What started as a nostalgic day out down memory lane, re-visiting the location where me and the good lady wife Angela first met some 43 years ago – also and unintentionally, ended up as a sort of ‘baby-blog’ in terms of a ‘culture’ day – as we made a return to Leytonstone, London E11, the scene of our first meeting, and also the birthplace of one of the town’s most famous sons – film writer, director and producer….Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
The exact location of our very first meeting was Barclays Bank 839 High Road Leytonstone, in January 1974, when I opened the large old wooden doors of the branch, to let in a girl named Angela Clark, who had been transferred in from nearby Bethnal Green branch.
That is where our ‘journey’ began, and the rest, as they say, is history – and we have been together every day since (I know, I deserve a medal for endurance and resilience!!!).
So we spent an enjoyable few hours re-visiting all our old haunts and other local landmarks, and although some have quite naturally changed considerably over the past 40 or so years, it was pleasing to note that there was still a good little vibe going on there – and it was good to go back.
What struck us while we were there was the town’s acknowledgement to the achievements of film producer Sir Alfred Hitchcock – something they are obviously and quite rightly proud of.
Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone in 1899, and his dad owned and ran a grocery store in the high road.
Apparently, as a small child, Hitchcock was a bit of a wrong’un, and one day, to teach him a lesson, his father march him down to the local cop shop and asked the officer in charge, to lock young Alfred up in one of the cells for a few minutes.
The fear that he experienced as a result of this ordeal, was allegedly the catalyst behind the psychological dread and terror than was prevalent through the majority of his films. In fact, Hitchcock was once quoted as saying “There is no terror in the ‘bang’ – only the anticipation of it”.
Anyway – his achievements are acknowledged throughout a number of places in Leytonstone, from street art murals, to pub names and in particular, a number of excellent mosaics throughout Leytonstone tube station, that depict scenes from some of his more famous films – a nice touch, and what a way to be remembered.
All in all – an enjoyable little trip out