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