Ted Green, Queen’s Crescent legend full of armchair advice
He was one of the first SAS paratroopers and travelled the world
03 August, 2017
“TED GREEN who’s he?” was his glazier’s teasing phrase, when he worked as a supervisor for Camden Council. The 93-year- old, our dad, was a true star who left a footprint which will be impossible to follow, a local legend around Queen’s Crescent.
Ted, christened Arthur Edward Green, was born and raised in Marylebone and Burnt Oak where he swept up horse manure for his pocket money.
He was a former marine and also one of the first SAS paratroopers. He had served overseas in North Africa, Sicily, India, Malaya, Palestine, and Northern Ireland. Whilst in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, a beautiful young jitterbug champion dancer caught his eye and later captured his heart.
After the war Ted and Eileen, who married in 1947, moved in to Upper Park Road, Hampstead and then to Queen’s Crescent in 1950 with their children Arthur and Lana. The house, affectionately known as HQ, was soon filled with relatives and at one point there were a total of 12 children residing there including Ted and Eileen’s youngest child Margaret. All were welcome and Eileen had the tea constantly flowing.
Ted was a great believer in family; he had no money but would give generously of his time. He was never happier than when showing family and friends around his beloved London, generations of children have fond memories of Ted’s excursions and Opal Fruits. He was genuinely interested in people and their life stories and was a front runner in valuing diversity, he had a great thirst for knowledge was well read and a published poet.
A proposed compulsory purchase of HQ and surrounding houses was the kick-start to Ted becoming a local activist. He later went on to write for the Kite newspaper under the pseudonym the “Shipton Neighbour”, became chairman of the Queen’s Crescent Neighbourhood Association, chairman of Talacre Action Group and went on to organise two festivals, First Burst and Nuts in May. He was instrumental in stopping Queen’s Crescent and Maitland Park becoming rat-runs to and from Prince of Wales Road and also opening the walkway between the top of Herbert St and Thurlow Terrace.
Eileen and Ted along with her sister Tessie and husband Jeff were lucky enough to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with the Queen and Prince Philip at a garden party in Buckingham Palace. Sadly Eileen passed away in 2001 aged 75. She was the nucleus of the Green family at HQ. Ted always said that although he was the head of the family, she was the neck, adding that “the neck turns the head”. The Green family in Ted’s later years referred to him as the Don, sitting in his chair still giving orders to everyone, including his own 69-year-old son.
In his latter years he liked to go to the theatre, cinema, listen to live music and loved dancing. When Ted lost his sight 10 years ago, his positive mental attitude shone through when he said: “Rather my sight than my legs. With my legs I can still get out and about, I know what my family look like, I know the colour of things and I have my memories.”
He had suffered from many health and life-changing conditions. He was registered blind and “hard of hearing” (especially if you wanted to borrow a fiver). He never complained and his attitude to life was that the glass was always half full. His favourite saying was “my body may be 93 but my mind is 23”–a tough guy in the true sense of the word. He looked for- ward to his weekend nights at Tommy Flynn’s in Holloway Road with his dear friend Rose and all the local characters. He also enjoyed the occasional drink at the Sir Robert Peel pub which the family has used since 1950.
Sadly, Ted passed away on Sunday July 23 in the comfort of his own home of 67 years after enjoying his usual Saturday night out. He leaves his family to fend for themselves, after life-long experience and years of armchair advice: children Arthur, Lana and Margaret, and grandchildren Michelle, Mark, Kelly, Una and Katie, and great grandchildren James, Jordan, Anthony, Harvey, Ruby and Freddie. He is also survived by his sister Gwen, 91, and brother Bernie, 81. He will me sadly missed.
By Arthur, Lana, Margaret and Families.