My Hampstead: Bradley Wiggins’ manager Richard Allchin on why Hampstead tops Chelsea as best place to live
- Credit: Archant
Richard Allchin is Sir Bradley Wiggins’ former manager and close friend. Wiggins gave him his yellow jersey after he won the Tour de France. He has lived in and around the Hampstead area all his life.
What bought you to Hampstead?
I was born in New End hospital and we lived in Carlingford Road. I moved to Swiss Cottage and later lived in Chelsea, Olympia and California. However, Hampstead is by far the best place to live in London by a long, long way.
What is your favourite thing about the area?
The Heath is beautiful and I like some of the pubs and bars, the friendly “village” atmosphere of many of the local shops.
Which is your favourite shop in the area?
Not just one I am afraid, Nila and Pravin at Village Newsagents have been great friends and never ever refuse to help me if I have an emergency. Photocraft – Keith, Paul and Jason have helped me a lot with technical work I have needed. In the last three years thanks to the Ham&High I have discovered Crescent Fruiterers in Belsize Village.
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What is the area’s best kept secret?
The UCS health club on Frognal Lane, part of the famous school. It’s a wonderful local facility.
What is missing from the area?
A good fish and chip shop and restaurant.
What makes you smile on your way home?
Not seeing any idiots driving and talking on their cell phones, especially around the schools where the mothers are the worst culprits!
How would you spend your perfect Sunday?
Have a drink locally and then have a slap-up Sunday lunch at home. If I have a couple of bob then at the Villa Bianco.
What tips would you give to somebody moving to the area?
Just enjoy the Village, make the most of the Heath and get to know some of the locals - famous, infamous. Enjoy the local history and come to understand what the world owes to many of the previous residents, in all areas of life.
Where in the world would you twin with Hampstead?
Either Sacramento in California or Ghent in Belgium. Very different but unique towns. Two sides of a coin.
If you had to write your own epitaph what would it say?
I have tried to be a good person, but made a lot of mistakes. I have often tried to help others when possible with what little talent I have. I should have made more of myself but very honestly I have generally a very poor view of mankind as a whole, not all of course. Maybe our world should start from scratch again but with pre-programmed positive awareness, with more power to fight evil and injustice.