Last week I took a little trip back to Stansgate Road and made a little vid. You can see it by clicking the link at the end of this post. As readers of The Banjo Book One and Book Two will probably already know I set the fictitious pedestrianised cul-de-sac (as the rest of the world would call it) on a large plot of land know as The Green opposite Stansgate Road. It housed the substation that provided the hot water for the central heating in the homes on the Heath Park Estate and a path that led through some garages and into Trefgarne Road and then Rainham Road South and the Civic Centre.
And then… the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham had the same idea and have built a modern day version of a banjo on the land: Newbury Close. Many of the roads bordering on the Heath Park Estate – some have older private houses at the Oxlow Lane end and newer Council-built properties further north – are named after English Civil Wat battles – Marston, Dunbar, Naseby, Edgehill. So in keeping I called my banjo Cromwell Close after the Roundhead Leader who became Lord Protector after the execution of Charles I. Interestingly, the road built by the Council is called Newbury Close after the First Battle of Newbury and the Second Battle of Newbury. Great minds and all that!
What was interesting, too, was chatting to the woman who now lives in our old family home who was getting out of her car while I was filming. And very encouraging to find out that she and her mum had both read and enjoyed The Banjo Book One.
Anyway, here is the vid for you to see: