Search

My Dartmouth Park: Beatles biographer Hunter Davies remembers Parliament Hill Fields

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:47 04 August 2014

Hunter Davies.

Hunter Davies.

Archant

Hunter Davies, 78, is an author and journalist best known for writing the only authorised biography of The Beatles. He has lived in Dartmouth Park with his wife, novelist Margaret Forster, for more than 50 years. Mr Davies has two new books, The Biscuit Girls and The Beatles Lyrics, out in August and September respectively.

What brought you to Dartmouth Park?

This was in 1963 and we had a flat in the Vale of Health and wanted to buy something locally but couldn’t afford Hampstead. So we looked around for cheap places near the Heath and bought our house for £5,000. At the time, the area was called Parliament Hill Fields, which you still see on the buses. It was the local poncy, pretentious estate agents about 30 years ago who rechristened our immediate streets as Dartmouth Park. Nobody knew where that was for years. I quite like the use of the name now. We always thought we would move back to Hampstead one day but now never would. We love it here soooooo much.

You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?

I have days off all the time, I am a total sybarite but I suppose the ideal day would be as it always has been since 1960 when we first moved to Hampstead – the Heath, of course, where else? I walk it every day that we are in London.

Is there anything about Dartmouth Park which you would like to see changed or improved?

No dogs anywhere, on the Heath, on the planet. It’s people shouting at their dogs that drives me mad. People seem to have dogs just to shout at them. Potty. Mobile phones, obviously. They should be banned as well.

As guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?

The whole paper, every inch, devoted to Spurs, with not a word about the Arsenal...

A film is set to be made about your life. Which actor would you choose to play you and why?

Old Mother Riley? Is she still going? If not, Mrs Brown of Mrs Brown’s Boys. I always think I look like both of them, but they have better hair.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

My dear wife, of course. Stop it, that hurts.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

Epitaph? Is that spelt with a “f” at the end? And spelt. Should that be spelled? Thank God, no more spellings to check...

Hunter Davies was in conversation with Tim Lamden

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

17 minutes ago

Campaigners against the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel lorries through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Yesterday, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Yesterday, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Yesterday, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.

Yesterday, 11:55

Passengers on the Barking to Gospel Oak line have become used to delays and disruption in recent times.

Wed, 17:58

A man has been convicted over the “senseless” stabbing of a Dutch man in Camden Lock in 2016.

Wed, 17:04

Camden Council will correct a sign that says a park will be closed every day at dusk, despite it having no way to shut it.

Wed, 13:01

A Cumbrian couple have been left scared for their property after receiving a bailiff’s letter demanding council tax for a Maida Vale property they have no connection to.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now