Tales from the Two Puddings: Stratford’s Most Notorious Pub Reveals All

In conjunction with the release of the book, Tales from the Two Puddings by author Eddie Johnson, Fifty First State Press and Bishopsgate Institute presented a photography and audio exhibition earlier this year.

Pubs are a breeding ground for stories. Whether they are the locations in which
tales are created, or the stages in which they are told, storytelling and alcohol
have always been two peas in a pod. The Two Puddings in Stratford however, was
one such pub that stood above the rest. Nicknamed ‘The Butcher Shop’ due to the
amount of blood split on its cream-tiled walls, The Two Puddings has been an
East London Legend ever since landlord Eddie Johnson took over the venue in
1962. Throughout the years the pub has attracted people from all walks of life
– from writers to World Cup footballers and from infamous gangsters to TV
celebrities – and has been the set for many epic yarns. Not wanting these
entertaining, hilarious and sometimes unbelievable stories to be lost in the
morning-after hangover, Eddie Johnson has now published Tales of the Two Puddings.

To celebrate the
release of the book, Fifty First State Press and Bishopsgate Institute featured a photography exhibition of Johnson’s archives and also hosted an
interview with the author and broadcaster Robert Elms to look back upon the
lost world of the East End. The exhibition displayed more than 50 photographs from Eddie Johnson’s archive, many included in the book, and were accompanied by audio recollections at Bishopsgate Library.

About The Book

Now that the dust has settled upon the London
, and the costly site is locked up and mothballed for a year, the
debate about Stratford’s future and the true legacy of the Games is now
beginning to rage.

Eddie Johnson, octogenarian first time
author, and one of East London’s most famous landlords, finally tells his tales
from the Two Puddings, the notorious Stratford pub he was licensee of for
nearly four decades. It was back in 1962, exactly fifty years before the
Olympics rolled into East London, that the Johnson family took over the Two

Known as one of London’s busiest and most
fashionable pubs, its hugely popular music nights acted as a magnet for a large
and colourful cast of disparate characters who would regularly descend upon the
premises, including renowned actors, writers, singers, musicians, champion
boxers, infamous gangsters, television personalities and World Cup winning

Tales from the Two Puddings is a poignant,
at times hilarious, look back upon a lost world of East End eccentrics, local
villainy, vindictive policemen, punch ups and practical jokes, all now lying
buried beneath the concrete blocks and sterile shopping centres of the ‘new’


Eddie Johnson was born in Limehouse, East
London and grew up in Bow. He took over the Two Puddings pub in 1962 and by the
time the ‘Puddings’ closed its doors for the last time, nearly four decades
later, he was the longest serving licensee in London.

Robert Elms is an award-wining writer
and broadcaster. His popular daily radio show on BBC London celebrates every
aspect of London.