Caught by the River

Pint by the River (Lea)

Ben McCormick | 27th December 2012

TALES FROM THE TWO PUDDINGS – book trailer from Fifty First State Press on Vimeo.

Came upon this book trailer on Facebook courtesy of Mark ‘Bax’ Baxter. It’s a piece of London history that I’m looking forward to reading about. And an interesting fact for pop culture heads, the landlords sons are the artist Andy Dog and songwriter/musician Matt ‘The The’ Johnson.

At the age of 80 Eddie Johnson tells the tale at last and publishes his first book:

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 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.

Buy the book.

To read an interview with Eddie Johnson, and view a fantastic selection of photographs from the Two Puddings, click here to visit Spitalfields Life.