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, 17:20
Joshua Bonehill

A 22-year-old hospice worker behind plans for an anti-Semitic demonstration in Golders Green on Saturday has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with inciting racial hatred.

Yesterday, 16:57
Chinese ambassador Dr Liu Chih-Kung with young pupil Saskia Beveridge. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton

More than 500 pupils and parents took part in a festival to celebrate one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar.

Yesterday, 13:23
Conservative MP Eric Pickles and Lord Janner. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Labour peer Lord Greville Janner will be prosecuted over claims of historic child sex abuse after an independent review overturned a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Yesterday, 10:00
Sarah Ezekiel with her exhibition. Picture: Adam Thomas.

A mother-of-two who has been left paralysed by motor neurone disease (MND) has exhibited artwork produced using special technology that tracks her eye movements.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

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

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

Competitions

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder