Leila first worked as a journalist for the Daily Worker, a British communist party newspaper, at a time when the communist party was the only one opposing the rise of fascism, and had hundreds of thousands if not millions of members throughout Great Britain. The paper was later re-named The Morning Star. She had a particularly proud and affectionate memory of interviewing the famous black American singer and humanitarian Paul Robeson for them.
Later, as her interest in children developed and she began writing books for them, she also wrote many free-lance articles for the Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian), the magazine Anarchy, and other publications from Nursery World through Granta to The Lady.
She used to say these pieces always came into her mind as passionate poems, but as poetry was not common currency she converted them into prose before sending them in.
A Different War (Long piece on her war-time experiences, from which “When the All-Clear Went” was extracted)
Original print versions of these and many more articles are in the archives at Seven Stories.
Image credit:Henry Grant