Jim Halliday from Dumfries and a Queen of the South supporter, has lived in South London since 1977 and fully considers himself a Jockney! Since 2001 he has been involved in the local community as secretary at the volunteer-run, Aquarius Golf Club.

How long have you lived in the area?
40 years

What brought you here?
When I graduated from Stirling University, I was offered a job with the Post Office, now BT in IT. I stayed with them for 37 years.

What has changed most during that time?
The traffic, it take ages to get anywhere. In the afternoon I find it is quicker to walk to Sydenham High Street rather than drive.

What do you most value about the area/street you live in?
The greenery as we overlooking Wells Park.

Do you know your neighbours?
Yes all of them, including their kids, dogs and cats. Though the least friendly is my own Bengal cat. We have a residents’ association, with a quarterly newsletter and we hold an annual garden party in June. It is a great opportunity to meet any new people who have moved into the avenue.

The most famous person you’ve seen or met?
One of my neighbours Robert Fyfe, who played Howard in The Last of the Summer Wine for 25 years.

Do you belong to any groups?
A few – Aquarius Golf Club, Sydenham Society, Prospect Union and the Golf Club Managers Association.

What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
Bricklayers Arm on Dartmouth Road. It is still a proper local’s pub. Good beer & a great place to watch sport.

The best kept secret…
Aquarius Golf Club patio on a summer’s evening. Great views over London, a great place for a summer drink.

Where’s your favourite place to walk?
I will walk anywhere. I enjoy visiting country gardens, THE Lost Gardens of Heligan is my favourite but think that the formal Sexby Garden in Peckham Rye is as good as any and is free.

What is your favourite shop?
Any paper shop so I can buy a paper to read while I stand outside various shops waiting for my wife. I treat shopping as a necessity, to be completed as quickly as possible.

The book I’m reading at the moment… 
This Game of Golf by Henry Cotton as prep for the unveiling of the English Heritage Blue Plaque to Sir Henry Cotton in Crystal Palace Road last month.


This article first appeared in the August 2017 issue of SE22 magazine.