Linda wrote to me in September 2012, sharing her memories of Clapham Road, Brixton Road and of working at Freeman’s. She writes:
I lived in Clapham Road. We left because the house was so big and only 3 of us lived there by 1999, also because the area had deteriorated so much and my 15 year old son was having real problems with local thugs. I have been back to visit over the years and think the area has improved again. I still miss it as it is much more cosmopolitan than where I am now.
I forgot to mention to that I spent nearly a month in Belgrave Children’s Hospital when I was about 10 (that would have been in 1958). The staff were so good I didn’t want to come home!
Freemans was a wonderful place to work, very friendly and very family orientated. The retired staff association still organise holiday breaks throughout the year and many of us take advantage of these. There were 2 beautiful rooms inside the building which were used as Board Rooms – lovely panelling with concealed cupboards – and at one time the larger had a table tennis table as one of the Directors liked a game at lunchtime! The Boardroom table easily seated 26 people and I arranged many lunches, dinners and parties in these rooms.
I remember my mother telling me that she used to go and buy hot doughnuts from the doughnut factory when she was young (before Clapham Road she lived with her family on Brixton Road where they ran a cafe). During the war the army used Kennington Park and they supplied the cafe with supplies and used it as their NAAFI.
My father worked at Decca TV and Records which was opposite the cafe on Brixton Road, that’s how they met.