Hits and memories: 4
Updated: May 27
The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969, Apple)
While my memory isn’t all it should be – I blame the 70s, 80s and 90s – as far as I can recall, this was the first Beatles album I bought with my own money. I’d have been 13 or so. In those days, you were either in The Beatles’ or The Rolling Stones’ camp. It was always The Beatles for me, and George was my Beatle, with Paul on standby if it didn’t work out.
I would have earned the pocket money working as a ‘Saturday girl’ at one of Dad’s ladies’ fashion boutiques in Bayswater, West London. He had two on Queensway: the original, Lucille, was opposite Whiteleys, London’s first department store, near Westbourne Grove and Porchester Hall, which housed London’s oldest Turkish baths. I doubt Whiteleys’ new incarnation (the usual develop-mess) will have retained the grand sweeping central staircase my sister and I used to run up and down.
His newer – “trendier” – shop, Belle, was at the Bayswater Road end, a few doors down from Queens Ice Skating Rink (UK’s oldest – what is it about Bayswater, such a font of historical quirk?).
Highlights of those Saturdays in the shop were listening to Kenny Everett on Radio 1 and rolling my eyes with Dad when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on.
On Christmas Eves, the whole family would be helping out at one or other of the shops, and the drive home would be either enhanced or destroyed by my sister and me silently competing as we counted the Christmas trees in house windows. Whoever saw the most won. I often cheated, causing no small amount of distress for my younger sister. I was no Jo March, let me tell you.