We were delighted to be able to resume our hitherto regular historical walks in September, having been prevented for so long by events from organising these. On the day the weather seemed distinctly unpromising, but the rain happily relented in the afternoon. We were rewarded with a large attendance.
On this occasion, our former Chair Averil Nottage conducted a stroll through parts of Belsize that gave an insight into some representative aspects of our locality’s rich social and architectural history, dating back 1,000 years. Starting in Belsize Terrace and taking in Belsize Square, Lambolle Road, Eton Stables, Eton Avenue and finally Chalcot Gardens, we learned how the name “Belsize” came about, how what was originally forest became farmland and then, with London’s expansion over the centuries, its transformation into a middle-class suburb, with reference in particular to the changing fashions in housing that we still see.
It was very apparent afterwards (over tea and cakes!) how pleased everyone was to able to participate after so long in a collective event of this kind, and one which was so informative and instructive. We owe our sincere thanks to Averil and to those of our members who made and served the tea and cakes. Some very good news is that Averil is planning a further walk for May next year, this time centred around the artists, refugees and spies (!) who lived in the Parkhill and Lawn Roads areas of Belsize (off Haverstock Hill, round the corner from the tube) in the 1930s. Watch this space….