Have been watching the eminenetly watchable Meet the Middletons this evening (catchable on Channel 4’s catch-up service here). Interestingly Kate’s mum is from Southall – first a terrace in Dudley Road then a posher semi in Norwood Green. Her parents were a Heathrow couple. This puts the Middleton heritage somewhere in the lineage that includes:
– the Ruts (post punksters who came up with the seminal Babylon’s Burning)
– Kwesi Kwame (once of Casualty, now a playwrite)
– Gurinder Chadha (movie moghul of Bend it Like Beckham amongst others)
– Tim Lott (novelist, columnist, author of the excellent autobiographical “Scent of Dried Roses”. Lott seems to talk of decline in Southall but since he and Kate’s mum left the area it has become known as one of the UK’s oldest areas of South Asian settlement/ commerce with latter waves of migration and accompanying shops/ restuarants reflecting more recent Somali and East European migration.

Further clues to Kate’s Southall past can be seen on the BBC London local news website here.

It was sociologist Paul Gilroy who used to employ various vegetable metaphors (roots, routes, rhizomes) to talk about lineages. Perhaps it’s not where you’re from it’s where you’re at… or perhaps you can take the girl out of Southall but you can’t take Southall out of the girl. Either way This blog obviously wishes all the best to the happy couple and reckons it’d be great to see the pair do a walkabout in Southall broadway somewhere on the other side.

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