Grim rubbish-filled street in South End Green to become Day of the Triffids alley

PUBLISHED: 11:11 28 November 2014

David Kitchen, chair of SEGA, and Prof. David Ketterer at the Pond St entrance to

David Kitchen, chair of SEGA, and Prof. David Ketterer at the Pond St entrance to "Triffid Alley" NW3


It’s a “rather grim” alleyway that serves as a little else but a store for rubbish and recycling.

View down View down "Triffid Alley" nxt to Warwick Mansions, Pond St NW3

But this dreary stretch of land could soon become an unlikely stop on Hampstead’s literary trail – after plans were unveiled to name it in honour of science fiction classic The Day of the Triffids.

The South End Green Residents Association (Sega) is hoping to have the narrow passageway officially named Triffid Alley after the killer plant that ravages humanity in John Wyndham’s 1951 novel.

It is set to canvass residents and businesses before contacting Camden Council and the owners of the private alley.

Sega chairman David Kitchen said: “It’s a rather grim little alley, there’s nothing splendid about it, it’s just full of wheelie bins, but it’s clean.

“Any literary name or famous name we can associate with South End Green, all the better.”

Mr Kitchen hopes the alley will be named in time for a rumoured blockbuster remake of the 1962 film adaptation, which renowned director Mike Newell is said to be making.

Sega embraced the proposal after it was suggested by a retired English professor who recently wrote a biography of Wyndham – and happens to live in nearby South Hill Park.

David Ketterer, now an honorary research fellow at the University of Liverpool, which holds the Wyndham archives, said the alley makes a brief but important appearance in the book.

The hero Bill Masen uses it to escape an onslaught from the venomous triffids, after they surround him in a grocery store. Before the triffids strike, he arrives in South End Green to find an eerie silence hanging over the area – and dead bodies strewn about the streets.

Mr Ketterer said: “When I reread Day of the Triffids, I knew immediately this was just down the road.

“I can’t really think of any good reasons not to do it. Day of the Triffids is a classic science fiction novel and the episode is a significant one in the novel structurally.

“The alley is unnamed and it would be another point of literary interest in this part of London.”

The area is only identified as being near to Hampstead Heath, but Mr Ketterer says the description is so clear he was able to pinpoint Masen’s precise movements.

The alley is off Pond Street, behind the shops of South End Road, while the grocery store was a Co-op at the time, but is now Starbucks.

Mr Ketterer said the street name would stand as the first memorial of any sort to Wyndham or his work in England, after three failed attempts to get a Blue Plaque erected at his former home in Bloomsbury.

He added: “He obviously knew the area pretty well and he worked the episode out fairly carefully – it’s a very precise description of things as they were in 1949 or 1950, when he would have written the piece.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


Camden’s planners have recommended approving the controversial building of an eruv – a Jewish boundary that allows for several exceptions to Shabbat laws – around the borough.


Camden Council has written to the Government in protest at how difficult it is to block planning applications for the new “unwanted” phone boxes that are telecoms companies are erecting around the borough.

A murder investigation has been launched after a 25-year-old man was stabbed to death in Tufnell Park last night.

Yesterday, 16:03

A man has appeared in court over a hit and run crash which killed Camden man Richard Dougherty last month.

Yesterday, 10:26

“Today’s ruling [...] focuses on procedure rather than the merits of the scheme.”

Yesterday, 10:24

A cycling campaigner has blamed CS11’s legal defeat on Transport for London’s “watering down” of the project – and said it is time for London mayor Sadiq Khan to “improve his politics game”.

Yesterday, 09:18

Westminster North MP Karen Buck joined parents and children to protest the sudden closure of Queen’s Park Nursery.

Yesterday, 08:07

Campaigners from Greenpeace staged a protest outside the Camden High Street Marks and Spencer on Saturday to urge the high street giant to crack down on its use of single-use plastic.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now