For the past thirteen years (with a few years off in Delhi for good behaviour) I have lived in a north London house with 'Dartmouth Park' in its postal address. We're not in the Dartmouth Park conservation area - not in the sort of white stuccoed four-storey 1860s terraced house which sells for £1.6 million - but like to feel we're in nodding distance. Still, it's come as a surprise to learn first from 'The Times' and now from Anne McElvoy in the 'Evening Standard' that we're part of pinkish London's biggest socio-political hotspot.
It was only after Ed Miliband's fratricidal triumph that I discovered he was almost a neighbour - he and his partner had bought, yes, a white stuccoed four-storey terraced house at the Heath end of Dartmouth Park Road. Now, says Anne McElvoy, there's a 'Dartmouth Park posse' of Milibands, Kinnocks and associated hangers-on which is giving our area a touch of class.
Well, I've only spotted Ed once, pushing a buggy on the Heath - and have yet to alight (knowingly at least) on a Kinnock. The late Adrian Mitchell used to live nearby - you can still spot the house from the 'Stop the War' posters in the windows. I occasionally see the novelist Julian Barnes making his way up Dartmouth Park Hill. But for such a well-heeled enclave, Dartmouth Park is astonishingly free of celebrity.
Lots of lawyers, a few behind-the-scenes cultural types, not much in the way of famous faces. A bit like the old part of Highgate cemetery (Karl Marx and George Eliot are in the 'new' bit, the Eastern Cemetery), where there's lots and lots of old bones, and almost all remarkably anonymous.
Anne McElvoy, by the way, lives in ultra-fashionable Amwell, where Peter Mandelson once had a flat. Not many know where Amwell is - but it's chic, smart, with wonderful architecture, and easy walking distance from Fleet Street. Let's learn a little more about that posse.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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