A memory of the Strand

This story was kindly contributed by Pattiyan.

I have used CX station for years, right from my early working days c.1942.

I remember going to lunch at the Strand Palace, Lyons corner house, and eating in the Salad Bar with a boy friend when I was sixteen.

The boy I knew was waiting for his call up for National Service. I met him at a youth club. He was rather an odd sort. We used to practise our French together.

Lyons Corner house employed Lyons “nippies”, young girls who wore neat black dresses, a fancy white apron and a white “halo”(?) like nurses used to wear. (I think Joan Collins had been a nippie). Sometimes they would have an orchestra playing.

I used to go to the Lyceum Ballroom with a Belgian friend, who I met when working at Barts. I have a photo showing us together against a background of brown tiles, which made it look like a pub. The floor sloped down as you went in. I do not have a picture of the ballroom itself. It is now the Lyceum Theatre.

I worked in Charles II street for 4 years, before I was married, but used to spend a lot of time in the Strand for lunch.

I also did ‘temping’ which took me everywhere.

Then I worked at Revertex (a latex/rubber firm with branches worldwide), which was in the Strand where the Halifax building now is. I finished work, on the 4th floor, at 5pm and had to dash to catch the 5.04pm train from Charing Cross, in order to get to collect my daughter from the nursey before it closed. It was always a frantic rush. I had to give this up when my daughter started school. My weekly train fare was 12/8p (about 65p). Revertex eventually re-located to Harlow – the then New Town.

Drury Lane is not quite the Strand, but I have dined at Sarastro’s on a number of occasions, birthdays, anniversaries and social events with friends, and I took my grand-daughter to Simpsons on her 21st birthday several years ago.

Several of my friends went to King’s College.  We were connected through Spanish dancing. I wonder what became of Alan Stark or Pat Goodchild?



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