Beryl Kingston, best-selling author from Tooting, entertained our May monthly meeting with her stories of wartime Tooting. Beryl spoke about the innovative and quirky teaching techniques at Rosa Bassett School (then Streatham Secondary School), the goings-on at the beauty parades at the Granada Cinema and the characters from Tooting market.
We had an eye-witness account of dogfights over Croydon airport and a vivid account of being evacuated to Harpenden in a chauffeur-driven limousine.
We also heard how the latest news travelled via the conductors on the trams during wartime, including news of the bombing of Balham underground. Beryl lived in Longley Road and above the off-licence on the corner of Church Lane.
Most movingly, Beryl spoke about going to see a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie at the Mayfair Cinema and watching the grim scenes from the Belsen Concentration Camp on the Pathe news reel.
You can stay in touch with Beryl via her blog here.