WHO'S WHO: artist and children's champion Dennis McNulty
Dennis McNulty is a self-taught artist and the premises manager at New End Primary School in Hampstead. He has his first exhibition at Burgh House. WHY DO YOU LIVE IN HAMPSTEAD? It s the historical side of it. You ve got Keats House, Fenton House, th
Dennis McNulty is a self-taught artist and the premises manager at New End Primary School in Hampstead. He has his first exhibition at Burgh House.
WHY DO YOU LIVE IN HAMPSTEAD?
It's the historical side of it. You've got Keats House, Fenton House, the Heath. You've got poets, you've got artists. Just the whole ambience. It's a vibrant place now, because of those people who, in the past, came here.
WHAT IS MISSING FROM HAMPSTEAD?
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For the kids, it's other children. There's nowhere for them to play. There are not enough children in the area.
WHAT IS HAMPSTEAD'S BIGGEST EYESORE?
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I would say the Royal Free Hospital. It's just a concrete slab. It probably was, in its day, fantastic but it shows up the area. It doesn't look very nice, to put it mildly. You walk around Hampstead and there're all these lovely Victorian houses, and you come around the corner and you've got the Royal Free looking at you. It doesn't do it for me.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?
I haven't really got one. I don't really eat out a lot in Hampstead-there's not a lot to choose from, unless it's a coffee shop. I tend to go down to Camden Town. There are a lot of Cypriot restaurants. I like Karavas, down at Mornington Crescent.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE AREA AT WEEKENDS?
Not a lot, really - I paint! I spend it with my kids, spend it with the family, go round visiting people, go up to the pubs in the local area and have a drink.
IF YOU WERE MAYOR FOR A DAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I would give it back to the children. I would let the children take over for the day. Adults aren't allowed to do anything! Let the children run the country. I would lower the age of consent so they can go into public houses and sit with their parents. There's nowhere for families to sit down with their kids and have something to drink. Europe caters for children but London, in a sense, doesn't, in that you can't eat out with them during the evening. During the day, it's acceptable but during the evening children should be seen and not heard. It's very difficult for parents. It's a whole family issue.
WHO WAS THE LAST CELEBRITY YOU SAW IN THE AREA?
Lisa Stansfield, who sang Been Around the World. I see her in The White Bear.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE HAMPSTEAD ANECDOTE?
This guy used to stand at the school gate while I was painting murals on the walls, just cartoons for the kids. He just used to stand there and I thought, "Strange guy." But when I read in the local papers that he died, I thought, "That's the guy who used to stand and watch me paint!" When he died I realised, reading his autobiography, that he liked art.
IF YOU HAD A MILLION POUNDS TO SPEND IN A DAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I'd probably have a massive barbecue and invite everyone round. Open to everyone, go for it! No sports car for me.