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Adam Hug

Adam has been a Labour councillor representing Westbourne for 10 years, having first moved to Westminster in 2006. Adam talks about the challenges of bringing people together and building community cohesion in an area that has huge wealth disparities, and where people from different cultures and heritage live parallel lives. 

Alex Johnson

Here, Alex talks about his life in the area, from growing up playing football in Paddington Rec to eventually getting married and settling down in Maryland Road where he has lived for the past 21 years.

Anna Hadeed

Anna was born at St Mary’s Hospital in 1969. Today, she is engaged in community development, working as a Fundraiser for Westbourne Park Family Centre. 

Here, Anna talks about having a West Indian mother and British father, and how unique this was considered to be as a child despite the rich diversity in North Paddington. 

Bill Jacob

Bill was appointed Archdeacon of Charing Cross in 1996, taking up the role of overseeing the parishes in the City of Westminster. During this time, Bill was heavily involved in seeking solutions for St Mary Magdalene’s.

Here, Bill talks about poverty and deprivation, the effects it has on people and communities, and how it ages them while recalling an experience with a young mother.

Brenda Meadows

As a young child during World War II, Brenda remembers the sense of community and the generosity of her neighbours. She fondly recalls how people who didn’t need their sweets ration would leave their coupons in the shop where her mother worked so that others could benefit from them instead.

Christine Lilley

Christine was born on Clarendon Crescent in 1951. She remembers attending Sunday School in the undercroft of St Mary Magdalene’s, and getting married in the church in 1971. 

Here, Christine talks about the games she would play with other children in the streets around the church, and how safe the area felt as a child. 

Denise Laxton

Denise became involved in Grand Junction’s Living Heritage project to find out more about her family history, during which she discovered that her connection to the area dates back five generations: to 1880.

In this extract Denise talks about her great grandparents, who were both born in neighbouring streets to St Mary Magdalene Church. 

Gwith Burchill

Here, Gwith talks about how pubs were the centre of the community being used a place to get to know everyone, and how this has changed over the years.

Hasna Kahlalech

Hasna grew up in France and moved to London in 1994 to work as an au-pair. Hasna has since become heavily involved in the local community, delivering women-only exercise classes for community groups, and becoming a Trustee with PDT. 

Here, Hasna talks about the dual identity of her children and the diversity amongst their friends. 

Nigel Smith

In this extract Nigel discusses the Bayswater art market and how it has developed from the 60s until now, and the films shot in the local area and how much the landscapes have changed since these films were released.

Tony Grey

Tony was born in 1948 and moved to Lord Hills Road as a baby. He attended Edward Wilson Primary School on Senior Street and would play in the local roads with other so-called ‘latchkey kids’. 

Here, Tony explains his experience growing up in the area, the local shops, everyone coming out during Bonfire night to light bonfires and fireworks and how pawnshops were used to help people when money was low.

“It is most necessary to avoid rusticity in any way, whether in material, design, or execution.”

George Edmund Street