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Church bells peeled as the people of Spitalfields in London’s East End turned out for the launch of a unique book about their everyday lives.

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The huge Christ Church in Commercial Street was packed for Friday night’s launch of Spitalfields Life by the secret ‘Gentle Author.’

Hundreds queued round the corner to get in—even the author had to get in line.

The doors eventually opened and a great surge led by cockney Pearly kings and queens filled the church nave and aisles, Spitalfields Life website reported this-morning.

The secret author has so far been collecting nearly 1,000 stories about Spitalfields and aims to make it 10,000 by 2027 with one blog a day on the Spitalfields Life website.

The £20 book published the day before by Hodder & Stoughton has the first 150 stories with 300 pictures and illustrations. It tells the story of its street art, markets, diverse food, immigrant culture, ancient houses, pageants and parades, rituals and customs, traditional trades, old family businesses—but above all it’s about the ordinary men and women who make it happen.

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