please empty your brain below

I'm guessing that this was a pre - Hobnob era but I wondered if you happen to know if Mark Twain was chucking custard creams or maybe a plainer biscuit such as digestives or rich tea? Also, should we not mention in passing through Neasden, the world's tallest bloke. This is true, it was in The Sun. I won't mention Sid and Doris Bonkers.

...wonderful stuff sir, helping overcome my withdrawal from BB7. How very apt and so very metro.

Excellent piece.

Fascinating stuff. Neasden is such a horrible name though. It sounds cheap and sneering.

Neasden has provided one international icon for our times - Twiggy. A metroland girl through and through but not built in the mould of Miss Joan Hunter Dunn so maybe Betjeman would not have fancied her!

Gladstone Park used to have a wonderful art deco lido, it was kidney shaped and had grassy slopes to loll on. Unfortunately Brent Council decided to dispense with it some years ago.

I seem to remember there was a 'War Room' bunker at North Cheam on Church Hill Road. There were 4 of them in a ring around London for Civil Defence purposes. Are any of them still around, or have they been demolished?

Great stuff. There's a Beeb R4 series starting next week on JB. Did you know? Think it's called Betjamen's Women.

Paddock Bunker!

We were commissioned to provide a safety analysis of opening the bunker up to the public. We advised them not to! Anyhow, a solution had to be achieved, given the planning obligations placed on the Housing Authority, but taking into account being reasonable with finances.

Great to see it now open under guided tours. I have forgotten all about it. Well worth a visit, although almost all items of interest had been removed some time ago. The bunker just outside Brentwood in Essex provides a much more facinating insight.

I think you forgot to mention the nature reserve at, I think the north east corner. It's a small patch of jungle, which you can just about walk through without the aid of a machete.

Another interesting thing is if you go to the south east corner and walk along the track between a hedgerow and the railway fence for a hundred yards or more, you come to a dead end, which is a hidden area of allotments. There a lost tribe in flat caps can be seen tending their marrows, unaware that the war is over.

There is a set of four or five tennis courts near the car park. You can just walk in and play, but a warden comes around sometimes and asks for money. Only about £2.50, but that was a few years ago.

While the Glastonbury festival was on, we had a rival "Gladstonbury" festival, with some excellent music, from the Blue Bishops and others.

Woe betide anyone who tries to drive around the park as a shortcut. It has dead ends everywhere to prevent rat runs.

It's a great place. On a clear day I can see its slopes from the back of my Willesden house on the other side of the valley. There are three "sdens" adjoining: Neasden, Willesden and Harlesden.

Funny how a place gets condemned by its name. The only place I ever encountered that actually was as bad as it sounded was Slough (and they're not too keen on Betjeman in Slough for obvious reasons...)

Neasden? Down at heel? Never!
Have you seen the local shops?

I've always wondered, if they use scaffolding to keep buildings from falling down, why don't they just build with it?

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