The Step­ney Doorstep So­ci­ety

The Re­mark­able Story Of The Women Who Ruled The East End Through War And Peace

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - REVIEWS -

Kate Thomp­son’s book gives in­sights into the so­cial his­tory of the East End dur­ing the world wars via in­ter­views with the women who lived through them. Friend­ships and ca­ma­raderie kept these com­mu­ni­ties to­gether, plus a won­der­ful sense of hu­mour. Each chap­ter fo­cuses on one woman’s story, such as Beatty who was Jewish and came up against Mosley’s Black­shirts, and Mitzy who sang in the shel­ters and made uni­forms for the troops.

There are sto­ries that are not widely known out­side of the East End, such as the

Beth­nal Green Tube Dis­as­ter in 1943 when 173 civil­ians died in a crush go­ing into a shel­ter dur­ing an air raid. This story was cov­ered up by the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties at the time in an ef­fort to avoid wide­spread panic.

The book is a very in­ter­est­ing read for fam­ily his­to­ri­ans, as these women could have been any of our moth­ers or grand­moth­ers who had to bring up the fam­ily, keep the house­hold run­ning and earn a wage while the men­folk fought for King and Coun­try.

Girl Walker (right) is one of the women fea­tured in the book

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