Lena Fox House, Bermondsey, London. Photograph taken in 1996 while it was a homeless hostel for young people (16-26 years) run by The Shaftesbury Society.
This week has had a bit of a Lena Fox House (above) theme, as my former deputy manager, Dave Gibbs, was staying with us on Saturday and Sunday nights, and today former administrator and AGW/GWs David and Bev Meldrum are coming to visit.
Lena Fox House (LFH) was a homeless hostel run by The Shaftesbury Society between 1996 and .. erm, whenever it closed (early-2000s?). LFH was a long-stay hostel for young people aged between 16 and 26 offering accommodation, support and life-skills training to help people move into longer-term accommodation on their own. I loved working there, and loved the people I worked with and alongside.
When Dave Meldrum came for interview I was on shift. Our manager, Bob Bailey, came into the shift office to tell us about the interviews that would be happening that day and he laughed as he said,
“Gareth, there’s someone coming down from Scotland for an interview … you’ll probably know him hahaha what with you being from Scotland too.”
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“David Meldrum,” replied Bob.
“Oh, yeah. I know Dave,” I said.
“Hahaha,” laughed Bob. (He might have said ‘hehehe’, I can’t quite remember from this distance.)
Fast-forward to lunchtime and while we were sitting around the table in the main lounge the doorbell buzzer sounded. Wandering through to the entrance hall, which was only the next room, I opened the door. It was David Meldrum.
That people were surprised might be an understatement. “Scotland’s not that big a place,” I explained “We know everybody!”
In truth, David was in the year below me at St Andrew’s University (The University of Scotland™) and so I’d seen him about for three years at various events (CU, Christian Music and Drama Society, etc.) and while he was taking a few classes at St Mary’s College, the Divinity School (then a Faculty).
David got the job, met Bev there and they were married a few years later. David is now a Church of England priest in St Stephen’s, Wandsworth in the Diocese of Southwark. They have a blog called The Meldrums.
And given that they’re coming round mid-morning, and it is now nearly 10:45 I’d better go and have a shower and get dressed! We had planned to take a trip over to see the house in Fife, not sure that’s such a good idea now. It may bring back bad memories of hostel riots.