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Babs Windsor raises the Flag for East End’s homeless to mark Spitalfields Crypt charity’s 50 years

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 May 2015

Babs Windsor... ready to wave flag for East End's homless

Babs Windsor... ready to wave flag for East End's homless

Spitalfields Crypt Trust

TV EastEnders star Barbara Windsor came back to her roots to cheer on a bunch of fun-runners raising cash for the homeless.

Babs waves flag to start charity raceBabs waves flag to start charity race

The cockney ‘sparrah’ who got her big break in The Rag Trade sitcom in 1961—before her Carry On films in the 1970s and BBC soap in the 80s and 90s—turned up to wave off the runners from the charity shop in Bethnal Green Road run by Spitalfields Crypt Trust celebrating its 50th anniversary with a fun run in London’s East End.

The runners went on to the charity’s other shops in Roman Road Market in Bow and Chrisp Street Market in Poplar, before a grand finish at their community café in Bow Common.

Passer-by and her dog can't resist a 'selfie' with babsPasser-by and her dog can't resist a 'selfie' with babs

But all attention was on Babs, back at Bethnal Green, a stone’s throw from where she was brought up.

Passers-by posed for ‘selfies’ with the 78-year-old star who grew up in Shoreditch. Even the Kwik Fit mechanics next door to the charity shop popped out to have their snaps taken with the ash-blonde bombshell from those saucy movies of the 1970s.

1960s... Rough sleepers queue for bed for the night at Spitalfields Church crypt1960s... Rough sleepers queue for bed for the night at Spitalfields Church crypt

The charity first opened in the Crypt of Spitalfields Church in Commercial Street in 1965, giving emergency shelter to alcohlic men sleeping rough in the streets.

It followed the death of a down-and-out on the steps of the church on a cold October night, which led the vicar, the late Eddy Stride, to open the crypt as a shelter.

1960s... destitute shelter in Spitalfields Church crypt1960s... destitute shelter in Spitalfields Church crypt

The Spitalfields Crypt Trust was then set up to extend the work of the shelter for all homeless people. It moved after 25 years when the church was being refurbished and is now housed at Accorn House a-mile away in Shoreditch High Street, next to Shoreditch Church.

Barbara Windsor’s support waving off Saturday’s fun run raised an estimated £500 for the charity’s work today.

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