READER OFFER: Win a Croydon true history book in our quiz

Inside Croydon is delighted to have FOUR copies of The Shadow Of The Teapot to give away as prizes in an easy to enter competition – open exclusively for signed up Patrons of this website.

The Shadow Of The Teapot, written by Margaret Sharpe Bermudez, is the at times funny, sometimes harrowing, but always fascinating, true-life story of growing up in post-war Croydon.

The book, co-written with Stephanie Mason, is a Call The Midwife-style account of life among the bomb sites and rationing of post-war London, into the Swinging Sixties and the 1970s of strikes and power cuts. It documents social history and common kindness.

Margy Sharpe was given away at birth to a woman who the local children called “The Witch On The Corner”.

It was a cruel nickname, in the manner that children can often be cruel.

Nell Williams lived at 21A West Street, an old widow, suffering terribly from arthritis. With a birthmark on her face and a broken nose, poor Nell carried her “Witch”  nickname stoically. She cared for any child whose parents needed a few hours off, and although her home lacked a bathroom or an inside loo, 21A was known as the place in South Croydon where any child would be welcomed and no charge of any sort would ever be made.

In the days before any social services provision as we understand today, old Nell provided homes and care for local children for decades, including for Margy and her sisters Martina and Christine.

Young Margy (left), with a school friend in the churchyard of St Andrew’s, just across from 21A West Street, where much of her book is set

And if you are an Inside Croydon subscriber, you have a chance to win a copy of this fascinating memoir in our free-to-enter competition.

Inside Croydon supporters help to fund our news-breaking original journalism, with a contribution of just £4 a month (the competition prize alone is worth more than two months’ contributions).

As well as the warm glow they get for such benevolence, our Patrons also qualify for reader offers such as this.

To do your bit to help generate Inside Croydon’s award-winning, news-breaking journalism, and to qualify for this and future offers, click here now to sign-up as one of our Patrons.

Then all you have to do to enter our competition is answer this question:

What church is at the end of the road, close to Margy Sharpe’s sometime home at 21A West Street?

To enter, email your answer, name, postal address (for despatch of the book to the winning entries) and daytime phone number to, with “Teapot” in the subject field.

Usual competition terms and conditions apply. No cash alternative is available.

Entries close at noon this Friday, May 31, 2019.

The winners will be selected from the correct entries and notified by email.


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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