Another stylish cove and all-round good egg. Who could forget his heroic, though ultimately fruitless defence of the Euston Arch? (a curse be on Dr. Beeching and all his miserable progeny). But are you familiar with John Betjeman's 1973 documentary Metroland ? If not, you ought to be. It follows the line from Baker Street to Amersham and beyond, into the wilds around Quainton Road and Verney Junction in search of the elusive Brill tram.
 
Where else could you learn about W.S. Gilbert's pet lemur in Harrow, the man in Chorleywood with an entire cinema organ in his front room, or how many species of bird there are in Neasden? Talking of Neasden, the film is also remarkable for its use of a rare and brilliant Willy Rushton song, which he wrote for Private Eye. The words are given below, but if you want to hear the tune in all its hummable glory you will have to track down a recording on a '45. So, Grab your coat and get your hat....
 
Betjemania
NEASDEN! 

Words & Music © Private Eye 1972 Performed by the late, great Willy Rushton

 
I’ve been as far as Orpington, Tufnell Park, and Golders Green,

Seen the Northern Lights of ‘Arlesden,

And visited East Cheam.

I’ve travelled out to Ongar, on the dear old Central Line,

I even went to Ruislip, in 1949.

I’ve been far South as Tooting Bec, where sheep may safely graze,

And I sometimes think it’s hard to say where I’d like to end my days.

But then I shout – Oh Arthur, what a berk you are!

There’s a little place you love just off the North Circular -

They call it…..

 
NEASDEN!

yer won’t be sorry that yer breezed in!

The traffic lights an’ yellow lines

An’ the illoominated signs

All say welcome to the borough that everybody’s pleased in:

 
NEASDEN!

Oh where the birds sing in the treesden,

And you can ‘ear the blackbirds coo,

So why not take the Bakerloo?

It’ll work out that much cheaper if you buy a seasden!

 
After the show, why not take a stroll down Neasden High Street, and turn right into Milletts, in the Selfridge Road? Or pop into the Public Library and browse at your leisure in the many Newspapers on display. Then, why not dawdle in the neon-lit Launderama? -  only 3p for as much as 4lbs of assorted bagwash. Or spend a carefree evening at the Rann of Kutch, THE Neasden Curry Emporium, European and Continental dishes a speciality…..

NEASDEN!

Oh where the rissoles are deep-freezed-en

Oh where there’s Bingo and Boutiques,

And the Wimpy’s last for weeks,

And very tasty too with a slice of cheeseden!

 
NEASDEN!

You couldn’t want a better reasden,

Oh now I will not fake the thrill

When we hear at Forest Hill

That the next stop on the line

Is the place that I call mine

Is it Sodom or Gomorrah?

No it’s God’s own Borough!


 
NEASDEN!

What was that you said?

NEASDEN!

I’m sorry I still can’t hear you!

NEASDEN!

Did you say Penge?

NEASDEN!

I’m very sorry I’m a little deaf!

Bloody Neasden yer twit!
 
 
I know what you're thinking - Neasden isn't on the Bakerloo line, or indeed the Metropolitan. It's on the Jubilee Line as any fule kno. Ah yes, I reply, but it used to be on the Metropolitan Line, and then on the Western branch of the Bakerloo, which was then turned into the northern stretch of the 'brand new' Jubilee line. Satisfied?