Skip to content

Announcement Of Mick Taylor’s Funeral

December 17, 2017
by the gentle author

For more than fifty years, Mick Taylor stood outside the Beigel Bakery, gracing our community with his personal charisma and enlivening the life of Brick Lane with his colourful outfits. I hope as many readers as are able will join me at Mick’s funeral next Wednesday 20th December at 9:00am at City of London Cemetery & Crematorium, Aldersbrook Rd, Manor Park, London E12 5DQ. Please note the funeral will commence at 9:00am precisely so please be sure to arrive in plenty of time.

I was a war child, I had no father but I had a mother. On 9th November 1945, I was born in my grandmother’s bed in Maclaren St, Hackney. My mother couldn’t afford to keep me so my grandmother and grandfather, Florence and George Taylor brought me up. I never had anything new, only secondhand things, but they brought me up well. My grandfather was a lovely man, he never hit me. He only had one eye, he was blinded in World War I, and he worked on the barges on the River Lee. My grandmother used to pawn his suit every Monday, buy veg on Tuesday, and get it back again on Thursday when he got paid, so he could wear it at the weekend. She taught me how to cook, and I still cook dinner every Sunday.

One day, when I worked for Truman’s, I got up at seven thirty in the morning and my grandmother had a heart attack and died in front of me. I went to work but I couldn’t work because my mind was falling to bits. So I told the foreman, and then I went wandering all over the place for four days until the police picked me up and took me to Hackney Hospital and, while I was under observation, I cut my wrists. I wanted to die because my grandmother was dead.

The woman in the next bed there was Frances Shea, Reggie Kray’s wife, she had mental problems. It sent her a little crazy being married to one of the Krays, but she was a lovely girl. I dressed up smart for her. Sixteen weeks we were together, she needed a bit of company and I took care of her. Then, when they sent her home, she died at once of an overdose but I don’t believe it. I loved her, and she cured me of the loss of my grandmother.

After that, I worked for the council and I did various jobs, I started my life all over again. I’ve been married a couple of times. I’ve lived my life, I’ve enjoyed it, I’ve had some good times. I’ve two sons but I don’t know where they are. Me and their mother divorced and I’ve never seen them again.

I never had much money but I’ve always made myself smart with a few quid and a suit and shirt – buying the right clothes, the right colour, the right cut. I used to go to Albert’s in Whitechapel and pay seventy five pounds for a pair of shoes, a suit, and a shirt. For my birthday, when I was seven years old, I came down with my grandmother to buy Italian shoes in Cheshire St for two pounds, two shillings and sixpence – pointed black shoes with Cuban heels. I already knew what I wanted at seven years old – you’re born with it, your style.

If you come down here to Brick Lane somebody always helps you out with a sandwich or something. Sometimes I come here without a penny in my pocket but I get a cup of tea. All it takes is to ask nicely and people will help you out. Knowing how to make a shilling, that’s what it’s all about and I’ve sold anything you care to mention over the years. You can find old things in the street and bring them down here and sell them, and people would always buy them and that way you are never without anything

You may also like to read about

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Deborah permalink
    December 17, 2017

    Good on yer Mick! RIP to a real gent. Sorry I never saw you on Brick Lane myself. Siochain!

  2. Kitanz permalink
    December 18, 2017

    A Lovely Man, RIP Mick!!!

  3. December 18, 2017

    Pleasure to meet Mick Taylor.

  4. Annie S permalink
    December 18, 2017

    RIP Mick – I hope you get a good send off!

  5. David Cantor permalink
    December 18, 2017

    If I can make it, I shall be going. I miss Mick and our conversations.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS