The Stepney Doorstep Society

The Stepney Doorstep Society

The remarkable true story of the women who ruled the East End through war and peace


The unsung and remarkable stories of the women who held London's East End together during not one, but two world wars.

'Inspiring tales of courage in the face of hardship' Mail on Sunday

'Inspiring . . . Takes you back to a time of community and helping one another' 5***** Reader Review

'It made me laugh and gasp in equal measure' 5***** Reader Review

Meet Minksy, Gladys, Beatty, Joan and Girl Walker . . .

While the men were at war, these women ruled the streets of the East End. Struggling against poverty to survive, and fighting for their community in our country's darkest hours.

But there was also joy to be found. Across the East End the streets were alive - you need only walk a few steps for a smile from a neighbour or a strong cup of tea.

From taking over the London Underground, standing up to the Kray twins and crawling out of bombsites, The Stepney Doorstep Society tells the vivid and moving stories of the matriarchs who remain the backbone of the East End to this day.

'Kate Thompson's study of five working-class women who lived through the blitz shows how informal collectives can provide lasting support and inspiration . . . [a] fascinating account' Guardian

'An important glimpse into a vanishing world' Sunday Express

'One of the best books I have read in recent years' 5***** Reader Review

'Crammed full of fascinating stories' BBC 2 Steve Wright

'Fascinating . . . It was fascinating to hear how these women kept going' 5***** Reader Review

'Astonishing' Radio 5 Live


  • The remarkable story of the women who ruled the East End through the Blitz. A lively authentic social history, the book centres around five formidable working-class women . . . a hair-raising, but always warmhearted tale
    My Weekly

About the author

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson is an award-winning journalist, ghost-writer and novelist who has published nine fiction and non-fiction titles.

She worked at Pick Me Up magazine for six years and was subsequently named as IPC's 'True Life Writer of the Year' in 2006. Since then, Kate has worked on national newspapers, including the Daily Express and Daily Mail.

Her debut novel, Secrets of the Singer Girls, became a Sunday Times bestseller in 2015.
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