As I walked to church this morning…Holy Trinity in Sloane Street, Chelsea, the Arts and Craft Church, I felt London envelop me again as it always does when I am here. I grew up in London and it will always be familiar….my home town. I know much of it has changed, but so much has not and my affinity with many of its streets will always have always have great significance to various times in my life.
Goodge Street, where the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art…RADA lives, where I learned my craft, Woburn Place, Bloomsbury, where my father started our successful family business, Shaftesbury Avenue home to many of the London Theatres, including the Queens where I made my first London stage appearance, in the National Youth Theatre’s production of JULIUS CAESAR playing Portia, along with Ian Mcshane, Michael York, Simon Ward among others.
Then there’s Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush home then to BBC Television Centre, lot of my favourite TV work done there……Hyde Park, where I did my first screen test for THE LION IN WINTER, wind blowing so hard, words
could not be heard and hair all over my face…hence a second test. Bond Street, last long term home of my father’s business, which I ran for over 10 years …….the list goes on and on and I will never forget every minute of each part of my life spent here. My maternal grandmother, one of 16 children, born “within the sound of Bow Bells”, making her a true Londoner, a real Cockney spent many.hours telling me stories of the City. My mother worked in an office just off the Strand and my grandmother would often bring me up there from Upper Norwood, where we lived to meet
after work and have supper. Grandmother would grab my hand and dash across that very wide road, dodging cars, buses and taxis, pulling me along…not a patient woman and heedless of the traffic….. I survived! I loved riding the bus, especially on the top deck of the old double decker red Routemaster…the hop on and off bus with its open step….bit risky, not allowed now, now there are doors. I survived….. hopping on and off that too! My mother would take me to the Victorian and Albert Museum for a Sunday outing treat…we went on the bus…top deck always.
So…that’s my travelogue London memory for today. Hope you enjoyed it!
Till next time….
Although i;ve lived in West Sussex for the last 63 years, the first 7 were spent in London. Born in Greenwich i consider myself lucky to have been raised in a great historical part of town. From Greenwich Park to the Blackheath area it never changes, it’s just the same as i remember it……thank goodness.
I’ve never been to London but have wanted to visit since I was a child. You bring your memories to life so vividly, I can see everything you’ve described happening. What a magical place for you. Thank you for sharing. I hope you’ll do this often!
They still run 5 of the old Routemasters between Tower Hill and Traflager Sq