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West Hampstead vicar puts parable of the talents to the test

PUBLISHED: 12:54 29 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:15 07 September 2010

1 August 1958 Mr Harold Brighouse - author of the famous Lancashire comedy Hobson s Choice - who had lived in Parliament Hill, Hampstead, since 1919, collapsed and died in the Strand on the eve of his 76th birthday. He daily took a five-mile walk across

1 August 1958

Mr Harold Brighouse - author of the famous Lancashire comedy Hobson's Choice - who had lived in Parliament Hill, Hampstead, since 1919, collapsed and died in the Strand on the eve of his 76th birthday. He daily took a five-mile walk across the Heath.

The vicar of Emanuel Church, West Hampstead, sends a £1 note in an envelope to dozens of people in West Hampstead with a request that its value be increased, as in the Parable of the Talents, and returned with any gain in December. He suggests the £1 be used to buy materials to make things to sell to friends and relatives, such as jam making, basket work, embroidery, knitting and growing plants.

Test cases are being contested on behalf of 174 of the tenants of flats on the Holly Lodge Estate, which are occupied by spinsters and widows. The landlords are asking for an increase of 10 per cent on their rents.

Chalk Farm's four-year-old battle against smoke and grit belched out by engines in the railway sidings is to start all over again. Numerous questions have been asked in Parliament, promises made by the Minister that smokeless fuel would be tried, and various dates quoted for the proposed electrification of the line. First move is to reopen the question of roofing the sheds and providing a high ventilating chimney at the Camden motive power depot in Chalk Farm Road. Of 105 families living in Gloucester Road, 14 complained there was more smoke than ever, 77 said the nuisance remained the same, and 14 said it might be less but "only slightly".

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