In 1962, exactly fifty years before the Olympic Games rolled into Stratford, East London, the Johnson family took over the Two Puddings, the most notorious pub in the area. Due to a combination of its cream-tiled walls and the volume of blood spilt, it was also known locally as the Butcher s Shop . Within a few short years, it had become one of London s busiest and most faIn 1962, exactly fifty years before the Olympic Games rolled into Stratford, East London, the Johnson family took over the Two Puddings, the most notorious pub in the area. Due to a combination of its cream-tiled walls and the volume of blood spilt, it was also known locally as the Butcher s Shop . Within a few short years, it had become one of London s busiest and most fashionable pubs, its hugely popular music nights acting as a magnet for a large and colourful cast of disparate characters who would regularly descend upon the premises, including renowned actors, writers, singers, musicians, champion boxers, infamous gangsters, television personalities, and World Cup-winning footballers. By the time the Puddings closed its doors for the last time, nearly four decades later, landlord Eddie Johnson was the longest serving licensee in London. Tales from the Two Puddings is a poignant, at times hilarious, look back upon a lost world of East End eccentrics, local villainy, vindictive policemen, punch ups, and practical jokes, all now lying buried beneath the concrete blocks and sterile shopping centres of the new Stratford....
|Title||:||Tales from the Two Puddings|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Tales from the Two Puddings Reviews
I guess this is a nostalgia trip. I frequented the Puddings towards the end of the 60s, so many of the stories predate my time. It was always known for the great music, but it also seemed to be "fight night" every night, especially the weekends. I remember Stratford Broadway being devoid of all cars at half past ten of an evening, but by ten to eleven there were always a couple of police cars, and a black maria standing by. For me the great sadness is the loss of what was a way of life that was the east end of London, a fantastic place to grow up in, but not where I'd like to be now, and certainly not where I wanted my children to grow up. Fights were mostly no more than a couple of thrown punches, not like now where guns and knives are the norm. I think that all day drinking, and a massive rise in drugs has a lot to answer for.
I've been a big fan of The The since the 80s. I was aware through an interview with Matt Johnson that he had lived above a pub that hosted bands in the sixties and seventies - meeting David Essex etc - but I knew little more than that.In desperation to see if any new music was being produced, I searched for information and found that that a) the only new song in the last 20 years had been about his old school teacher and b) he had published a book written by his father about his time at the Two Puddings.And what a storyteller Eddie Johnson is. Larger than life is the only way to describe it. The book is written in a loose collection of memories - linked together under headings. So it does make strict chronological sense. Some things confused me a little - Eddie was the longest serving Publican in London when the Puddings Closed - yet seemed to move out to the Suffolk Countryside quite early in his tenure. I guess he still owned it and left it to other to run.But what a life story Eddie has - and he captures a disappeared world beautifully. He stared off as a docker before hosting music nights with his brother in the late 50s - eventually taking over the Two Puddings - which seems a huge pub with a dance hall above it. The pub has gone, but the building exists and a trip to Stratford is on my to do list.From these humble beginnings, the last of characters that he has met and some he knows well is mind boggling. Yes, you would expect the Kray's to have make an appearance (and one of the classic stories is about a barman spraying one of the Krays with a snowball) but the list is endless - West Ham Footballers (Harry Redknapp met his wife there) - Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets Characters based on his regulars), Francis Bacon (left all his estate to one of Eddie's friends), Actors. Throw into this a list of colourful east end characters like the Colonel and you have some wonderful stories.There's also comments on the Pub Trade, minor villainy, fights, and frequent shouts of "Get out my pub, you're barred". The matter of fact way it is told is hilarious. Wrong Uns coming in after knocking off wages vans - comments like "I don't like guns and always made sure I kept the bullets and the revolver in different parts of the pub.He always has a knack of being in the right place - and there are stories of the fine restaurants he visited, a growing appreciation of wine, being in France when they were mourning Edith Piaf, setting up Pubwatch, taking on the breweries about the tenancy laws. Even the quote about the East End being a safer place when the Krays were around seems to have been attributed to him.My favourite bit is when he is running a country pub in Essex and has a run in with an early incarnation of CAMRA. Superb story telling.Thoroughly enjoyable glimpse into a world that has disappeared in my lifetime.Now make a film of it, just so that Matt can do the soundtrack.
I bought this because I'm a fan of The The, and this is Matt Johnsons father writing. That said, a great set of stories from London in the 60s. Good fun and great descriptions from a time long gone. Interesting about local characters, bands, West Ham supporters, dockers and family. A great read that I hope more people pick up on.
I read this as I'm a The The fan and really enjoyed the book from start to finish. The way that Eddie explains what it was like to live in the East End in the 60's is fascinating and his account of the characters involved in and around the Two Puddings is captivating.