Jimmy Wilson lives in London’s East End, his father tending a barrow in Brick Lane, his mother taking in washing. We meet Jimmy playing in the streets as an eleven year old and again, after the war, twelve years later. Throughout the period he is infatuated with Pinkie, a mixed-race girl whose mother lives with “the Indians”, then starting to move into the Brick Lane area as Jews move out. For Jimmy, Pinkie offers a new world, where he can improve himself, wear better clothes, get a decent job. This is London’s East End in the 1940s – polyglot, violent, poor. We visit ‘the local’, the blitz and an all-day wedding feast. A vibrant area, but for Jimmy despair awaits when even his father steals from him. And how will Pinkie get on in these changing times? London E1 is introduced by Rachel Lichtenstien.
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