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, 19:23

A former London Metropolitan University lecturer is looking to inspire the next generation of architects with a series of early years workshops in Islington.

Yesterday, 17:05

Starting university is something new, big and exciting, whether you are moving to a new city or another country.

Yesterday, 16:08

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses to incident which resulted in a woman falling onto the tracks.

Yesterday, 15:53

The company has been fined £500,000 after an engineer was injured plunging down a lift shaft at the disused South Kentish Town station.

Yesterday, 09:59

Haringey Council agreed to take in 10 families earlier this month, but is now calling for kind-hearted homeowners to find space to host them

Yesterday, 09:36

A planning appeal for an extra flat in the 130-year-old pub has been dismissed as the inspector said it would make the pub unviable

Mon, 22:38

In a deeply moving show of community around 200 Hampstead mums and dads with buggies, friends and family joined our march through central London today for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Mon, 17:00

A driver managed to flip a car on its back near the pavement just by Regent’s Park

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

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