Back in May 1969, we moved into our brand new house on Vulcan Close, Roundshaw. On the same day, our new neighbours moved in as well. There were lots of similarities in the two families; we were both families of four, with a girl and a boy. The girls were older. Both of the families were from a similar area; we came from Camberwell, they came from Brixton and the girls had the same names. We were both called Debbie. All that became the basis of a lifelong friendship.
We were Debbie Faulkner and Debbie Coppin and went on to be known as “The Two Debbies!” We both started at Roundshaw Primary School on the same day and walked the same journey every day together, until we left and went to different senior schools.
I can’t say our friendship was uneventful. There was the odd argument; it was mainly about whom was the best looking pop star. I said David Cassidy and she was always for Donny Osmond! We shared everything; music, clothes, homes, mums, and on occasion in later years, boyfriends, although not at the same time!!!
As the years went by, we went off and did our own thing but were always there for each other. We were each other’s Bridesmaid, supported each other for the births of our children, and as we moved away from Roundshaw, we still kept in touch with each other and were always at the end of the phone. In fact when Instone Close was demolished, Debbie phoned me as it was happening and we were both in tears as it felt like our childhood was being demolished.
I now live in Basingstoke, and as for Debbie, she moved around a fair bit, trying out Milton Keynes for a little while but coming back to Carshalton and eventually moving back to Roundshaw – she came home.
For me Roundshaw gave me my best friend. We met when we were nine and we are still best friends at the age of 53. I call her the angel on my shoulder, as on 22nd September 2007, Debbie passed away at the age of 47 and part of me died with her. But our life together would not have happened if it hadn’t been for Roundshaw, and for me, it was always a great place to have grown up. In recent times I have found many old friends and when we get together, the years that have passed just melt away. I wish that my own children could have lived in a place like Roundshaw, where we had freedom to grow but a hundred “aunties” if we needed help. So thank you Roundshaw for the memories and the great life we had: the lifelong friends and my best friend. I think of you with a smile on my heart and a tear in my eye.
By Debbie Gould 2013.