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

Yesterday, 14:39

Staff will trace Lord Lauderdale’s steps on the journey he may have taken to visit his mistress before Lauderdale House opens once more

Yesterday, 12:12

The mixed pond on Hampstead Heath will be ‘women only’ for two weeks in October after management confirmed the ladies’ pond will close so that work can be carried out.

Yesterday, 09:57

Police were called at around 23.20pm to reports of a gunshot last week but there have been no arrests made so far

Yesterday, 07:00

A vigil is to be held at the spot where much-loved Heath character Sheila Karsberg was tragically killed after being hit by a cement mixer in Camden.

Mon, 18:21

Both of Camden’s Labour MPs who backed Owen Smith in the leadership contest have called for party unity as speculation mounts over whether they will serve on Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench team if invited.

Mon, 18:05

Police figures show the number of drivers who use mobile phones behind the wheel is on the rise.

Mon, 17:06

The suspect apparently had nothing in which to stash the money and left a trail of cash as he left

Mon, 16:35

Local MPs have overwhelmingly backed calls for the government to make historic changes to end the secrecy surrounding offshore property sales.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

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

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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