Saturday, 27 July 2019

The Saturday List #225 - My ten favourite pictures of Mill Hill with a difference (Vol 1)

There are many pictures of Mill Hill, many views that you can see on all sorts of websites. There are links to several excellent collections on our friend Richard Wilkinsons website. If you like historical piccies these are well worth checking out. I was  at our studios on Thursday and I happened to be looking for my Brother Laurie. Laurie is a fair bit old than me. He was born in the 1940's and is the only one of my siblings living in Mill Hill. He runs the rather wonderful Bunns Lane Welding Business, which has been a key part of Mill Hill since 1979. Every real old Mill Hillian knows Laurie very well. The thing I like best about Laurie is that his workshop hasn't changed since he started, apart from the new tools. He still employs the great British tradition of a tea break, except that he drinks coffee. Unlike myself, Laurie loves coffee. Older residents of Mill Hill will remember when we had Smiths Coffee roasters in Mill Hill. When they roasted, the whole of Bunns Lane had the aroma of  freshly ground coffee. Smiths moved out in the 1990's, but they still supply Laurie with coffee, and he still sells it for them to their loyal Mill Hill customers. Laurie has many strong local interests. He worked for a while in Sainsbury's when they were in Mill Hill. He worked on the Grahame Park Estate in the construction, as time and motion man for the GLC. He then decided that he wanted to work for himself and started Bunns Lane Welding. He invited me to work with him, but I am far too lazy and have an aversion to getting my hands dirty (and getting burned). He employed several of my ex band mates from the False Dots as welders, but these days is semi retired as a one man band. Laurie is responsible in part for my love of music. Him and his twin Frank are excellent musicians, far better than me, and both inspired a love of guitar. Laurie's record collection contains The Steve Miller Band, The Who and Joni Mitchell and much inspired me. He saw Pink Floyd and Ten years after on a boat on the Mersey whilst at Uni in Liverpool in the 1960's and always encouraged my own love of music.

Anyway, enough rambling. I thought I'd take a few piccies for posterity of his workshop. This inspired me to put together a small collection of other pictures of Mill Hill that are a bit 'different'  to the usual ones.

1. Lets start with Lauries workshop, almost unchanged since 1979

2. Anyone who knows Laurie, knows he has many vices, but only in his professional life!

3. When I was a wee nipper, my Brother would stand me on this. It seemed like the highest point on the planet! Old Mill Hillians will recognise the site!

4. Our family has been associated with the motor trade in Mill Hill since the 1940's. I love garages. I intend to do a full study of them. Some might find this ugly, but I really like the utilitarian functionality of petrol stations

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5. I also rather like to raise my eyes and look at what lies above the shops. Clarence House at Mill Hill Circus is one of my favourites, it always reminded me of a mini NIMR.

6. This is my favourite picture of The Harwood Hall in Mill Hill. This was 1980 and The False Dots were doing a fundraiser for CND in Mill Hill. Guitar legend Boz Boorer is joining us. Spot the ciggie behind his ear. Boz still has local ties. We often have a pint at the Mill Hill services club. There is a painting of Boz's Dad's Beaufighter on a mission in Norway by the door as you enter the club. These men built Mill Hill!

7. This is my favourite puddle in Mill Hill. This will always form after a sharp storm. I rather like this picture of it!

8. This picture was taken at the first ever recording session at Mill Hill Music Complex back in 1979. This is the former drummer of the False Dots, Dav about to play. The studios were originally based in the disused caretakers cottage

9. This is perhaps my favourite modern picture of Bunns Lane works in the modern era. It was taken last Autumn and has (to me) a very 'Exorcist' feel to it.

10. And this is my favourite 'noir' shot of Bunns Lane Works, taken from the other end of estate

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That's all folks. 

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