The Railway Path

Yesterday I wrote of Kevin Lydon’s observation about the pretentiousness of my choice of cinema.  This needs a little clarification.  He thought I should be satisfied with the films on offer at the three circuit cinemas and one fleapit in Wimbledon, or the independent one in Raynes Park.  He had a point.

Today was a very pleasant day for a walk, being warm yet cloudy with a cool breeze.  Perhaps reflective of the change in the weather there was a great deal of scaffolding going up en route.  My walk was to Wimbledon then on to Raynes Park along the railway path which links the two towns.

The railway path is much better surfaced than in my youth; snickets have been opened up to the various turnings off the parallel Worple Road, offering access to their residents and a path through to Worple Road itself; and a high stout metal fence is now in position preventing access to the railway embankment.  The area fenced off from the public has been widened and the wasteland consequently reduced.  Throughout the two mile stretch every available wall or fence is covered in graffiti, the materials for which were not available in the 40s and 50s.

A crowd of lads from a local school shambled along listening to music downloaded on various items of equipment at which my teenage mind would have boggled.

I paused for a while outside the back of my childhood home in Stanton Road, reflecting on the fact that the upstairs maisonette for which my parents cannot have paid any more than perhaps £2 per week, now fetches £1,400 per month in rent.  The railway land at the back having been narrowed and more securely fenced, it is no longer possible there to build dens; light bonfires; weed and flatten areas to make sports fields; or scale the traditional iron railings to mess about on the embankment.  Because Stanton Road is on the ‘right’ side of the railway it is, according to Estate agents, now in West Wimbledon.

On my way back through Wimbledon Chase I was hooted and waved at by a car driver who turned out to be my old friend Dominic Birtwistle.  I had just bought some of the ingredients for the sausage casserole I will make this evening.


  1. I always said I’d never become one of those old sods who toold you how much the value of money has altered. £1,400 a month! Blimey. Your parents could probably have bought the house for that when they lived there.

    1. Rather less, I suspect – but had they had any money they may have had an alternative to renting – not that buying was the thing people did then. Thanks a lot, Quercus.

  2. I am loving these early posts, Derrick. My attention is caught by your references to Wimbledon and Raynes Park as ‘the two towns’. To me, it’s all London. Although now the different areas in our capital are referred to in property speak as ‘villages’ … I shall enjoy pondering on this trivia ? Also, I don’t recall coming across the word snicket before. (SnickerS most certainly!) Obviously a regional term and my equivalent, being Sussex-born, would be twitten.

    1. Thank you so much, Sandra. I am pleased this is engaging you. Raynes Park is now called West Wimbledon by estate agents, and has a Waitrose 🙂

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