Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Vicky Keens-Soper, aka Vic-bag, or Vicky Keen Groper was our first employee at TJ’s Hamburgers when we opened back in 1982. Vicky was a little older than us and a member of the much revered Clarendon Park Women's Army. A group of women who all went through divorce at about the same time and were feared throughout the area. Vicbag was a star though, and a good friend as well as model employee for about 7 years before drifting off into a thing called a career. Social Services, working with ‘lifers’ in prison, from memory. However, she was always at her best flirting with the young chaps and this picture was taken at Clive Millac’s 40th a couple of years ago when she was in full flow with Clive and Leon Fisk. Vicky was always good at listening to the problems of others. Hence the career listening to prisoners. Maybe her own colourful life equipped her for that. It seemed to have many phases. First the Mum, living in a Chateau in France bringing up Robert, Alex and Gus, then a vague cultural existence with Maurice 2nd in Clarendon Park, then her ‘wild’ days working for us and sharing her life with Doug, before settling down with Stephen in Devon and starting a whole new life. It all adds up to far more ‘life’ than most of us manage and yet she embraced it all. It was last Autumn that I had a call from Splev (Ian Splevings) to say she was not well and in Hospital. Things were apparently ‘not looking good’ and just today I bumped into her old pal, Lynne Smith, who confirmed Vicky had died last week. A great loss. Many fond memories, but one that sticks in my mind is when I had completed a basic food hygiene course and felt I should assert the importance of hand washing before starting work to all the TJs staff. “There’s no need for me to wash mine, they are perfectly clean already” was Vicky’s predictable response! R.I.P.