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Too much monkey business

Posted by The man 
Too much monkey business
March 17, 2013 08:44PM
“Is there such as thing as the Hoxton gang?” asks the Recorder.
“Yes, my lord,” replies the detective.
“Is it disbanded?”
“As far as we know, yes.”
“What are the articles of association of this gang?”
“Apparently it consists of 14 or 15 boys aged between 16 and 21 who congregate in Hackney and for no reason at all they attack innocent people. There are numerous complaints of this kind in the district.”


Following the end of the Second World War, hordes of youth whose formative years are spent playing in the rubble of the London Blitz begin congregating in the busy nightlife district of Hackney’s monkey parade, Mare Street. Attracted there by the street’s billiard rooms, cafés, cinemas, pinball arcades, youth clubs, dancehalls, theatres and public houses, the Hoxton boys, along with others from Hackney’s adjoining residential areas like Homerton, Haggerston, Islington, Finsbury and Bethnal Green, form a loose alliance and set about attacking the borough’s residents, culminating in a violent attack on Hackney Downs that leaves a Hackney youth with two fractures of the lower jaw and a fracture of the upper jaw, numerous cuts on the lips and a black eye. In all, he is detained in hospital for more than two months! The perpetrators of these attacks have alignments with criminal families and in this highly original and penetrating book, author Penny Reel traces the rise of these gangs among the costermongering classes during the 19th Century in Hoxton, the medieval village that William Booth describes in his exhaustive , as “the leading criminal quarter of London, and indeed of all England.”

Newly published by Drake Bros Publications is Monkey Business At The Monkey House: The Times And Trials Of The Hoxton Boys written by Penny Reel. It tells the story of teenage gangs from Hoxton and surrounding districts congregating in Hackney and terrorising the borough's citizens. The story opens in 1950 and continues until the mid 1960s when the last great teenage battle occurred between rocker Peter "Buttons" Welsh and mod dandy Christopher "Beardy" Pegley.

The book is 158 pages and comprises 70,000 words written in Reel's inimitable style. The price of the book is £11 only and copies are to hand and will be sent out within 24 hours of monies received. Postage and packaging are an extra £2.50. The total cost is £13.50p

If anyone is interested please PM Penny Reel or send an email to drakebros@hotmail.com
Re: Too much monkey business
March 18, 2013 06:11AM
Excellent localism mr. reel. Give me a link and we'll get you an excerpt and plug for your book propogated in the SF Bay. Mad respect for all writers....I am currently fascinated with SF history ala...[www.nytimes.com]

Re: Too much monkey business
March 18, 2013 06:18AM
our local crap....Reverend Jim Jones with SF Mayor George Moscone......waaaaaay too much monkey bizzness!!!!!!!
Re: Too much monkey business
March 18, 2013 12:53PM
Seeing the topic, I thought Reel was gonna have the lyrics to that Chuck Berry song.
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