Royal London Hospital kids turn up in Spitalfields to meet pearly king

Children who have had to spend time in hospital turned up to see Cockney Pearly king George Major arrive in London’s East End on his horse and cart.

George pulled up at Spitalfields Market in style in his suit with 22,000 pearl buttons and weighing � cwt with his horse called Mr Buttons to launch his children’s book about a ghost pearly king coming back to earth to rescue sad kids.

The profits from the book, The Pearly Gates, are going to the Sick Children’s Fund which runs a hostel for parents to stay in next to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Youngsters who have recovered from illnesses were invited back by the trust to meet the Pearly king in his distinctive ‘whistle and flute’, accompanied by his ‘trouble and strife’ Pearly queen Kathy—they’ve been spliced 31 years—and two grandchildren who are the Pearly prince and princess of Lambeth Walk.

George met two-year-old Olivia Jiggens who was five weeks in the neo-natal ward when she was a baby—though she doesn’t remember that.


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The trust’s hostel manager Joan Coker said: “The families usually stay in touch with us, so we invited them to meet the Pearly king—the youngsters were thrilled.”

The trust, which has started a �273,000 appeal to extend the hostel, got a welcome windfall today from the City. The Worshipful Company of Bowyers has donated �1,000 to the appeal.

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Added to that will be proceeds from the Pearly king’s book, published by the Book Guild tomorrow (Thurs) at �8.99.

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