Search

My Hampstead Garden Suburb: Former Jewish Chronicle editor Ned Temko on ‘Stalinist Suburb authorities’

11:00 03 August 2013

Ned Temko.

Ned Temko.

Archant

Ned Temko, 60, was editor of The Jewish Chronicle for 15 years and stepped down in 2005. Before that he worked as foreign correspondent for Christian Science Monitor. The father-of-one has lived in Hampstead Way, Hampstead Garden Suburb, with his wife Astra for 20 years.

What brought you to Hampstead Garden Suburb?

Geographical progression. When we moved to Britain – with my wife pregnant, and the US newspaper for whom I worked as a foreign correspondent gracefully footing our housing costs – we lived for a year or so in a flat just off Sloane Square. A wonderful area in its own way, but not great for raising an infant. Not ideal, it must be said, for grown-ups either. So we made our way northwards.

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

Pray for sunshine, light up a cigar, take out a favourite novel I haven’t read for years, and remind myself of the power of truly great writing.

What makes the Suburb a special place to live?

It’s part of London but feels like living in the country. No doubt, exactly as Henrietta Barnett would have had it. Also, it’s less intellectually self-important than Hampstead.

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

The slightly Stalinist zeal with which some of the Suburb powers-that-be, not to mention some of the residents, look upon the horror of even the slightest, even sometimes the invisible, alteration of local properties. All this while sometimes missing the bigger “conservation area” picture, such as the fact that at least some roads seem to have become unofficial commuter parking lots due to the vagaries of residents’ parking restrictions.

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

The obvious answer is Dustin Hoffman since, even without recourse to method acting, he should be able to do a slightly ageing, vertically challenged Jewish guy to perfection. But Hugh Grant, I think… I’d love to see him try to do a slightly ageing, vertically challenged Jewish guy to perfection.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

I’m tempted to say George W. Bush, simply to wind up my left-wing friends. And I must say that, while I’d never vote for him, I found him not only to be able to read and write, but enormously articulate and reflective. But it has to be two figures from my time in South Africa. First, Nelson Mandela. I know it will sound clichéd, but merely to have spent an hour speaking with him on the afternoon after his release was to feel in the presence of greatness. The other was the late South African MP Helen Suzman: feisty, brave, funny, and absolutely determined to fight the injustice and cruelties of apartheid from within.

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

Oh my God, I forgot to take out the recycling!

Ned Temko was in conversation with Tim Lamden.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 14:06
Yasmin Farah

Police are appealing for the public’s help to find two sixteen-year-old girls who have gone missing from Camden.

Yesterday, 09:07
Mary Langan with her 23-year-old son, James

Carers of adults with demential and disabilities are demanding change after a report revealed there is a “breakdown of trust” on the Haringey boards designed to represent them.

Thu, 17:14
Nina Martynchyk with her foster mother, Nina B

A young woman who overcame anorexia is organising a conference with the Royal Free Hospital to draw attention to how the condition affects children and teenagers

Thu, 16:01
Highgate School

Students and staff at Highgate school were reflecting on a very impressive set of GCSE results today, with 88.2 percent of exams receiving a grade of A* or A.

Thu, 12:41
Hampstead School is in Westbere Road (Pic credit: Google streetview)

The Hampstead School has once again seen its GCSE results improve today, with nearly a quarter of all grades receiving an A* or A grade.

Thu, 11:53
Hornsey School for Girls

Girls at Hornsey School for Girls were today collecting some stellar GCSE results.

Thu, 11:44
Sam White has praised William Ellis pupils

The headteacher of William Ellis school, Sam White, was full of praise for his students today after a promising set of GCSE results.

Thu, 10:56
UCS school

University College School was today celebrating the second best set of GCSE results in its history, with a remarkable 88.6 percent of exams achieving either an A* or A grade.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The showroom is located in Hayes

After 25 years as a trade-only business, family-run door manufacturers Composite Door Master are set to open their first public showroom in Hayes this weekend.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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