Boxing Bouts with East End Brawlers

Shoreditch resident Sandra Dorking gives us a spectator’s view of the infamous Town Hall boxing matches

Years later, late teens, they used to have boxing bouts, and we used to come watch our friends box, Johnny Wall being one of them, who was really good. John, who’s Lenny McLeeny’s cousin. They were a family of boxers, Lenny was a street boxer but Johnny was professional. We used to come and support him.

And then there was the local publican, Victor Andretti, who lived in the pub The Spread Eagle just across the road, and ran some of the boxing bouts. John I remember watching, but there were lots of different bouts.

It was just all very fast and furious in those days, and my memory wont stretch back to details. But the memories there are good nights… Rowdy, East End, brawl nights [laughs]. But good, always good, always good memories. Kind of electrifying. They were electrifying moments, you know, because you’d have the opposing side so there’d be outsiders coming into Shoreditch and then you’d be on your side and they’d be on their side and there’d be many arguments if someone won and they didn’t want them to win!

Usually then to Victor’s across the road for a drink afterwards, celebratory or not. Always good evenings.

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