A heart-warming story shared in the shed:
My dad was a keen cyclist and he bought me a bike for my thirteenth birthday. He said, ‘I’ll buy you a bike as long as you ride it.’ And I did – thousands and thousands of miles over the years!
My ambition was always to cycle 200 miles in a day. So in 1954 I mapped out a route from Walthamstow down through to Dover, along a bit of the coast and back through the Blackwall tunnel and that was exactly 200 miles. I got back to this end of the Blackwall tunnel and fell off on the tramline.
There was blood pouring down my leg. Remember then, when you were young you bowed and scraped to anyone older than you, and I was only fourteen or fifteen years old and I thought, ‘What am I going to do now?’
So I went into this pub, which was The Beehive pub. The landlady bandaged me up and made me a cup of tea, their little girl brought me a couple of biscuits, all the people in the pub clubbed together and the landlord put me and the bike in a taxi to take me home.
Many years later, in 1979, I was working at an office furniture company and I got talking to a fellow worker and she mentioned that her dad had been the landlord of The Beehive pub in Poplar and my ears pricked up and I said, ‘That was the pub that helped me!’ Then we worked out the date and realised it was her family that had helped me back then.
At the time of our second chance meeting we were married to other people but when our first marriages came to an end, we grew together. We were married in 1982. We now have five children and nine grandchildren between us.