Growing up in the slums of 1920s and 30s Bermondsey, Hilda Kemp's childhood was one of chaos and fear. Hilda knew what it was to grow up in desperate poverty, what it was to feel hunger. The eldest of five children, Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and hard hitter as well. A casual dockworker by day, a bare-knuckle fighter by night and a lousy drunk to boot, her pa honed his fists down the Old Kent Road and Blackfriars, and it was Hilda or her ma who bore the brunt of them at home. This is the powerful and moving memoir of Hilda's childhood growing up in dark, filthy, crime-ridden Bermondsey; a place where you knew your neighbours, where you kept your eyes down and your ears shut as defence against the gangs at war in the streets
Available at St.Monans.