Page 8 - HGS Suburb News 133 - Winter2018
P. 8

in conversation with...

                                            ...Professor Margaret Harris

                Daphne Berkovi chats to Margaret about her life, academia and nostalgia for a Temple Fortune childhood

      Margaret and her husband Paul   school in the Suburb, Margaret   that Margaret was introduced   it had been designed by the   Residents Association. Margaret   Temple Fortune childhood. This
      moved to the Suburb in 2008   then attended Copthall, a local   to the world of charities and   eccentric architect Matthew   also spoke about the good   is an important part of social
      after their retirement. However,   girl’s grammar school. Thereafter   the voluntary sector. Thus, in   Dawson, who designed several   interfaith work that exists,   history and Suburb history too;
      this move, returned Margaret to   she went to Birmingham   1979 Margaret went to Brunel   houses in the Suburb. Another   encouraged by the local   for living here, Margaret
      her childhood roots as we   University to study Sociology   University to complete a Master’s   reason was the easy access to   churches and synagogues.   explains, is helping her to recall
      discover in conversation.  and Politics where she met her   in Public Administration. Whilst   transport and shops. Margaret   Finally, Margaret spoke of   the shops and personalities of
                                 husband Paul who was studying   there she was invited to develop   expressed how much she really   the opportunity for new   her local childhood; recounting
           argaret’s family moved to   law. She related that her   teaching and research on the   appreciated the H2 bus service   learning now that the new U3A   and documenting what has
      MMonkville Avenue in       academic studies have allowed   management of charities and   that exists in the Suburb. She   has been established in the   changed and what has
      Temple Fortune when she was   her to pursue a pathway that   other voluntary organisations.   also values the online Master   Suburb; where she has joined a   remained the same. I am sure
      aged just 4. Margaret explained   has proved interesting and   This was at a time when there   Tradespeople List that can be   class, ‘Blank Page’, and is   this will make interesting
      to me that she was a lonely   worthwhile throughout her life.   was practically no research   consulted by members of the   writing up memories of her   reading for us all
      only child until aged 6 when   A year after graduation Paul   about the ‘third sector’.
      her brother was born but once   and Margaret married in 1967.   This then marked a new
      the family moved, Margaret    A return then to London   chapter in Margaret’s life as she
      encountered lots of children to   and initially to live in Earls   recounted that this was the
      play with in their cul-de-sac.   Court; Margaret’s first job was   moment that her career and
      These were halcyon days when   working for the former Greater   research on voluntary
      Margaret walked on her own to   London Council at County Hall,   organisations took off; resulting
      and from the Garden Suburb   Westminster. It was here that   in pioneering a new academic
      primary school. There was always   Margaret felt she honed her   field including postgraduate
      the obligatory policeman on   organisational skills as she   teaching and research projects
      duty at the bottom of Childs Way   serviced several council   at Brunel. With this experience,
      to manage the children crossing   committees, including the one   Margaret told me she then
      the Finchley Road (no lollipop   supervising the building of the   moved to the LSE, where she
      lady or pedestrian crossing was   National Theatre on the South   helped form a new academic
      in existence then). Margaret   Bank, and the one which   centre within the Department
      told me that if the policeman   provided liaison between the   of Social Policy. In parallel
      was not present, then she was   GLC and the Heathrow Airport   Margaret pursued her Ph.D. on
      under strict instructions from   Authority. Thereafter Margaret   research into the organisation
      her mother to ask Mr Corney   moved to the GLC Research   of churches and synagogues,
      (the founder of Corney’s   Unit, conducting social research   and in 1999 she accepted the
      fishmongers) to accompany her   projects, which fed into the   post of Professor at the Business
      across the Finchley Road.  council’s planning and policy.  School at Aston University.
         Childhood memories         Once Margaret and Paul    So, why the move to the
      abound as Margaret conveyed   started their family (a son and   Suburb in 2008? Margaret
      to me that she distinctly   daughter) they settled in Elstree.  explained that once she retired,
      remembers being walked to the   It was then that Margaret   she and Paul wanted to change
      Odeon in Temple Fortune to   decided to stop the commute   their lifestyle. They also wanted
      view films of the Queen’s   to London and pursue college   to live close to their two children
      coronation and about the   teaching alongside voluntary   and their grandchildren in
      Conquest of Everest the same   work as an adviser and trainer   North London. It was only after
      year. So, after passing the 11   for the Citizens Advice Bureau.   buying their house that they
      plus and leaving her primary   It was at this juncture of her life   were delighted to discover that

                              CENTRAL SQ U ARE & SUNSHINE CORNER

              Works at Sunshine Corner, Winter 2017/18

                                                                                  Following  a  successful  transformation  of  the  beds  at  Central  Square
                                                                                  (above), the Trust is currently making some changes to the planting at
                                                                                  Sunshine Corner.
                                                                                       This includes changing the orientation of the beds, and establishing
                                                                                  a new perennial meadow planting scheme. Early sketches showing the
                                                                                  plans can be seen below, left and right.
                                                                                       If  you  have  any  questions  about  this
                                                                                  or  any  other  queries  relating  to  Sunshine
                                                                                  Corner  or  Central  Square,
                                                                                  please  call  the  Trust  office
                                                                                  on 020 8455 1066 or mail@

                   862 Finchley Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW11 6AB   020 8455 1066   twitter: @HGSTrust

      8                                                                                         SUBURB NEWS IS PRODUCED AND DELIVERED TO YOU BY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS
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