Shoreditch Town Hall & The Start Of It All

Sydney and Marilyn Isaacs recall their two very special visits to the town hall, once when they met & later when they married

MeEting at the Town Hall

(Marilyn) ‘The night that we met at Shoreditch Town Hall, I was selling raffle tickets at a dance. I was on a committee of this club, and we were raising money. I went round trying to sell the tickets and I came to Sydney, who asked me how much they were. I told him they were a sixpence, and he said ‘I’ll give you sixpence for a kiss!’ and I said ‘I’m not for sale!’ and I walked off.

Later on in the evening he asked for my phone number… Now, I really wasn’t interested so I thought I’d just give him a dud phone number – my friend was always doing it, making it up. And when I told him I thought, well he’s not going to phone in any case, and I couldn’t think of a number, so I put my number down.

The next day I made arrangements to go out with my friends, and he phoned up later in the day and asked me out! I said, ‘no, I’m going out with my friends, I’ve made arrangements’, he said ‘you can go out with your friends anytime, you can’t go out with me anytime!’ [They both laugh] He told me afterwards that if a girl turned him down then that was it, but he persisted with me on the phone until I’d agree to go out with him. That was the start of it…’

Town Hall Wedding

Sydney and Marilyn later returned to Shoreditch Town Hall in 1952 to celebrate their marriage.

(Sydney) ‘It’s just amazing really how we’ve only ever been there twice! The caterer contrived to make it as bright as possible but in my mind, I can still remember seeing threadbare carpets. I don’t know why because I’m not a particularly fastidious person, but I can remember thinking how tired and run-down it looked. My recollection when we went there for the wedding, it was sooty, from the war years but wow, it really does look impressive now – it certainly didn’t look like that when we were there!’

(Marilyn) ‘But the tables looked beautiful and the food was arranged beautifully, so you were looking at that rather than the surroundings. I think we had fresh salmons for starter, whole fresh salmons and then chicken for the main.’

(S) ‘It at gave us a good start and we’ve not looked back since, so there we are. It was strange the way it happened. How people come together from quite different lifestyles. I must say, we celebrate 65 years this year and I pinched myself and ask where it’s gone.’

(M) ‘Life goes too quickly, it really does. Much too quickly… We had 3 children, 13 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren! So we have a tribe!’

If you have a personal story or connection with the Town Hall please get in touch by emailing, calling 020 7739 6176 or writing to us at Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT.