I don’t quite remember when the site of Morden Station was lavender fields; nor do I remember when the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were part of the Battersea Park Festival Gardens in the years before Christ; what I do I realise is the buildings I knew as kid are no longer there.
When I first started work, in 1974, my job was to collect regional newspapers from their London offices in Fleet Street. Most of these buildings are now law firms. So, if you need to get a copy of the Hull Daily Mail, Helston Packet or the Isle of Wight County Press, it’ll cost you £1,000 just for someone to fetch it.
Many old banks are now wine bars; old pubs are now wine bars and you can’t find a decent milliners for love nor money. I now have my own anvil.
The Balham Odeon, where my mum and I watched 50% of Dumbo (we left early as it was too upsetting) and 30% of The Scarecrow (too much set in Dymchurch), turned into Majestic Wine. I’d moved away, came back, sat in the shop waiting to watch Emil and the Detectives only to be sold a case of Rioja. Not even close to a Kia-Ora or a tub!
The Mayfair cinema, Tooting, turned into a snooker hall and then a bank. I assume it’s a wine bar now? It certainly won’t be a haberdashery shop.
But the most disturbing thing, given that everyone is being told to drink more water, is, where have all the horse troughs gone? They’re probably very small leisure centres now!