Friday, March 20, 2015

street girls in Liverpool and Croydon

When I was a visitor to Liverpool I looked for street girls and couldn't find any. Now I live here it seems that I have found one or two without even looking. Soon after I moved into my new flat a young woman asked me for money in the street where I live. I didn't give her any money and I didn't want to talk to her. A few days ago an older woman asked me for money.

I saw her talking to a man and guessed that she was begging. Then she walked towards me and called 'Charlie!'. I continued walking away from her. She called 'Charlie!' again. I turned round and said 'My name's not Charlie'. She said that she needed some money because something traumatic had happened to her and she needed to make a phone call. She did look quite distressed so I decided to give her a pound.

She asked me if I came from London and I said I did. She said what part of London and I said Croydon. She said that she used to live in Croydon, in Pawsons Road. There is a Pawsons Road in Croydon and it's not a well known road so I thought she must be telling the truth. I asked her if she knew any of the street girls that I had known in Croydon.

I asked her if she had known Trina Schofield. Trina is someone I met a few years ago. I had met lots of street girls when I went to Tooting Bec Common more than ten years ago. I have talked about many of them in my early posts on this blog. Trina wasn't one of those though.

In 2008 there was a group on the internet that discussed street girls. Trina's name was mentioned. I could see she lived not far from me. Steve said she was "the best deep throat I've ever had". Someone called pervez aktar said "best blowjob in the world" and "she gives the best head in the world". However, she could be very unreliable. Steve said "Don't try to work out what's going on. You need white brown and meth and it will make perfect sense".

I got her phone number, phoned her and went to her flat. I saw Trina three times in all. The second time it worked out quite well but she was too unpredictable. The last time I saw her she went off with my money. Years after that I saw a newspaper article about her. The headline was 'Vulnerable Croydon woman died after taking heroin with friends'. Apparently Trina had injected a mentally ill woman with heroin who then died.

A few years ago I met a woman I will call Amy. I liked her (unlike Trina) so I won't say her real name. The first time I saw Amy she was begging outside McDonald's in the North End Croydon. She said she needed money to get somewhere to sleep for the night. The second time I saw her was in Beulah Road. I spoke to her briefly and I asked her if she knew Trina. She said she did. I saw her a few more times, once at a bus stop.

In 2012 a woman who I had known from Tooting Bec Common contacted me by email. She had found out that I had mentioned her on my blog. I will call her Bernie. We corresponded by email and I learned a lot from her about the Common and the women who went there. You might ask how does a street girl keep in touch with someone by email. She mostly used a BlackBerry. Bernie knew Trina very well, she told me they often worked together.

Anne Marie/Anna/'Mummy'
Bernie sent me two accounts of her life. One of them was a day in the life of a street girl. I put both of them on my blog - she wanted me to - but she asked me to remove them after friends started asking if she had written them. She said that she had known someone who she called 'Mummy'. I thought she was referring to a black woman called Jodie but it was someone else.

Mummy died of an overdose. I got this photo of Mummy from the internet group. Someone had taken photos of her and other prostitutes working in the Kings Cross area of London. I put some of these photos on my blog and Bernie recognized her. I think Mummy had worked on the Common but I never met her.

One of the last emails I got from Bernie was worrying. She said that her best friend Stacey had died. She said that she was worried about being evicted because she was in arrears with her rent. She had been out to try and earn some money but had not made anything. Bernie didn't reply to my next email to her.

Weeks later I was going into Croydon on the bus and I saw Amy walking along. I got off the bus and rushed along North End trying to find her. I thought I had lost her but then I saw her. I went up to her and said that I had spoken to her before. I said that she had told me she knows Trina, does she know Bernie too? I wanted to know what had happened to Bernie.

Amy took me into McDonald's. I offered to buy her a coffee but she said she would prefer it if I just gave her the money. She told me that she and Bernie were good friends. Bernie had had a stroke and was now in hospital. She said that Bernie was being looked after by her father.

It's quite common for crack addicts to get strokes. I did get one more email from Bernie, a long time later. She said she's in a hospital in a particular area of London and she's getting better. Someone said there's a well known hospital in that area for brain injuries.

I had met Trina, Amy and Bernie under different circumstances so it surprised me that they all knew each other. But then I suppose it's not really surprising that drug addicts would all know each other. More recently last year in Croydon I met a black girl called Angel who knew Trina well.

The woman I spoke to just a few days ago said she hadn't known Trina, or any of the other street girls I named. That wouldn't be surprising if she left Croydon quite a few years ago.

She asked me if I'm a bachelor. I said yes. She asked me if I liked a drink. I said yes. She asked me if I would like her to come to my flat sometime and we can have a drink together. I said that I'm not sure about that because I'm a bit wary of people living in this area. She had also asked me what my name is and where I live but I told her I would prefer not to say. I can only assume she makes money from prostitution. I'm not sure, the only way I could find out would be to invite her in, but I'm not going to do that.

She saw someone on the other side of the road and said she had to go and talk to him. As she went off she said 'What's your name again?' and I replied 'Peter'. That's not my name. I have decided that I don't want her to come to my flat. I don't want to have anything to do with these people. It's not worth the risk. It might lead to people tapping on my windows in the early hours of the morning or maybe even a burglary. They're not all bad people though. Amy and Bernie were nice, and I feel sorry for Trina more than dislike her.


Anonymous said...

Great to see a blog post from you, I was worried that your review of 2014 was your last.
Being from Croydon, it was always interesting to read your blog. I moved away many years ago and you help me to keep in touch with a part of my South London life which was enjoyable, but secret.
I hope all goes well for you in Liverpool and I look forward to hearing your adventures.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love reading your blog and look forward to each 'diary entry'. -- (Chris,18,Richmond)

Anonymous said...

Is the street girl Internet forum still functioning? I want to join as I've been running round circles looking for an adventure with street girls without much luck. Seb

Bête de Nuit said...

'Bernie' has recently died.

Anonymous said...

I know Bernie and Trina and also Angel. They are all from my past. I wonder who Amy is. Intrigued.