The story of Heathrow: much of Middlesex has disappeared into its perimeter fences, and it’s a major employer and centre of trade: a town in its own right. Is it a fantasy to think it can survive without the extra runway?
Was Middlesex the reason that the London postal districts don’t extend to Wembley, Brentford etc? And how was it that the people who defined the Metropolitan Police area in the 19th century were so prophetic in setting the eventual boundaries of Greater London?
How was Metro-Land built? Why in the depression years were a number of Middlesex builders able to produce housing on an unequally scale? Was it an extension of what had been done in South London or were there new techniques of marketing and construction? How important were the private builders as opposed to the county council and the Metropolitan Railway in making it happen? How far would the results have fallen foul of the planning laws that came later and would this have been a good thing?
How good was Charles Holden, the architect who gave suburban Middlesex its chief defining look? How do his Piccadilly Line stations compare to the originals in Berlin that inspired them? Did London Transport’s branding exercise do much to make the outer fringes of London feel part of a single whole? Why did it matter?
What’s it like trying to make a living in one of the countless parades of suburban shops built as part of the 1930s Metroland developments? Why isn’t there a Tesco Express or equivalent yet in Queensbury, for example?
How much of a fight was there around the abolition of Middlesex? Why did Sunbury, Staines, Potters Bar, South Mimms resist joining Greater London? An outer London council wrecked the Labour GLC’s ‘Fare’s Fair’ policy in the 1980s. Are there other important examples of conflict between inner and outer London?