The Richmond Green Jaguar

The Richmond Green Jaguar

This Jaguar – the car not the cat – is a permanent feature of Richmond Green. It’s always in the same place. I always look out for it when I’m on the final leg of my journey to work. It’s such a fixture that I wasn’t surprised to see it immortalised in a painting of Richmond Green in a local gallery.

But then it went missing for a week or so. I was discombobulated. Had it gone for good? Had the owner sold it? Had it had an accident? No – it’s back.

This trivial episode made me realised the impact of the familiar in our lives – and how we’re unsettled when familiar sights and names disappear. I wrote nostalgically earlier this week about Cardiff’s Empire Pool and Guildford Crescent baths – both lost. And last April, I explained how I’d recreated with Karen and Owen a 1960s childhood photo of me with Mum on Richmond’s riverside. That kind of continuity is precious.

We even feel the same way about (certain) businesses: people all over Britain were saddened when Woolworths closed its doors in late 2008, even if they’d not spent a penny there for years. The memory of buying Beatles, T-Rex, Dire Straits and Bucks Fizz (delete as applicable) singles there was enough to trigger nostalgia.

One thought on “The Richmond Green Jaguar

  1. I do so agree (perhaps it’s a family trait?!) We go back to familiar places for holidays – Tenby, St Malo – as well as adding new ones, which, in turn, become familiar. The children – your nieces and nephew – now regard not just Tenby and St Malo as “their” places, but also Imola which has been added to the list.

    But it’s not just places. I think, for our generation, the resurgence of small independent shops, in particular butchers and greengrocers owes a lot to this feeling and need for nostalgia. Is it the recognition and valuing of communities? I enjoy my shopping. Julio often says that we go to our local buthcher (Andrew Hiscock in Purton) not just for the excellent (and reasonably priced) meat, but also for the banter and catch up with what’s happening locally.

    We re-read books, Music,, particularly brings back memories, which is why it plays such an important part to play in our lives.

    For my birthday this weekend, Julio is taking me for a trip around my old haunts in Whitton, Twickenham and Richmond. We’ll drive down Ashley Drive, where we used to live, down the Higfh Street where I had my first Saturday job, past Kneller Hall, the Roayal Miltary School of Music,
    where Dad and I used to go for the summer Wednesday evening open air concerts, into Twickenham. There we’ll go past my school Twickenham County Grammar School for Girls (now an adult ciommuinty centre), along the High Street to the river (Eel Pie Island and the open air swimming pool). Then into Richmond, along the river and up the Hill. Then back via Hounslow, which I’ve not visited since the 70s. It’s VERY different now, so it’ll be interesting. Then we’re collecting a tortoise that needs rehoming.

    Right, OK, back to the present. But first I’ll put on some 70s music, make myself a warm orange squash (see Robert’s last post about frothy coffee and my comment), eat a wagon wheel (they’re a lot smaller than I remember) and look through the photo album. See you there

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