Ironmonger Street in 1920, with its ugly tenement blocks and tumbledown houses, is one of the most unsightly turnings in Bermondsey; its residents are hardened to the grim poverty of their lives.
In the slum block, Jubilee Dwellings, two sisters - attractive, fun-loving Kate Morgan and the happily married Helen Bartlett - give birth to daughters. One is illegitimate, her mother refusing to name the father, the other is disabled. Connie and Molly grow up together and wouldn't be parted for the world.
Until the day Connie catches the eye of handsome Robert Armitage. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, and the antagonism that dogs their two families, they are drawn together and are determined to be married. Until war intervenes ...
Harry was born in 1931 in a back street off the Tower Bridge Road. Only when his own children began to ask questions about the war, did Harry realise how many stories he had to tell. He became known as 'the King of Cockney sagas', and he wrote eighteen bestselling novels of London life. After Harry died in 1999, the Harry Bowling Prize was set up in his memory.