My name is Geoff Clements and I was born on the 5th January 1957 in Battersea, South West London.
In 1962 at the age of 5, I moved with my parents to Ilford, Essex, just on the outskirts of East London, and with the exception of 4 brief years between 1974 to 1978, when I lived in leafy Pinner in North West London, Middlesex – I have lived all of my life in the Ilford & Romford areas of London.
I started work back in 1973 aged 16, in the banking industry, and remained in banking for over 43 years until my retirement in January 2017. During that period of my life my employment saw me working in branch banking throughout areas such as London’s West End, and the City, but mostly in branches throughout East and North East London. For the final 14 years of my career, I worked in a head office environment out of Canary Wharf.
I have been married to Angela since 1978 and have 2 adult daughters, and currently 3 young grandchildren.
My interests throughout my life, have been music (I played in bands throughout my teenage years, and have done the odd solo gig now and again in subsequent years) and also football (I am a big West Ham United fan), but I have always maintained a great love and passion for my hometown London, and particularly its history, past & present, and its people.
In fact, when I was in my early 20’s, because of my love of music, I turned my hand to a bit of song writing (purely for my own amusement) and at that time, one of the songs I composed was entitled “London Shoes” and its theme was all about a Londoner who had an immense passion for the metropolis and its history, and used to spend his time travelling all over London visiting every nook and cranny, learning about its history, its characteristics, its customs and its people – whilst safe in the knowledge that his “London Shoes” would always bring him safely back home.
So, ironically and with no deliberate planning or strategy – some 40 or so years later and now in my retirement, I have found myself ‘living out’ the lyrics of this little song that I wrote, where I too am now spending one day every week travelling to, and walking around all different corners of London, identifying a specific aspects of history or a theme, and then (with the help of the information available on the internet) learning as much as I can about a topic – because I now have the time to visit all the buildings and landmarks (the usual and the unusual) that I didn’t have the time to do when I was working.
Following every weekly ‘culture’ day out, I have posted my topic and accompanying photographs on Facebook, as I know that my friends and ex-work colleagues (many of whom live outside of London in different parts of the country) would be interested in learning more about certain places, landmarks and aspects of London, and that they would find this information useful in helping them select a place or places of interest, to seek out whenever they were visiting the ‘smoke’.
I have consistently received positive and complimentary feedback to all of my weekly Facebook postings, encouraging me to collate all my ‘trips’ to date, and publish them on my own website dedicated for that purpose – so that these and future ‘culture’ days out, can be captured and available to all.
So – this is what my personal website is all about – and what better title could I give it than the title of the little song I wrote all those years ago…….“London Shoes”.