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 News Stories

Yesterday, 17:17
Sadiq Khan. Picture: PA.

One of Labour’s London mayoral candidates has warned Camden could lose more than 12,000 housing association properties under the Conservatives’ plans to extend the Right to Buy scheme.

Yesterday, 11:52
Crowds queuing in the streets outside Camden Town Hall. Picture: Vickie Flores.

Hundreds flooded the streets outside Camden Town Hall yesterday to catch a glimpse of Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a rally.

Mon, 16:13
Matt Ogston outside the Everyman Cinema. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Friends of a much-loved doctor who died after throwing himself from a top floor apartment gathered in Hampstead for a special evening to mark the one-year anniversary of his death.

Mon, 14:36
A 24-hour strike will take place from Wednesday evening

Unions will go ahead with a 24 hour strike at London Underground from Wednesday evening in a row over the night Tube, said Aslef.

Most read news

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

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder