May 24 2013 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Monday, August 13, 2012
At a time when regeneration and the transformation of Stratford has received global recognition, the former landlord of a pub that played a huge role in the area has published his memoirs.
Tales From The Two Puddings by Eddie Johnson is set in 1962, some 50 years ago, when he and his wife Shirley took over the pub known to be the most notorious in the area. Although Eddie thought he would be there for a couple of years he actually stayed at the Stratford pub until 2000.
As the excerpt on the back says, the pub was also known as the ‘Butcher’s Shop’ but soon became one of the busiest and most fashionable. One of its draws was its music nights which were a magnet for a whole host of colourful characters, including actors, writers and of course, singers and musicians.
Unsurprisingly the book is littered with references to the likes of actor Billy Murray, David Essex and Rod Stewart. And as no book about the era is complete without mentioning the Twins, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, there are several anecdotal references to run ins with the notorious pair.
Its real strength lies in the way the book recounts the day to day lives of friends, relatives and the regulars at the pub, all told in a rough and ready style that pulls no punches.
The book also features black and white photos, many taken in the pub, that illustrate life as it was in the pub’s heyday.