Compass Theatre's classes plan a return from 12 April 2021, hopefully followed in the summer by performances on stage. The Winston Churchill Theatre in Ruislip and the Beck Theatre in Hayes remain closed until further notice.

Tickets, Hillingdon Stories, This Is Me: 01895 250615 |
Venue Hire: 01895 277643 |

This is me, a Hayes girl


Photos of my parents  Photograph of Lansbury Drive  Barclays Bank jumper  My car  The Mayoral robes

1) Framed photographs of my parents

My Mum and Dad came to the UK in 1967 - the year I was born. They are Indian Sikhs and brought me up 'westernised'. I lived in Hayes, making English friends and having a very English life outside my home. However, as soon as I went home, my home life was very traditionally Indian. My parents believed that the UK gave us our opportunities and we should be grateful and respect them, which I did. Hayes was my home. I went to Hayes Park Junior School and Mellow Lane Comprehensive School. My parents worked in Hayes Town for Nestlé and Barclays Bank. Even though they were traditional, they taught me to appreciate my surroundings. They taught me how to deal with people as I watched them deal with our extended family of 15 aunts and uncles. They both had inner strength, although my Mum had much more. They gave me great people skills and hosting skills and showed me how to dress well.  They made me the woman I am today and I am truly grateful.

2) Photograph of Lansbury Drive

I have spent my whole life in this borough - except for 7 years in Scotland between 1991 and 1998, and I missed the borough endlessly.  I grew up here in Lansbury Drive. I went to school here. I got buses to work - the 90b and 195 - and trains into London from Hayes and Harlington train station or the Metropolitan line from Uxbridge tube station, when I was transferred to Barclays' Baker Street branch.  I used to go shopping to Hayes Town with my Mum nearly every Saturday. I learnt to drive in Hayes and passed my test at Hayes Test Centre. I used to shop in Woolworths in Station Road and was so excited when Argos opened and devastated when Woolworths shut down. My work experience was at the NatWest Bank, on the corner of Station Road, Hayes, and I believe it is still there.  I also used to take the 207 bus to Uxbridge with my Mum to go to the Pavilions and shop in the indoor market. My main development and maturity took place here. I grew up, got my first job, got my first car, had my first kiss, had my first marriage, made friends and lost friends and lost my parents here. Hillingdon is part of who I am.

3) Barclays Bank jumper

My Dad and I worked for Barclays Bank. It was my first proper job and I was so proud to become 'bank staff'. My first branch was in West Drayton and I started in May 1986.  I loved working for Barclays because my role meant I was dealing with people, which was my passion.  The picture is of my Dad's Barclays Bank jumper with the Barclays eagle emblem. He wore it with pride and so did I after he died.  I spent 15 years working for Barclays and enjoyed every minute of it, except when I had to leave.

4) My car

My car is very precious to me. In 2012, I decided to jack in my teaching assistant job and start my own business being a driving instructor. I started in January 2013 with BSM but by June 2014 I left and set up on my own and that's when I bought my car.  I wanted an orange colour to keep with my BSM orange but when the car came, a brand-new Ford Fiesta titanium diesel 5 door, it was yellow or Hot Mustard as it is called. I loved it! It had my logo all over it and even more exciting was that I was the only instructor with this colour for miles. It became my image, and everyone recognised my car far and wide. I ran my business for 7.5 years successfully with a packed diary and daily new clients. It was bliss. Hard work but bliss! I thought I knew loads of roads in the borough until I became an instructor and had to teach learners to drive down roads I never knew existed. I only stopped it in March 2020 to prepare for my Mayoral role and am planning to return to my business next year.

5) The Mayoral robes

Life goes in circles or that is what I was always told. I completely believe it. I have come from a very humble background. Grew up a Hayes girl through and through. I have lived and worked here as you may have read already, so to then become the First Citizen of the borough has been a real privilege and, at times, completely surreal.  I am driven around the borough now. My face adorns many a brochure, window, magazine and website. I have my own parlour and staff and spend a lot of my time getting to meet people: Hillingdon people who make up this community and, as I said at the beginning, when I started my beginnings, "I like dealing with people as it is my passion."

I feel now that I have come full circle and that everything has fitted into place physically and mentally. I never knew that one day from a little girl who used to complain about walking from school in the rain, feel tired waiting at bus stops for my bus home after work, earning a living in local businesses and being self-employed, that one day I would be able to have the honour of being the Mayor. It is truly unbelievable and I cherish every moment.

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