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Muriel (born 1883) and Doris (born 1886) Lester founded Children's House and Kingsley Hall. They started life in a middle-class family living in Leytonstone. Father Henry owned a ship repair yard in Blackwall Docks. In 1902 the family moved to Loughton. It was unusual, in those days, for girls to be given any education but Muriel and Doris were educated at St Leonard's College, St Andrews, Aberdeen.
It was in l902 that Muriel first became acquainted with the people of Bow.