Print

Dr Elspeth Veale interview: Wimbledon in the 1950s and 60s

During the 1950s and 60s I was living in Raynes Park, shopping locally and travelling to town regularly by train to Waterloo. Occasionally I took a 118 bus to Wimbledon. I did one evening, for instance, to see Marlene Dietrich, splendidly arraigned in pink and silver, singing in her familiar throaty voice. After 1959 I was able to go by car, park in Woodside, admiring the fantastic line of cherry trees which came into bloom every spring in front of Woodside House. Parking at the bottom of St Mary's Road - no restrictions, no meters. Occasionally I drove further up St Mary's Road and watched the small half circle of houses then being built on Church Road. I had my eye on these as a possible base but when the opportunity arose I bought a flat on the Belvedere Estate on the corner of St Mary's Road and Alan Road where I lived from 1973 to 2010. I was admirably placed for access to the Village and to the town and the station where the trains went to different parts of London and Surrey.