Mike Bassett’s ‘Hampstead Surveyed’ featured in Camden New Journal
The book that just totally took over Mike’s life has been featured in ‘Camden New Journal’. Mike Bassett was lying in a bed at the hospital before a friend finally brought to him the published copy of Hampstead Surveyed, on which he had worked for 30 years. Mike was a very private, almost mystery man, who stayed single and refused to have a phone at his home in Neale Close, Hampstead Garden Suburb, according to his oldest friend Eddie McGurk.
In this valuable addition to London's local history, the author of Hampstead Surveyed, Mike Bassett, takes as his starting point the landmark survey of the area undertaken by James Ellis in 1762 and then - unusually - works backwards. The resulting history of Hampstead is a fascinating and comprehensive account of the area's development during the first half of the eighteenth century. Bassett has made extensive use of all the records available to him to look in depth at each of the major areas of Hampstead village and focus on of the key developments that helped to shape the area before it became the leafy London suburb that it is today. An area is, of course, only as vibrant and interesting as its population. Hampstead is no different, and Bassett's history introduces us to a rich cast of local characters - from inventors and impresarios to worm doctors and criminals.
Quite apart from its scholarly value, Hampstead Surveyed represents something of a love letter to the area (even if Swift and Voltaire had their reservations). In short, it's indispensable for anyone wanting to know more about the fascinating history of this much loved part of London.
Visit the link for the complete article: http://camdennewjournal.com/article/tome-is-of-the-essence