Alan Coren Close, NW2
Road in/near Dollis Hill, existing between the 2010s and now
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Alan Coren Close is named for an important contributor to Cricklewood culture.
Alan Coren (1938–2007) was an English writer and satirist. He was well-known as a regular panellist on the BBC radio quiz ’The News Quiz’ and a team captain on BBC television’s ’Call My Bluff’. Coren was for almost a decade the editor of ’Punch’ magazine.Licence:
Alan Coren was born in East Barnet and educated at East Barnet Grammar School followed by Wadham College at Oxford. He studied for a doctorate in modern American literature at Yale and Berkeley.
He began his writing career by selling articles to ’Punch’ and was later offered a full-time job there. In 1966, he became Punch’s literary editor, becoming deputy editor in 1969 and editor in 1977. When Coren left Punch in 1987, he became editor of The Listener, continuing there until 1989.
In 1977, Coren was invited to be one of the regular panellists on BBC Radio 4’s then-new satirical quiz show, ’The News Quiz’. He continued until 2007.
Coren published twenty books which were collections of his newspaper columns, such as ’Golfing for Cats’ and ’The Cricklewood Diet’.
He died from the effects of cancer in 2007 at his home in north London. His children, Giles and Victoria, are both journalists.
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Alan Coren Close - north of Cricklewood
Dollis Hill tube station lies on the Jubilee Line, between Willesden Green and Neasden. Metropolitan Line trains pass though the station, but do not stop.
The Dollis Hill Estate was formed in the early 19th century, when the Finch family bought up a number of farms in the area to form a single estate. Dollis Hill House itself was built in the 1820s.
William Ewart Gladstone, the UK Prime Minister, was a frequent visitor to Dollis Hill House in the late 19th century. The year after his death, 1899, Willesden Council acquired much of the Dollis Hill Estate for use as a public park, which was named Gladstone Park.
Mark Twain stayed in Dollis Hill House in the summer of 1900. He wrote that ’Dollis Hill comes nearer to being a paradise than any other home I ever occupied’.
The code-breaking Colossus computer, used at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, was built at the Post Office Research Station in Dollis Hill by a team lead by Tommy Flowers. The station was relocated to Martlesham Heath at the end of the 1970s.
A World War II bunker for Winston Churchill called Paddock is located here.
The fictional Dollis Hill Football Club features occasionally in the British satirical magazine Private Eye, and Dollis Hill tube station, although real, is frequently played in the radio panel game Mornington Crescent.