After I stumbled out of the Christmas fair, I wandered around Worcester Park.
One interesting thing about Worcester Park; each family who live there has their very own notice board on the high street. Here is our one:
I read the notices, but there was nothing very interesting for me.
I was impressed to see how the punningly-titled Worcester Spark have appropriated the SS logo:
Poor Santa doesn’t look very well though.
I went to Broadway Bargains:
I was surprised to find it open, their opening hours are fairly erratic.
This is a door with lots to say:
I had a look at the original Ward HQ:
Again, here, things were different but still the same. That window on the left (which is only half-visible due to the reflection of the sun, it is a bad photo, sorry) was, for many years, my bedroom. After I moved out, that window was smashed after a man drunkenly crashed his car into a lamp-post. Hearing the crash, Mumward ran out into the street to see what had happened and found someone known to my brother and me as “The Incredibly Tall Man” lying in a hedge wearing only one shoe. Apparently he had been out, taking a late night stroll, when he saw the car crash into the lamp-post and jumped into the hedge for safety. He somehow managed to jump out of his shoe.
The front door is new, and quite ugly. The original door had already been replaced once, after Dadward gave my sister some driving lessons and she drove the car through it. I had been sitting in the back of the car, half asleep.
Opposite the former Ward HQ is a dental practice:
I used to go here as a child. The man who was my dentist had a glass eye and once lost it while swimming in Cheam Baths. Covering his eye with one hand, he kept diving under the water trying to find it. After a while, the lifeguard came over and asked him if he had lost something. “Yes,” replied the dentist, “but you don’t want to know what it is.”
Round the corner from here is Surrey King Cafe and Surrey Nefis:
I recommend the doner burger with chili sauce from Surrey Nefis.
Surrey King Cafe used to be called Golden Chef, however, it closed after it was discovered to be a front for an international human trafficking ring. There was quite a lot of excitement at the time. It was on telly and everything. The day after it was on the news, Dadward went to the shops to get a newspaper. As he left the house, Mumward asked him to see if Golden Chef was open. When he returned, Dadward said that not only was it open, but it was packed. Following a tragic story of human suffering and exploitation, the people of Worcester Park thought “Cor, I don’t half fancy some egg and chips”.
I love Worcester Park, really I do, but wherever I look, I can only see pain:
I’m not sharing these Worcester Park memories because I think I have led an fascinating life or because I think Worcester Park is uniquely rich in amazing characters. Or rather, it’s not just because of that.
Almost everywhere I looked, I was reminded of something or someone, but that’s because I grew up in Worcester Park. At one time it was the whole world to me. And while engaging in self-indulgent nostalgia is fun in and of itself, the thing I am really trying to get my head around is the idea that everywhere contains these stories. There’s one behind every book you see in a secondhand bookshop. Every house you walk past in the street has hundreds of stories to tell. Every bus stop, every table in a cafe, every fork, every knife.
How many lips have touched this glass?