Gateway to the South revisited – 1

Having been born where Albert Speer died and Sir Alexander Fleming discovered that, if you left bread out long enough, it’d save going to the pharmacy within St Mary’s Paddington to get Penicillin, my parents decided that a room in a road just off Baker Street wasn’t the place to bring up their little Mickey Mouse, so we emigrated south of the River (it was before 8.00 pm so cab drivers were happy to take us) to a 1936-built block of flats located on Balham High Road, SW17. My maternal grandmother lived there, next door to my Aunt (her sister) who was sponsored by Embassy before they got into snooker and their step/real dad respectively.

Because I was moved there when I was only nine-months my early memories are negligible but, as I lived there until I was fifteen (we had to move as my mother had run out of maintenance people and shopkeepers along Balham High Road to shag) I collected many memories.  I will choose this vehicle to share with you.

Having started with a leading Nazi, this first chapter will end with one of my most vivid memories.

Within Du Cane Court, the flats of which I mention, there was small dairy-cum-grocer’s shop; most of the tenants would visit this each day.  In the 600+ flats you could count the number of children living there on the fingers of two hands, one of which having had an accident with the bacon slicer in the dairy.  One of the other children’s mum was German.  I remember her one day saying to my nan and me that her cousins had all been in the SS and that you could not have met nicer people.

I can only assume, within the Third Reich, they never had “take your cousin to work day”?

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