Whilst doing a little research into the history of Clapham I was a little taken aback by the following description from Wikipedia:
“Clapham has numerous public houses and several small shops; including a post office, Chinese and Indian takeaways, fish and chips, a florist, a hairdresser; also it has two churches. It has its own lower school for children aged 4–9, Ursula Taylor Lower School. In the nearby village of Oakley is Lincroft Middle School for children aged 9–13. It has three pubs, the Horse and Groom, the Fox and Hounds and the Star, as well as these there is also a club called "Clapham Club". There is also an Italian restaurant, Bellini’s.”
A post office? A florist? Two churches and one school?
And just one Italian restaurant?
It took a few moments for the penny to drop. Wiki is in fact describing another Clapham, this one in rural Bedfordshire. It would appear to be most famous for hosting the airfield from which the legendary band leader Glenn Miller took off on his last fateful flight, never to return.
Our Clapham, by contrast, doesn’t have an airfield to call its own, although it is a reasonable travelling distance from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. It has lots and lots of shops – florists, post offices, hairdressers – and churches and other places of worship of all denominations and faiths. It has many schools, and more pubs than even Oliver Reed in his prime could have visited in an evening.
And as for Italian restaurants, although it is not the only one in town Eco Restaurant’s faithful band of regular visitors will tell you that it is the best restaurant in Clapham, indeed many swear that our fine team of staff serve what is in actual fact the best pizza in London.
It may be a bit of a hike from Bedfordshire, but we have the busiest train station in Europe so if any of our Clapham brethren should feel the call of pizza and Bellini’s is closed there will always be a warm welcome for them at the Common.