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My Hampstead Garden Suburb: Former head of residents association ‘inspired’ by Daily Mirror job

09:00 06 April 2014

Janet Elliott. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Janet Elliott. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Janet Elliott stood down as chairman of Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents Association on Monday after five years in the role. The mother-of-two worked in the promotions departments at the Daily Mirror and Vogue magazine in her younger years. She has lived in Temple Fortune Lane, the Suburb, for 20 years and retired as chief executive of Pitman Examinations Institute in 1992.

What brought you to Hampstead Garden Suburb?

My (now sadly late) husband had come to London from Vienna as a refugee with his parents. We both felt happy in north London and as we approached retirement we were living on the edge of the Heath in North End, Hampstead. We liked it there but decided we again needed a slightly bigger place and preferably nearby.

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

Kenwood House and the Heath have been favourite places from well before we moved into the Suburb.

What makes the Suburb a special place to live?

It’s quiet, but not sleepy, and I have met friends and interesting people. Living here on the edge of the Suburb, I get the full advantage of the feel of a garden suburb, plus easy access to everything that central London has to offer.

Is there anything about the Suburb which you would like to see changed or improved?

The Suburb was built in the pre-car era and keeping the area comfortable for residents while allowing for traffic and parking is a constant battle.

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

Not a likely project but Judi Dench: what woman my age wouldn’t?

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

No one person, but my first job was at the Daily Mirror in its golden era - it was an inspiring place to be. Having decided against university at that stage I found myself unexpectedly working on projects which involved artists and writers at the peak of their careers.

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

My daughter suggested: “Her own woman”.

Janet Elliott was in conversation with Tim Lamden

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