|Those were the days - Billy with |
some old club memorabilia
|Haunted house - 41 Kensington Gardens, Ilford|
By the mid 1950's Billy's brother, George was a professional boxer, and was pushing a reluctant Billy to join him in the fight game.
|Black Lion pub, Plaistow - home of West Ham Boxing |
Club, at the rear, a favoured training venue for Billy
|Recently demolished Atherton Suite, |
formerly West Ham baths, location of
a third of Billy amateur bouts
He also worked for a while as a security guard at a garage his brother George had, in New Barn Lane, Plaistow, and was a regular in the Army and Navy pub next door (where the older regulars still remember him and his German shepherd dogs fondly). The petrol station is now a scrap yard (see photo).
|Former Punch Petrol station, New Barn Lane, close to |
the Black Lion, where Billy worked as a security guard
for his brother George's garage - now a scrap yard.
His brother George had had his scrapes with the law (including a short spell in Wormwood Scrubs for theft) and mixed with some of East London's shadier characters of the time, but had a shrewd eye for money making opportunities.
As Billy's manager, he "took care of the business", and set up a number of profitable ventures, including a property empire and a fast food chain (Billy's Baked Potato). The Upper Cut club, on Woodgrange Road was part of that business portfolio (for twelve months, from December 1966).
|Billy in the centre of this grainy photo, |
where Stratford Express covered the opening
party of the Upper Cut., December 1966
|Billy with the opening week's gig list|
|Billy, remembering the famous Jimi gig|
|Forner White Lion on Katherine Road, once a well |
known local gym where Billy worked out, as
did former Olympic boxing champion, Terry Spinks
|"Baby let me take you home", |
performed by Billy Walker and not
Eric Burdon, far left, of the Animals
|Billy recalling the Stax gig, when he |
was training for his European title fight.
|Roger Daltry of the Who says those fists of Billy's|
were tight, when it came to paying
Billy got his quiet life, although had misfortune with his first two marriages before marrying a local Forest Gate woman, Pat Furuborg, as his third wife. The couple lived off Romford Road for a couple of years in the late 1990s, until moving to the Essex coast, until Pat's death, of cancer in 2003.
Billy now lives, in happy retirement with the delightful Susan Stevens, his fourth wife, in Jersey. The couple also have a pleasant riverside flat in Battersea, which they visit occasionally. They wish all their friends and former acquaintances in Forest Gate well.
|Upper Cut today: but 'No Regrets' |
from latter day Walker Brothers
Back catalogueThis site has published a number of articles on the history of the Upper Cut club: the first detailing the time when Otis visited it, in March 1967. This post was followed by two, recording the first six months and the final six months of the club's existence.
These posts were followed by almost monthy updates on who played at the club, that month, 47 years previously. The final blog is a record of a recent meeting with former boxer, Billy Walker, the name under whom the club exisited, on his memories of it and Forest Gate almost half a century ago.
Below is a list of those blogs: the hyper links are the titles of the articles, and when hit upon should give access to them. The dates (in italics) are the time covered by the blog and the date in bold are the months the blogs were posted.
Although the content, and some of the comments on the individual posts, is pretty definitive, we'd love to hear any memories readers may have of the gigs, or corrections they could make to the copy. Just post in the Comments box, below.
When Otis played Forest Gate (March 1967) May 2013
Upper Cut (1) - a summary of the emergence of the first six months of the club (December 1966 - July 1967) July 2013
Upper Cut (2) - a brief survey of the second, and final half year of the club's existence (August 1967 - December 1967) July 2013
Georgie Fame, The Tremeloes and Unit 4 + 2 - (September 1967 at the Upper Cut) October 2013
When Stevie Wonder played Forest Gate - (October 1967) November 2013
Mouthwatering musical fayre on Woodgrange Road - (November 1967) December 2013
Club bills for the Upper Cut's two Decembers - (Decembers 1966 and 1967) January 2014
The Upper Cut beds down - (January 1967) February 2014
Essex comes to Forest Gate - (February 1967) March 2014
Stax comes to town - (March 1967) April 2014
A mixed bunch at the Upper Cut in April (April 1967) May 2014
Upper Cut - May 1967 (June 1967) June 2014
Summer of Love in Forest Gate (Summer 1967) August 2014
Golden Boy, Billy Walker's Forest Gate memories September 2014