Novel based in the world of East Street Market in Barking

Mickey Mayhew

Mickey Mayhew - Credit: Archant

A fictional family from Barking are the stars of a new novel that peers into the characters working in the market.

Book cover of Jack and the Lad

Book cover of Jack and the Lad - Credit: Archant

Jack and the Lad documents the life of a former ‘barrow boy’ of East Street Market who has landed himself a top job in the City and taken up the slicker lifestyle.

But as drama back home develops, with haunted happenings going on, Jack is drawn back into the thick of the East End world.

The book is the first novel by Mickey Mayhew, a 38-year-old PhD student who spent five years living in Barking until two years ago when he moved to Surrey.

He said: “I was living there while I was a student at Birkbeck College. I loved the area, my time there was great. It doesn’t get much attention and I thought I would base my book there.

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“The story is part-fantasy and isn’t entirely set in the real world. It is all to do with St Margaret’s Church and someone who was locked up in the tower and how it all affects one family living in Barking.”

The sociologist spent much of his time walking around the town to do his research and used the Barking Learning Centre to read up on local history, although he said it doesn’t stay completely true to fact.

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Mickey then spent eight months writing the story and has sold about 200 copies on Amazon so far.

One review on Amazon states: “Set in Barking, Essex and the surrounding area the story pulls a lot from the history of the area, some artistic licence, as well as the modern day setting. As a local to the area I found it particularly entertaining.”

To find out more about Mickey’s novel visit

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