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Vicky’s Journey From East to West

Vicky’s Journey From East to West

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The story of Vicky Meyer's early life in a Japanese concentration camp and her later business selling antiques on Portobello Road.

Vicky Meyer (a.k.a. Grace Ann Chalkley) spent her early childhood in China, during which time the Japanese Army invaded Pearl Harbour, and foreigners in China were now considered enemies of Japan. As a result, Vicky’s school were first required to remain in the school compound, and then later taken to the same concentration camp as Olympic athlete Eric Liddell.

After surviving the War, Vicky went on to become a stall holder in London’s world-famous Portobello Road. She experienced joys and sorrows of family life, and eventually arrived in the picturesque village of Thixendale, set in the undulating countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Vicky’s story is one of courage, hope and the faithfulness of God through all circumstances.

“…a fascinating and absorbing first-hand account…”

Bishop David James

Vicky Meyer

Vicky Meyer


Born to missionary parents in 1933, Vicky spent her early years in the Port of Chefoo in Northern China, close to the Korean boarder. There, her father taught languages in a school for English-speaking children. Life was peaceful and pleasant until 1941 when, following the invasion of Peal Harbour, war was declared. Vicky and her family were imprisoned in concentration camps for the next four years by the Japanese.

Coming to England after the war, meeting her relatives and catching up in school on her limited education were totally new experiences for Vicky. When schooling was done, Vicky trained in journalism and was appointed as a secretary in Bond Street, London.

Vicky met and married Walter Meyer, a self-employed Civil Engineer and Antique Dealer, in 1955. Vicky eventually held her own antique stall on Londonís famous Portobello Road selling walking sticks and became famous there as ëthe walking stick ladyí. Their marriage produced five children, though tragically they were to lose two of their three sons to drugs.

Vicky continued to trade on Portobello Road several years after Walterís death until ill health forced her into retirement in her late 70s.

Now, living in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds with her youngest daughter and family, Vicky tells her rollercoaster life story for the first time and speaks of how her faith has turned bitterness to acceptance, resentment to forgiveness and sadness to joy.

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