Muriel and Doris Lester &
The Heritage of the Kingsley Hall Community Centres

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The Lester Family

Muriel and Doris Lester were two of five children of Henry Edward Lester an eminent Victorian shipping engineer.

The Lester's Grandfather Henry was born on 24 September 1806 and had known poverty; he started work at the age of eight, as a bricklayer's labourer.  He married Lydia (born 30 June 1810) on 20 March 1830.

Their Father started work at the age of ten at the Thames Iron Works, he worked in Scott Russell's shipbuilding yard, when Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Eastern steamship was being built. It was H E Lester’s company that built the barge which carried Cleopatra’s Needle to London when it was given as a gift to Queen Victoria!

Click here for photo of Muriel Lester with her father

(Copyright position under invetigation)

Muriel & Doris had a brother, Kingsley, who died young. They named the Community Centres they founded in Bow and Dagenham after him.