Search

Camden Town man remembers the day Tony Benn appeared on his doorstep in a Rolls-Royce

17:21 27 March 2014

Nora Murray with husband John.

Nora Murray with husband John.

Archant

In the wake of Tony Benn’s death, Camden Town resident Leeroy Murray was reminded of an extraordinary Sunday morning more than half a century ago when the Labour Party icon appeared on his doorstep.

Heathman was intrigued to discover the story of Mr Benn’s visit to the Murray family’s prefabricated home in Savernake Road, Gospel Oak, on October 16, 1955.

On that day, a 10-year-old Mr Murray, now 68, looked out the window of his parents’ home to find a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.

“This Rolls-Royce came along which was a strange sight to see,” he said. “Benn was sat in the back. He stopped and asked where the Murrays lived and I said: ‘Here’.

“We were terribly excited. We hadn’t seen a flash car like that and Tony Benn was very smartly dressed and had a charming sort of manner about him.”

Mr Benn had travelled to Gospel Oak to pick up Mr Murray’s mother, Nora, to take her to the Wood Green Empire Theatre where he would interview her for a TV programme about her life growing up in Russia.

Mrs Murray, who died in 1989 aged 69, had come to Britain at the height of the Second World War as a former Russian spy, having fallen in love with Mr Murray’s father John while he worked at the British embassy in Moscow.

Years later, Mr Benn responded to an e-mail from Mr Murray, now of Castlehaven Road, Camden Town, about the visit and insisted: “I have never owned a Rolls-Royce in my life so it must have belonged to the TV company!”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Criminal gangs working across Hampstead are ordering spare keys online using numbers etched onto the access locks.

Testing along West End Lane showed many residents were being exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels more than 50 per cent above permitted levels.

The charity gathered in front of the Iranian Embassy as husband Richard delivered a letter calling for justice and a better future for his child

Transport for London (TfL) plans to provide up to 70 new homes by building above a proposed new entrance on Buck Street.

A car wash owner has been jailed after an employee was electrocuted while showering in squalid rat-infested housing he provided for workers.

Yesterday, 16:25

Politician, refugee advocate and Holocaust survivor Lord Alf Dubs has been announced as the keynote speaker for Camden’s Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.

Yesterday, 15:26

Two celebrity patrons of a Childs Hill charity were left “really miffed” after being told they could no longer attend a reception at 10 Downing Street – while on the road to Westminster.

Yesterday, 11:44

An unwell man was taken from the window of a first floor Hampstead flat by a fire brigade cherry picker yesterday morning.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now