My name is Angela Finch. I help to run Finches Emporium which is a ski, snowboard, bike and skateboard shop in Forest Hill with my husband Frank and a great team of four. Finches is a family run business started by my husband’s family in 1947.
How long have you lived in the area? I originally moved from my home in Southern Ireland to SW London and then on to Forest Hill where I have lived since 1982. I was coaxed over by a work opportunity in the city but have worked in Forest Hill in the shop since 1987
What has changed most during that time? Forest Hill has changed massively over this time. It has always been an area rich in characters but the Overground has brought lots of new people to the area. This in turn has improved the variety of local businesses with lots of interesting new shops popping up.
What do you most value about the area/street you live in? I love how friendly the people and business owners are and that we are a community always looking to support each other. This has never been so important as in the last few years in Covid times.
The most famous person you’ve seen or met? We’ve had a variety of actors and TV personalities in the store including Iain Glen, Susanne Charlton, Dr Rosemary Lennard, Andrew Castle, Jo Brand, Leslie Ash. Some were families getting ready for ski trips with their schools, others for ski boots & equipment.
Describe your perfect weekend. Saturday – busy day in the shop followed by an indian. Sunday busy day in shop followed by a Sunday roast with kids and grandkids.
Coffee or tea? Where? Tea definitely and in a teapot so that I can keep topping it up. Teapot is an obvious choice but also Canvas & Cream, both in London Road.
Cafe, pub or bar? Going Sober for October at the moment, so I would say Cafe but normally pub.
What’s your favourite place to go for a drink? All Inn One in Forest Hill which is in staggering distance to work and home. The Pantry is my favourite for a nice glass of wine. It’s a great atmosphere with chill out music and nibbles.
Where’s your favourite place to walk? One Tree Hill for its views and Dulwich Woods as you feel that you are deep in the countryside. That’s where an energetic collie dog is the best company.
What is your favourite shop? I love my food shops and especially Olives & more in Perry Vale. They have Spanish olives which are imported and either stuffed or marinated by the owner. They also sell great olive oil, Spanish dishes and wonderful chocolate covered almonds. It’s often my favourite place to pick up presents for dinner parties or birthdays.
What was the last thing you bought there? A mixed selection of olives & chocolates.
My perfect holiday..Skiing in my favourite resort of Zermatt. We try to take a group of friends and family there every five years. It’s a wonderful resort at the foot of the picturesque side of the Matterhorn with only electro carts and horse drawn sledges in the town. It also has a great variety of challenging ski runs, great restaurants and bars & gives you a glimpse of life for the rich and famous.