Search

My Hampstead: Michael Taylor on life in Hampstead and restoring St Stephen’s church for the community

09:00 30 June 2013

Michael Taylor at St Stephen

Michael Taylor at St Stephen's. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Michael Taylor, 71, chairman of the St Stephen’s Restoration and Preservation Trust, has lived in Hampstead for 52 years and in Lyndhurst Road for the past 30 years. After retiring from the Royal Institute of British Architects, he has spent the last 15 years restoring St Stephen’s, a Grade I-listed deconsecrated church in Rosslyn Hill, and opening it for community use.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I was brought up in Highgate Road but always wished we lived in “classier” Hampstead. Aged 18, I finally made it with a student flat-share and have been here ever since.

What is your favourite thing about the area?

The wonderfully varied 18th and 19th century architecture, from mansions to cottages, the Heath where I played as a child and the profusion of trees in the streets.

What is the worst thing about the area?

The loss of the village atmosphere over the last 40 years as essential family shops are forced out by rising rents, to be replaced by too many estate agents, phone shops and chain fashion stores.

If you were mayor for a day, what would you change?

I would restrain greedy freeholders from forcing essential services out of the High Street.

If you had £100 to blow in Hampstead where would you spend it?

In Waterstones bookshop which has excellent fine art, photography and poetry sections.

How would you spend your perfect Sunday?

Walk on the Heath, lunch at the Holly Bush pub, wander the oldest streets looking for blue plaques and who lived where, ending with a leisurely dinner at Villa Bianca restaurant.

What tips would you give to somebody moving into the area?

Shop and send your children to school locally (primary and secondary). Don’t develop your property – leave it as it is.

Where would you live if not in Hampstead?

Somerset, where my father’s forebears lived.

What would your epitaph say?

Michael Taylor restored St Stephen’s, Rosslyn Hill and gave it back to the community.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

15:30
David Cameron speaks to pupils at the Archer Academy.

Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed to pupils at a East Finchley free school that his favourite teacher at Eton College used to throw a “block of wood” at students who did not pay attention in class.

15:08
Natalia Czekaj

The partner of a popular West Hampstead barmaid has today admitted stabbing her to death at her home.

13:18
Mitch Winehouse next to the statue of his daughter unveiled in Camden Market last year. Picture: Dieter Perry

The family of late singer and former Camden Square resident Amy Winehouse has criticised an upcoming documentary about her life.

10:34
Tesco Express in Swain's Lane was closed last week due to a rodent infestation

A supermarket on a popular shopping parade was temporarily closed due to a rodent infestation.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder