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  2. Just reading 'Jimi Hendrix - Starting at Zero. His Own Story' I found a bit where Hendrix writes ' We play really hard in the clubs. The club managers think we're an abomination but the public thinks it's awesome. One time we played at the new London club the Upper Cut where we had about 5000 turn up. It scared me to death when I saw all those people out there! But I just went on and did what I felt like and everything worked out alright '. Chronologically it doesn't make sense as this is seems to have been written in Autumn 66 when he didn't play Upper Cut until Xmas 66 when it opened. Also, there's no way he could've played there in front of 5000 but perhaps that's him exaggerating for effect to convey that he was nervous playing in front of a big crowd. Do you think there is more to be written about The Upper Cut and Lotus clubs or have you exhausted archive material and those who played /went and willing to be interviewed?Regards, Chris Morris (Forest Gate resident since 1986)


  3. Hello,
    I was wondering if you could help me I have been following your blog for a few years now and as a recent former resident of my beloved Newham and I say that earnestly. I wondered if you could help me on my quest. I would like to find out about the Aeronauts of Wanstead Flats/Park, were there any? Some were the people who would entertain the crowds at the Fairs during the Edwardian Period with their hot air or gas balloons and parachute ascents and descents and the non entertainer Aeronauts, who it either was a hobby or a business. I am esp. interested in an Edwardian Lady Parachutist called Dolly Shepherd (Born 1886- Died 1983), who I found out about in August 2015, since then it’s been an amazing journey for me, the type I could have only dreamed of. Dolly ascended into the skies age of 17, after 30 mins of training, before a plane had ever flown in Europe, rising up to the heights of 2000ft or more, holding on to a trapeze bar attached to a balloon – the harness parachute not yet invented – you let go and you could fall to you death.
    Dolly was born in Potters Bar, however she is not currently official recognised in Hertfordshire, although celebrated around the UK and in some parts of the world. Please look her up; she was an amazing woman with a fantastic story that was almost never told: a Guinness World Record Holder for the first mid air rescue, a WW1 Driver & Mechanic in France on the Western Front and that’s just the start. I have a copy of her autobiography, now out of print.
    Through my Dolly Shepherd research I have also found an article, on a man named Captain William Dale (It was a tradition that aeronauts ref. to themselves as Captain), he died via a very tragic balloon accident at the Crystal Palace, in 1892 and at the time of his death he was registered as living at 57 Cecil Road, Plaistow. I was born in Plaistow, so checked where the house was. Also there is a statement from a Mr Thomas Wright, a retired aeronaut from Forest Gate who spoke at the inquest as Captain Dale was his assistant for many years. Have you come across these two Gentlemen?
    Any help would be fantastic, I am not saying that Dolly Shepherd performed at Wanstead Flats; I know there was the famous Spencer Family around too. I just wondered if Dolly or her colleagues could have passed through, via a balloon into the air entertaining those Edwardian East London Crowds all that time ago.

    Thanks in advance


    Kind regards


  4. I lived in tower hamlets road forest gate just after the war in white prefabs, I recall a tree coming down on the house opposite and my sister went to a school just up the road. There was a man who came round with a horse and cart with a round about on it. I cannot find any reference or photos to this has anyone got information to share
    We would walk into the town centre with cobbled square and a horse drinking trough there.

  5. You are using one of the copyrighted photos I shot of Ronnie Lane without compensation for usage. I don't even see a credit on the photo. -Theresa DiMenno

    1. Sorry, Theresa, I picked it up from somewhere, without an acknowledgement. If you tell me which photo it is, I'll be more than happy to add a citation, with thanks.


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