With Wendy Robbins On Westminster Bridge, Guessing 26 September 1979

While rummaging for something completely different…

…like, totally different…

…I came a cross this lone, stray photograph:

Me And Wendy Robbins On Westminster Bridge

There am I in my Alleyn’s School three-piece suit, which played an unlikely part in a subplot to a Manchester visit, probably a few months later, in which Mark Lewis and family mistook me for a toff:

A Weekend In Manchester Straight From School, 7 to 9 March 1980

So when might this photo have been taken and how did I end up with this single, stray picture?

Well, I cannot be 100% sure, but that particular suit limited my diary search to term-time, midweek evenings in my final year of school…

…I didn’t get too far into my search when I found the following:

Wednesday 26 September 1979 – went to Hillel in afternoon. Met Wendy. Showed Stuart (USA) around London in eve.

I’m not too sure who Stuart (USA) might have been, but I’ll guess he was a visiting dignitary from the BBYO International Executive or one of the big American District Executives.

I’ll also guess that Stuart had a camera with a flash and colour film in it – plus the kindness and decency to send us a photograph in the aftermath of our hospitality/informal evening tour.

I remember precious little about the evening. Perhaps Wendy remembers it clearly. Perhaps Stuart remembers it, but he might take some serious tracking down.

Wendy and I look a rather dapper pair on that occasion, I have to say. Indeed, in my case this might be the sole piece of photographic evidence I have from my teenage years that I could, on occasion, scrub up quite well…

…at least I could with the help of my Alleyn’s School uniform.

One thought on “With Wendy Robbins On Westminster Bridge, Guessing 26 September 1979”

  1. Ian, here’s what you need to do. That picture you posted, and the caption under it, need to become the front cover and title of your first novel.

    What that novel is about is up to you.

    It could be an imagined account of a night out as a teenager in 1980.
    It could be a fictional account of a search for Wendy Robbins 38 years later. Or it could be a thinly-veiled, metaphysical quest to discover the meaning of ‘it all’ by visiting a tailor, commissioning him to recreate that suit, and then wearing the freshly minted suit as you attempt to restage that photograph with all the subsequent Wendy Robbinses (real or imagined) in your life. (Incidentally, ‘thinly veiling’ has long been all the rage in the literary world.)

    So get cracking, I’m going to need a decent book to buy in Waterstone’s next Christmas.

    And a signed copy would be nice.

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