“Memoirs of an East End Guttersnipe” talk
3pm Saturday 28th September
The Levy Centre, 18-24 Lower Clapton Road, E5
(part of the annual Clapton Festival)
Brian Walker’s personal recollections and anecdotes date back over seventy years and are documented on his website “Tales of the Old East End” (www.tales-of-the-old-east-end.co.uk). Essentially this is the history of the life of a riverside community in Hackney filtered through the author’s earliest memories and experiences.
Born in 1938 in the family home overlooking the River Lea, Brian still lives close to his former Lea Bridge home. His stories are told with wit, warmth and emotion and are filled with the everyday dramas which his family and their neighbours faced during the period encompassing World War II and the aftermath of war in the 1950s.
“A Hoxton Childhood” book launch
7pm Wednesday 9th October
Broadway Bookshop, 6 Broadway Market, Hackney E8
What happens when Dad’s a calamitous boozer and spends all his money down the pub, when Mum has five other children and spends most her free-time on a sewing machine making clothes to pay the rent, when you don’t know where you’ll be living from one day to the next, when bombs are raining down and disease is everywhere, and when you come out of school, chances are you’ll have to go out scrounging to earn your next meal?
A S Jasper answers all these questions and more with animated gusto in A Hoxton Childhood, a thin volume of memoirs depicting life in a London slum during the First World War, seen through the eyes of a child. Jasper won an Arts Council award for this, his first literary work, for which many critics chose to elect him ‘the East End’s first native voice’.
“A Hoxton Childhood” A S Jasper was originally published by Barrie and Rockiffe in 1969. The author died a year later. It was republished by Centerprise in 1972. It has just been brought into print once again by Blinding Books, which is run by the author’s great-nephew.