Spandau Jun 29, 2020
When I moved to Berlin 41 years ago we still had the Berlin Wall. In fact it wasn‘t so far from where I lived in Marienfelde with my husband, my reason for staying in Berlin. That was the American Sector and we got used to our walks ending abruptly at the Wall. After eight years we relocated to the British sector in Charlottenburg and again after 13 years in 2000 to Spandau,which was very much the heart of the British sector and a big reason why we moved here, although by then the Allied Forces had left.
Spandau still has a British flair in my eyes. Dotted around are the former British Army barracks and the complex which now houses a large Kaufland was built by the Brits as the Britannia Centre before they left in 1994. What is now a Dental Clinic on Klosterstr. used to be Wesley House where we could – unofficially, as we were civilians! – enjoy a cooked British breakfast, buy English papers and magazines alongside confectionery. It also housed the Methodist Chapel (now the waiting room of said Dental Clinic).
Further towards Johannesstift in a house on the left-hand side of Schönwalder Allee was Tok H where you could – officially! – have breakfast and buy frozen foods, magazines, confectionery and toys. How well I remember the Power Rangers sword I bought for our younger son (twice, as he broke the first one. Though how you can break a plastic sword I don‘t know).
There was even an „English Food Shop“ first in Päwesiner Weg, then on Klosterstr. where you could stock up on all the goodies you missed.
I‘m reminded of celebrations in the fields near Gatow Airport where you could buy British food like fish n chips and the car boot sales. I bought a great pair of jeans there for 20 cents. I still sometimes sense a British presence in Spandau. No wonder I‘ve always felt at home here.