Several elderly Wimbledon Common residents without proof of residential status is living in fear of removal from the UK after the December 2020 Brexit deadline. Madame Cholet, 85, who insists that she is British by birth, has lived and worked as a cook in the Wimbledon area since the 1960s. She is appealing to the Home Office for leniency in the absence of the relevant paperwork, which she said was lost in a spring clean in the 1970’s. ‘It is a very frightening time pour moi,’ said the elderly pensioner. ‘I ‘ave lived ‘ere for many years, but maintenant I feel like I am very unwelcome.’
A close neighbour, affectionately known locally as ‘Uncle’ Bulgaria, says he too feels under threat. ‘I’ve been cleaning up the local Common for over 40 years, so this is a complete and utter travesty. Under the new immigration points-system I will be classed as an unskilled worker and, after a lifetime here I’d be totally buggered in Bulgaria because I don’t know anyone there. And my nephew Orinoco, who really is a work-shy benefits scrounger will have no chance.
Best friend, inventor and local engineer Tobermory has promised to give what help he can, but said: ‘As for me, when Scotland gets its independence, I’ll be back up there in a shot. Then, if the worst comes to the worst they can come and live with me. However, one local resident said he feared the residents might be forced to go underground, ‘or overground’ – in the manner of their friend Tomsk, who disappeared after being exposed as a Soviet spy in the 1970s.