Until the advent of the internal combustion engine, the bells of St Mary Le Bow (in Cheapside EC2) could be heard five or so miles away in Leyton and Stratford. Despite the purists who claim that the East End finishes at the Bow Flyover, the denizens of E10, E15 (and now E20) are bona-fide Cockneys.
Last sunday we walked into the Birkbeck Tavern, and found ourselves being entertained by a bevy (an oyster?) of uber-Cockneys; Pearly Kings And Queens.
Incredible how far these immortal old songs have burrowed into the nation’s consciousness; I found myself singing along to The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo without even realising I knew the words, although I was stumped by a ditty that contained the line ‘Git yer ‘ands orf me bristols’. Have a banana.