I wish to honour my home, the old County of Middlesex , utilising prose and poetry, photographs and local history lore.
This website has been set up not only to explore and present the historic legacy of old Middlesex, but also to examine the way in which the county-region still coheres as a distinct entity at the topographic and imaginative levels.
Those of us born towards the end of the 1950s will have seen the last of the county as a formal, administrative entity: I recall doing my O Levels under the auspices of the Middlesex County Council Education Department in the 1970s. One of my abiding memories from childhood is of a steamroller moving along Queens Avenue N3 back in 1965. The words “Middlesex Borough of Finchley” were inscribed on along the top edge of the driver’s cupola.
Yet despite its ostensive dissolution at the administrative level, the sweep and majesty of Middlesex continues to impinge on the imagination. Answering the call of the county has become the central axis of my written work. Over the last ten years I have built up a sizeable library devoted to all aspects of Middlesex, and intend to make this collection available to the public at some point in the future. Prints and illustrations from the library are viewable in various sections of the website.
I have also undertaken a long series of walks criss-crossing the region in order to defamiliarise my relations with the environment, aiming to throw the outskirts of the city, its hills and memories, its dreams and imaginings into sharp relief. Some of these studies and explorations will be available under the “Walks” section of the site.