A Voyage Through London
From Tufnell Park to Church Street Ken.
Long ago, in the nineteen-sixties,
I lived in the north of London
in a place called Tufnell Park.
The area was tranquil and fine;
it was safe to walk after dark.
I travelled to work every day
making use of the Northern Line.
Had to change for Piccadilly station
and the journey caused me stress.
After careful consideration
I decided to change my address.
What better than Kensington,
I thought, and found some digs
in a road just off Church Street.
The new abode was such a treat.
Not far from Notting Hill Gate
I could reach Portobello Road
and, if the weather wasn’t rainy,
explore its Saturday market,
where I sought genuine antiques.
But, alas, I could never find any.
With my friends, at weekends,
I’d head for the Hammersmith Palais,
with its incredible vast ballroom,
to dance to Joe Loss’s orchestra
and to listen to Rose Brennan sing
while dreaming of finding romance
or at the very least an amorous fling.
Since I arrived, I took this city to heart;
I was beguiled; didn’t need to be told
– like Dick Whittington once was –
that London was paved with gold;
I knew that this prodigious metropolis
was endowed with riches far greater:
its history, its culture and its Art.
© Luigi Pagano 2016
My daughter lives in London Luigi, so paid many visits with my late husband. Always enjoyed being in the Big Smoke, but was always glad to be back home here in my little village. Well written.
I really took to London, where I lived and worked for many years but I am adaptable and can settle anywhere, Val. Sometimes one has to move for reason of work and that was the case for me, first to Essex and then Cheshire where I now reside.
Lovely to hear from you once again. My best wishes.
I enjoyed reading your poem.. I have been to London several times for work and on holiday… a fascinating city with so much history and culture… Your poem brings back many good memories
When I think back to the happy times I spent in London I am assailed by a bout of nostalgia. But the city that I recall with fondness has changed from the one I remember: there was no Shard or the London Eye and the only sign of technology was the Post Office Tower with its rotating restaurant.
Nice one Luigi, I lived in London for 5 years and this took me on a lovely nostalgic trip…Leila x
The 1960s were for me blissful years, Leila. I seem to remember that I could do a lot of things even with a limited budget, the occasional visit to the theatre or the restaurant and, though I have given up smoking long ago, I was able to splash five shilling on a packet of Peter Stuyvesant.
London will always be for me, no matter what happens, even if a nuclear bomb lands on it, the most beautiful city on earth. That’s because it’s my home, and the scene of most of my memories and emotional experiences. The London you describe here though, is a completely alien place to the one I know. Can there ever have been a time when Tufnell Park was on the “outskirts” of London? There is rather a lot of London to the north of there, and has been for as long as I can remember. Perhaps you don’t consider the suburbs… Read more »
All depends on the point of view, Archie. For one like me who worked in central London, Charles II Street, and had to travel to work by the Northern Line and Piccadilly Line for nigh half an hour, Tufnell Park was the outskirts or a fringe of London. But then I am a foreigner and perhaps you have a better definition for that location. Well, I am not and have never been a millionaire but I can assure you that I lived in a street off Church Street Kensington in a rented room of a Victorian house. You said, “for… Read more »
Me, no…. I was born in 1980 (which now, perhaps incredibly, was 36 years ago), and I remember Kensington as always being unaffordable for the vast majority of people apart from a few council estates dotted around the place. I grew up in Walthamstow, which is about 15 minutes from Kings Cross on the Victoria Line. It’s in Zone 3, which makes it further out than Tufnell Park. To me, Tufnell Park seemed to be deeper into the city, just north of the too-cool-for-school Camden. To me, London ended where the forests and fields began. Half an hour is not… Read more »
OK, have it your way, Archie. Although I admire your skill as a writer I am not particularly impressed with your attitude especially of late when you seem to want to pick a fight with everyone.
You don’t know a thing about me so you shouldn’t make any assumption about my place of origin.
I don’t want to engage in a dispute so let’s leave it at that.
What the fuck has got into you??? Jesus… I’m pretty sure you once told me that you were a country boy, that you grew up in a small community. And even if I am mistaken, what is so wrong about that? There’s nothing bad about coming from the countryside. Why would there be? Regarding my “wanting to pick a fight with everyone”, by “everyone” you just mean “Coolhermit”. And actually, he was the one who picked a fight with me. He deleted all his work off UKA because of me and Alison, and has been complaining about us for months… Read more »
So glad that you enjoyed reading about my odyssey from Tufnell Park to Church Street Ken, Trevor. I originally wrote that I lived in the outskirts of London but was told that Tufnell Park is part and parcel of the capital and, to avoid any misunderstanding, I changed the relevant line to read ‘I lived in the north of London’. I share a lot of your memories of the interesting and historic areas and recall Rachman and rogues landlord. Luckily I was never affected in that respect. I experienced the ‘smog’ when I arrived in 1961 which was, as you… Read more »