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Audio interview with Peter Wilson


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Oral history interview with Peter Wilson, b 1946 – Former member and current historian of Eton Manor Boys Club.

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Wilson , Peter (Subject of)


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Interview summary:

[00:00:00] Introduces himself: Childhood home Brookfield Road, Hackney Wick. Lived in Leyton from age of 8. Left school to work in printing industry in Dalston. Made redundant. Founded successful business - sold up aged 50 with financial security. Became usher at Royal Courts of Justice. His interest in history led to role taking people round Courts of Justice. Led to jobs as guide for Royal Household. [00:09:58] Retirement at 63 – and joined ‘Up The Manor’ project.

[00:10:00] Good explanation of his passion for making Eton Manor Boy’s club celebrated and known: “I’m so driven by the heritage of the Eton Mission arriving in Hackney Wick, the development of the Mission, the work of the Eton Mission people, and the arrival of Gerald Wellesley and the history and legacy that we leave. And so it’s my last wish that I have this recorded because there aren’t any real people now that have the knowledge – or let’s say the presentational skills that you would find attractive as archivists…

[00:11:15] Good concise explanation of Peter’s talk: “I’m going to talk about Hackney Wick and the arrival of the Eton Mission coming to Hackney Wick”

[00:11:28] Good explanation of how in mid- Victorian era church of England members of Eton College set out to improve lives of Urban working classes in Hackney Wick: 1880 resolution passed to undertake good work “The main objective was to create and maintain in the college, an active interest in the home mission work of the Church of England. The First such district was Hackney Wick”.

[00:12:04] Good descriptions of Hackney Wick in 1880 that Eton Mission worked with: Part of parish of St Augustine in South Hackney. First ‘Mission’ service 17th Oct. William Carter is first ‘Missioner’. [00:12:26] 1880, Church’s own description of Hackney Wick’s urban poor. “…Those that live under the arch – the arch being the railway line - are more or less shunned and despised by the residents of South Hackney. The Houses are small and miserably overcrowded... The family is habituated by squalor and pinching misery from the beginning and grows up helpless and hopeless in the struggle for just existence.” [00:14:04] Charles Boothe’s 1898 description of Hackney Wick (from ‘Life and Labour of the people of inner London’): “They are dirty, shiftless, helpless, but not criminal… It is the women play a far too prominent role as the wage earners in most houses.”

[00:15:02] Good story of Peter tracing his father’s family background to 1880’s Hackney Wick: “My father who was born in 1903, never spoke at all about his family. My mother did. She was born in Hackney Wick in White Post Lane. And I had good knowledge of her life, being brought up in that part of London. But my father never mentioned anything about his father or any of his ancestors…”

[00:17:25] Initial suspicion of William Carter’s Mission work. First Mission above undertakers in Mallard Street. Then Iron- built church.

[00:18:11] Good description of William Carter: Old Etonian. His interest in sports is start of sporting activities for local boys – football on the Marshes. His work also builds Congregation of new St Mary of Eton Church.

[00:19:58] Good detail on St Mary of Eton Church: In early years 100s attend. Peter was christened there himself. Overlooks 2012 Olympic Park – can be seen from everywhere.

[00:20:52] St Mary of Eton Church provided for Hackney Wick’s social services needs.

[00:20:21] Good description of local employment: Wages. Heavy pollution. Industrial employers – eg. Alexander Parkes who patented ‘Parkezine’ a for-runner of plastic; J.G. Ingrams’ who patented ‘vulcanized rubber manufacturers’; Atlas Dye works… His family members worked for various firms. [00:22:28] Nice story of member of Eton Manor in WWI describing Hackney Wick - “It’s famous for flees, flies, kids and Clarnico’s Jam…”

[00:22:23] Good summary of Eton Mission Church’s immediate success transforming lives and social conditions they found: Threat of poor house, no-go areas are shown on Charles Boothe’s map (as geographical reference source, Peter uses a map from Boothe’s ‘Life and Labour of the people of inner London’)

[00:24:22] Good explanation how Eton Mission Church is working with boys at a small club in Daintry Street (opposite the church) – with an emphasis on prayer and worship.

[00:24:51] Good explanation of local social Second club alongside Daintry Street Club - only for church boys of South Hackney. [00:25:04] Good explanation of how Cadogan Terrace was the great divide between the Dickensian poor of Wick, and wealth of South Hackney – ‘other side of the tracks’.

[00:25:54] Good explanation of defining event Eton Mission’s development – arrival of Old Etonian, Gerald Vallerian Wellesley, in 1907 (related to Duke of Wellington): Invited by church to work with Wick boys at Daintry Street club. His 3 month trial becomes life’s work – “working with these young people and giving them a future”. [00:27:02] Good Wellesley quote describing Wick he found.

[00:27:51] Good explanation of the mission work of Wellesley and others before him: How they juggled private lives and work with time at Wick…

[00:28:52] Good explanation of Wellesley’s defining decision “to make the boys responsible for their own club and the running of it” – the founding principle of Eton Mission Boy’s Club

[00:28:18] Good explanation of Wellesley’s success at Eton Boys’ Club (ages 13-18) in run-down Daintry Street.

[00:29:45] Good explanation of another founding principle of Eton Mission Boy’s Club: How Wellesley developed the mission’s original focus of 13-18 years of age – using his connections to give boys work and a future. [00:30:18] Wellesley believed the boys would otherwise forget all Mission Church values they had learned. [00:31:02] “What Wellesley realized was that a club which merely catered for the temporary needs of the youth of the area was of limited social value. What was needed was a mechanism for continuous reinforcement of his ideals of comradeship, of sporting excellence, social awareness and, most importantly, a genuine respect for legitimate authority… And this could only be done by extending the membership capability beyond the age of 18, and by doing this provide a life-long commitment”. [00:32:09] Good explanation how Wellesley 10th Nov 1909, created Eton Old Boys Club – success builds on success.

[00:32:53] Good explanation of 1909 birth of ‘non-denominational Eton Manor Clubs’: A split between Old Etonians who want to build a £10k tower for St Mary of Eton Church, and Wellesley &etc, who wants money to expand Boys club instead. [00:34:20] “Wellesley offers to raise to raise his money himself for his own clubs”. [00:34:54] Church old Etonians refuse to have new clubs in their parish – hence location in adjoining parish of St Augustine. [00:35:32] Wellesley builds state-of-art Club on site of Manor (Dairy) Farm in Riseholm Street, Hackney Wick.

[00:37:08] Wellesley has new new investors: Alfred Wagg, Edward Cadogan, Geoffrey Gilby, Arthur Villers – the man who changed Hackney Wick

[00:38:19] Biog description of Arthur Villers – descendent of Duke of Buckingham.

[00:39:03] Good explanation how Wellesley, Wagg, Cadogan and Villiers develop the new club from its opening in 1913: Boys younger than 13 allowed to come to club twice a week.

[00:39:59] Good explanation of impact of First World War on club: 200 members and managers join up – including Wellesley and Villiers. [00:40:21] Good explanation how club magazine, ‘The Chin Wag’ has letters from members in services sent home to Hackney Wick, are now at Eton Manor Boys Club in Bishopsgate. Also contains wartime poetry – eg “But when we meet there’ll be some who are absent. Some of who’m we shall see no more. Who in giving their all for their country, have stayed behind on a foreign shore. And while we know that not one of their number, would wish us to feel sorry or regret. So long as the Eton Clubs are standing, those are the ones we shall never forget…”

[00:41:32] Good explanation of how Eton Manor Boys’ Club continues through First World War in skeleton way – led by 2 school headmasters: Old Etonian founders return from war service.

[00:43:05] Villers and Wellesley return from First World War to build on success of Eton Manor Club. [00:43:09] 1922, Wellesley, Cadogan, Gilby and Wagg take back seat to leave Villers as head shaping Eton Manor Boys Club.

[00:43:41] Good explanation of how and why in 1922 Villers buys 30 acres of Leyton/ Hackney marshes for outdoor focus of thriving Boys Club’s recreation: “so he has a 30 acre development waiting to happen. And he transformed that into this wonderful sports complex which continues to expand right up until the club closes in 1967… that’s the Wilderness site”

[00:44:58] Good explanation how philanthropic Villiers provides allotments for local people with no gardens by buying Hackney Wick land off Waterden Road: “And that was the last area that was pulled down or developed in the push for the transformation of the Olympic site – off Waterden Road, “it was called Major Villiers Gardening Club by that time”.

[00:45:51] Good description of Major Villiers sports ground and facilities from 1925: “It’s not only used by the members of the club (Eton Manor), ‘boys’ and ‘old boys’, it’s used by all the local schools both in Leyton and Hackney and the local environment. So it’s a big facility for modern youth to develop”.

[00:46:13] Good detailed description of joining Eton Manor Boys Club from 1925: Minimum age of 13 years and eleven months - Boys Club. Old Boys Club at 18. [00:47:03] Good explanation how the club still used Wellesley’s founding principle of boys taking responsibility for running the club when Peter joined. [47:27:27] Peter’s father worked for Villiers for 32 years. [00:47:32] Good explanation taking us through the steps of joining: “…You were 13 years and 11 months, you said ‘I want to join Eton Manor – right what do I do?’ So you went up and you knocked on the door and you want to join. So they said ‘right ok you fill in the application form and showed your birth certificate. You’re then interviewed by the boys themselves. And they ask you what you want to do and how you want to go about things, and what interests you. The management really don’t have much engagement, they’re relying on these (club-members on interview panel) do this. - they’re your peers. And then you embark on a period of probation for 4-5 weeks, where you have to earn sufficient points over that time – attending the classes that the club has available to you. So you’ve got football, you got cricket, you got tennis, you got ballet, you got swimming, you got the library you got the art, the rifle you got all these things, first aid. So you accumulate all these points. At which time you’re then re- interviewed, with your little card. And they say ‘how you got on?’ ‘Well there you are, I’ve done all these’. ‘Well we’ve seen how you are and how you’ve organized yourself, and we’re proud to have you as a member’. And then you joined. And then you were put into a ‘House’, like they did at some of the schools – ‘Red’, ‘Green’, ‘Blue’, ‘White’… And then you were dispersed - you’d become ‘it’.

[00:48:57] Good explanation of what it was like to be a member of Eton Manor Boys Club around young sporting excellence but without the pressure to excel: “But the one important thing is that as far as the Club was concerned, yes it was a club that had an element of sporting excellence. There were boys coming from all over London, with saying that – being able to get there. There were amazing footballers, cricketers - any element that you could describe, there were superstars of their age. But the club was not about that at all. What the club wanted you to do was to be part of being that one piece in that thousand-piece jigsaw. So if you were that one person that came in, who could play football but didn’t know your left foot from your right, you’d still be able to get a game of football. Or if you wanted to play rugby you could do the same. And so, if you were that boy that wanted to just sit in the library, and read a book and have a game of ‘shove-ha-penny’, or a game of chess, or learn to act, or learn to bandage someone’s foot – you were equally as welcome as they that were the superstars of the football team. And you were treated in exactly the same way. There was never any favoritism. You were just part of that event”. [00:50:10] Lasting friendships: “…because I am now 64, and I have friends that I had made when I was 13, and still meet”.

[00:50:25] Historical importance of Eton Manor’s values and camaraderie: “…So those values ensured that almost 50 years after the club closed – it closed in 1967 – in a structural sense, the name of Eton Manor is kept alive. And that this sense of kinship and camaraderie survives and remains with us to this very day. And none of this would have been possible without the creation of the Old Boys’ Club, and none of this would have been possible without Gerald Wellesley’s vision”.

[00:51:54] Good original quote by Gerald Wellesley: His aim for the Eton Old Boys’ Club he was launching on 10th November 1909.

[00:52:23] Good description of the Eton Old Boys’ Club from 1930 to WWII: 700 members. At Villiers encouragement 600 enlist for war-effort – 60 die. Dead are mourned annually at Club memorial – temporarily relocated to new site because of 2012 Olympic Development [00:54:49] Reads poignant letter to Villiers in 1942, from lady in USA who met a club member later killed in action.

[00:57:05] Good explanation how Peter is working with Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), to ensure club’s WWI & WWII memorials are returned to original Eton Manor, Club site – as Olympic legacy.

[00:57:45] Good explanation of club’s and members’ post-WWII: Members in forces who look forward to returning to Eton Manor, plus new members make the Club thrive. More sporting success

[00:59:06] Good explanation of Peter’s experiences as a club member: “I mean I joined Eton Manor when I was aged 13 years and 11 months – which would have been 1960. The difference me was, that my father was a manager of the club for 32 years. So I’d grown up through my life, as having Eton Manor as part of my life – parallel to my education. And so at every option I was over the sports ground – from about that high. I couldn’t go to the clubhouse in Riseholm Street because that was off limits. That was for the members of the ‘Old Boys’ in their own environment, but the sports ground was open so I could just charge round. And so I really couldn’t wait for the day that I reached 13 years and 11 months to be part of it. And I had to undertake exactly the same method of joining, exactly the same interviews. I don’t think my father was there, but in some respects people think ‘well what was it like being the son of a manager?’ I mean I can only say I was treated exactly the same as every body else – in some respects probably worse. By people making me do things which under normal circumstances they wouldn’t even think, because they knew my father was a manager – I could hardly turn round… I could never forget there was one situation I was over the Wilderness, and they had a PE team – you know a physical training team. And they were spring boarding over the horse, and they were doing all sorts of things. And I was just wandering about in my normal way. And the guy that was running it, his name was Lofty Barnes… We all had sort of got these bloomin’ names. There’s endless hundreds of them. I mean mine (‘Wiggy’) is bad enough, but there was lots worse. And his name was Lofty Barnes, but he was short so they called him Lofty. And he called out to me he said “Wilson!” And I thought ‘oh dear what’s going on, he might just not see me in a minute’. And he called out ‘Young Wilson, come here!’ And I said ‘oh here we go’. So I said ‘yes how can I help you?’ He said, ‘you see that horse over there? I want you to lay across the top’. And you couldn’t say no I’m going for a drink’ or ‘I’m going for a walk round the houses. It was ‘Wilson you went!’. And I said ‘ok’, so I, ‘right let’s…’ And they belted up to this and sprung off the bloomin’ tramp you know, and then bounced off of me onto the mat, you know. About 30 of them! And I thought ‘oh God when’s this going to finish?’ Because the last man was going to be Lofty Barnes wasn’t it. So because he’d made some effort but never got half way up the horse – and just pushed me straight off the horse onto the ground, in a big heap, and he landed on top of me. And he said ‘will you be back here next week?’ I said ‘No! I shall be somewhere else, doing something else…’ But it didn’t stop me, I mean to get the points to get you through the probationary period, I undertook doing. First Aid and I was hopeless at these things. And I had to pretend I was a casualty like in an accident, and wait to be bandaged up – you know what I mean? And this was organized by the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, who came down to teach people in case there was a Nuclear attack. I mean what could I have been? I mean what they also had for everybody to enjoy was a summer camp that they had in August every year. That was held at the Isle of Thorne site. And so we all went down to that place for a week. Incredible week where you weren’t under canvass you were in huts. And every single morning while we were there, you had an inspection of your hut - it was run like the military. You had 24 of us in a hut, so your bed and your little - where you kept your things… You had to have your blankets folded. It was like a layer cake. And they had to be exactly measured. And you had to stand at attention by your bed at every morning, for them to come in and look at your hut. To make sure that it was run like the military. And I think that’s probably a relic from when they were in the First World War. And we all had to follow the same sort of regime. It didn’t matter what your wore, dress-wise. You could just be what you like. They had a swimming gala. They had a day out to Brighton which we all enjoyed. I mean it was just such an incredible fun… I joined in 1960. By 1967 it had closed”.

[01:03:58] Good biographical description of Arthur Villiers’ life on the Wilderness – his work for Eton Manor Boy’s Club and benefactor for Hackney wick: Lived all of his life on the Wilderness sports ground. How he used his wealth and contacts to develop and change lives. Providing jobs and accommodation for club members.

[01:06:58] Good explanation of how changes in Hackney Wick and society at large, ended Eton Manor Boys Club in Hackney Wick and at Villiers Wilderness sports facility on the Marshes: “But by 1967 Hackney Wick had changed. The clubhouse, this wonderful clubhouse was lost – the East Cross Motorway had gone through that, and finished it off. And so they tried to keep the club going at the Wilderness site. But the confidence never transferred. Because when you think about what we talked about the club in its early days, and the difficulties of living in that circumstance in that period… When you come to the 1960s, I think it was that politician Harold MacMillan said, ‘We’d never had it so good’ - and so there wasn’t a need for boys’ clubs, there was a change. There was kids going to school, who were educated, who went to university. There was full employment – you had accountants, you had people going into all kinds of different sorts of lifestyles. There was wealth. So the club in a way wasn’t so attractive for young boys at 13 and 11 months to come into. There other distractions. There was girls, there was all sorts of things. And you could go on holiday to Spain for 13 quid (£13). You had a Lambretta. You had a motorbike. And so the club, in a way, sadly, diminished by degrees. And so what happened was that Arthur Villiers had seen this view. His friend Edward Cadogan who’d been part of his life, in the 50s had developed another plan - he thought the future was in education. So what he started to do, he started having education programmes for people, that boys from the East End could go and link into. And he paid for tutors from Oxford and all sorts of things to tutor these kids outside of schooltime. So Arthur Villiers developed the pattern for the future. He thought it was education was the way. He had a part of his life in Middleton Stoney in Oxford, where his family had a heritage area – which he purchased. He had a building built for educational purposes. But in 1966 the tax situation in terms of the Charitable Status – because the ‘Manor Charitable Trust’ was formed in 1924, that was the mechanism for funding – the charitable status changed whereby they could only deal with young people and old people, and nothing in between. And so the wonderful Wilderness site became totally under-used. Only used by some of the old boys really, who were paying pennies to use the facilities. And some of the managers were getting – Mr. Villiers was still alive in his 80s – were getting them to do their exercises outside his house, to make him think that lots was going on. But he was no fool, he could see. And he thought, ‘well the time has come’. And so he decided that in 1967 that he would cease to have… And so he remained living in Hackney on the Wilderness, until he died”.

[01:10:25] Good poignant quote from Peter’s father: Eulogy to Arthur Villiers summing up the man, and situation of Eton Manor Boys Club and Wilderness site at the end.

[01:12:48] Good reading of favourite club song: “Dear old Hackney Wick, the place of our abode. It is the best spot in the land it beats the Mile End Road. It’s there we were born. It’s there that we will stick. For there is not a better spot than dear old Hackney Wick… Have a banana”.

[01:14:16] Good biographical story of Nick (Nicholas) Gargano: Who developed his boxing as a member of Eton Manor Boys Club with the patronage of Major Villiers. Won fight championships representing the club. And went on to become European champion and Olympic bronze medalist – following the footsteps of club-member, Harry Malin.

[01:16:51] Good biographical story of Harry Malin, Eton Manor Boys’ Club’s boxing superstar of the 1920s & 30s – 2-time Olympic champion. [01:17:15] Peter reads: ‘Harry Malin was a boxer, but the whole world knew his name. The noble art of self-defence was Harry Malin’s game. When Harry came to Hackney Wick 100 years ago. He joined the famous Manor Boys, and learned to strike a blow. He learned to stand up in the ring, he mastered many a trick. And all that Harry Malin learned, he learned in Hackney Wick. He fought in 2 Olympic games, in Belgium and in France. He taught the Belgians how to hop, the Frenchmen how to dance. He won the prized Gold medal. And what did he do then? He went back 4 years later and, he won the Gold again’…

[01:18:06] Peter reads a lovely old poem celebrating Eton Manor Boys’ Club, titled ‘Five Old Etonians and the Eton Manor Boys’ Club’: ‘You can’t do away with the Manor Boys, They’ll be needed by and by, For every one of the Manor Boys, Is ready to do or die, For they made the name of Hackney, As mighty as mighty can be, If it wasn’t for the Manor Boys, where would dear old Hackney be? In the workhouse.

‘It was Queen Victoria’s time, the Wick was called ‘the sink’, It was a den of vice and crime, and poverty and drink, The college boys of Eton, came east to found the club, To keep the boys of Hackney Wick from hanging round the pub, The Eton Manor Boys Club grew famous in the land, Five wealthy Eton old boys came to lend a helping hand, They built a handsome clubhouse, A sports ground of the best, They planted hope and promise here, in the Wilderness.

‘Then remember Eton College, and the good deeds that were done, But don’t forget the Manor Boys who sported and had fun…’

[01:19:45] Good explanation of the other local boys’ club, Eton Mission: They founded the ‘London Federation of Boys’ Clubs. Villiers allowed Eton Mission’s Club-members to use the Wilderness sports facilities too.

[01:21:22] Good explanation of Eton Manor’s club for ladies, founded in 1947, and called ‘The Brookfield Manor Girls’ Club – based in Daintry Street: Many Girls’ club members married Eton Manor Boys’ Club members.

[01:23:05] Rivalries between members of different local clubs: “Any engagement between Eton Manor and anything else was always treated as rivalry”.

[01:23:17] Good explanation how Eton Manor Boys Club was a common link for 2 generations of school rivalries in Leyton, Hackney, Bethnal Green: “Remember this: I joined in 1960 at 13 years and 11 months. I was educated in Leyton at a Secondary Modern school. The membership of the Boys’ Club was derived from boys living in Leyton and Hackney, so we all went to different schools. So here we were during the week – myself representing Ruckholt Manor Secondary Modern School in Leyton with its distinctive green and black squared football shirts. Playing against Leyton County High School – the toffs – and I would find in their team 4 of my mates I was a member of Eton Manor with. And 5 of my mates would be in my team. And that repeated itself in all of Leyton’s heritage in terms of its sporting arena. And was replicated in Hackney. And was replicated in Bethnal Green. So literally you’d be representing your school in a football match, kicking 2 bells out of the opposition. Who on Saturdays you linked arms with and played football for the club.”

[01:24:25] Good explanation of rivalry between members of Eton Manor Boys’ Club and Eton Mission Boating club (opened 1884), expressed in the annual Christmas Day swimming race across the canal and back – staggered so boys could compete against adults: whoever got back first won a Turkey, second place won a box of Quality Street.

[01:25:31] Good story of old Etonian mission worker late Victorian era, Granville Keckywick [sp?]: Who had a great influence and bearing on local boys as a swimming instructor on the canal: How they came out dyed the colour of the water they were swimming in.

[01:28:26] Good explanation of old Hackney Wick Industries and his family who were employed in them – eg. Achille Seer dry cleaners, William Davy’s tar and chemical works (built homes and pub for his workers) [01:30:12] Good descriptions of changes in local features of Hackney Wick: Another big industry, Carlis, Caple, Leonard – who developed petrol. [01:30:33] “The mean streets of Hackney Wick”, the terraced houses demolished and replaced by tower blocks, now low rise – “a nice living area”.

[01:30:53] Good explanation how Peter feels current Hackney Wick community is not in touch with Hackney Wick’s heritage: At Hackney Festival, few people interested in hearing Peter talk about the old Etonians and local heritage. Only 20 or so in St Mary of Eton Church’s congregation.

[01:32:15] Peter’s thoughts on changes since the 60s: Old community dispersed to richer areas, new people move in. Only examples of old Hackney Wick housing are at Bushby Road and Benn Street, Gentrification, Rising property values in Hackey…

[01:34:43] Good (passionate) explanation of how and why Peter is proud of Hackney: His roots. The Industrial heritage. Eton Mission’s Legacy and values – and its great patron, Arthur Villiers.

[01:37:35] Good explanation of the 100 year commemoration service of Eton Mission, Gerald Wellesley and what he achieved: It took Peter and Eton Manor Association a year to plan it.

[01:41:07] Good explanation of how Peter felt when he heard Britain would host the 2012 Olympics, and part of the site would involve redeveloping Eton Manor Boys’ Club’s Wilderness site: “…The one thing that came to me straight away, was of the pleasure that it gave to me as a young man living in Hackney and in Leyton. The comradeship that I found over there. The friendships that I made. When I found out that it was going to be used more or less exclusively in the Paralympic element, I felt incredibly proud of that. Because when you think about the possibilities in 2012 when we go into the Olympic Games, and it will be used… When we get to the Paralympic element, you have to believe that many of the people that assemble at that games from all over the world, men and women, may well be service people that had started their life in the normal way like you and I lead our lives. And chosen to join the services. And through the conflict in the world that we live in, as dangerous as it may be. Their lives are altered, and therefore they became less able. For me personally, there’ll be no greater moment when that first day starts. Because those that gave their lives, who left Hackney Wick remembering Hackney Wick as it was, and the pleasure that they had. And as being service people. Those people will be coming back. And I think in their memory it will be wonderful. Because of their dedication to the service of their nation. Some came back who were injured after the Second World War, and continued to be members of the club. There’s obviously some sort of anxiety about the cost of all this and the implications. And I’ve experienced this myself by people saying ‘Oh have you seen what the workforce is? I’ve been over there 4 or 5 times. Out of the workforce, how many English, how many… You know that the programmes are being printed in France...?’ Yes we accept all that, finance works in a different way. I will enjoy that part of my life when that event occurs. I’ve asked for one thing. That when the Olympiad takes place. That the Eton Manor flag flies at the Paralympic site, amongst the others. Purely in remembering the pleasure and joy that those people enjoyed. Those young men, from 1908/1909, until it closed in 1967. The pleasure it was to give not only the members of the club but the school children that were able to use the facilities. And it’s amazing because when I go to the Olympic site now, and Jacqueline said to me, ‘I can close my eyes now, and I could take you round that site as it was 30 years ago. Every single part. I could tell you where everything was. It’s photographed on my mind. And even when I was at the Olympic site 2 weeks ago, tp look at the memorials before they get moved, I could stand there with Mark Hugget, who’s the Site Manager. And he could plant me anywhere on that area they’re developing, and I could tell him where he was. And I could tell him what was there. I will be very proud when that event happens, because of the heritage, the social history that’s linked in to that part of the East End of London. It is special. I’m very proud that they’ve remained loyal to using the Eton Manor site… Remaining the name and the heritage of it. As opposed to just being called an Aquatic Centre or a Velodrome. Which they could have done. They could of equally knocked the memorials down and said nothing about it. The work that they’re going to do in saving the memorials – in terms of keeping them safe, keeping them in the same way that they were from 1946, you have to respect what they’ve done…

[01:47:00] Peter’s closing tribute to the Old Etonians who by giving their time to people less fortunate than themselves, changed lives and destinies in the East End: He believes it is a story waiting to be told nationally.