The man with the box of fish on his head is Ted Lewis, photographed in the 1950s at the original Billingsgate fish market. Ted was born in 1930, and on Tuesday kindly lent me his precious photos and boxing memories. I’ve been making audio recordings of Ted telling his story.
Ted Lewis was evacuated to Devon during the war. Since there was only a junior school where he stayed, he left school aged 11. Ted went to work on a farm, which he loved. His only previous experience of the countryside had been going hop picking, as a way of his family achieving an affordable “holiday”.
Ted worked for 50 years as a Billingsgate fish porter, at first close to the Monument, but from 1982 at the replacement site on the Isle of Dogs.
Ted boxed professionally from 1947-51. In 1948 he won four fights by a knockout at Mile End. On my Vanished Without Trace – Mile End guided walk I’ll show the (vanished) site of where he boxed, and tell a bit more Ted’s story.