@@Another version of preface

Preface to the Website Version

What The Book is About

This is the website 2010 Website version of a book which has been evolving since 1980. A series of studies of the borders of St. Marylebone and Paddington, was made for North Westminster Community School. In 1983,the material, originally arranged as a series of walks, was put in a chronological order, expanded and published as the First Edition. During the next dozen years it was first published and brought up to date for the Second Edition. The district altered considerably every year and later Paddington Basin, after one failed attempt and a business failure, of Basin was spectacularly re-developed. This opened up new pathways which had been closed to the public for almost two centuries so that the whole nature of the area changed. The Book ran through a number of printings and another complete fresh edition. Now it has been converted into a revised Website Version.

The website version as a whole is still copyright, but any pieces may be read and copied for educational purposes without charge. The drive has always been to find a story, or tease out a puzzle, and to encourage others to continue the tale.

Perpetual Change.

People have been flooding into the Marylebone and Paddington border for hundreds of years. Some families have stayed, while others have lingered briefly before moving on. Thousands flow in and out to work daily, like the tide. Thus movement is the underlying theme of the book. Nothing is permanent. O ur present townscapes are fossils, recording earlier histories and building styles, so this book will never be finished. It is just a start for others to expand and enhance.

To the General Public

I hope that the book will be of interest to all those living, or working in the area and to visitors. I hope too that it will encourage people to add their own family stories. A population in perpetual movement is a fascinating topic, as the family histories in this book show. Why not write yours?

To Pupils

This is where you live. Indeed the first version of this book was called, 'Where We Live'. Earlier pupils have used that booklet to go out into the local roads to explore what is there. I hope you will use parts of this book for the same purpose. What I have written is not the whole story. You can each expand it.

To Teachers and Lecturers

I hope teachers in all schools will find this a useful work book. North Westminster Community School Library contains all these maps and more, colour photographs, a run of the local newspaper, planning maps, census sheets, etc., all mounted on cardboard and covered with plastic. Stored in a plan chest in the School Library, they can be withdrawn for lessons like books. I trust that the new Academies will continue the tradition. In most schools teachers have collected documents, etc., but when they have retired, or the curriculum has changed, the material has been lost. By storing copies in the school library, others can carry on the work.

This book, like my others, is an invitation to you to take the pupils out to look closely at the locality, to draw, discuss and write, publish little pamphlets, be creative. Your most valuable topic is the streets on your doorstep. No travel, no children sick in the coach. Just short walks in lesson times

Using the local environment is not new: making it a school policy and storing the results in libraries can be new to many schools. Teachers in other parts of the country and lecturers in architectural colleges have found my books useful starting off points for their own work. Teachers, helped by local historians, have taken parts of the books that suited them, found their own sequences of local maps, buildings, family histories, etc., and developed their own local material. Try it, for it is always full of surprises and echoes of other themes.


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Updated October 10, 2011