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The Pearly Kings and Queens

- Jamie - Monday, April 18th, 2005 : goo

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The London tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens was begun in 1875, by a small boy named Henry Croft. Henry was born in 1862 and raised in an orphanage in Somers Town, London NW1. At the age of 13 he left the orphanage to become a Municipal Road Sweeper and Rat Catcher in the market of Somers Town.

Henry worked hard in the market and soon made many friends. He was particularly drawn to the Coster Mongers, a tough breed of market trader. The Coster Mongers wore 'Flash Boy Outfits' to distinguish themselves from the other market traders. This involved decorating their trousers and waistcoats with a row of pearl buttons down the seams. Their distinctive costumes are said to have sprung from the arrival of a large cargo of pearl-buttons from Japan in the 1860's.

The Costers looked after one another and often, if another coster was in need, they would have a 'whip round' (collection) for him. Traditionally, costers elected 'Kings' to lead them against bullies seeking to drive them from their pitches. Henry was fascinated by this way of life and decided he would like to help the unfortunates and aswell as the children back at the orphanage. He decided that in order to raise substantial amounts of money he needed to draw attention to himself. He decided to take the concept of the Coster Monger's outfits one step further, totally covering his suit with pearl buttons. He spent many long nights preparing this suit and eventually emerged, at a local carnival, sporting a suit covered in tiny pearly buttons.

Henry became an instant attraction and was approached by many hospitals and churches to help raise funds for the poor, deaf, dumb and blind. Henry worked very hard for these charities but found himself eager to do more. He asked his friends, and the Coster Mongers, for help. Eventually there was Pearly Family for every London Borough and thus the Pearly monarchy began. It is estimated that when he died in 1930 (aged 68), he had collected over £5000. This roughly equates to £200,000 in todays money.

His funeral was so spectacular it was filmed by Pathe News. All of the Pearlies attended (roughly 400) and followed the coffin to Finchley Cemetery where Henry was buried. A statue was erected over the grave by the many charities he helped, showing Henry wearing his famous buttoned suit.

Today's Pearlies are dedicated charity workers who are continually assisting with fund raising activities for a multitude of different organisations. The Pearly motto is "One Never Knows". The Pearly tradition has survived for over 130 years. There are still approximately 40 active families working today across the London boroughs, collecting for a multitude of different charities.

Several of the Pearly families can be traced back to the original generation. Henry Croft's family for example,continues the tradition with his great-granddaughter wearing the title of` 'Somers Town'. Sadly the two world wars of the early twentieth century took a heavy toll and many of the original families were lost. In order to survive, the Pearlies needed to recruit new members.

This was achieved by enlisting people who had helped the Pearlies over the years with their charity work. The main succession today of a Pearly is by inheritance. In 1975 the Original Pearly Kings and Queens Association was reformed and now meets every month in the crypt in St. Martins in the Field, Trafalgar Square.

The Pearlies are dedicated to helping the Church of St. Martins and all attend the Harvest Festival Service held on the first Sunday in October. They also hold a Memorial Service for past pearlies on the third Sunday in May. (They choose this date as it is the nearest to Henrys Croft's birthday, May 24th)

The magnificent suits, hats and dresses, handed down together with hereditary titles, are sewn with mystic symbols, stars, moons, suns, flowers, diamonds, Trees of Life, Eyes of God and fertility designs. Each outfit can have as many as 30,000 buttons on it and can weigh as much as 30 kilograms.

Pearlies continue to work hard raising money for charities and can often be seen around London participating in various Parades and Carnivals.

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This article has been viewed 76990 times in the last 10 years

Peter: 18th Apr 2005 - 16:14 GMT

wow... what a phenomenon! i recall seeing people in those sort of buttoned outfits on tv or something, but never knew the story. thanks for sharing this bit of london lore. its nice to read about obscure history!

jeeff: that's really wild.

elaine: 18th Apr 2005 - 19:48 GMT

did you ever read the victorian underworld by donald thomas? iss very good. loads on london working and underclass culture, reads like a how to in parts, its like a rough guide to the rookeries

Jean: 4th May 2005 - 14:31 GMT

Thank you grew up in Lambeth moved to Australia was asked about the history and how it began and couldn't tell, now I can go to work tomorrow and tell them about the history and how it began.Fasinating story thanks very much

...: wooow that is amazing...good job!keep like that

Sylvia Womersley: 8th Jun 2005 - 22:51 GMT

Lovely to see these almost forgotten images of my childhood, I was born in East London and do not know nearly enough about the cultures at that time. I now live in Australia and love it but, my roots still belong where I grew-up, and to pass it on to those here who know nothing of it all but are interested.

margaret samuels: 4th Jul 2005 - 12:24 GMT

My mother and father were pearlies and I never knew the origin of how they came about. They never spoke a lot about the history so I am very pleased to find out how they originated is there anywhere else I can look to find out more about them?

Peter: lol... this isnt a kids site.

kelsey: 10th Oct 2005 - 16:23 GMT

yes, woe to the child that happens across your terrible spelling and grammar, sally... that could- indeed- be quite a bad influence.

jamie: 10th Oct 2005 - 17:47 GMT

to be honest i can think of much more inapropriate websites a child might stumble upon when searching for pearly kings and queens. hey kids! would you like a nice pearl necklace? necklace

elaine: inappropriate

jamie: pedant

elaine: ta. just for you, jamie xxx

Peter: lol!

Jamie: 16th Nov 2005 - 16:13 GMT


mia: 23rd Feb 2006 - 16:09 GMT

this is realy cool thanks 4 helping out with my homework

Dawn James: 3rd May 2006 - 10:11 GMT

Pam Harman can be contacted by e-mail and yes se is still the secretary of the pearly kings and queens association

JACK PEARLY KING OF BRENT ( 10th May 2006 - 11:33 GMT

image 11843

image 11844

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Gillian Turner: 26th Jun 2006 - 16:20 GMT

Trying to find out some information on my mother Ada Oakley of Canning Town apparently she was known as "The Queen of Canning Town" Now I was Wondering if this related to the fact she might have been a Pearly Queen
Would anyone be able to help me with this? would appreciate if able.
Gillian Turner

jamie: 30th Jul 2006 - 00:04 GMT

As Canning Town is in Newham, East London it's probably highly likely, yes.

Diane Dole: 10th Sep 2006 - 11:01 GMT

Hello all
very intresting to look at the comments about pearlies, why oh why all backbiting and arguements about who are original pearlies and who are not.
surely the way a person conducts themselves ie love for the fellow man and good honest values is the most important criteria for a pearly.My family who are original pearlies go about our work ie fundraising entertaining without all the fanfare that a few pearlies appear to need.
so come on pearlies work together for the sake of our history because otherwise all our good work could be remembered for our bickering and argueing. Please anyone who would like to challenge our right to be pearlies remember my great grandad was the first original pearly king of st Pancras and was a dear friend of Henry Croft.My great grandad George Dole was one of the founder members of our pearly guild we choose to not join groups as from our own personal experience we did not like all the bickering.
I send with this message
much love to one and all
because ONE NEVER KNOWS! Pearly princess of st Pancras Diane

ray : 21st Sep 2006 - 16:30 GMT

strange I thought the cooper family was the st pancras pearlie
never heard of the pearly princess above or her family

Jan: 25th Sep 2006 - 21:25 GMT

Were any Turner families in London Pearlies. How could I find out ?

cheryl: 29th Sep 2006 - 18:12 GMT

ive been told i have family way back that they where pearly kings and queens where could i find out about them would be grateful for the help

Martin: 10th Oct 2006 - 19:21 GMT

I met the Pearly Queens of Shorditch and Homerton last Saturday.
Lovely ladies and raising money for a very worthwhile cause.

kim: 7th Nov 2006 - 05:32 GMT

hi there was a turner family of pearlies they were pearly king and queen of edmonton there is a bit about them in pearl binders book called the pearlies a social history you can get a copy on ebay or amazon there is alos a photo of mrs turner ion there to hope this helps you

sharon : 8th Nov 2006 - 00:37 GMT

I relly enjoy reading all the history of the pearly king and queen
my girls school are doing a day where if every one pay 1 pound to a charaty they can come dressed in there coulers of there flag or a releguers or tradishanal cultral dress I guess for all the children that come in repersenting london will just have the union jack or st gorges flag so I am going to put some buttons on to some black clothing wont look as nice as the one in the pitchers and print of some of this page not the sick coment from jamies , then hopfull all the children in the school can learn about pearly king and queen . sorry about spelling have dyslixer

anon ( 15th Nov 2006 - 17:06 GMT

I've Just gone through some of the comments about pearly kings and queens.
to the pearly king of Brent about your statement about PEARLYKINGJIM
get your facts right before you engadge your north and south. pearlykingjim was in buttons long before half of you
so called original pearlies even knew what pearly kings and queens was all about. half of the them are made up were they were given titles like sweet just to boost your group.
i remember years ago when opk&q started you caused alot of bad feelings
between genuine pearlies are are still doing so till this day
go on come back to me i've got nothing to hide about my my pearly family history. you can e-mail me or get me on the dog and bone the numbers on my website

i know a lot more than you think
from pearlykingjim jimmy jukes genuine pearlyking of camberwell
son of Bob & Katie Jukes the genuine and original pearly king and queen of camberwell

jeeff: whoa it's a pearly king throwdown!

anon ( 17th Nov 2006 - 07:59 GMT

it's not a throwdowm. it's to let you all know that Genuine pearly kings and queens dont have to be members of the opk&q all though it may seem like that.
A few years back a stament was made to the press from the pearly queen of brent saying that george Major pearly king of peckham and the Pearly guild were not real pearlies and had no right to wear the titles
and that the okp&q were the original was one of the first pearly to get the opk&q together running all over london finding were they were ang getting them together and got no thanks just stabbed in the back.
At the time of this statement
The Pearly guild members were
George major and family who have publicly been a target with claims that the major family are not pearlies' i dont get on with george nowdays
but to give the man is due he as done more for the pearlies in th past
than any other pearly i know and still till this day does.
then their was Alf & Mary Dole with Princess di st pancras pearlies their family history goes back to the start.
Alf grandfather was George Dole original Pearly king of st pancras
and close friend of henry croft'
Goerge Davidson pearly king of newham who's father was an original pearly
and were the motto comes from one never knows
and the pearly king of camberwell originala "sarf" london pearly family
may howard pearly queen of wapping old man davidson daughter
now can anyone tell me why these people are not original and genuine pearly kings and queens. i would like to know!
so what ever you have read about the above they have every right to wear the title of pearly king and queen.

JACK JAMES PEARLY KING : 20th Nov 2006 - 18:09 GMT

A comment made about jimmy jukes was not made by me jack james pearly king of borough he is also a pearly king as i am and do not no who put that comment from me but he is also a genuine pearly as myself thank you jack

lisa: 18th Jan 2007 - 21:12 GMT

could you help i work in a residental home in bermondsey and i wonder if there is anyway i could arrange for anyone to come to the home to have a sing song could you let me know if there is anyway of getting in touch with anyone to find out if it could be possible we have arange of residents that always talk about the pearly kings and queens there is a lady who is 105 years old and another
lady of 100years old it would make there day please could you send me any info on this thank you for your time email address is

Janet: 1st Feb 2007 - 21:56 GMT

I work in the pearl department of a big store in Cannnes France. we are organising an English culture week and I remembered my dad (who was born in the old Kent road in 1928) telling me about the pearly kings and queens so finding your site was perfect I am sure you are going to make a hit down here the costumes are fab and the history of it all very touching.

thank you


Brian : 5th Feb 2007 - 18:52 GMT

As a London boy I am ashamed to say that I did not know where the Pearlys came from until I came across the story of Henry Croft today.
I've followed up a number of sites and been impressed with the values that created the Pearlys. An extreemly impressive history. However, I am saddened by the debate about who is 'original'.

It might be an idea to take a step backwards and consider who Henry Croft would think was an original Pearly. Surely he would want those to be called Pearlys, not by just birthright or family line alone but by the nature of what's in their hearts and their attitude towards their fellow man. For him it was one of support and inclusion and not of putting others down and exclusion which brought you into being.

In saying that I can understand how irritating it would be to see people 'wearing the uniform' but not doing anything for it.

The important thing is that you, yourselves know if you are in Henry's image or not and that will tell you and the world if you are original.
Keep this great tradition going - Never let it die- Don't become divided.

harmans: 14th Mar 2007 - 23:26 GMT

hello im after lee montague it is his family the harmans and he sent jack an email but we have lost his email adress so if any one can get lee montagues email adrees plz let me no

wayne adams: 15th Mar 2007 - 09:11 GMT

all organisations have bickering...i,m hoping that as a london boy of Cockney decent (and proud of it) All the pearlys can stay united in the,s a shame that i detect a bit of conflict between a few members

wayne montague: 22nd Mar 2007 - 19:32 GMT

hi, my grandfather & grandmother were original pearlies doing charity work all over the country, my grandfather wore pearlies for over 40 odd years and even when i was younger there was back biting among pearlies in the 70's

lops: 9th Apr 2007 - 07:59 GMT

i have a pearly king jacket and on the back it says : pearly king of cavemdish school and i saw ian dury wearing one

tisha: 20th Jul 2007 - 16:55 GMT

uncle jim or jamie if you still go on this site can you get intouch wit me love tish x

Worked with the Pearly king of Peckham: 6th Sep 2007 - 08:52 GMT

Up until yesterday, i hadn't heard about this long tradition but i had the luck of being cast in a small film along with Geroge Major pearly King of Pecham and i must say he is a lovely chap with many interesting stories, was lovely to meet him and he did look really good in his suit.

j smith: 1st Oct 2007 - 12:41 GMT

so you met a pearly by the name of george major its a shame you were hoodwinked by this man. mr major is not a real pearly king and never as been, sure he can spin a yarn and tell porkies all day he is very good at that. you should have asked him were the money goes that he collects on behalf of so called charities in his pockets thats were.
by the way was the film called billy liar im sure mr major would make a good leading man

anon ( 2nd Nov 2007 - 17:29 GMT

I have known George Major as The Pearly King of Peckham for many years, so I can write with true knowledge of this good man.
I am writing in full defence of him as I know many who know him would.
It appears from a terrible and scandalous "write up" on this website that you do not know this man as many do.
George is still recovering from a quadruple heart bypass at the moment and I would hate to think how he would feel if he knew of what has been written about him. I do know, however, that he would be very saddened at seeing the Pearly history destroyed by the few.
George in his life time has worked hard for the Pearlies and their history. In fact, he has a book being released by his publishers early 2008 about his life and the Pearly tradition.
Anyone interested in the true Pearly History should buy/borrow and read this book about Georges life, The Pearly history and what it takes to be a REAL Pearly King!
Anyone who feels they need to leave defamatory remarks (which other than on a website would be deemed libellous) should be ashamed of themselves.
This on a website that surely was intended to promote Pearlies and their history......What a shame.....

A LIST OF PEARLIES BY BOROUGH?: 2nd Nov 2007 - 17:34 GMT

Does anyone have a list of current Pearlies by Borough? and their contact details?
Surely this would be helpful to event organisers/schools etc wanting a Pearly King or Queen in attendance.....

Diane Dole: 5th Nov 2007 - 09:47 GMT

Hello in answer to the question of the current list of pearlies, i agree it would be very useful but unfortuatly from my knowledge i have not found a list with a full genuine list of pearlies.
Some families are either left out completly or the incorrect family given titles which are not theirs.
So sadly you may have some success finding a few sites which have a list but they probably will not be fully loaded.
best wishes and happy hunting
Diane Dole pearly Princess of st Pancras
our website address is

J.Smith: 20th Nov 2007 - 16:09 GMT

22 October 2002

"Pearly King" Jailed for Fraud - George Major, 64, the self proclaimed Pearly King of Peckham was jailed after he was convicted of eleven counts of defrauding benefits. Major was caught after a tip-off led to investigators from Epsom and Ewell discovering that he had failed to declare a house which he owned and was renting out under a false name. He had not mentioned the property on any claims for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support although it had been bought in 1987. He had admitted the eleven charges that resulted in a total of over £75,000 worth of benefit being paid. Major was sentenced to 11 terms of six months to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £18,862 in compensation and £3,000 costs within 28 days.

pearlykingjim: 22nd Nov 2007 - 09:44 GMT

j smith have you a problem with pearly kings and queens

pearlykingjim: 22nd Nov 2007 - 09:57 GMT

having just read some comments on this page it seems some people have a problem with londons pearly kings and queens
did your mother hit you over the head with a bag of buttons when you were a dustbin lid.
come on give us a all break, London pearlies do a lot of good
ok there as been some bad press about pearly kings and queens
and some of this is in-house with the back stabbing from over egoed
plastic pearlies,
but on the hole we are good people, you the public will know who is genuine or not in the pearly world,your not stupid.
all i can say is get a lfe who ever you are
and all the best of cockney luck
pearlykingjim genuine pearly king of camberwell
if to would like to comment send me a E-mail
genuine cockney entertainment

coastagirl66: 24th Nov 2007 - 07:58 GMT

i have an herritage to be a princess but have not put a suit on for years.
i have met many many pearlies but one pearly stay's in my mind george pearly king of peckham; i rememeber i was a little girl and we all met at the funeral of marriot.
since the first meeting i was fortunate to be asked with my family to attend some charity functions with george and his family. how that man would walked into a room full of sadness and lost hope and fill it with an over whelming ray of sunshine in there lives i will never forget this man who did so much for people, than he even knows.
so georgie you have not seen me for some time you used to call me your princess so if you happen to read this i know you would know who i am yes i still have my market stall
so georgie the very best of cockney luck x
jsmith are you a pearly as i have never heard of the name?
is so the history is definatley dying with you, what is your problem i have read all these articals and you seem a very jealous man leaves me feeling sad for you.
we are all our own person's and you need to find peace within my dear friend otherwise
you wont go the them pearly gates now will you.

pearlykingjim: 27th Nov 2007 - 12:16 GMT

image 24841

pearlykingjim: 27th Nov 2007 - 12:23 GMT

image 24842

In this photo which was taken in 1963 at Hampton court palace
are uncle fred and aunt mary tinsley
katie jukes genuine pearly queen of camberwell
and a young pearlykingjim
for more photos please log on to the website

pearlykingjim: 27th Nov 2007 - 12:41 GMT

image 24843



Student1UCL: 1st Dec 2007 - 20:40 GMT

They look proper, the original pearlies! Keep up the good work!

tracey cornwell-boylan-jukes: 14th Dec 2007 - 22:43 GMT

keep up the good work uncle jim !!! proud of our family say hi to debs!!!!

anon ( 29th Dec 2007 - 15:27 GMT

HI to all you good people alf and mary diane george major and may davidson. The list of names go on and on good people all of them .ME AND MY MATE have had some good times with you all. DAZ N CHAVE. TRIBUTE CHAS N DAVE. See you all soon x PS good luck GEORGE. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHAPPY new year lets go down ta MARGIT from KEITH chas.

marriott: 1st Jan 2008 - 23:16 GMT

To coastagirl66, I have a little information regarding pearly marriott's: Beatrice Marriott - Festival Queen, Edward (Wiggy) Marriott - King, Jessie Marriott - Queen.
I am interested in any history you (or others) can add or if you can point me in the best direction to do a bit of research. Ta!

marriott: 1st Jan 2008 - 23:30 GMT

Got the info from the society list page - sorted it out myself ta.

coastagirl66: 9th Jan 2008 - 15:26 GMT


pearly princess peckham {tammy}: 17th Jan 2008 - 18:56 GMT

hi to everyone that knows me. its very sad the way people talk about pearlies. my mum rest her soul was one of the greatest pearly Queens my dad Has always been a good pearly. he puts on his suit and thinks nothing of him self. If pearlies earned money for doing charity work then i would be sitting in a perfect house but instead i sit in a council property without the luxury items that that sort of money would buy. i want to say dad i am proud of you and love you with all my pearly heart. thanks for all the great comments about my dad. people in glass houses should not throw stones we all make mistakes i know i have.

Diane Dole: 18th Jan 2008 - 09:32 GMT

Hi Tammy, it has been a while since we have seen each other we have had some great times together in the past. When we all got together especially at our guild meetings we thourougly enjoyed the comraderie, dad and mary send their love to you and the children. I beleive when a person is pointing the finger of blame at another person how many fingers are pointing back? but lets focus on the positive because as we know there has and still is fantastic work being done by pearlies so the good thing about the past is that it is over and i know dad has not had the best of times with his health but
he has the bulldog spirit as del boy would say onwards and upwards we really look forward to seeing you all soon.
much love best wishes and the best of cockney luck to you
Di Alf and Mary the pearlies of st Pancras x

pearly princess peckham {tammy}: 19th Jan 2008 - 09:08 GMT

Hi Diane. Its great to hear from you. Please send my love to all your family. I miss our pearly jobs together as we used to have the most laughs. it would be great if we could all meet up again and chat about the old times. let me know how i can get hold of you and maybe we can sort something out. love tammy x

Diane Dole: 21st Jan 2008 - 09:04 GMT

That would be great Tammy, your dad has my telephone number so give me a call and we can catch up.

love and best wishes
Di x

BUGS: 21st Jan 2008 - 20:50 GMT

On Sat 19th Jan 2008
I held my 40th birthday bash at Chapples bar penton street near the Angel
North of the river. it was a cockney theme, being a good old cockney boy i thought it would be the dogs bollocks and it was.
The Barrow boys entertained the guest's and what a kness up we had.
best night ever. Pearlykingjim was brilliant and on top form.
the old songs really got the bar rocking if you are having a party i highly recommend them. Well done pearlyking and Wayne you can be sure i will be booking you again.

kim: 30th Jan 2008 - 01:35 GMT

i noticed there is someone looking for the pearlies marriott i have alot of information regarding them if you need any help at all let me know

pearlykingjim: 30th Jan 2008 - 09:02 GMT

Wotch ya Tammy
Long time no see as you can tell by the post on this forum
someone got the hump with pearly kings and queens
your not alone in your comments
i have in the past been acused of loads of things and not just by the public from pearlies who i thought was my friends some friends
i must be cake-o with all that money i collect a lot off people wont pass wind without trying to sell you it. let alone give you money for charity.
and i have found this out with my donkey project
me and debbie have put thousands of pound in to this and with no surport from pearlies or the public. so i dont give two monkeys what people write anymore i can hold my head up with pride, try loking at the plastic pearlies you may come up with somthing there if you want to put us down.
i work hard to keep my donkey centre open and have put all our money in to it.
and like you i live in a run down council Estate in Bemondsey
rented may i add if anyone out there thinks we the genuine pearly kings and queens of london think we are at it!
come and have a look at the bills maybe you can help me out to pay them
I dont think so

Tammy please get in touch me E-mail is

Thank you bugs for you nice comment we enjoyed ourself as well


Diane Dole: 4th Feb 2008 - 10:59 GMT

Hi Tony

I have passed your e.mail address on to Daz and Chave.


tony dj blue: 7th Feb 2008 - 07:43 GMT

hi diane

thanks very much,i got an email the other day,we are now getting in touch,about some bookings.

once again A BIG THANKYOU

Diane Dole: You Are Welcome Tony Diane

j.smith: 21st Feb 2008 - 08:08 GMT

Shiny unhappy people

All is not well in the world of pearly royalty. Beneath the peacock feathers and rhinestone finery is stirring a nasty battle for the soul of the kingdom. In Guildford county court this week, two parties of pearly kings and queens have been scrapping over a collection considered the crown jewels of the order: 14 jackets owned by the founders of the 150-year-old tradition.

Proceedings were adjourned earlier this week, with the court yet to rule on whether the coats belong to George Davison, whose father was once the pearly king of Newham, or George Major, who in 1995 happened upon the costumes in the attic of the Dickens Inn in Lambeth.

One might imagine that the pearly community was one big happy family of benevolent gorblimey chirpiness - but according to Pam Harman, of the London Pearly Kings and Queens Association, pearly world is riven by schisms and populated by imposters. Harman, 61, is the pearly queen of Brent and insists that neither Major nor Davison has "the right to wear the buttons".

"I have an authentic right to wear that title on my back, stretching back to the founding days of the order," she says, speaking from her home in Stevenage. (An odd place, perhaps, to find a spokesperson for all things cockernee, but she insists that the Hertfordshire town was, after all, founded on London overspill.) Harman's parents were both pearly royalty (one of the disputed coats even once belonged to her dad).

Simply wearing buttons is not enough to make you pearly: the proper ones, Harman insists, are those who turn up to the harvest festival in St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London, the bona fide gathering of the clans every October. "There are three pearly organisations, but we are the only one that is legitimate," she says. "There's the Guild of Pearlies, but they don't come from pearly families, and they've given theirselves titles within our members' boroughs. And that's wrong. Then there's London's Pearly Kings and Queens' Society, but none of them have pearly heritage."

Harman made her own pearly suit herself - but refuses to say how many buttons are sewn on it. "That's my party piece," she says, "getting people to guess how many is on it. I do it all for charity. That's what wearing the buttons is all about."

Diane Dole: 21st Feb 2008 - 09:06 GMT

In the words of Chas and Dave.


I do not wish to fuel this unpleasant tittle tattle but give it a rest mate.

The people who i assume read this site are genuinly interested in pearlies and a great London tradition.So out of respect as the old saying goes "IF YOU HAVE NOT GOT ANYTHING NICE TO SAY DO NOT SAY NOTHING AT ALL!!!!!!!!

Eric and Ernie said it all in their song. Bring me Sunshine

all the best of cockney luck

Diane Dole Pearly Princess of st Pancras!

j.smith: 22nd Feb 2008 - 17:20 GMT

pages on the internet are set up for members of the public to share their feeling with others.
if the truth hurts then there must be some truth in it
not everthing in this world is nice
but somtimes you have to face it, so to the lady diane one think one can say what one likes.

student1UCL: 23rd Feb 2008 - 15:39 GMT

RE: j.smith 22/02/08.

Mr Smith, Freedom of speech is one thing, however, when your thoughtless drivel is aimed at good honest people who have done nothing but work tirelessly for many years to raise money for charity. I think people need to look closely at your motives for posting these comments, jealousy maybe? Jealous that the true pearlies are finally gaining the recognition they deserve for their relentless endeavour aimed at helping some of those less fortunate, not that these proud people of tradition would ever ask or expect it from anyone.
So one must conclude......
that one........

Anna: 28th Feb 2008 - 11:31 GMT

Dear Pearly Kings and Queens,
I am a photographer doing my MA at the London College of Communication. I would like to do a photo project on a Pearly family in London. It would be great to start this project as soon as possible in March. Anybody I would photograph will recieve some copies of photos.
This is my email: anna_s30 @
I would be grateful if anybody interested would contact me via email - or if you know whom i can contact to get in touch with a pearly family.
Many thanks!

Peggy: 1st Mar 2008 - 09:50 GMT

Does anyone have any information about John & Rose Marriot pearly king & queen of Finsbury park, They had children Jean & John.

Keith : 11th Mar 2008 - 19:58 GMT

I would just like to say congratulations to george major- Pearly king of peckham for writing such a fantastic book! The book is called ' The hidden whistle and flute' You should all go and buy one. Its a very good read and a percentage of proceeds from the book is going to 'Help a london child' And to mr John Smith i suggest you read this book and thenyou would soon realise that MR. Major does not give way to bullies! He has genuine history in the pearly's You can go to any library and look at a book with his grandfather listed and on the cover. Thank you Keith from DAZ AND CHAVE.

j.smith: 12th Mar 2008 - 14:06 GMT

Thank you for your comment keith to ward me,
mr Major is not and was never from pearly blood
mr major made himself a Pearly king in the mid 1970
that is not mr majors grandfather on the front cover
the book is full of lies from the start to the finish
i have been involved with the pearlies for the 70 years
and i know what iam talking about
you only know about mr major through what he as told you
did he also tell you that only fools and horse's was based on him
what a load of tripe,just aother cock & bull story made up in the mind of Major
you can take my comments what ever way you like i speek the truth
and if the truth hurts than their must be some truth in it

Peter: 12th Mar 2008 - 14:28 GMT

this thread has taught me that pearlies, above all else, like to argue about their lineage...

Keith : 12th Mar 2008 - 21:31 GMT

Re j smith. I first met you john at the dominoin theatre tottemham court road on chas n daves 25th aneversary. you had a book out on pie and mash shops and soon after that with your family was working with mr major for a pie and mash shop. your famaliy then was dressed in pearls for the first time that was 15 years ago strange for one that has been involved for 70 years. Your dad i remember was the treasurer for george and the guild. Do you remember? I do. So if mr major tells porkys i suggest you look back at the treasurers books for that time and tell us all.

Keith : 12th Mar 2008 - 21:55 GMT

I fear i could be opening a can of worms dont you?

j.smith: 13th Mar 2008 - 17:15 GMT

I do not think we have met, i have never been to the Dominion theatre
i think you have the wrong Mr Smith. if you met my father some 15 years ago, you must be a medium,he died in 1963
also i have never been involved with the Pearly guild.
my knowledge of Pearly history lays with my family who were pearlies,
long before the like of george Major & Co

just a footnote
if Mr Major is such a great Pearly King why is it that other Pearly Kings and Queens have turned their backs on him and will not give him the time of day

Keith : DO you have a son whos name is john? mr smith.

j.smith: 14th Mar 2008 - 08:28 GMT

i have no sons, keith i think you are barking up the wrong tree
i must remind you that the name Smith is one of the most common names in the world

Keith : 15th Mar 2008 - 18:35 GMT

HI Mr j smith im sorry if your not the same j smith. So who are you then ? you speak ill of mr major on this site all the time why? What are you in the pearly world? you must tell us all if you have been part of the pearlys for 70 years you would not speak about mr major like this for what reason? You can ring me if you like to talk about it. 02392 645453

Keith : 17th Mar 2008 - 20:09 GMT

IT SEEMS MR SMITH has stopped reading this blog. If he is he as no comment? no phone call nothing. Can any one tell us who he is or his whereabouts? There must be one pearly that can shine a bit of light on him? But i think mr smith will come back on to this blog slaging mr major down again and forgetting to say any thing about his self.I THINK HE MUST BE A BIT SHY DONT YOU? from mr k newman of daz n chave 02392645453 from portsmouth THANK YOU.

Keith : 20th Mar 2008 - 13:28 GMT

Mr Smith if you do read this blog again can we ring you or right to you about your problem with mr major? And can we put your home. works. and mob phone number on this site so you can talk about it? Putting peoples dirty washing out to the public is not always the best thing to do THANKS. ps we all have dirty washing

Diane Dole: Well said Keith

Keith : 22nd Mar 2008 - 11:53 GMT

Now for a bit of good news. Coming Soon Book a good old nees up with the DAZ N CHAVE Cockney show . entertainment from six pearlys plus chas n daves tribute act DAZ N CHAVE a fantastic cockney eve.

kim shea: 28th Mar 2008 - 16:36 GMT

hi peggy my nan is rose marriott and my mum is jean marriott both are still here and thriving if you would like to email me i would answer any questions re the marriotts or forward mums email on to you thankyou kim shea

anon ( 28th Mar 2008 - 18:28 GMT

image 26700

anon ( 28th Mar 2008 - 18:29 GMT

image 26700

Pearlykingjim: 3rd Apr 2008 - 08:46 GMT

Wotch ya all
not been on this site for a couple of months, just thought i would catch up on things that are going on in the Pearly world
i see mr smith is still about wotch ya cock and all the best of genuine cockney luck (i'll do a swerve on mr smith)
after surfing the web i found a list of all known pearlies
strange that on this list that some old genuine pearly families are left out,for one reason or another, yet plastic pearlies with no history are named, and i know from diane the pearly princess of st pancras as posted the question on various website's is to why a full list of pearly kings and queens is not updated.
now im sure the pearly king of peckham and he's family well are known
and from the amount of charity work Alf mary & diane Dole do (and please remember Alf Granddad was one of the first pearly kings) are well known
and you could not miss the pearly queen of wapping but not on any list,
yet her brother is! and their is my family the camberwell branch
and you can not say im not known, for enough of you have talked about me in the past which i dont give a monkey about.
i know it might be like the dole family that i now do not belong to any pearly mafia opps sorry group,is part of it but some of them plastics get right on my thrupnenys so i do what i have to on my own because i would find it hard to stab myself in the back,but at the end of the day we are pearlies and genuine ones at that we do a lot of work for charity
even if you dont want to add me to your list, i think the others deserve to be added.
enough now all the best of cockney luck
from pearlykingjim
genuine pearly king of camberwell

Diane Dole: 5th Apr 2008 - 13:09 GMT

Hi All, I have just finished reading the (hidden whistle and flute) stitch one by the pearly king of Peckham George Major.
Fantastic read cant wait for stitch two the stolen whistle and flute.

best of Cockney Luck


Pearlykingjim: 6th Apr 2008 - 00:04 GMT

ammende script
this is how it should read

like the dole family i now do not belong to any pearly mafia opps sorry group,is part of it but some of them plastics get right on my thrupnenys so i do what i have to on my own because i would find it hard to stab myself in the back,but at the end of the day we are pearlies and genuine ones at that we do a lot of work for charity
even if you dont want to add me to your list, i think the others deserve to be added.
enough now all the best of cockney luck
from pearlykingjim
genuine pearly king of camberwell

Pearlykingjim: 6th Apr 2008 - 09:20 GMT

i would like to thank the person or persons for the vile and nasty E-mail that was sent to my address, it is someone on this forum
form what was said
i only hope we bump it each other one day and that your BUPA cover is up to date
you can slag me of all day,water of a duck back to me i heard it all before
but to have a pop at my family thats when the B*LL*cks stops
all the best of cockney luck because you will need it my son

With the closure of the charity donkey care centre due to the lack of support for the public.colleting for charity is the last thing on my mind. for nearly 2 years me & Debbie have struggled to keep our long eared friends home open,with little help from anyone. we have now lost all our life savings in this project to the sum of £18.000.and now the donkeys have gone to good homes.we can get on rebuilding our lives
the only sad thing is that we miss our long eared friends like mad
they gave us fond memories which will stay in our hearts forever.
because of the lack of funds/donations we had to close the doors to the stables on March 1st 2008, not even the pearlies offerd to help
to those pearlies who in the past pointed the finger at me of taking a dip in the charity box, all i can say is, Kiss my fat pearly arse!
and put your money where your mouth is

being really busy with the barrow boys
i have not had the time to do my charity work
as normal.
last year i met a young man who wanted to do a short film on londons pearlies for current tv, we done the short and it came over really well
the man is called Wesley Lipman and he is doing a tri-athlon at brighton in September 2008 for Cancer reasearch u.k
Please back him i have put this web address so you can see for yourselfs
good luck wes me and debbie will be backing you all the way

Pearlykingjim: 9th Apr 2008 - 09:30 GMT

It been 3 days since i posted my comments on this page
what and no comebacks
having read the E-mail that was sent to me a few times
iam now convinced that it came from another pearly family or a so called pearly family
if that is the case,i think its about time i wrote a book on the subject of pearly kings and queens.
it will interesting reading about Pearly demi-gods,theft and corruption in the pearly world, where i will speak the truth and no porky pies
because this pearly family as nothing to hide
now the title of this book is split at the momment
we dont know if it will be called my fathers stolen hat or the pearly mafia.yet to agrre

i will keep you all posted on when it will come out
and who knows the people who wrote the E-mail may be in it

all the best of cockney luck from pearlykingjim

kim : 9th Apr 2008 - 16:32 GMT

he he jim if you do write that book maybe i will join you and air my views about stolen titles too. still find it funny when i look on the different web pages that not one me4ntion of my family has been made my great grandfather set up the pearly kings and queens association and also the lord mayors balls and many other things but hey the marriots just slipped off the face of the pearly generations and don't seem to have existed.
i have also noticed other family members coming to light that want their titles back
they can't be given away to any tom dick and harry a title in inherited like dukes duchessess and barons and baronesses mmmmm maybe i should call my self lady spencer now she is deceased.
anyway jim keep up the good work and don't let the phoneys get you down the truth will come out in the end

Pearlykingjim: 10th Apr 2008 - 08:07 GMT

Wotch ya Kim
I know what you are saying and i agree 100%
the problem is that we have a wave of new pearlies with little or no cockney pearly history,and they seem to forget that a lot of pearlies now passed on to the otherside did exsist
we need new blood in our cockney culture, but all i can say is to the Pearly kings and Queens is when you select new pearlies make sure you make the right choice, in the past i have known pearly kings and queens that have been made up with full titles turn out to be wrong uns
when they were first interviewed, it was yes sir no sir 3 bags full sir,
just to get voted in, and then after a short time "bang" they thought they were the king pins and started to look down on the rest of us
a few YEARS ago i attened the harvest festival at bow bells and one of the new wave plastic pearlies called another Pearly queen SCUM for what reason only she knows
mind you she picked her match, the pearly queen abused is the pearly queen of st Pancras Mary Dole
well i can say from my heart MARY is a straight laced person
who calls the kettle black and i admire her for that, shame their was not more of her about
i have a lot of respect for mary she is a good un and a heart of gold
and to call her SCUM is well out of order
but thats what we have to deal with its because new pearlies dont have the history,just the gob,
and thats why old pearly families are now forgotten,for the likes of the marriots-montague-matthews-tinsley and my mum & dad god bless em
the only good thing we have got Kim is memories of the good uns, and the plastics will never have that
i fully understand we need new blood in the pearly movement or our history will die out, please let the new ones do it from the heart and not for what they can put in their sky

kim : 10th Apr 2008 - 10:50 GMT

jim i am shocked never realised things had got that bad, blimey what a carry on. i know the oldens used to have their disagreements but it was never bought into any of the festivals ect it stayed outside of them.
i have no problem with new blood but i feel that they should make sure that the titles have been expired and that the lineage is deceased before passing those titles on to new ones. i also feel that the new blood should not pretend to have long histories and make one up which some have done. i notice there is alot of bad mouthing on here about the Majors and i feel saddened by that i spent alot of my youth with tammy and her sisters at these events and really found the girls to be great i wondered if any of them have continued in the pearlies.

Pearly Princess of Peckham [Tammy]: 13th Apr 2008 - 19:05 GMT

Hi Jim. Thank you for all the nice things you have said about my family. We had many great jobs together. always had a laugh. sorry for the long reply but i don't really go on this site to much bad mouthing. I hope all your family are well and give them all my love.

Hi Kim my name is tammy the pearly princess of peckham. Could you please let me know who you are. I still wear my pearly suit with my dad and my two daughters Charmaine and Channelle also my grand daughter alicia. Please feel free to contact me at

valerie: 20th Apr 2008 - 11:43 GMT

Hi I was wondering if anybody knows of the millward family that were pearlies in the first quarter of the 1900.I remember my grandmother talking about them when I was young

Sheila Preston: 16th May 2008 - 10:31 GMT

Hi to Di, Pearly Princess of St Pancras - I was so saddened to read all these comments when I came across this webpage. I had such a great day with you, your Dad Alf, Mary, Chamaine and George Major yesterday, taking all the photos - It was an honour and a privelege to be with you all and I thank you for all the fun and laughs. I know you won't be wasting time letting this rubbish get you down as, being full of heart and love, you've got better and more important things to do. I'll be in touch as soon as I get the pics done - should be some greats!!! Big hug to a great Pearly - Sheil xx

Haha: 16th May 2008 - 14:42 GMT

Listen to all you Pearlies arguing and making a fuss about nothing. You're cultural relics, and worth something in that sense, but all your squabbling and contention in this thread is laughable. you'd think you were royalty or something. You're just a group of people who have buttons on your clothes and a dubious provenance. Get over it.

Paddy O'Furniture: 16th May 2008 - 23:23 GMT

I'M the original pearly KING of OLDE LONDON TOWN!

londongirl: 22nd May 2008 - 08:33 GMT

i have to agree with you HA HA the pearlies are laughable
last year at our local club
they booked a group of pearly kings and queens for a cockney night
what a shambles
they had some old lady in pearly costume sat in a chair who never did anthing all night. an elderly man also in a pearly costume trying to work some kind of karaoke machine which he clearly had no clue how to work it,
a younger lady also in costume dressed as a princess ( i thought princesses were ment to lady like this one could have done with good wash)
well the best bit all night was when they started to argue with each other
it was quite funny to see, i thought it was part of the act
but sadley it was not,just as well one of th committe got up and bailed this this pearly lot out, well i say pearlies they were more like the Dingels, i was informed that they would never be booked again at our club
horay because if this is ment to be our cockney culture
then HA HA was right its laughable

keith grey london: 29th May 2008 - 22:16 GMT

Hi i went to a cockney night friday it was fantastic we saw the chas n dave boys that was on stars in there eyes and some pearlys that was a good old nees up. There was a very good singer with them i think his name was phill? he was good . They are worth going to see. good news for all pearlies.

john turvey: 11th Jul 2008 - 21:23 GMT

my grandfather was george dole pearly king of st pancras boy dole elfy dole is the genuine articule. proper pearly king un like the plastics.

john turvey: 11th Jul 2008 - 22:37 GMT

well done to diane dole. her and alf dole have the right to claim there pearly king status. i can vouch for that because george dole my grandfather was indeed the pearly king of st pancras. and they are indeed the family of my lovely mother kate dole. daughter of george dole.

john : 13th Jul 2008 - 23:27 GMT

Hello Diane. having read your article and founnd it interesting.I would like to ask you a few questions.I Had a friend who lived at Mildmay Grove Islington in about 1975 Arthur Dole known as alf.He said he was born in Somers Town in 1900 and had been Pearly Prince of St Pancras, are you related to this interested family?

Keith Daz Portsmouth: 19th Jul 2008 - 22:06 GMT

Hello Diane Pearly princess of ST PANCRAS . Im sittin here with my 4th glass of wine Thinking. I would like to say thank you for the Fish and if pos we will come back soon for the chips. Hi to Phill and Ema the dog. Oh yes and Simon Keep up the good work. see you all soon. Keith The pearly Minstral of St Pancras. and Pauline His wife.

anon ( 21st Jul 2008 - 08:59 GMT

Please can anyone help
im looking for a cockney singer or act for my aunts 80th birthday party in September this year
it will be a big do with over 2oo family asnd friends
and we need good entertainmet
thank you
lilly spencer

Keith Daz Portsmouth: 23rd Jul 2008 - 07:33 GMT

Hi lilly spencer. I can help you. Post your phone number or e mail ad and i can help you out. She is 80 happy birthday to her.

john : 25th Jul 2008 - 20:53 GMT

Hello Diane Thanks for your reply. I think your dad will remember me. I was a friend of your grand dad and your Aunt Rose your dad will remember seeing me at their homes when he visited them. I was the young tall fellow called John Farrell.We used to call your dad boy. Best wishes John

Diane Dole: 26th Jul 2008 - 11:19 GMT

Hello John dad does remember you and he is still called boy.

Rose is well and i will tell dad to remember you to her, we have a website with some photos on
We used to call grandad pops, fond memories of him, with his little hankie on his head tied at the corners.
keep well john and stay in touch

best wishes Di x

GRANSON OF ALF DOLE: 7th Aug 2008 - 20:28 GMT

hi diane hope you are well, i lived with my grandad for 8 years and heard all the story about the pearlys,and i think what a great thing they did and do now it does not matter who you are or were you come from.helping other human being is a great thing to do i wish there was more people in this country and world like the pearlys.......chris

Diane Dole: 8th Aug 2008 - 07:53 GMT

Hi chris, you are 100% right chris it is what we were brought up beleiving that there is always someone else worse off than you.

It dont matter what you got share it and the easiest thing to share is love and happiness and it dont cost a farthing.

I hope to see you soon chris love to the family

Di xx

mary strong: 8th Aug 2008 - 08:27 GMT

A few weeks back we had entertainment down our clubhouse on the isle of sheepy and was entertained by the barrow boys and i was sure i knew the man dressed in buttons, and when they had there break,ihad to ask him
are you Katie jukes boy, yes was the reply,well it made my day, katie and my mum were good friends both gone now,katie was a great lady, my mum loved it when bob & Katie would dress up in their pearly costumes, for a charity nigh inthe duke Of sussex in Waterloo it was really nice to see Jimmy carrying on the family tradition,we had a long chat and i said to him i can still see your mum singing your old wedding ring in the Duke with mary the piano player hitting the keys with her,, and when they started to sing again jimmy looked over to our table and sang your old wedding ring.the tears run down my face,it brought back the memories
thank you to Jimmy and he's mate Wayne for Great night
can't wait to see you again best cockney night ive been to top class entertainers lots of love from Maryxxx
p.s they are still talking about The barrow BOYS on te site and good you were

PEARLYKINGJIM: 18th Aug 2008 - 19:14 GMT

Its been along time since i have been on this site
thank you Mrs Strong for you kind comments
which leads me to answer somethng that was said about me over the weekend
two of my friends were at Convent garden and met some Pearly King and Queens. and got talking to them about this and that and my name cropped up
we are not happy with Pearlykingjim erning money from being a pearly blah blah blah,and running me down left right and centre.
well my reply to you is if you have anything to say about me say it to my face, dont tell others stories about me,you have visited my website
my E-mail is on there as well
as my telephone number just in case you fail to find it i'll give ya it on here 07984-278939
THE BARROW BOYS are professional entertainers and we get paid for our services,and when i do charity work as pearlykingjim i do it from the heart no charge,so before you shout yer north and souths off about me get it right, your claim was it should be all for charity,listen the Barrow Boys get paid for the talent not for the suit.
and please dont preach about charity to me
i have done my bit as a GENUINE PEARLY KING AN GOT THE TEE.SHIRT TO PROVE IT. when the charity donkey project went under with a loss of mine and my other half's life savings of £18.000p, not one so called Pearlie called or made contact to help,and when we walked to london to brighton for a man who had motor nurones to raise money for CHARITY
GEORE MAJOR PEARLY KING OF PECKHAM AMD OLD MAY DAVIDSON PEARLY QUEEN OF WAPPING.NO OTHER PEARLIES made an effort to help £8.000p was collected and given to person the walk was for, and by the way none of us got paid
infact it cost us ONCE again in the name of CHARITY
this is only 2 examples of the charity work i've done . over the last 47 years as a Genuine London Pearly.and to the pearlies at covent garden i dont know you and you dont know me so please keep your opinion to yourself or let me know,because im not a member of the pearly mafia
its all tut tut tut, what i do and the way i conduct myself as a pearly
as got sweet F,A to do with.anyone and if it as please dont hesitate to get me on the blower

Claire: 26th Aug 2008 - 21:00 GMT

Hi - I noticed earlier in the thread a lady called Diane mentions she has the contact details for Daz & Chave. I would very much like to book them for a pub opening! I would be extremely grateful if somebody could email me their details.
many thanks!

Louise Jones: 23rd Sep 2008 - 07:20 GMT

Hi, I'm the youngest daughter of Brenda Matthews and youngest grandaughter of the late Ted and Emily Matthews, Pearly King and Queen of Hampstead. I'm putting together a presentation for a college group here in South Wales on Pearly kings and Queens. I wonder if anyone has any pictures or newspaper articles that they can scan and email to me (email: ). I would be really greatful. Pictures of my Great Nan and Grandad Bert and Becky would also be brilliant. Hoping to hear from you soon. - Louise

Young meet the old Festival: 25th Sep 2008 - 14:50 GMT

If you fancy a good old Cockney Knee's up this weekend
Bermondsey based Pearly King Jimmy Jukes the Genuine Pearly king of camberwell
and Wayne Adams better known as The Barrow Boys, will be entertaining the crowds
with good old Cockney music and pub classics at the four sq estate T.A hall in Drummond Road Bermondsey S.E.16 this Saturday from 12 till 5pm
ALL WELCOME there will be face painting- bouncy castles for the youngsters, bingo for the not so young and lots more going on all afternoon.

pearlykingjim: 25th Sep 2008 - 22:22 GMT

Just got back from Old red cow in Smithfield market what a blinding gig we had
i would like to thank Claire and her other half, and special thanks to all the customers.
All the best of Cockney Luck for the future from The Barrow Boys
Pearlykingjim & Wayne

Pearlykingjim: 11th Oct 2008 - 09:30 GMT

Pearlykingjim the Genuine & Original Pearly King of Camberwell Sarf London
Looking for The best in Genuine Cockney Entertanment or a Genuine Pearly King then Look no further Charity Events-photo's-stories-cockney music the lot!
You can find all about London's Cockney Pearly Kings and queens and their History
at the Following Website's

pearlie prince of lambeth: 19th Oct 2008 - 17:31 GMT

just wondering if anyone knows of bill and martha morris? pearlie king and queen of bethnal green? or perhaps tom and florie arrowsmith, pearlie king and queen of whitechapel?
any information would be wonderful

Alex To: 27th Oct 2008 - 15:24 GMT

I'm from Hong Kong and I may be very shallow to say I'm in love with the funky outfit, but thanks to you I'm finally being introduced to the giving culture of the Pearly Kings and Queens!

Jo ggreat niece of George Dole & Emily Baker: 30th Oct 2008 - 00:59 GMT

Hi Diane, doing the family tree at the moment, and found out that George Dole, Pearly King of St Pancras is my Great Great Uncle (my GG grandparents are George DOLE and Annie TUTTLE), does this mean we are related ?

Anne Poulsen: 4th Nov 2008 - 12:13 GMT

Dear Pearly Kings and Queens.
I'm currently studying for my PD. and my next project is on the Pearlies. I live in Denmark and it is only recently that I have learned about your amazing culture. I have found a few email adr. on the internet, but haven't had much luck in getting in contact with a King or Queen yet.
I'm studying "Material cultural analysis" and I started out by choosing the Pearl button as my object for an analysis. Then I discovered the Pearlies!!!! I have read all that I have been able get my hands on about the Pearly Kings and Queens of London, -- but I would really like to get in touch with a King or a Queen, who would be willing to answer some question regarding the suits, the buttons, the culture and other areas of interest. I would be very grateful for any information and help I can get. Please email me on:

Diane Dole: 21st Nov 2008 - 08:57 GMT

Hi Pat, we will have to organise a reunion one day, We carry on proudly our tradition that great gandad felt passionate about. We had some great times with Annie and Polly and all our other family down in kent hopping. Great memories dad sends his best wishes and have a look at our website

God Bless you

Diane Dole Alf (boy) dole's daughter

pearlie prince of lambeth: 22nd Nov 2008 - 18:20 GMT

just wondering if anyone knows of bill and martha morris? pearlie king and queen of bethnal green? or perhaps tom and florie arrowsmith, pearlie king and queen of whitechapel?
any information would be wonderful

pearlie prince of lambeth: 22nd Nov 2008 - 18:23 GMT

i'm trying to sort out an extended family tree, again any help would be marvellous

granson of alf dole: 25th Nov 2008 - 16:28 GMT

hi diane hope you and family are well its great to read about all our family on here i tell me mum (rose) about it and it brings back the good times she had down hopping wish i could have been there love to all xxx

Diane Dole: 26th Nov 2008 - 12:36 GMT

Hi Chris, good to hear from you, hope to see you around christmas we should be over to see you mum and the rest of the family then.

love to you all too xxx

pearlykingjim & Wayne adams: 11th Dec 2008 - 15:14 GMT

all the best of cockney luck this christmas
from the barrow boys pearlykingjim genuine pearly king of camberwell & bermondsey and wayne adams

Joan +Alby: 11th Feb 2009 - 21:23 GMT

Pat It was nice to read your comments about your mum and uncle Alf.We have all got alot to be proud of our gran and grandad. They did such a lot of tireless work when they where pearly king and queen. Sorry we lost your number. Our phone no is 07882873192 if u want to get in touch. Dinks + alby

David: So that Traffic song actually means something.

Bev Turner: 8th Jun 2009 - 15:43 GMT

I am doing my family tree, and have been sent a letter about my great grandmother Ada Turner who was meant to have Robert Tuvey in the early 1900s they had a Pearly King and Queen wedding and would have lived in the Camden Town/Kentish Town Area (Pancras)
I have seen a picture of Robert Tuveys son in his Pearly Suit, there were about 14- 17 children they brought up between them some called Turner and some called Tuvey, if anyone knows where i can find out more information about them i would love to know.
My email is

Kim... ? Mariott: 30th Jun 2009 - 19:41 GMT

Hi kim, im looking for my Grandads Brothers, who were costermongers and sold flowers at covent gardens and i know were part of Pearly king and queens, can you help. maybe Marriott and More rings a bell ? paul Marriott.

Marriott: 1st Jul 2009 - 08:34 GMT

Hi Again, im trying to contact Kim Shea, can anymore help or pass on my Email to her many thanks Paul Marriott.

Keith newman Pearly minstral of london: 21st Aug 2009 - 21:48 GMT

I just want to let all the pearlys know that Dave from CHAS N DAVE Has lost his wife to cancer. A lot of Pearlys new her and will miss her. And we all wish Dave well. God bless. Please do not take this blog out of Citynoise its from all the pearlys. im shure ALF DIANE GEORGE GRAYHAM KEITH MARY PAULINE and many many more.

jon pomroy: 11th Dec 2009 - 22:40 GMT

does anyone have any info on the Pomroy's as I belive my great grandfather was a pearly king in the camden area.

les allen: 7th Feb 2010 - 19:50 GMT

I remember as a child living in flask walk hampstead three doors away from us were bert matthews and his wife ,pearly king and queen of hampstead,
He used to sell seafood outside the Flask pub in flask walk,I remember about 1955 he was a guest on the tv program in town tonight and a large black car arrived to take him to the studio, I think we used to call his daughter Princess Rose Happy days I was about six and every guy fawkes night there would be a large bonfire in the raod which would have to be put out by the fire brigade.The area is now populated by rich media
bastards,actors,directors and other worthless types,such a shame.

Keith from The Storms: 4th May 2010 - 06:53 GMT

The Storms Pearly minstrels in Blues band THE STORMS.Keith and Graham have joined the fantastic band The Storms.

Julia Nunn: 28th May 2010 - 01:33 GMT

Senseless bickering aside, or maybe it is also a true cockney tradition, I love the history of the Pearlies whether someone else considers one or more of them to be 'authentic' or no. I do understand people with issues wanting to 'set the record straight' but really, since all 'records' are subjective (meaning the people and personalities involved change their stripes with each memory) if some are myth and some not, overall it's still a great London record of caring for and/or fighting for the poor on your own turf. I wish we had Pearly morals in America, instead of our primitive gun toting wild west mind-set! Be well, grow and prosper, Pearlies!

Yvonne major/Pearly Princess Peckham: 8th Jul 2010 - 10:48 GMT

Hello all the Pearly kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses,
You may remember me as the oldest of the Pearly Princesses of Peckham. I have been reading my sister Tammy's comments on here and was not impressed. My Mother was a true caring Pearly Queen and worked and dedicated her life to Charity, I hope no one forgets her as she was always well liked.
However My step father Goerge Major was not a true pearly King and does not deserve to wear a pearly suit. There is a saying that Charity begins at home, if this was the case then why was my sister Kim and myself in a childrens home because of cruelty at home. While we was in Care George was out collecting for Doctor Benardos,Need i say anymore.Being the eldest of 5 i remember everything so clearly as if it was yesterday. If there was not so much deciet within the home i may have continued adult life as a pearly and worked hard to achieve satisfaction from the genuin cause.
Yvonne Major

Fred from John Ruskin Street: 30th Jul 2010 - 08:09 GMT

Well said Yvonne you have said that we all have known for a long time,
that George Major the so called Pearly King of Peckham is a fraud,
he should be strip of the title and the suit
he as made a laughing stock of us all Cockneys

anon : 13th Aug 2010 - 13:07 GMT

i happen to know george major very well and will stand by his side and say HE IS NOT A FRAUD ! he is a genuine lovely man who has done alot to help others.

anon : 14th Aug 2010 - 08:25 GMT

it sadens me to see that people sit and slag off others ! life is far too short and then we all wonder why we are living in a cruel world !

dinks&alby: 13th Nov 2010 - 11:02 GMT

Hi Boy & Mary Sorry we havent seen you all for some time.We went to the musuem of kent festival in sept. Had a good day picking hops and talking to pearlys Pity we didnt see you there. Realy great day. Looking forward to next year.

Mo.: 29th Dec 2010 - 20:42 GMT

My friends grandad Georgie Hitchins was the pearly king of Westminster~ I am wondering has anybody taken over the post since his death about 10 years ago and if so was it his son Vic? I am in Long Beach California now and have lost touch until I came across this site~

debbie: 5th Jan 2011 - 16:45 GMT

I look after may howard in a residential home in bethnal green and i am doing a life history about her.I know she was/is the pearly queen of wapping and i have really enjoyed looking up about the pearly kings and queens it has been most interesting.

laura: 7th Jan 2011 - 23:21 GMT

hey, i am not a pearly king or queen, but my family did originate from around bow bells and i just stumbled across the tradition today- i was amazed and thought it was the most touching, amazing tradition ever! i was so impressed im basing my university research project and presentation on it :D if anyone knows of any useful websites, information or has any old photographs (no matter which society they are from) please email me at many thanks, laura x

pearlykingjim: 17th Jan 2011 - 16:58 GMT

Debbie could you please email concerning May Howard
thank you

kate: 16th Feb 2011 - 15:22 GMT

to kim, i have some old photos taken from a womans realm in about the 60's of a kim o shea after her christening being held by her grandfather john marriott i am interested to know if this is you, or am i still looking for my relatives, i did write to marie-louise rackley in the 80's and she siad she would try and help but i got distracted by family matters and illness but am ready now to try and piece us all together, 16th Feb 2011 - 15:28 GMT

to kim, i have some old photos taken from a womans realm in about the 60's of a kim o shea after her christening being held by her grandfather john marriott i am interested to know if this is you, or am i still looking for my relatives, i did write to marie-louise rackley in the 80's and she siad she would try and help but i got distracted by family matters and illness but am ready now to try and piece us all together,

kim 16th Feb 2011 - 15:37 GMT

to kim, i have some old photos taken from a womans realm in about the 60's of a kim o shea after her christening being held by her grandfather john marriott i am interested to know if this is you, or am i still looking for my relatives, i did write to marie-louise rackley in the 80's and she siad she would try and help but i got distracted by family matters and illness but am ready now to try and piece us all together,

julie Smith: 19th Feb 2011 - 01:15 GMT

Hello the person enquiring about the Hitchens. My great grandfather was George Hitchen snr (born 1884) who was original Pearly King of Dalston. But who you are mentioning was George Hitchen jnr Pearly King Of the City of London(My Great Uncle) - my Grandad William Hitchen "IB" was George's brother, one of the many brothers. The Hitchen's are one of the original pearly families dating back to the 1800s- for more info have a look at the website . Hope this helps. Also in a strange twist I also work in a Care Home -in activities and a resident was discussing her grandparents today who were pearlies too- the Howards- so if anyone has any further info on this pearly family I can pass this onto to her. "A small world !" Thank you x PS To all the Pearlies on here- keep up the good work !!

julie Smith: 19th Feb 2011 - 01:36 GMT

Hello the person enquiring about the Hitchens. My great grandfather was George Hitchen snr (born 1884) who was original Pearly King of Dalston. But who you are mentioning was George Hitchen jnr Pearly King Of the City of London(My Great Uncle) - my Grandad William Hitchen "IB" was George's brother, one of the many brothers. The Hitchen's are one of the original pearly families dating back to the 1800s- for more info have a look at the website . Hope this helps. Also in a strange twist I also work in a Care Home -in activities and a resident was discussing her grandparents today who were pearlies too- the Howards- so if anyone has any further info on this pearly family I can pass this onto to her. "A small world !" Thank you x PS To all the Pearlies on here- keep up the good work !!

julie Smith: 19th Feb 2011 - 01:41 GMT

Ps I am not the previous writer with the name smith! and secondly the last photo above is of my late Mum's Cousin Mickey and Jackie Hitchen. A lovely lovely couple, sadly Mickey passed away recently. x God bless.

kate : 21st Feb 2011 - 14:56 GMT

sorry about the three times i have never done anything like this before

debbie: 5th Apr 2011 - 15:06 GMT

hi its about may howard i am her son kevin i would like to know if shes alright i been lokking for her for year please get in touch many thanks

Maree: 20th Apr 2011 - 18:03 GMT

It is great to read the history of the Pearlies. Are there any Pearlies in Australia doing charity work here?

Barbara: 1st May 2011 - 04:53 GMT

Many years ago when I was just 19 years old (I'm 53 now), I went to London with my mom and came across a Pearly gentleman. I remembered seeing one or two photos of Pearly people prior to that trip to London and was very pleased to get a quick photo of the gentleman as I was hurrying back to my hotel.

I always wondered about the Pearly people but never had the time or opportunity to find out as life is very demanding out here in Singapore - I am Chinese, by the way and though Singapore ceased being a British colony a long time ago, I'm old enough to have been educated by English and Irish nuns and have always been very proud of our colonial heritage and appreciative of British history, culture and traditions.

Today, I decided to do a search to see if I could find out more about the Pearly people, their story and if this charming piece of English culture is still alive and well, and I am so very relieved to find out that it is, and deeply moved to learn its history.

I hope and pray that the Pearly people will keep their heritage alive and pass it down to their children as it would be a terrible loss and shame to lose such a rich and wonderful piece of English history, culture and tradition.

I also hope that the Pearly people will join hands in peace and not fight amongst themselves and continue to be champions of those in need and shining examples of kindness, generosity and brotherly love as Henry Croft himself must have been.

Long live the Pearly Kings and Queens, and the memory of Henry Croft.

clare howard: 22nd May 2011 - 18:46 GMT

hi my nan is the pearly queen of wapping her name is may howard. me and my dad is trying 2 look 4 her dose any1 no of her where abouts plz? my number is 07961534043. thanks clare howard. xxxxx

clare howard: 4th Jul 2011 - 13:25 GMT

i would like 2say thank u 2 the ppl that helped me and my dad find my nan. she is in a care home and is ill. but its so nice 2 c her after all dis years. so thank u so much. xxxxxxxxxxxx

kate : 1st Sep 2011 - 12:51 GMT

please can any one tell me anything about the marriott's my grt grt grandfather was supposed to have come from the pearlie marriott's it would be good to piece us all together, i am just not sure where to start,

Vivien: 14th Sept 2011: 14th Sep 2011 - 07:04 GMT

My great uncle, Arthur John Stannard, was the Pearly King of Hornsey. I have a copy of an article about him, printed in the Hornsey Journal, 12th September, 1947. Does anyone have any information about him???

Vivien: 14th Sept 2011: 14th Sep 2011 - 07:05 GMT

My great uncle, Arthur John Stannard, was the Pearly King of Hornsey. I have a copy of an article about him, printed in the Hornsey Journal, 12th September, 1947. Does anyone have any information about him???

Toni Davey (nee Marriott): 1st Oct 2011 - 17:30 GMT

Hi, I am the grandaughter of the late Wiggy Marriott and Jessie Marriott. Kate, you can contact me and I will tell you what I know. My aunt is still alive (daughter of Wiggy and Jessie), so would be happy to help you x

Toni Davey (nee Marriott): 1st Oct 2011 - 17:31 GMT

Kate, you can contact me at

Keith Newman: 25th Jan 2012 - 19:16 GMT

Hi to all our London mates Daz n Chave now have a webb site for our Chas n Dave tribute act. take a look

Barbara rice (formerly dole): 25th Jan 2012 - 22:53 GMT

George dole was my grandfather and mike and Lucy dole my parents. We are now the Essex Doles, we have some pictures of our grandparents as Pearlies. A few years ago we were privileged to meet up with Alfie, Mary and Diane, we are so glad they have continued the family tradition.
Keep up the good work, Essex doles

anon ( 12th Feb 2012 - 13:30 GMT

Hi Barbara Great to hear from the Essex Doles, would love to meet up again and have a butchers at your photos. You can contact me via our website.
Take care look forward to hearing from you

wowow: so its hackney?

wowow: so its hackney?

wowow: thnx this helped me woth my homework too

Kerri Dole and Julie Dole: 4th Mar 2012 - 11:21 GMT

Hi Diane, if you read this get in contact, i don't have your number but your dad sees my dad alot . Would be nice to see you and Gary. Julie is my dads youngest sister xxxxx

Janice Butler Great grand daughter of George Dole): 17th Mar 2012 - 19:00 GMT

I noticed a few Dole family memebrs on here and recall the names Julie & Kerrie.. My grand father was James Dole and I think his father was George dole I was recentely e mailed by a cousin of my mothers with the photo of George Dole being interviewed by Eammon Andrews in this is your life.. I also recall someone coming to an aunts house in the full pearly suit... any Dole family please look me up on facebook I would love to hear from relatives that have lost contact... thanks Janice

ronnie farrell: 20th Mar 2012 - 10:47 GMT

my great granfather was george dole my granparents were sarah aka(dolly) and jim dole have many memories of my great granfather and his donkey lol my sister deb is been trying to get hold of boy boy so we can meet up and share our many memories if you would like to contact us by email at

Dee: 21st Mar 2012 - 20:19 GMT

Please tell me where the orignal pearleykings and queens started - I am confused.
Keep up the good work - its wonderful

Mo.: ~Thanks Julie~

Debbie: 15th Apr 2012 - 20:45 GMT

How do I get in touch with the Peary kings and queens in bethnalgreen Londony no 07949636929 thanks

dinks&alby: 28th Apr 2012 - 21:16 GMT

Hi Barbara My name is Joan(dinks) my mum was Polly Dole your dads sister. Before your family moved to Dagenham I used to go out for days with your mum and brothers to Southend or Ramsgate. Your mum was a lovely person.Ihavn't seen Boy or Mary or Diane for some time now,since we didn't go down Kent where we went hoping.I can still remember gran and grandad in thier suits. if you want to contact me email on hope to hear from you DINKS.

Keith Newman: 16th May 2012 - 12:52 GMT

A Big Hello From (Daz and Chave) to all our old mates We will be playing our (Chas and Dave tribute band) at The Queens Jubilee Battersea Park London on the 3rd of June come along and have some fun. Thanks.

Battersea boy: 7th Jun 2012 - 00:50 GMT

A big thank you to THE BARROWBOYS for a great afternoon at the party on the park over the Queens juilee weekend..keep up the spirit..nice to see genuine cockneyboys doing
there bit for all us londoners.

Ron Gritten Alberta Canada: 1st Aug 2012 - 01:53 GMT

I have been laughed at many times and was told I had too much English stout and was having visions, I was in London England when I was in the Canadian Navy during the corination of our Queen. I met a few of the Pearlys and was treated great. They took me under their wing and showed me around London. I would like to say thank you to them for the friendly companionship they showed me. I saw many sites that I would have never seen without them. You are a wonderfull people. Thankyou again. Ron Gritten. mrchips"syban,net

kate : 31st Dec 2012 - 15:26 GMT

hi toni, it's well over a year since i e-mailed you, sorry to be a pain but is there anything you can tell me about my relatives, thanks, kate, happy new year.

BERT STEWART: 29th Jan 2013 - 15:59 GMT


Janet: 16th Apr 2013 - 18:27 GMT

I understand I am related to Henry Croft. I would like to get in touch with his great granddaughter, Donna Devereax. Does anybody know of her whereabouts, please?

Lynn Dennis : 25th Aug 2014 - 22:53 GMT

My dad was a coster all his life he had a stall in Oxford street ,John Baker born Walsh (he died in 1981)after doin some ancestry research over the last couple of years to find the mystery of my dads long lost family I'm wondering if my dads aunt Emily Baker and her husband George dole are the pearlies of st. Pancras .my dads mum was Selina Baker/Walsh she died in 1923. The Doles lived in the same house that my dad was born in 26 Johnson Street street Somers Town.

Margaret day: 21st Sep 2014 - 14:39 GMT

Very inspirational !
Who ever makes fun of people who cant spell are below scum, you are making fun if somebody who is dyslexic or had a hard life, people like you who make fun of other people are really evil and full of bile and don't really care what this story is about.
It is a young orphan who made a way to help people like me who had a terriable life of abandonment , he is a king of his heart and soul , the King who lives in the heavens , not a embicel or a hateful insensitive person as yourself. This rich and soulful story is about a orphan who took the Herat and soul to help the others who wet put in a orphanage, he had no one....... He made a contribution to help the lost and forgotton .
Don't make fun of people ever again for anthing!
Trust me we reap what we put out !

north face jackets: 23rd Sep 2014 - 08:28 GMT

Hello! the could have sworn Iand alsove really been to this travelers before buok after browsing through some of the poway I shortened it's nev to me: d Anyhow, i'm able to'm at once happy electronic found it a lot Ivery littlell be bookmarking and checking back often!
north face jackets

Sue Baxter: 6th Oct 2014 - 06:27 GMT

what a prat the pearly Queen of Bermondsey is, how dare you come to an event and abuse the good people of Southwark, i have traced her linage, not born in Southwark
from east London and as only been a so called pearly Queen for a few years,she as got a lot to say forca little women.

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