"I am very proud of my cockney background and have many memories of my East End childhood. I wanted to record the stories about that way of life before they were forgotten." Gilda O'Neill was born into a traditional East End family in Bethnal Green. Her nan had a pie and mash shop and her grandfather was a tug skipper. You might think Gilda's childhood was one of pub knees-ups and legendary criminals - but that is just half the story. Inside East End Tales, Gilda reveals what the true East End was like - not the place of myth and legend. Stories of hardship and upheaval rub shoulders with those of kindness, pride, courage and humour. Gilda dropped out of school at fifteen years old after being told by the careers teacher her career choices were beyond her reach. Gilda had picked concert pianist and poet. She was mocked by the teacher. It was the 1960s and there was plenty of work to. be had. You could change your job in the lunch hour, and Gilda often did. Having a wage meant she could buy all the latest fashions, which she loved. But she realized she wanted to do something more with her life, and made up her mind to go back to study as a mature student. East End Tales provides a fascinating insight into the history of the much changed East End of London, told with wit, warmth and emotion. Praise for Gilda O'Neill '[Gives a] voice to memories of a changing East End' - The Guardian 'A shocking book which, for once, should dispel the myth that life in the East End was one long knees-up' - Daily Express <>'O'Neill chronicles the filth and poverty with leery aplomb, then sobers things up with sharp social commentary' - The Scotsman Gilda O'Neill (1951-2010) took three university degrees and was awarded an honorary doctorate for her work on the East End. In 1990 O'Neill began writing full-time. She published thirteen novels and six works of non-fiction. She also broadcasted, gave talks and wrote articles about east London history. She tragically died in 2010 from a sudden illness. East End Tales is based on the research O'Neill did for My East End: A History of Cockney London, Our Street: East End Life in the Second World War and Lost Voices: Memories of a Vanished Way of Life.
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Used availability for Gilda O'Neill's East End Tales
October 2016 : USA Paperback
February 2008 : UK Paperback