Director of new film tells Tales from the Two Puddings

Popular pub Two Puddings is the focal point of a new documentary to premiere this month.

Director Rob West said he read the memoirs of the pub’s landlord, Eddie Johnson, and decided to make a film, called Tales from the Two Puddings, about Eddie’s experiences in the famous Stratford pub.

He said: “Eddie didn’t see much of the Swinging Sixties, he missed that, but instead he experienced the Sixties through the pub.”

The documentary covers many interesting and quirky stories from the pub and features an interview with Barrie Keeffe who wrote the 1980 gangster film The Long Good Friday.

Rob said: “He used to work for the Stratford Express and he used to go to the pub at lunchtime with a whole host of journalists.

“He used to pick up a lot of the stories that appear in The Long Good Friday. Helen Mirren’s character was based on Eddie’s wife, Shirley. If you look at photos of the Two Puddings she really was a glamorous woman.”

However, the documentary doesn’t just document the glossy side of the pub, it also delves into the murky characters that used frequent it.

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“There certainly were some gangster types if you did go there. Some fights would break out but in the film we talk about how Eddie, and his brother Kenny, were very good a stopping violence.

“There was a story of a person at the bar spilling a drink on Reggie Kray, but we didn’t want to exaggerate the violence.”

Other tales range from Harry Redknapp meeting his wife to the Small Faces avoiding paying for their rehearsals and Jackie Charlton celebrating England’s 1966 World Cup success.

The Two Puddings had to close down in 2000 and Rob believes this is to the detriment of the community.

“Eddie himself was a community minded person, as was his brother.

“They were very aware of their community and conscious of providing a service to their community.”

“There still seems to be a lot of affection for the pub, people from Stratford and Newham still speak fondly about it,” Rob said.

The documentary will premiere at the Stratford Picturehouse on Saturday, June 25.

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