Thursday, 30 April 2020

The tides of change in Mill Hill Broadway - 1958 to 2009 (updated with pics 2020)

Audrey Shaw
Editor Note - This blog was originally written by Audrey Shaw in 2010 for the amusement of readers of the Barnet Eye, she had found an old list of shops in the Broadway in 1959 and updated it with the occupants in 2009. In 2010, she suggested I could post it on my blog. Audrey passed away recently.  She moved from Mill Hill a couple of years ago. Today was her funeral so in tribute, I've updated her blog with some modern pictures and some older ones.

Many long standing locals will know Audrey from Lloyds bank, where she was a cashier for over 30 years and from the Sacred Heart Church. Today is her funeral, we will drink her health as a family at 8.30pm

Enjoy


By Audrey Shaw,

A little bit of fun for the weekend. This is how Mill Hill Broadway has changed since the Shaw family moved to Mill Hill in 1958.

Mill Hill as it was in 1958
North side.2





Hillings Ltd (nurserymen) NOW…./……1/7 Marks & Spencer & Car Park
Lebons Coal Merchants
Mill Hill Station Goods Yard
(This was before the M ! Motorway)
London Slate & Tile Co.
3 Rickett Cockrell & Co (Coal Merchants)
3a Cherry Coal Merchants
5 Callis R N Cycle Dealer
5a Blair K Electrical Engs.
5b Bradstreet & Co.Estate Agents
9 Daborn J A F Ltd Art Dealer 9 The Tavern
9 Sydney Dunn Outfitters
11 Bailey H Hairdresser 11 Liason Hairdressers

13 Flemings Confectioners 13 Sarastem Travel Agents
15/17 J Sainsbury Provisions 5/17 Best One
19 Electricity Service Centre 19 Costa Restraunt



Entrance to Millway
21 Barclays Bank Ltd 21 Barclays Bank Ltd
23 Meyers Fruiterers 23 Fratelli Deli
23 Lewis Tobacconist
25 Walton Hassel & Port Grocers 25 Jennings Betting
27 Mill Hill Post Office 27 Hees Restraunt
29 W.H.Smith & Sons Stationers 29 W H Smith & Sons Stationers
31 Boltons Florists 31 Care Chemist
33 United Dairies Ltd 33 Halifax Bdg Soc.
35 North Thames Gas Board 35 Post Office
37 Renovator Shoe Service 37 Cancer Rearch
37 A Marks Antiques
39 Dewhurst Butchers 39 A & Y Locksmith

41 G.O Lett Radio Dealer
41 Achille Serre Dyers & Cleaners 41 American Dry Cleaners
43 F W Woolworth & Co Ltd 43 Iceland
45 Grisson Confectioners 45 Santander Bank


47 McDedermotts Boots & Shoes 47 La Mode
49 Dorothy Perkins Lingerie 49 Ronald Brown Opticions
51 The Elite Confectioners 51 All Abroad Charity
51 Diane Ladies Wear 51 Wild Swans
55 Westminster Bank Ltd 55 Nat West Bank


57 U K tea Co. 57 Tony & Guy
59/61 Walters & Drew Ltd Outfitters 59/61 Sports shop
63 Reeds Mens & Boys Wear 63/65 Image
Exeter House Exeter House
67 E R Goodrich Hardwear 67 Bar & Kitchen
69 Randalls Boots & Shoes
71 Richards Hicks Greengrocers 69/71 image
73/75 Midland Bank td 73/75 H.S B C Bank
77 Wool Kraft Wool Shop 77 Aquapuncture Centre
79 Owen Aves Optician Shut
Mill Hill Scenes
81 Morris Ladies Hairdresser 81 Sapori Deli
83 Telephone Exchange 83 Telephone Exch /Now in Goodwyn Ave.

85 Ruthella Millinery 85 Mill Hill Wines
87 Ann Cooper 87 Tzefira Jewellery
89 Nottley Newsagents 89 Broadway News

91Hebbs Furnishers Ltd 91 Kilworth

93 Home linens Ltd 93 Hena Salons
95 Macfisheries 95 Mill Hill Prem Bath Rooms
97/101 London Coop Soc. 97/101 Bell at Mill Hill
103 Payantakes Stores Ltd 103 Goodwood Furniture
Mill Hill Scenes 105 Lawleys China & Glass 105 Shut
Mill Hill Scenes 107 Tolley & Co Chemist 107 Nails
109 WhiteHeather Restrauant 109 Mirror Image
111 Hutleys Greengrocers 111 Pizza Hut
111 Glovers Gents Hairdressers
113 Kenyon Ladies Fashions 113 Red Rooster
115 Vernon Williams Drapers 115 The Shop Retail
117 J G Miller Ltd Tobacconists 117 Claudio
117 Marie Milliner 117 Princess Daisy

119 Jessies Greengrocers 119 Deli Express
121 Parker Shoe Repair Service 121 Modish Tress
121 Pylons Radio Ltd 121 Sole to Sole
123 E W Leech & Sons Ltd 123 Day of the Raj
125 David J Hume Travel Bureau
127 Lloyds Bank Ltd 125/127 Lloyds T S B

Here is Goodwyn Ave.

129 Express Dairy 129 Frank Usher Ladies Fashions
131 Elkins Bros Mens Outfitters 131 Classic Flooring
133 H A Blunt & Sons ltd 133 Radiation Made to Measure
135/137 Cosway Estate Agents 135/137 Cosway Estate Agents
139 Wendys Corsetiers 139 Clinic
141 Patricia Hairdressers 141 Neda Spa
The Hunters Horn Rest. The Good Earth

Mill Hill South Side Mill Hill South side
C J Hunt& CoLtd

This is Mill Hill Bus Station

Brix Ltd Builders to make way for the M1
Charringtons Coals
Rene Ladies Wear

Here Is Station Rd

2 The New Café 2 The Mill Hill Tandoori Restaurant

Mill Hill Scenes
4 A R cross Chemist 4 Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe
6 G W Rice & Son Domestic Hardwear 6 Mail Box Etc

8/10 National Prov.Bank 8/10 Bairstow Eves Estate Agents
12 Lidstone Butchers 12 Cooksley Butchers
14 Perry Wine Merchants 14 Dolland & Aitcheson
16Tip-Top Dry Cleane 16 H O B ,Hair on Broadway
18 Mill Hill T/V 18 Marie Curie Charity

20 Mac Fisheries 20 Jennys


24 Kentfield Stationers 22 Ellis & Co Estate Agents
24 North London Conservative Assn. 24 Fone House
26 Carpenters Solicitors 26 Carpenters Solicitors
26 Griffiths Bros Builders 26 Café Sandwich Bar
28 Spurriers Bakers 28 Barbers Shop
28 L Salin Confectioner 28 Gioletto Gifts
30 Tanare Ltd Ladies Wear 30 Howard Bros Outfitters

Here is Brockenhurst Gardens

32/34 Boots The Chemist 32/34 Boots The Chemist

36 Eastmans Dry Cleaners 36 Logo
36 Elsa Arridge Gowns 36 Rickman
38 Corfields Jewellers 38 Ladbrokes Betting
40 Thompson & Son Butchers 40 Olives Rest.
42 Denfield Ladies Hairdressers 42 Agra Quick Film
42 Mill Hill Travel Centre 42 Sew On
44 Battsons Bakers 44 Greggs Bakers
46 Cullens Stores 46 Nationwide Bdg Soc
48 Newman & Son Butchers 48 Leyla Rest.
50 Freeman Hardy & Willis 50 Oxfam Charity
52 John Nodes Funeral Service 52 Ton Ton Turtle
54 Regent Tableware Ltd 54 Broadway Car Hire
54 Richard James Estate Agents
56 T Davies Lingerie 56 In and Out
Mill Hill Scenes
58 Mence Smith Hardware 58 Norman James Ltd Hardware
60 Kate Trorman Gowns 60 Millet Sports
62 Lewis Electrical Services 62 Dry Cleaners
64 Rosin Confectioners & Bakers 64 Daniel Shoes Ladies
64 Foxwell Tobacco 66 Blockbusters
66 Scottish Dyers ^ Cleaners

Mill Hill Scenes
Sacred Heart Catholic Church Rebuilt

Here is Flower Lane

Mebes & Mebes Garage Star Garage

Here is Hartley Ave.


Building that used to be the Capitol Cinema Athene House Offices
88 Edgware Garden Supplies 88 Delisserie
90 Ainsleys Tobacco& Confectionery 90 Bakery
94 Bradshaw & \Co Estate Agents 92 Pizza Express
Union Reform Church Union Reform Church to be Demolished
April 2010
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Audrey Shaw is a long time Mill Hill resident. Guest blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye.

This blog was first published on the 16th May 2010. Sadly Audrey passed away recently, so I have updated it with the current shop is in Mill Hill as a tribute to Audrey. I've also added a few other views from over the years. It was Audreys funeral today. Sadly, due to Covid, I couldn't attend.

Lockdown Detox - Week one

So last week I outlined my plans for a lockdown detox. My plan was to return to the three days a week not drinking, cut out the biscuits and sweets and other snacks, sticking to three home cooked meals a day, apart from our traditional takeaway on a Friday night. This was spurred by my weight going up from 15st 7 to 16 st 11 and my knee starting to play up.

I also found that constantly checking Twitter and watching 24 x 7 news was not helping my stress levels. So hows it going? Well I have a Fitbit monitor, so I have seen some progress. On my weigh in today, I was 16' 4 and my average resting heart rate is dropping back to what it usually is.

Weight

Resting Heart Rate

On a more practical level, my daily exercise today, my dog walk over Darlands nature reserve (today approx. 2.5 miles) was the first time since I hurt my knee playing five a side in February that I have not had significant knee pain at some point. I had a couple of mild twinges, but these were nothing compared to how it has been. I've also been far more productive. I've catalogued many of my parents photographs and sorting them into collections. I've set up four new different collections of photographs from this on Flickr. These are mostly for my own use, a useful reference. I have at least eight more to put together and these will all grow as I progress. I am aiming to do one per day over the next week.

Here is one of them, this is my collection of Mill Hill Pictures. Some are recent, some are not. I've not yet annotated them. I'm sure Mill Hillians will find one or two of these interesting.

Mill Hill Scenes

I am also re-evaluating my relationship with Facebook. On Twitter, I have long been blocking people who for whatever reason, I feel are toxic. I have started doing the same on Facebook. I have weeded out one or two people on my friends list, who are not friends and add nothing to the conversation. I have also started blocking people on groups, who I find toxic. The benchmark for this is not that they say something I disagree with. It is whether they are bullying or ill intentioned and generally this is not towards me, it is just that I don't want to see their bile. What I don't understand is why people join groups dedicated to a theme, when they have no interest in the posts on the page.

Today is my Aunty's funeral, who died of covid19 a couple of weeks ago. Her passing was a real body blow for the whole family. I think I needed to let myself go for a little while. I do feel like I am starting to get my positive vibe back. The most important thing is to come out of this stronger than we went in. Adversity makes us.  This time next week, I'll be having an MRI as part of my annual check for cancer. This is always a time of turmoil. I've read that cancer treatments are being postponed, so I wasn't sure what would happen. I can't say I'm looking forward to going into the city or lying in an MRI for half an hour. But if we've learned anything through this, it's that the NHS are a gem and we are lucky to have them.  What we all need to appreciate is that we are on lockdown because we love life and we value our friends. That is why a bit of a physical, mental and spiritual detox is a very good idea at this time.  We all have our challenges, we do better when we face them together.


Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Some of the best things to see in Mill Hill on a walk - Darlands and The Totteridge Valley

There are plenty of great views and sights to see in Mill Hill. Sadly, at the moment, the pubs are shut, so when you are having your daily hour exercise, you can't have a little libation to help. Today I had my hour's walk around the Darlands reserve. Here is a map of where it is. Click on this for more details from OSMaps.

https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/51.62527,-0.20510,16/pin
Darlands Nature reserve walk - click for more details
So what will you see there, that makes it so special? Here are just a few of the tweets that have been posted. I'd recommend some binoculars and a good camera, so you too can share it with us. I rather hope you'll agree that this is a sight well worth seeing


There is a circuit of the nature reserve, which starts and ends in Burtonhole Lane. This is the first sight you'll see as you leave the hustle and bustle of the Ridgeway and reach the point where Burtonhole Lane splits.

This award winning photo was taken of the view that will greet you, so make sure you take a camera!


Our friends at @Abettermillhill pictured a rather fine looking herd in this field recently along with some other fine sights






If you keep your eyes open you will see some very interesting sights, as Samuel Levy regularly notes





Samuel isn't the only one who has seen some amazing wildlife on the Totteridge Valley





Not bad for a London post code, is it?

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Lockdown starts for real today. Wake me up when it's over

I woke up every day as I do at 7am. I made the missus a cuppa, got the papers and went back to bed. I stayed there until 11am. As the rain battered the Velux on the roof, I could see no earthly reason to get up. The papers were as dull as a wet Wednesday in Wigan. There are only so many Covid stories that one can read. If I'd re-read the papers from yesterday, I don't think I'd have noticed. I read the Express and the Guardian every day, as this gives me a degree of balance. The only story in either that I was the slightest bit interested in was the nutcase driving at 163mph through Edgware.
When I saw nutters like that, my Dad who ran a Crash Repair business would say "Don't complain, my best customers drive like that and put a roof over your head". It inspired me to start to put together a Flickr album of Pictures taken over the years at Bunns Lane Works

Bunns Lane works, Mill Hill, NW7


Sharp eye'd readers will have seen a few of these before. I love pictures of industrial buildings., so make no apology. If you find such things dull, then don't bother having a look!

So what have you achieved during Lockdown. Here is my list so far.

1. I've learned to play the melody of The Sweeney on guitar.

2. I've written a song


3. I've digitised the pictures I need for my autobiography (now I need to add them) to the text.

Biog Pics

4. I've baked a chocolate cake that was pretty good for my Daughters birthday


5. I've written a few blogs, that have had an extraordinarily good reception.


6. I've worked out a better way to cook roast potatoes.


7. I've re-acquainted myself with the prettiest route to cover the Darlands nature reserve walk.


8. I've managed to talk one of my friends out of doing something rather stupid. It  seems that some people are getting very hot under the collar.  The phrase "Promise me you'll sleep on this and we can discuss it tomorrow" is a very useful way to address such issues.


9. I've re-acquainted myself with some great tracks.

10. I've caught up with a couple of friends by phone who I should have had a beer with and will when the time comes

Now, with the rain coming down, the lockdown seems much more real. I wish I could just hibernate. But maybe, I'll get busy and get on with things a bit more. The big problem is that my daughter is getting her final dissertation together for Uni, so we all have to be quiet, it was easier when we could all go outside.






.

Monday, 27 April 2020

The Mill Hill General Knowledge Pub Quiz - A guest blog by Richard Wilkinson

Guest blogger Richard Wilkinson sent us a Mill Hill General Knowledge quiz for your enjoyment. He been in lockdown for a while and so he has been amusing himself by brushing up on his local knowledge. After a quick chat on the phone yesterday, he sent me this.

He thought one or two of you might find this to be an amusing distraction. No prizes, just for fun!

ONCE YOU'VE DONE THE QUIZ, CLICK HERE FOR THE ANSWERS.

Famous People

1. Which Doctor Who lived in Mill Hill?

2. Which James Bond lived in Mill Hill?

3. Which 50's Rock and Roller is buried in Mill Hill?

4. Which famous radio presenter opened Budgens in Mill Hill?

5. Which iconic 60's TV star was a member of the Mill Hill Services club in the 1960's and had a gypsy caravan in his back garden, that you could see from the Ridgeway?

6. Which band, which were the first UK band to have a US number one, had a member who's brother ran Kellys Corner garage in Mill Hill East?

7. Which member of the House of Lords, lives in Mill Hill and ran the record label that signed Bad Manners?

8. Which famous comedian, who famously called Prince Charles a Grovelling Bastard, sent his daughters to a private school in Mill Hill and regularly opened the Christmas fete.

9. Which member of the Dad's Army cast regularly opened the St Joseph's college garden fete in the 1970's?

10. Which Formula one racing driver is commemorated with a blue plaque on Parkside in Mill Hill?

Local Knowledge

11. What was the previous name of the pub that changed its name to The Railway Engineer after security concerns regarding the IRA?

12. What tube station in Mill Hill could you buy a ticket to, but you couldn't catch a train from in the 1960's?

13. What nationality was the owner of 'The Scotch Tea Rooms' on Station Road in Mill Hill in the 1960's?

14.  Why was the 240 bus from Mill Hill to Edgware a single decker until the mid 1960's?

15.What would you see at the back of the big red brick public health building in Daws Lane ( was the home of the sea scouts) that was a leftover from the second world war in the 1960's  and fascinated many young  boys playing on the swings in Mill Hill Park?

16. How much was a single ticket from Mill Hill Broadway to Borehamwood in January 1971?

17. Why would you visit Rex Godwin on the Broadway  in 1970? (an extra point if you can say the service that wasn't advertised in the window)?

18. What would you buy from the back section of Mill Hill Television in the mid 1970's, which was very popular with teenagers?

19.  Where was the 'New China Garden' in Mill Hill?

20. What was the name of the Cricket Club that had a clubhouse in the middle of Mill Hill Park?

Notable Buildings and Landmarks

21. What did the initials NIMR stand for?

22.  Who owns the Observatory on the Watford Way Mill Hill?

23. Who were the former owners of St  Josephs College on Lawrence Street?

24. Where is a blue plaque on the side of a Mill Hill building that marks the site of Quaker Meeting House?

25. What was the name of the pub that stood on the site of what is now the Kentucky Fried Chicken?

26. Why was the Railway Tavern in Mill Hill a mile from the Railway Station?

27. What was the building at the bottom of what  is now St Vincents Lane in the 1950's (the large yellow brick building on the left as you go down, which is now luxury flats)?

28.  What was Athene House before it was an office block?

29. Where is the 'Old Mill' in Mill Hill?

30. Where is the 'Old Post Office' in Mill Hill?

Mill Hill Nature.

31. Where was there a plague of terrapins in Mill Hill, that made national news?

32. What word would you put after  the words Angel and Sheepwash to describe well known locations in Mill Hill.

33. What large animal would you be most likely to see if you are heading away from Mill Hill Broadway on Lawrence Street and you look right?

34. What animal will you see in a cage in A&Y locksmiths in Mill Hill?

35. What bright green exotic species of bird will you see if you are lucky on a walk over Arrandene?

36. Name three species of reptile native to Mill Hill?

37. What is the name of the largest nature reserve in Mill Hill?

38. What species of Deer might you see in Arrandene open space?

39. What is the name of the green space between the A41 in Mill Hill and Lawrence Street

40. What tree, native to Australia, which reputedly has aromatic healing properties, would you find in the middle of the green space referred to in question 39?

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Does anyone have a quiz for any of the other parts of Barnet?

Click here to email us your guest quiz or any questions and clarifications.



Sunday, 26 April 2020

The Tweets of the Week in the London Borough of Barnet - 26/4/2020

You may wonder whether there would be in any interesting tweets in a week when the Borough is in lockdown? Well have no fear, there has been some very interesting stuff out there. As with previous weeks, we are giving covid tweets a wide berth

1. If you like this sort of tweet, and you haven't followed this amazing account, then you really should.


2. Two great tweets for the price of one!


3. A new account that we found this week. Regulars will know we love a good map here!


4. Another account we rather like!


5. This is a rather good football tweet, from the days when Barnet had some very good senior non league teams


6. A nice tweet from Finchley


7. This is a nice tweet, I love these little architectural details


8. A great picture of a Golders Green Icon


9. When man moves out, nature moves in


10. For all of you who like a bit of music, some music connections with Mill Hill



That's all folks!!!!

Saturday, 25 April 2020

The Saturday List #261- My top memories of Finchley Carnival 1966 & 1973

Another collect of pictures from our family collection. Today’s selection is from the 1966 and 1973 Finchley Carnival. The Carnival was the highlight of civic life in the Borough of Barnet. The Carnival featured a procession through Finchley, with a funfair and other events in Victoria Park.

The Finchley Carnival Queen was a big deal. In 1966, my Sister Catherine, had the honour and in 1973 another Sister Caroline was an attendant. There were huge parades, with amazing floats. Which paraded down the High Street. Sadly, at some point around 2012, the council decided that parks were not really centres of our civic life.

1. Lets start with 1973, and a figure you will recognise. Just plain old Margaret Hilda Thatcher then, education secretary for Ted Heath and MP for Finchley. My mother knew her quite well, through charity work, although they didn't see eye to eye. Mrs Thatcher once suggested that she stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate, as "there are too many completely useless men in Westminster". She was a stalwart supporter and even as Prime Minister would turn up to open the festivities.

2. The Carnival Queen and her attendants would arrive on the back of a flat bed truck, suitably adorned with decorations. Having been driven down Ballards Lane past Finchley Central Station.

3. The Carnival Queen and her attendents (my sister Caroline on the right) would attend the opening and present for various other festivities. The selection process was arduous, with public selection meetings hosted by such major celebrities as Monty Modlin. Contestants would be asked such arduous questions as what their hobbies were. Generally the best answer was "watching you on Telly Monty"




4. The parade featured a magnificent array of vehicles. Local associations and groups would make a massive effort to ensure that they put on a show for the locals



5. As this picture shows, not all propulsion was mechanical. It was nice to see the hospitals getting recognition as well (in these trying times a nice touch).



6. Youth groups such as the Sea Scouts were also well represented. A free pot noodle if you can figure out what the flags signify


7. The festivities would include marching bands, which were always a well received specticle.

These were the highlights from 1973. 


8. Now we are on to 1966. My sister Catherine was the Carnival Queen. This secured her a modelling career, the highlight of which was an advert on National ITV for the National Cheese Board! Cath ditched the career when she decided to become a teacher. I suspect that if we had a Carnival Queen today, it would be a lot more inclusive and possibly a lot more fun. Maybe when lockdown is over, we should revive the tradition with a more 2020 feel!




9. The London Borough of Barnet were keen participants in the parade, putting the civic fleet to good use. I can't really see that happening these days? Any idea what the make of truck was?









10. As I was but a wee nipper at the time, the absolute highlight was the funfair. This was always the busiest bit
















11. The big moment was the entrance of the parade to Victoria Park, lead by the float of the Carnival Queen.





12. The Carnival Queen would bestow her blessings on her subjects as the float did a circuit.











13. Of course, for some of us there were far more important things to do than watch your sister giving it large. My mum was a talented seamstress and I do wonder whether she'd knocked that outfit up from some old curtains though!









14. A great picture of the Carnival Queens float on its journey past Finchley Central Station. I wonder what happened to Pope's, who were the go to place for Vauxhall. I have no recollection of them, although I do remember the float.




"That's all from us!"
In the course of my research, I found this rather good video from 1961, featuring the Carnival




Have a great weekend!

Friday, 24 April 2020

Covid19 has been terrible, but was this a good year for it to strike?

"Things could be worse, at least the weather is beautiful". This was the response to a "Everything Ok" greeting to an elderly Jewish chap we regularly see on our daily dog walk across the Darlands nature reserve. I guess we've seen him most days for the last couple of years, since we got our new dog. He's a pleasant, cheerful type, after the first couple of times we saw him and his friends on their daily walk, we'd not and exchange a greeting. Now he's either walking alone or with his wife. We now stop and have a pleasant, socially distanced chat. This has been facilitated by the beautiful weather. Yesterday, he made a shrewd observation, saying "This would have been awful if it had happened when we had the beast from the East a couple of years ago". The sunshine has given many of us, especially those with gardens, a degree of respite. I do wonder whether the experience will spell the end of the mega developments of rabbit hutch size flats, with no gardens. I suspect that there will be a lot of these sitting empty for a very long time. But that is a discussion for another day, today I am going to explore the What If's the Lockdown had happened in another year. just suppose that the world had been locked down from March to whenever in another year?

I did some reading up on the Beast from the East and it had actually passed by the middle of April. The main spell was between 22nd February and 5th March, with a further cold snap on 17-18 March. If you transpose that onto this years Covid timeline, it may actually have been better, as we'd have all been inside, keeping out of the cold, rather than enjoying the sun. It is entirely feasible that there may have been less transmissions had we had such a cold snap. The travel disruption that the snow and ice caused, may well have meant thousands would have been at home rather than catching covid on the tube. The sunshine has certainly got more of us out and about than would have been the case if the weather had been cold and wet. Of course our mental health may well have suffered from being cooped up.

A thought that also occurred to me was that there were other years when it might have made a huge difference. Just imagine this had happened in 1982? The junta in Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on the 2nd April. Had the world been locked down in March, then we may well not have had a Falklands war. The war cemented the reputation of Margaret Thatcher as the Iron lady. Previous to the victorious campaign, she was lagging in the polls. Following the Vietnam war, America had turned away from the concept of starting foreign wars, but Ronald Regan noted the huge poll boost Thatcher received and promptly invaded Grenada, booting out a left wing administration. His ratings soared and the pattern of American presidents starting wars abroad began. The world would have been a very different place if we'd all been locked down and the Argentine Navy had stayed at home.

What about 1977? The year two sevens clashed? The year of the punk explosion. Although it had been simmering in 1976, and the Damned had released the first UK punk album in January, the music hadn't really exploded into the public consciousness. It was between January and June that it really took off, with the Sex Pistols topping the charts with God Save The Queen during the Queens silver Jubilee in the first week of June. Had we been in lockdown, most of the seminal punk albums may not have been released. The bands that were just forming would never have got together. Of course some of the music would have been released, but the whole nation would have been looking in a different direction. The Clash's debut album was released in April, Exodus by Bob Marley and Puremania by The Vibrators in June, and My aim is true by Elvis Costello and the Attractions in July. These would all have been pushed back or postponed completely. It is unlikely that Virgin would have signed the Sex Pistols in May, if the company was in lockdown. Punk inspired so many musicians, also leading to the establishment of reggae as a major music genre in the UK. It also inspired the independent music movement, with homegrown labels and magazines launching many amazing talents. In lockdown, it is likely that none of this could have flourished.

Or what about if this had happened in 1979? Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister on 3rd May 1979. Labour had been running a minority administration. The winter of 78 had been appalling, but its poll ratings were improving. The election would have been postponed. Thatcher would have been obliged to support the efforts of the government to fight the virus. Who knows how Jim Callaghan would have managed the crisis.  One thing would be clear though, it would have taken peoples minds off the Winter of Discontent. Callaghan may have won and Thatcher would have just been a small footnote in history.

Blonde on Blonde - 1966
Perhaps the most worrying of all the scenarios would be the Lockdown occurring in 1966. There would have been no World Cup, No Geoff Hurst hattrick, no "Two world wars and a World Cup" chants. Perhaps England would have been a different place. The Beatles were writing revolver during the lockdown months. Otis Redding released The Soul Album. In June, Aretha Franklyn released soul sister and Dylan released Blonde on Blonde. If they'd been shelved, or not recorded, the world would be a much worse place indeed.

All in all, we will never know what 2020 would have been like had the Lockdown not happened. But if we look at these years, we can see that it really could have made a massie change. Maybe England would have won the Euro's and a new Bob Marley emerged? We will never know.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Mill Hill and Motors from the 60's and 70's - Some pictures and reminiscences from my Dad's collection

Dad, who took these pics RIP
My family have a 70 year association with the motor trade in Mill Hill. Around 1950, my Dad set up a crash repair business in Mill Hill. At one stage, he had enough staff for the firm to run its own football team. The business also had a long standing association with Edgware Town football club, being a club sponsor and match day advertiser.


My Dad being an Aussie, he had no interest in Football, but this was our local club, so he always did his best to support it. Many of the guys who worked for him also played for the club or were fans.

I while back, I tweeted an old program celebrating this link between the firm and the club.



As regular readers will no doubt have noticed, I've been going through our family photo album. I found an abundance of photos of cars and car related photo's, not really surprising as my Dad was a class A petrolhead. The Holy grail for me will be when I find some pictures of his much loved 3 Litre Capri, black with a  go faster red stripe. He'd bought it from a guy who modded it for the Pan African Rally in 1973. It had a nitrus burner on board and my Dad would take great delight racing Police cars, and when the inevitable visit occurred a few days later, he'd claim that it was one of his staff, which one he couldn't quite remember, who had borrowed it as he'd been away for the weekend. My Father had a very fast and loose view of road traffic law. Although in every other way he was a law abiding citizen, he felt roads were his own personal fiefdom and treated them as such. He tended to view the Police as 'the other team' and would waste no opportunity to try and put one over on them. Oddly many of his best friends were policemen and he actually went to Rome on the Catholic Police Association Pilgrimage in 1966.

I posted a selection of these picture from the 60's and 70's on Instagram, I thought it would be good to gather them into a collection. I hope you enjoy these.
















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