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and several with Screaming Lord Sutch in ‘Jack the Ripper’ mode.’
Barrie Keeffe – Author of The Long Good Friday
To Buy Tales from the Two Puddings Click Here
Tags: 51st State, Barrie Keeffe, East End, East London, Harry Redknapp, Iain Sinclair, Kray Twins, Olympics, pub, the Who, West Ham, World Cup 1966