Shared childhood home

I worked for one of the London open top bus sightseeing tours from around 1993 to 1998. Initially I worked on the pavement for a few years as a supervisor (organising the departure of buses and so on) and in doing so got to know the various bus drivers and tour guides that started out or passed by the departure points I covered. One of my tour guide colleagues - Alice Robinson, who I believe is around 3-4 years younger than I - started around the same time as me and then was brought into the central office after a few years of service to be the sales rep selling tickets to the various agencies we dealt with around town. About a year after that I got reassigned to work in the main office as the marketing assistant. This then meant we worked together side by side on numerous occasions, typically travelling around town together seeing the ticket agents she dealt with, and in the course of our travels we naturally began to exchange snippets of our life stories. One thing we established was that both our fathers had served with the RAF, although while my dad flew on Vulcans, her father was in the RAF Regiment, the ground force tasked with protecting RAF bases. One thing Alice often repeated was her upbringing in Cornwall where her parents still resided and it was only after several months that I pointed out that while she often professed to having this strong Cornish background she spoke with an accent that had distinctly Northern attributes. This, she explained, had been due to her father's service in the RAF, as for the earliest part of her life, despite being born in Cornwall, they had lived in the North, where many RAF bases are located. I mentioned that up until the age of 10 I too had lived on or nearby RAF bases in the North of England due to my own father's service but had lost the traces of any Northern accent I had acquired. In support of this, I then mentioned that even though my three siblings had been born in the Lincoln and Doncaster areas, we had all managed to divest ourselves of our accents, having moved south to Hampshire (I was born in Surrey but we moved North when I was 3 months old, so hadn't yet had a chance to acquire a Home Counties accent!) It was on mentioning Lincoln that Alice responded that they too had lived in that area for a few years. This was not entirely surprising as the RAF had several bases there - for instance, at Waddington and Scampton at which both our fathers had served. I then told her that barring a two spells of 2 years living on the bases at RAF Finningley and RAF Waddington we had, in the main, lived in Heighington, a fairly large village a few miles outside of Lincoln. When I mentioned Heighington Alice exclaimed that she too had spent part of her childhood living there. The obvious question was where in Heighington. As I say, it is a large village that, even during the time we lived there (1968-1970), had seen considerable post war development and I would estimate that its population amounted to around 2000-2500 even then. I answered that we lived in a road named Daniel Crescent (one of, I would estimate, 30-40 streets in the village at the time). At this Alice retorted that they too had lived in that same road. At what number was the following question. No. 12 was my reply. On this occasion we had arrived at one of the main departure points on the sightseeeing tour and so stopped there so that Alice could call her Mum in Cornwall. She told her Mum all about this amazing coincidence, about how this guy who worked alongside her here in London in the mid 1990s had lived in the same road as her in this village outside of Lincoln at the very end of the1960s. She then told her mum that we [my family] had lived at number 12, and asked her Mum to tell her the number at which they had lived. To this her Mum replied that that couldn't be right as that was the number of their house. It was only then that we realised that it was to Alice's parents that my mother and father had sold their house in November 1970 and that Alice and I therefore had both spent our early childhoods in the same house. It was an odd feeling for both of us for the next few weeks and months afterwards although this certainly helped cement our friendship!
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Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:59:00 +0000Coincidence ID:3367