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The Sugar Girls - Ethel's Story: Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End [Kindle Edition]

Duncan Barrett , Nuala Calvi
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Book Description

During the Blitz, the Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but the Tate & Lyle factory was more than just a workplace - it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of East London. This is Ethel’s story, one of four stories from The Sugar Girls.

‘On an autumn day in 1944, Ethel Alleyne walked the short distance from her house to Tate & Lyle’s refinery on the shining curve of the Thames. Looking up at the giant gates, Ethel felt like she had been preparing for this moment all her life. She smoothed down her frizzy hair, scraped a bit of dirt off the corner of her shoe and strode through.

She was quite unprepared for the sight that met her eyes …’

In the years leading up to and after the Second World War thousands of women left school at fourteen to work in the bustling factories of London’s East End. Despite long hours, hard and often hazardous work, factory life afforded exciting opportunities for independence, friendship and romance. Of all the factories that lined the docks, it was at Tate and Lyle’s where you could earn the most generous wages and enjoy the best social life, and it was here where The Sugar Girls worked.

This is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness, providing a moving insight into a lost way of life, as well as a timeless testament to the experience of being young and female.



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4382 KB
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; ePub ed edition (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007B5IL5I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,366 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into East London life 22 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With this book I felt I was really with Ethel in her ups and downs of life in the sugar factory. Life was hard, but the sense of achievement and stickability shines through. The life in a factory in, relatively, recent times was so class structured it saddened me. But great to read that Ethel is still alive! She's a true East End character. Thanks for a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sugar Girls - Ethel's Story 29 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Found this a really interesting book to read. Not only is it about fairly modern history, but it brings to life the part of London it was presenting. As a born Londoner - although not still there - it was lovely to read. The lifestyle was entertaining and informative and reminded me of my younger years
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By HMV
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was such a interesting read that I had job to put it down.I would like get some more, but if they are all good as that I will never do any think but read as it was such a gripping story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars memories 3 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was born in the East End of London, where the story is set, in 1948 and this book has given me a picture of how life was back then.

From the very first pages I felt that I knew Ethel and the other girls in the book. Their stories are realistically told and I want to read about the rest of the 'Sugar Girls' now to find out how their lives differed and to be a part of that era again.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars wonderful ingredients, badly served 30 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a fascinating and interesting subject to write about but written so blandly. It was rather like someone had all the perfect ingredients then under-prepared and over or under cooked. The flavour just about came thru, but was so disappointing.
I think a writer needs to re-do these books because the subject matter is so absorbing but the way you tell a story is so important too. Worth a read for the facts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars nothing like as described in 3 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I worked at TATE & LYLE during this period, nothing like as described in books
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5.0 out of 5 stars sugar girls 6 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend all of the books so interesting i wish there had been more tales it was Happiness & sadness happy endings..
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read 28 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A short but perfectly formed book that takes you back to an era when people were not afraid of hard work and the rewards speak for themselves love and true friendship
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