Welcome to the 1980's
It was now the early 1980's and Thatcher's Government had begun the new generation of greed, Harry Enfield's catch-phrase "Loads of Money" couldn't be more apt a phrase to describe life on the All Saint's Road, you only needed to stand there for a minimum 1 hour before someone approached you, asking for something or the other, the human traffic going thru the All Saint's Road was relentless, night & day. The posh kids from high up Notting Hill were coming down to Ladbroke Grove to the "Frontline" as it was now called & was asking for specific street dealers, who they knew by first name terms. Random drug smugglers were bringing all the contraband to the frontline for a quick sale, even risking confiscation from the more hardcore violent street hustlers.Pop stars of the day like Adam Ant, Boy George, who were charting at the top of the pop charts, were parting with their royalty money on the All Saint's Road, a day never passed without a known celebrity passing thru our "Frontline".
To feed this excess of people, more catering was needed, we not only had food from the Mangrove, Philsons & Bibs, but also Kong's & Madams, all reputable cooks of Caribbean food. Guru's chip shop, which was previously owned by Mick the Greek & situated on the corner of All Saint's Road & Lancaster Rd, was now the new headquarters of the under 21 age group of All Saints Road, the attraction of the new Space invaders & Pac Man arcade machines, replacing the old school pin-ball wizard & one arm bandits became a popular relief to the young street hustler's, who unlike the older more established men of All Saint's Road, (who were tucked away in the basement of the Mangrove, otherwise known as the "Hole") were plying they trade openly on the street, cars were pulling up non-stop with the occupants demanding Marihuana or Hashish. Within 30 minutes you could easily double your initial stake of £30 for half an ounce of Hashish, £60 an hour was standard pay for any street hustler, but a more violent street hustler lay in wait of these non-stop sales as the streets became darker, but the one street hustler hated by one & all, were the ones that bought "mixed herb's" from the local grocery store & peddled it off as weed, this form of hustling begun as a way to initially get your stake money, but it also became popular to the hit & run hustlers, the ones trying to make a quick money to go out partying with the usual, more wealthier hustlers.
I recently had been released from a young person' prison in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire & i no longer depended on the All Saint's Road for my regular income, i had started working with an escort girl, who was feeding us information on wealthy clients, they was an occasion once where she had a client tied & blindfolded for sex, and we were systematically going thru every draw in every room, accumulating envelopes of the new Christopher Wren £50 notes, which had only recently been issued for the first time ever.
I now came to the All Saint's road to socialise, or as a first stop meeting place. My longtime friend & partner Booker, was the proud father of two beautiful girls, & so he was happy playing daddy, & also becoming an important person to know on the All Saint's Road, if you needed large portions of weed. Booker introduced me to the "new kid on the block" a mixed-race cocky, but quietly slick young kid called JP. The first time I met JP, I nearly ended up in the Harrow rd cemetery.
Car racing was a popular hobby for the young-bloods of All Saint's Road, we went places in convoys of cars & returned in a Wacky Races format, first car back to the Frontline was the winner, JP owned a RS 2000, Green Ford sports car, a vehicle designed for racing, while cruising on the Kilburn Lane one evening, JP was overtaken in a Triumph PI, by a driver i recognised as Dave Penfold, Penfold was an older guy than me, so I knew he had some driving experience, the rain was coming down in a drizzle & the roads were slippery.
That never deterred JP, he threw the RS into 3rd gear & woke up the engine, flicked on the full beam, & with a quick juggle of his feet, the RS was overtaking Dave Penfold's Triumph PI, But as i turned around from seeing where we had left Dave's Triumph, straight in front of me was the end of Kilburn Lane & barriers blocking entry into the following Wakeman Rd, somehow JP skidded the car full circle, thereby delaying the inevitable smash, i came out of that car trembling with anger, but also respect for JP, because throughout the whole incident, he remained ice-cool, as if he knew the outcome.
The following day, instead of phoning JP to pick me up, i went in search of my own car to buy, i had heard of a guy from Kilburn called Bola, who had a Blue Rover V8 3.5 for sale, i sent news to him that if he came onto the All Saint's Road, i'd buy the car off him, i didn't have long to wait for his appearance, he came with another driver, so i presumed he was confident of a sale, he wanted £350, so i took off one chain & gold Krugerrand, which because of the political goings-on in South Africa, i was desperate to off-load & also a sovereign ring, i gave these to Bola & he seemed happy enough to give me the log book.
I now had my destiny back in my own hands during car trips, we were changing cars every 6 months as the money rolled in, it wasn't too long before we all, me, Booker & JP upgraded to the sexy but unreliable Triumph Stag convertible sport cars, these compact curvy convertibles, had a reputation for breaking down because of a few factory faults, but they oozed class in looks, & had the most wonderful growl of a car engine you had ever heard, especially first thing in the morning with the engine cold.