Search

My Hampstead: Community activist Janine Griffis on lampposts, air pollution and her NW3 adventure

09:00 20 July 2014

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum stand, Janine Griffis (left) and Carissa Bub.

Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum stand, Janine Griffis (left) and Carissa Bub.

Archant

Janine Griffis, 57, is the chairman of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum, a new community group set up to help shape the future of Hampstead. She lives in Denning Road and also chairs the Pilgrim’s to Willoughby Residents Association.

What brought you to Hampstead? We were young, living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and my husband’s law firm opened a London office. We leapt at the chance to come for a three-year stint. The plan was that I would take a break from work, we would start a family and then we would return to the States having had our adventure. That was in 1986. The family has grown up and we are still having our adventure.

What makes it such a special place? I love that it takes me 15 minutes to walk the five minutes up the High Street, stopping to say hello to people I know.

How has it changed since you arrived? There has definitely been a “smartening-up” of the village in general. One thing I don’t miss is the old 1960s lampposts. The first campaign I became involved with locally was working with the traditional lighting champion David Christie and other residents in re-instating traditional lampposts in the neighbourhood. They have improved the streetscape enormously.

What is the area’s best-kept secret? Is Artichoke a secret anymore? We have shopped at this greengrocers in Heath Street for years but Deana has transformed her father’s shop into a veritable temple of fruit and veg.

You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to? I would visit 2 Willow Road, the National Trust property. It is always those things around the corner that we take for granted.

As guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported? I would be interested to know how traffic congestion in the village and South End Green is affecting our air quality.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met? Margot Fonteyn. I met her toward the end of her career on what must have been a ghastly Midwestern tour. She was the most gracious and elegant person I have ever met.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say? Great life, good fertiliser.

Janine Griffis was in conversation with Tom Marshall

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

52 minutes ago
Left to right: Jeremy Clynes, Deborah Warland, Hetty Colchester and Jonathan Seres, who all helped to set up Garden Suburb Community Library. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Campaigners who took over running their local library to save it from closure fear that new multi-million pound cuts will “decimate” Barnet’s library service.

16:45
Will Jenkins, of Highgate School, was a finalist in the 11-14 category at the 50th Wildlife Photograher of the Year Awards

When an 11-year-old Highgate schoolboy leapt out of a swimming pool to capture a striking dragon-like iguana on camera, he had no clue the snap would class him among the best young photographers in the world.

08:56
Patrick O'Leary

A member of a violent gang that burst into a woman’s home and stabbed her in the face with a screwdriver has been jailed.

11:39
Howard Jacobson at the LJCC. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Author Howard Jacobson may have missed out on a second Man Booker Prize recently, but it appears the planned closure of a historic Jewish community centre has caused him greater disappointment.

Most read news

And it’s said to be revolutionising access to donor sperm throughout the country.

Many people now feel they have to move jobs to better their career and get ahead.

‘Go get him’ said the police officer, and that’s just what the dog did.

It’s deforestation, but not as you’ve seen it before.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition