To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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East End

No visit home would be complete without an immersion trip to Mile End; Whitechapel and Aldgate: Apart from Jack the Ripper it’s also the ancestral seat of the Middleburgh's. .. ….. Dad once told me that he and his brothers had gone down to greet Oswald Mosley and the Blackshirts on October 4 1936.

Although we lived east of Walthamstow, we, like most other Jewish families in the that part of the diaspora used to make pilgrimage to Bloom's in Aldgate (the Kosher Restaurant) to get salt beef; latkes; kefilte fish etc. Part of that place’s charm was being insulted by the staff. Alas no more !! Now the challenge is to find a good salt beef sandwich in London (not one of these ertsatz American style things that would complement a Starsucks)

In my teens on a Saturday nights/Sunday morning on the way back from clubbing up West we used to stop in Whitechapel and buy bagels at 4 am from the “Blue and White” cafe (now gone) and we used to race the black cabs out of London as they went home with the bagels stacked on their car arial to cool off.. On one occasion our car caught fire and we had to bail out on the flyover near Bow. This flyover allegedly has a body in one of the supports from a gangland killing. The fire brigade put out the fire; the car was towed and we got the night bus home. NB Mum strongly disapproved when I visited the Blind Beggar (once was enough)

If I remember correctly mum used to shop in Whitechapel for children’s clothes (Conwicks ? – past the bell foundy that made the bell for big ben ?) and my first ever suit was bought there when I was about 10. I have to find out whether AJ and PD even own a suit. I remember renting AJ one for his school prom in Melbourne . A visit to Sammi's in HK may be in order.

I used to have a friend called Anthony Possner and occasionally I would help him sell "ties" and shirts down "the lane". Unfortunately Petticoat Lane now seems to be is a shadow of itself; I only heard one stall keeper calling his wares there last week. Ladies Night Market and Temple Street in Mong Kok are more lively.

I also used to use the library at Queen Mary College, Mile End during vacations (nice and peaceful) and I regularly went to a jazz club along the Mile End road and to the fringe theatre at the Half Moon Pub In fact I used to go to a lot of fringe and pub theatres when I was young. - it was cheaper than west end and wasn’t as tame.

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