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Friday, 26 March 2010

News from Croydon


Although I was born in North Cheam (which I used to put down as Cheam Septentrionalis on forms at the Gregorian University) we moved to Croydon when I was about a year old and grew up with visits to the Fairfield Halls, visits to the new Whitgift Centre, a Saturday job at Grants and Saturday evening outings to the Greyhound underneath the Nestles building (before the rebranding of the company to "ness-lay".) My sister Mary still lives there with her family and wrote to me in connection with my post "off the Boulevard St-Michel":
I happen to be very fond of the song Where do you go to my lovely? When I was in Mrs Hill's class at St Mary's, she made us all choose French names, so I insisted on being called Marie-Claire, having heard the immortal line, 'So look into my face, Marie-Claire...' many times. She was impressed at my knowing such an authentic French name. I don't think I told her where I discovered it! The Sarstedt brothers, though born in Delhi, all attended Heath Clark School in Croydon, and Peter, having lived in Europe, apparently now lives in Croydon again with his wife.
Sadly I couldn't find a video of Captain Sensible's Croydon so you'll have to make do with part of the lyrics:
I worked at the Fairfield Halls
cleaning toilets, but I understood some day
I'd be back in my own right
giving concerts in my own peculiar way
but I kept my rabbit back at home
and I cleaned it every other day
(other day, other day, other day)
but you really have to hear it.
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