London's East Enders are known for being a tough, humorous and lively lot. In the early 20th century, families crowded into single rooms, children played on the streets and neighbours' doors were never locked in case you needed an escape route from the police...World War 2 changed everything. During the Blitz, men set off for work never to return and rows of houses were reduced to rubble overnight. Yet the East Enders' ability to keep calm and carry on cemented their reputation for cheerful resilience. They say Hitler killed off the bugs but, along with the slums, the Blitz destroyed a way of life. After the war families were scattered - some to estates on the edge of London, others to isolated high-rise blocks. The old East End communities were gone forever. Told by the residents themselves, The War on Our Doorstep is an eye-opening, moving and laugh-out-loud depiction of the history of London's East End and what it means to be an East Ender.
Harriet Salisbury,Museum of London
Published:12 April 2012
Genre:British & Irish history
Secondary Genre:20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Second World War
Harriet Salisbury has been a writer and editor for twenty years and has a special interest in the history of East London. She lives in Hackney. The War on Our Doorstep is her first book. The Museum of London oral history collection contains more than 5,000 hours of recorded life story interviews with a wide variety of people who have lived and worked in London and who talk about their lives and everyday experiences.