Author Archives: patrick

Relaxed about difference

Greater London has been unbothered about ethnic and cultural mixing since time immemorial and it’s good to see from 2011 census data that this tradition lives on. Dollis Hill, developed pre-World War I on the grounds of a 19th century … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two terrible business ventures that shaped modern Middlesex

  The most famous place to have Middx in its postal address must be Wembley,  the home since 1923 of England’s national stadium. Equally vital to the economy of west London are the 500 hectares of Park Royal, Europe’s largest … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free pre-NHS health care in Middlesex

This online exhibition on Shenley Hospital is a reminder of how the former county council organised a county-wide health service between the wars. In 1930 it rebranded as Middlesex’s ‘County Hospitals’ a clutch of former poor-law infirmaries : North Middlesex … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roads and Bridges — how Middlesex built its place in history

Nearly fifty years ago Middlesex County Council was abolished; it disappeared into thin air but before doing so it scattered London and its approaches with monuments to years of frantic activity between the wars; these aimed both  to combat unemployment … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When Ratty and Mole met the Home Fleet

The Clyde and the Tyne are famous as shipbuilding rivers for the Royal Navy; the Thames at Chiswick and Hampton less so. But in the heyday of the British Empire a great shipbuilding name — Thorneycrofts — arose with the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Paradise Lost

Evelyn Waugh, writing in his unfinished autobiography A Little Learning (1964), describes how London spread into a Middlesex village in the years before World War I. I was four years old when my father built his house in what was … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heathrow: no plane no gain?

Suddenly we’re having to think about the future of Middlesex without its biggest employer, its largest single commercial site, the one feature which probably really is visible from space: Heathrow Airport. The Norman Foster scheme for a giant airport and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The drowned world

Middlesex shares the fascination in legends like those off Atlantis and other cities, real or mythical, lost under the waves.  At certain tides, supposedly, you can still hear the bells of Dunwich, the coastal city in Suffolk, that fell into … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where we seem to be headed

There’s a prejudice against outer London. A successful young(ish) restaurateur tells  me he’s thinking of emigrating because even with £300K to put down he couldn’t buy a family house in central London. A woman I know has become a kind … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fringe Benefits

Cities are often surrounded with parkland. In London’s case this was Middlesex — not a bad name for somewhere neither one thing nor the other: not real town nor real country. Like Venice’s  terra firma, dotted with Palladian villas, or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment