Georgie Tarn continues her comical and nostalgic homage to London’s busiest Facebook group – Steve Belasco’s I Grew Up in Edgware Station.
When I wrote an article for the Jewish News last month, headlined, “Did you spend the ‘80s at Edgware Station?”, I thought I was just passing through. But it seems my 142 bus wants to hang around a little longer.
I’m addicted to Steve Belasco’s, I Grew Up In Edgware Station Facebook group. Since launching in February, something incredible has happened. We are all jumping on our own 142 time machines and going back to our roots.
Our destination is Edgware Station, the place to have grown up in (so back off I Grew up in Golders Green Station!). The term IGUIES has also now been coined. To be honest, when I first read one of Steve’s posts mentioning IGUIES, I had no idea what it meant. Did a giant lizard grow up in Edgware Station? And then it dawned on me. IGUIES stands for I Grew up in Edgware Station. What next, ISIRHS? I Shop In Radlett High Street.
Steve started the site after spending a Sunday evening chatting with friends from back in the Edgware day, including Dean Carr, Russell Gilbert and Karen Harris. Luckily for us, Downton Abbey had finished, or, who knows, maybe IGUIES would never have been born.
Steve says: “When I went to bed that night, I expected 30 people to join, including my wife. When I got up, 150 had signed up.” Within its first two weeks, IGUIES had become the most popular Facebook group in London, the hottest club in town – even better than Brady Maccabi! As member Tracey Fine puts it: “Facebook has become the new Edgware station.”
Now, more than 2,500 members have come out of the woodwork proudly waving their dicky belts, grabbing their kickers and shlepping up to the loft to hunt for Edgware Station memorabilia. Word is spreading, people are “becking” all over the world – which proves you can take the boy out of Edgware, but you can’t take Edgware out of the boy.
Steve did a Cher. He turned back time, reminding us of something we sadly lost, (and for my male counterparts, I don’t just mean your hair!) I mean our youth. A time when our only burdens were a bus ticket and money for a McDonald’s.
Now, for many of us, we see a new teen generation – our children. How did that happen? Gina Elise Breslaw says: “I wouldn’t change my life now, but I would change the times we live in. So many memories come back to me via the site. Growing up was so much nicer years ago. Playing in the street and riding my bike around the Broadfields and knowing so many people made me feel safe. I wish I could offer my son the same.”
Consequently, the site struck a chord. As each picture, clip and post appears, people rush to share anecdotes.
I particularly enjoyed Sherrie Randall’s response to I Bunked Off School (children, please look away now): “I used to bunk off college. I was walking down Golders Green High Street one day, looked up at a double decker bus and there was one of my teachers! I actually waved at him! Then thought, ****! What if he’s on his way to college? So I legged it to catch the next bus to Hendon. Believe it or not I arrived before him and told my teacher I was late as I’d been to the dentist! I got away with bunking by the skin of my teeth.”
There are other exciting discussion topics. Were you a Donny Osmond or David Cassidy devotee? Did you go to Orange Hill? Do you remember this teacher or that dentist? Did you have a chopper bicycle and, YES, we all remember Loppylugs!
Then a post entitled Gone but Not Forgotten appeared, and we realised we may never be young again, but we are the fortunate ones. Our lives haven’t been tragically cut short through accident or illness like a shocking amount of others.
Nicki Lewis says: “These people touched our hearts and will always be remembered. It is humbling to hear such wonderful memories.”
As time goes by, the site changes organically. Steve says: “It’s changed my life and outlook on people. In these difficult times it is lovely to have some fun. It has given me a chance to help others who may have found life a little tough.”
Friendships are being renewed. Member Nicki Lewis organised a social event, I hear they got down to the rowing song, Oops Up Side Your Head. I just hope they managed to get up again!
I was contacted by Neil Foster who lives in New York. He reminded me that he was my first boyfriend and, therefore, should be included in any future article. So I hope this is OK and a big thank you for my first kiss! And you never know, after the Joe Sigalov’s post, Is There Anyone Single on the Site?, there could be a shidduch with a wedding at, you’ve guessed it, Edgware Station! In the meantime, Steve and crew are organising an IGUIES reunion at Elstree Studio in May.
All money raised will be donated to help people with cancer or MS. Tickets are available via the Facebook page.
My advice: get your hair done – I think they still do perms. Search out a pair of dungarees and grab your kickers, because the 142 is on its way.