Manager at G. Kelly pie and mash Shop at Roman Road Market retires after 40 years
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:24 04 September 2013
A bit of East End history is disappearing as a woman behind the counter at a famous pie and mash shop retires after 40 years.
Margaret Bradley, 65, known by everyone simply as “Meg”, started working for G. Kelly at Roman Road Market in the early 1960s, when the current owner Sue Vening’s father, Bill Kingdon, was running the shop.
Aged just 14, she got a job as a “Saturday girl” through her aunt who was working at the shop.
Years later, after raising her children, she returned to the shop in Bow and today she is the manager.
Meg, whose last day was Saturday, leaves with many fond memories such as serving up pie and mash for a Queen’s Silver Jubilee street party and seeing famous faces in the shop such as actors Terence Stamp, who was born in Bow, and Dennis Waterman.
But much has changed over the years.
Meg said: “When I started it was still quite a physical job with the ladelling. We had a big AGA cooking range with heavy doors. The men tended to lift the pots then.”
It was always very busy in those days and Meg recalls people queuing round the corner.
She said: “It was the buoyancy of the East End, most people who came in were quite chirpy, even though there was still a lot of austerity and rationing after the war.
“But there was more of a community feel and a pub on every corner, today people go inside and shut their door.
Meg now plans to spend more time with her husband, at their place in Spain, and with the children and grandchildren.
She said: “I have mixed feelings about leaving but you can’t carry on forever.”
Shop owner Sue Vening said: “She kept the business going when I had my family and had to look after my mother.
“She is a good friend. We have had a lot of laughter together, she has a very good sense of humour, but is also a good leader and very co-operative.
“There is a lot of customers who sees her as the shop and who shall miss her greatly.”