Related to: 'Jam Butties and a Pan of Scouse'

Orion

A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

'Oi, Hilda, the sign outside says you're frying today but I ain't seeing nothing done in ere!' The voice cut through my daydream, startling me into remembering where I was: standing in the fish-and-chip shop I worked in. We opened for business at 5 p.m. and already there was a queue of hungry customers on the cobbled street of London's East End. In 1950s and 60s Bermondsey, the fish-and-chip shop was at the centre of the community. And at the heart of the chippy itself was 'Hooray' Hilda Kemp, a spirited matriarch who dispensed fish suppers and an abundance of sympathy to a now-vanished world of East Enders. For 'Hooray' Hilda knew all to well what it was like to feel real, aching hunger. Growing up in the slums of 1920s south-east London, the daughter of a violent alcoholic who drank away his wages rather than put food on the table, she could spot when a customer was in need and would sneak them an extra big portion of chips, on the house. As Hilda works in the chippy six days a week - cutting the potatoes and frying the fish, yesterday's rag becoming today's dinner plate - she hears all the gossip from the close-knit community. There are rumours that the gang wars are hotting up: the Richardsons and the Krays are playing out their fights across south-east London. And the industrial strike is carrying on for a painfully long time for the mothers with many mouths to feed. At home, Hilda's children are latchkey kids, letting themselves in from school and helping themselves to whatever is in the larder until she gets in from her long, hard day at work. Despite tragedy striking her family, Hilda never complained of the loss of her daughter at a tragically young age, nor the tough upbringing she narrowly escaped. With a cast of colourful characters - dirty ragamuffins, struggling housewives, rough-diamond gang members - 'Hooray' Hilda's story is one of grit, romance, nostalgia and British endurance. Told to her granddaughter Cathryn, this memoir is the uplifting sequel to 'WE AIN'T GOT NO DRINK, PA' and is a testament to a woman who lived life to the full, who enjoyed laughter and loved fiercely - even though her heart was broken many times over.

Orion

A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile: Part 1

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Orion

A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile: Part 2

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Orion

A Fish Supper and a Chippy Smile: Part 3

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

A FISH SUPPER AND A CHIPPY SMILE can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.This is PART 3 OF 3.'Oi, Hilda, the sign outside says you're frying today but I ain't seeing nothing done in ere!' The voice cut through my daydream, startling me into remembering where I was: standing in the fish-and-chip shop I worked in. We opened for business at 5 p.m. and already there was a queue of hungry customers on the cobbled street of London's East End. In 1950s and 60s Bermondsey, the fish-and-chip shop was at the centre of the community. And at the heart of the chippy itself was 'Hooray' Hilda Kemp, a spirited matriarch who dispensed fish suppers and an abundance of sympathy to a now-vanished world of East Enders. For 'Hooray' Hilda knew all to well what it was like to feel real, aching hunger. Growing up in the slums of 1920s south-east London, the daughter of a violent alcoholic who drank away his wages rather than put food on the table, she could spot when a customer was in need and would sneak them an extra big portion of chips, on the house. As Hilda works in the chippy six days a week - cutting the potatoes and frying the fish, yesterday's rag becoming today's dinner plate - she hears all the gossip from the close-knit community. There are rumours that the gang wars are hotting up: the Richardsons and the Krays are playing out their fights across south-east London. And the industrial strike is carrying on for a painfully long time for the mothers with many mouths to feed. At home, Hilda's children are latchkey kids, letting themselves in from school and helping themselves to whatever is in the larder until she gets in from her long, hard day at work. Despite tragedy striking her family, Hilda never complained of the loss of her daughter at a tragically young age, nor the tough upbringing she narrowly escaped. With a cast of colourful characters - dirty ragamuffins, struggling housewives, rough-diamond gang members - 'Hooray' Hilda's story is one of grit, romance, nostalgia and British endurance. Told to her granddaughter Cathryn, this memoir is the uplifting sequel to 'WE AIN'T GOT NO DRINK, PA' and is a testament to a woman who lived life to the full, who enjoyed laughter and loved fiercely - even though her heart was broken many times over.

Orion

'We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa'

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

'We ain't got no drink, Pa.' I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back.'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!'I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all.Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe. For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly. The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home. This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man.And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

Orion

'We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa': Part 2

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.This is PART 2 OF 3.'We ain't got no drink, Pa.' I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back. 'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!' I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all. Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe. For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly. The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home. This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man. And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

Orion

'We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa': Part 3

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa can either be read as full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.This is PART 3 OF 3.'We ain't got no drink, Pa.' I trembled as I spoke. Then somewhere inside me I found the anger, the courage to answer him back. 'We don't have no grog cos you drank it all!' I knew he was going for me tonight, so I reckoned I might as well go down fighting after all. Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Every day was battleground, a fight to survive and a fight to be safe. For Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty: to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the seeping cold of a foggy docklands night with only a thin blanket to cover her; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters, fighting for space while huddling to keep warm. She knew what it was to feel hunger - not the impatient growl of a tummy that has missed a meal; proper hunger, the type that aches in your soul as much as your belly. The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home. This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets. It's a time when days were spent running wild down the docklands, jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back-streets of east London like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man. And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour. Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant, seductive book will not let you rest.

Orion

'We Ain't Got No Drink, Pa': Part 1

Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp
Authors:
Hilda Kemp, Cathryn Kemp

A.A. Gill

A. A. Gill (1954-2016) was born in Edinburgh. He was the TV and restaurant critic and regular features-writer for the Sunday Times, a columnist for Esquire and contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller. His books include A. A. Gill is Away, The Angry Island, Previous Convictions, Table Talk, Paper View, A. A. Gill is Further Away, The Golden Door and Lines in the Sand, as well as two novels and the memoir Pour Me, which was shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. The Best of A. A. Gill, a collection of his journalism, was published in 2017.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for THE COLOR PURPLE. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including MERIDIAN, BY THE LIGHT OF MY FATHER'S SMILE and THE THIRD LIFE OF GRANGE COPELAND.Visit Alice Walker's official website at: alicewalkersgarden.com

Ann Widdecombe

For many years a forthright and high-profile MP, Ann Widdecombe is now as well-known for her star appearances on STRICTLY COME DANCING and CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER. A former Prisons Minister, she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1993. Countrywoman, columnist and bestselling author, she lives on Dartmoor. Find out more at www.annwiddecombe.com

Anne de Courcy

Anne de Courcy is the author of thirteen widely acclaimed works of social history and biography, including THE HUSBAND HUNTERS, THE FISHING FLEET, THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS and DEBS AT WAR. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the LONDON EVENING NEWS and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the EVENING STANDARD. She is also a former features writer and reviewer for the DAILY MAIL.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Barbara Want

Barbara Want is a writer and broadcaster. She was a BBC TV producer before her twin sons were born in 2002. They live in London. She is also the author of Baby Secrets.

Beatles

The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are widely regarded as the foremost of the most influential bands of the twentieth centry.

Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty was born and raised in Hawaii before gaining a degree in Medieval History from the University of Chicago. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she owns an alternative funeral home, Undertaking LA. She is the creator of the 'Ask a Mortician' web series, the founder of the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Death and co-founder of Death Salon. She is the author of two NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers - SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES and FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

Colin MacIntyre

Colin MacIntyre is an award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer who has released seven albums to date, most notably under the name Mull Historical Society, so far achieving two Top 20 albums and four Top 40 singles. He has been voted Scotland's Top Creative Talent and has toured worldwide, including with The Strokes, Elbow and REM, and has played all the major festivals. He has performed live on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio 4, LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND and THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW, among many others. He is the co-author of a Radio 4 Afternoon Play, and has collaborated with Tony Benn and Irvine Welsh. His other musical project is Field Stars, an electro art-pop collaboration. Born into a family of writers and storytellers, Colin grew up on the isle of Mull in the Hebrides but now lives in London. His debut novel, THE LETTERS OF IVOR PUNCH, was awarded the Edinburgh International Book Festival's 2015 First Book Award. In 2018, his memoir 'The Boy in the Bubble' was published in HOMETOWN TALES: HIGHLANDS AND HEBRIDES, and his first book for children, THE HUMDRUM DRUM, was published with accompanying original songs on audiobook.

Eddie Jordan

Eddie Jordan was born in 1948, and began to make money as a superb salesman, which helped fund his love of motor sport. In the 1980s he began to move from driving to running racing teams, eventually moving into Formula One in 1989. Eventually, he sold his team in January 2005. In autumn 2006, he presented Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy Racers on Channel Five.

Ellen MacAskill

Ellen MacAskill is an emerging writer of fiction, poetry and essays. In 2017, she co-founded Writers 4 Utopia, a queer sci-fi zine collective in Vancouver. You can subscribe to her newsletter at tinyletter.com/otherlife. She is working on her first full-length novel while living as a settler in Montreal.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle is a comedian, actor, author and singer-songwriter who found immediate fame on television with the sketch-comedy show MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS. Following its success, the Pythons began making films that include MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979) and THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983). Eric also wrote the award-winning musical SPAMALOT. He lives in Los Angeles.