Tuesday 30 August 2022

Plus ca change! - A few random local memories

Many things have changed locally. The shops, the pubs even the churches have come and gone! Over the years, the local music scene has also changed. When I started my band, locally we had all manner of festivals that have long since disappeared. We also had a thriving culture of benefit gigs. Things seem very different now.

Lets  start with a little picture of Station Road Mill Hill in 1995.  If you click here, you'll see how it looks now!

What interested me is that every single business in this picture has been replaced. Thinks move on. 

Mill Hill Scenes

In 1994, Mill Hill lost a landmark. The Sacred Heart Church was redeveloped. My mum took this picture in the middle of the works

Mill Hill Scenes

Another Mill Hill Landmark was the three Hammers. It was completely renovated about 20 years ago and has never been the same since. This was taken about 1995, when the main entrance was still opposite the bus stop

Mill Hill Scenes

Then there is our local music culture. My band has played all sorts of weird and wonderful local gigs over the years. Here's a little tour of the best bits of memorabilia. 

Back in 1984, my band, the False Dots had a residency at the Bald Faced Stag. One of the gigs we did, we did as a benefit for the Greenham Common protest. For many who know the Stag, this may seem a bit incongrous, but it was a great night.


A video was made and to our excitement, this was reviewed by the Edgware and Mill Hill Times. I was so thrilled, I saved it in my scrapbook.

Press clippings

Another regular gig of ours was the Grahame Park Festival. This was taken in 1984. We had a dep bassist. A friend of mine's Dad was the organiser, although I don't recall if I knew at the time. It was always fun. You can see half of me and my guitar!. In 1984, it was raining so was indoors. 

Grahame Park Festival 1984. - Doug Witney, Venessa, Bill, Chris Potts and the edge of my guitar

In 1986 the weather was better and we played in the open air.  I dug the white suit and the shades out! It was a glorious day as I recall.

Grahame Park Festival 1986

We also did a free concert in Montrose Park in 1984. It was the fairwell gig for that line up. Three weeks later I suffered a burst ulcer and nearly died. The gig was fun though. The support band featured one Mr Steve Pankhurst, who went on to make millions as the founder of Friends Reunited and I still see at football at Hadley FC. I can't recall what the surprise or two were.
Montrose Festival 1984


The band played a lot of benefit gigs,  in 1980, we played a CND benefit gig in 1980 at Harwood Hall in Mill Hill

Here's the letter of thanks we got!


But perhaps the biggest change in our locality was the coming of the M1. My Dad took this picture of the concrete being laid at the back of Millway in 1965

Mill Hill Scenes

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