Tooting Smells Like Home ........1970's-80's
The huge image of a beautiful woman's face comes to mind when I remember Tooting Broadway "Chelsea Girl". I used to love looking at all the lovely clothes and getting ideas so that I could walk down to "Huma Fashions" and get my mum to buy something similar at a 1/4 of the price! I used to cut through Tooting Market every morning on my route to school, from Sellincourt Road to Broadwater Road and loved to inhale the Indian spices that infused the air (so much so, that I have planted curry plants in every garden that I've moved to since!). Ahh yes, and the patients that were released on to the streets from Tooing Bec and Springfield's, supposedly well medicated. I still remember the little old lady with a top-knot defecating outside Marks & Spencer's most afternoons! And the variety of male patients (trousers always too short, dead giveaway) flashing me as I walked up Franciscan Road. I haven't been back to Tooting since my Nan died about 4 years ago, but it is on my list of things to do, My dad often goes and bulk buys the best Pie, Mash and Eels I've ever tasted and I've bought my children up to love it too. I remember the best fish and chips at "Alex Fish Bar" just round the corner to me and the lovely Greek family who ran it. My Nan was born and bred there too and went to a school round the back of the Granada Bingo hall. I don't know if it is still there. I remember at school, thinking that the kids who lived in the council flats opposite me must be really rich because they not only had indoor toilets, but bathrooms too! We had an outside loo and a tin bath until my parents bought their 2 bed ground-floor maisonette, flat for £10,000 when I was 9 and we had a bathroom built on. My dad used to go to the public baths, which I believe is now a Wetherspoons pub. I now live in Surrey with loads of green spaces for my children to play in and they are growing up in a totally different environment to me. Tooting was the center of the universe to me and I loved the fact that I could be in the tube 5 mins from my front door and go to London at the drop of a hat. I also remember laying on the floor in the front room watching 'Grange Hil'l or 'Top of the Pops' and feeling the rumble in my belly, of an underground train going right underneath me! I went to Sellincourt School in the 1970s and Ensham in the 1980s. My parents moved us to Sutton when I was 17 but I've found loads of my school friends through Facebook and there is even a group called Ensham girls school where you can meet friends from many eras. x
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