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The Odyssey

It is not often that one gets to write about an odyssey, particularly one you have done yourself, or even to get to use the word odyssey, but our development of this Mews project has, indeed, seemed like ‘a long and eventful journey’.

Granted, our odyssey does not compare to Homer’s and didn’t, thankfully, involve us in a Trojan war along the way, but it has been an adventure. After ten years of wanderings filled with notable experiences it has been a pleasure to be able to present the contents of the material we have gathered to the world at large.

In the course of “mewsing” our perambulations have taken us, to paraphrase the Proclaimers …walk 500 miles and we will walk 500 more… the Proclaimers then went onto introduce the phrase …I’m going to be the man who’s havering to you… to lovers of popular music and culture.  (havering = babbling).

In our journeying we have visited some 1200 Mews over a 10 year period, (mostly original but also some newer, notional, Mews); taken 40,000 photos; spent around 10,000 hours in deliberations; considered 5,000 documents; and written at least 15,000 words on the subject.

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The project started in 2003

when, in our work as surveyors, we first noticed the increasing interest in basement projects occurring in London and in particular within Mews. We had long been interested in these properties but had not fully appreciated the features that made them unique and how they might be changing.

Project Begins

Although initially concerned about the effect of commercial exploitation, our research has allayed these fears in part because we believe that the unique location and appeal of Mews attracts the beneficial attention of developers, homeowners, tenants and their landlords who love architecture and London in a way that properties less centrally located might not.

The project started from a desire to find out more about Mews properties, but published information was scarce and there was little in the way of recorded statistics or settled evidence on the subject. Much had to be determined empirically, as in any scientific investigation, with gradual recording over time and by review.

Definitions

A key initial requirement was to settle on a definition as to what a Mews is and our conclusions have been explained elsewhere in the site.

Everchanging Mews

The title of this project – Everchanging Mews – also borrows from popular culture because it concisely encapsulates both the nature of the project and the need for the study to continue to see what further changes take place and what the reactions to them are.

The Future

Whereas Odysseus the Greek warrior tried to establish himself as King of Ithaca, our ambitions are less lofty. We would like visitors to the site to share their comments with us and to provide feedback, whether informative, supportive or even more challenging, so that we can continue our wanderings to produce further Blogs over the next few years as well as five yearly reviews.

We hope you enjoy the site and whether we are havering or not we wait to be told.

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