Bookmark of Spalding’s Book of the Week is We Ain’t Got No Drink, Pa, Hilda Kemp’s powerful and moving memoir of growing up in the grimy, crime-ridden East End of the 1920s and ’30s.
Hilda was as poor as a church mouse. She knew how it felt to have to scratch around for a penny to buy bread; to feel the creeping cold of a foggy docklands night; to share her filthy mattress with her brothers and sisters.
Hilda was the daughter of a hard drinker and a hard hitter. Her days were spent down the docklands jumping onto barges and stealing coal, racing through the dank back streets like water rats, dodging the milk cart or the rag-and-bone man.
And out of this bleak landscape emerges a brave, resilient young girl whose life is a testament to the power of love and good humour.
Moving, dazzling and sombre by turns, once opened this brilliant and seductive book will not let you rest.
The book retails for £6.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount off that price with the voucher contained in the Spalding Guardian of March 12.