And The House Watches OnÂ is a new book that explores the lives, real and imagined, that have passed through West House in Pinner.
The book is a collaboration between two Pinner residents; Neil Elder provides the poetry, and draws on some of his local knowledge and experience of the house and Charlotte Harker (who was the first artist in residence at the Heath Robinson Museum) has responded to the poems with illustrations.
The work shifts in tone and feel as the years scroll by.
It begins with the dark tale of Thomas Bowler, owner of the house in 1812, who was hanged for attempted murder.
The poems move through the next two hundred years exploring how the house and society has shifted.
Along the way readers encounter Admiral Nelsonâ€™s daughter grieving for the loss of her child, cartoonist and artist Heath Robinson strolling the grounds, unaware that one day a museum in his name will stand in the park, and readers see two figures, Pamela and Priya, hiding in the park, one in an Anderson shelter during the Blitz and one today, hiding in play.
And The House Watches On focuses on a particular house, but really it could be any large house in the UK. Many such buildings have had to adapt from home to landed gentry to something for the community in order to survive, certainly that has been the life of West House.
Quite what the next two hundred years will bring for the house and how the house will respond remains for future generations to see.
To order a copy go to neilelderpoetry.wordpress.com/and-the-house-watches-on/
Picture courtesy of westhousepinner.com