A vivid depiction of an East End community that has all but vanished.
A classic novel of post-war life in Cockney London. When widowed Ida Farran runs off with a bus inspector in 1949, she leaves her five children to fend for themselves. Preoccupied with the day-to-day task of earning enough money to keep the family together, eighteen-year-old Rose battles bravely on, thankful for the mysterious benefactor who pays the rent on their flat in Imperial Buildings on Fellmonger Street. Life isn't easy but between them Rose and her younger brother Don just about manage to make ends meet though the welfare would soon put the three young ones into foster homes if they believed Rose couldn't cope.
Recently, however, Don has become rather too friendly with the Morgan boys. Everyone knows the small-time Bermondsey villains are a bad lot, and Rose is desperately worried that Don might end up in trouble. But even this concern pales into insignificance when Rose finds herself pregnant. Now it'll need a miracle to keep the Farrans of Fellmonger Street together.
Harry was born in 1931 in a back street off the Tower Bridge Road. He left school at the age of 14. Only when his own children began to ask questions about the war, did Harry realise how many stories he had to tell. In his fifties, he was given early retirement from his job as a brewery driver-drayman, and was at last able to devote his time to writing. He became known as 'the King of Cockney sagas', who wrote eighteen bestselling novels of London life. Sadly Harry died in 1999 and the Harry Bowling Prize was set up in 2000 in his memory.