This week in history: 50s pin-up Sabrina stops Mare Street traffic as she opens furniture shop

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe stopped traffic and fought her way through 1,500 yelling, pushing and scrambling school kids as she opened a new furniture shop in Mare Street. Sabrina, a 50s pin-up whose real name was Norma Ann Sykes, achieved fame for her 41 inch chest and 18-inch waist.

As children clambered on to a partialy constructed shop front next to Myers Furnishing Store, workmen rushed to hold up the wooden supports and bystanders linked hands with police to prevent kids crushing her. An inspector told the Gazette: “I have never seen anything like this since the Welsh rugby football crush”.

She was greeted by owner Archie Myers and boxers Terry Downes and Arthur Howard, the Islington “Tiger”.

Sabrina, who was famous for insuring her breasts at Lloyds of London for £100,000 - a figure closer to £2m today - nearly lost her valuable mink.

Sadly after a painful, drug-addicted fall from fame she died a virtual recluse in a Hollywood hospital in 2016.