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Monday, 31 October 2011

Albert Street - NW1

So a Prize winning Crystallographer, a peace activist and a storyteller walk in to a bar. Actually they probably don't but they do share one thing - a geograhical proximity to Camden High Street.
M and I visited Camden on Saturady as a breath of fresh air following the completion of my flat sale. We took the tube up to Chalk Farm and walked back through the Stables market without seeing a whole lot that really took our fancy. Yes there was some lovely reconditioned oak furniture but sadly at camden prices and some javanese masks that I would have loved but really need to be bought on the road. The Stables market is nice in that the worst of the tourist hordes dont make it that far from the tube station and lo and behold the closer we got to Camden tube the worse the crush of gawping lollygaggers became. We took a bit a a detour through the new reopened lock markewt and M picked up a new nurses watch complete with silicon holder so her late allergy wouldnt come into play. Once over the lock we headed west down Arlington St and thence on to Albert St one time home to John Desmond Bernal (1901-1971) Peggy Duff (1910-1981) and George MacDonald (1824-1905)interesting charactors al. I know bernal through my previous life with the MRC - portraits of their most prominent alumni peppering the walls but didnt know much of him - a controversial figure and outspoken supporter of Soviet Russia not to mention a Cambridge man he worked with both Aaron Klug and Max Perutz.
Next up at number 11 is Peggy Duffs blue - or rather brown plaque. She was a labour local councillor from 1956 until she resigned from the party in 1967 over Wilson's support for US involvement in Vietnam and their refusal to condemn the Greek colonels choosing to persue her political aims outside the party arena. She became the first secretary-general of CND and Noam Chomsky is and admirer.
Then at number 20 is George MacDonald the storyteller refered to earlier who in the latter half of the 20th centrury began a career that influenced Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis (particularly Lewis), E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle with fairy tales like the Princess and the Goblin. He was as C.S. Lewis or rather Charles Lutwidge Dodgson a christian theologian, he came from a Calvinist background but rejected some of its harsher doctrines.

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