My mum grew up in Hammersmith, a proper London upbringing, she knows the bus routes and the underground like the back of her hand, she’s great company for a day out in London! Her father worked for Harrods as did many others in our family (this is why we are going to Harrods for afternoon tea for my 50th birthday).
Interestingly though she wasn’t born in Hammersmith! Her family decided to relocate to Lane End in Buckinghamshire during the war years and the blitz and she was born at Shardeloes in Amersham (it was a maternity hospital during the war). Her father was in the Home Guard and was based at the airfield in Booker operating the search lights. She returned to Hammersmith though and lived there until she married when she was 19 (apart from a brief period of recuperation back in Lane End after a burst appendix). I was born in Kent and it wasn’t until I was 15 that we moved to Buckinghamshire and I am now living very close to Lane End and the airfield – small world.
My grandparents stayed in Hammersmith for many years after mum was married and I remember visiting their lovely flat when I was young.
So last Sunday we took mum back and had a day out remembering family and where we came from.
We parked and walked along the main shopping street where mum had her first job as a window dresser for Richard Shops, she was 15. We talked about her mum buying clothes in the co-op. We walked through the park where her mum and her aunt used to hire deckchairs on a sunny day and sit by the river in view of Hammersmith Bridge and probably gossip for hours and watch the world go by. We had lunch in a pub with a fantastic view of Hammersmith Bridge. We then walked along the river and saw Harrods Depository (where her dad worked sometimes) and down the back streets until we found 48 Parfrey Street where mum grew up. It was a Victorian terrace house that was split into two flats (I remember the front room and the old tin bath on the wall out in the back yard). Then we walked around to Lochaline Street where her cousin lived and back onto the Fulham Palace Road until we reached the Catholic Church where mum and dad got married in 1963. We were able to go inside and we took some photos of them with their granddaughter, my daughter Emily – 53 years later.
Mum and dad met while they were both working at the famous Bond Street photographers, Wallace Heaton, we have been back and seen the building but it is no longer the same.
It was a wonderful day out, full of memories, it was sunny and warm and a walk along the river at Hammersmith is to be recommended.
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