Having been born and lived in London all of my life, I have many memories of this world city which has been transformed in the last decade or so and continues to changing so much before our eyes.
And no better example of such a dramatic transformation than Shepherds Bush?
All Londoners will have a particular tube station etched on to their hard-drive – and for me it is Shepherds Bush – the station closest to my school, Cardinal Vaughan.
In the underpass to the station, I recall having a fight with Joe McCarthy – a year younger but much bigger and better fighter as it turned out. Joe is no longer with us – tragically one of the victims of Hillsborough RIP.
And in a similar vein, in a pub along from the green is where Lloyd Sylvester – a ridiculously good looking and cool black guy who I much admired and liked was stabbed to death.
But it’s not all mawkish memories – I loved the place and still do.
I used to love the grime of Shepherds Bush market which remains today but I imagine is teetering in the shadow of West Field – the biggest addition and change to the area.
The BBC was very close by and might have had an influence on my career path. It was where Wogan was filmed – a show I watched avidly as a kid and where I would film two episodes of The Stand Up Show for BBC1 which was something of a game-changer in said career.
Shepherds Bush was a tough place and it still is, bordering the notorious estates of White City. And much of the old Bush remains. The patch of grass hemmed in by some of the busiest roads in London is still there and is still a meeting place for a crew of winos who I fear are not the same members I needed to avoid as a kid. And whilst the houses around Shepherds Bush have sky rocketed in value such that only ‘millionaires’ can buy modest houses now – the place will always be a dirt-poor cousin to its neighbours of Holland Park and Notting Hill.
But new and old – it’s a place in London that I am very affectionate about and so I had to smile last week when I learnt that the London premiere for Captain America Civil War will take place in Shepherds Bush, Westfield.
A landmark date in my life if ever there is one.
I will probably drive to the event but I really should take the train – just like I did all those years ago.
I left school 31 years ago. I’ve been back a few times since and I have driven through Shepherds Bush many times since.
But going back to watch the biggest film of the year and featuring my little boy will be I suspect a memory to eclipse all others from my Shepherds Bush archive.