A few evenings ago my brother and I rewalked the route my father used to take to his workroom through out our childhood. We lived in St Johns Wood and my father would walk across Regents Park to his workroom in Grafton Mews which was just round the corner from Fitzroy Square.
The video shows where we lived round the corner from St Johns Wood High Street opposite Barrow Hill School. My father and mother moved here in 1952 first living in Heron House at the top then moving round the corner to Swift House then back to Heron House again; moving each time for a larger flat.
Even when we were little, we understood how important it was to have post. No post meant the overdraft got bigger. The post would be a little brown envelope, inside would be a flimsy bit of paper and pinned to that a bit of material. The more scraps of material pinned in there, the better it was. Each piece represented a Winter order.
My father's summer time task was to come up with a button to go with that material. A single set would then go back for the sample suit and then in the Winter the real orders came in depending on how well the suit sold. In the Winter he made hundreds of buttons a day, in the summer he played and worried.
The staircase took you to my father's two room work room. Which originally would have been the hay loft and a room for the stable lad which had a fireplace. Making was done in the hayloft and the office and stock kept in the stable lad's room. You could see between the floor boards in the big room but my father approved, as it meant any fumes could get out.
|Fitzroy Square taken from the BT tower in 1968|
Here then finally is the video. Its no masterpiece and it only lasts two minutes. It begins in St Johns Wood High Street, moves round the corner to our flat, then takes you down Newcourt Street into Regents Park via the canal bridge and then across the park into The Broad Walk, out though Park Square East into Warren Street then finally into Grafton Mews. The distance is just under two miles.
|With my brother in 1953|