These charming tales from 1960s London provide a unique insight into the everyday life of working class families at a time when much of the country was obsessed with pop culture and the new social freedoms that came hand in hand with the advent of the contraceptive pill. The stories, which are based on real events which happened during Julie Norton's childhood, were written by her mother, Mira Harmer, between 1965 and 1970, and appeared in the Daily Worker/Morning Star, where she worked as a feature writer. Funny, perceptive and at times poignant, this is a first hand account of the day-to-day lives of working people at a time when the media tended to concentrate on the antics of cult personalities such as Mary Quant, Twiggy and the Beatles. The stories are based on real events which Julie remembers from her childhood, and in places she's added her own comments and observations.
Mira Harmer would have reached her hundredth birthday at the time this book was published in November 2012. She was born in 1912 and grew up with nine siblings over her parents' secondhand furniture shop in Marylebone, London. As a young woman she joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and later worked for the newspaper which carried its views, the Daily Worker, which eventually became The Morning Star, firstly during the Second World War, and again in the 1960s. Throughout her life she carried with her a sense of the injustices and deprivations which her parents had suffered and found an outlet for her views in her writing. She married a one-armed veteran of the Spanish Civil War, ran several businesses with him, including a boarding house, a cafe and a corner shop, while bringing up five children. She still found time to write, often late into the evening. She died in 2000, aged 87, having suffered from Alzheimer's for the last few years of her life.