Charing Cross

Hafina Clwyd: Perceptive and vivacious journalist unafraid of courting

One of the liveliest women journalists ever produced in Wales, Hafina Clwyd wrote perceptively and sometimes provocatively in both Welsh and English, often focusing on personalities making the news but sometimes on topics nearer her heart such as broadcasting, the press and cultural matters. Her weekly column in the Western Mail, the "national newspaper of Wales", was always worth reading, as was her radio and television column in Y Cymro, the weekly Welsh-language newspaper. Some of her most entertaining pieces, deliciously waspish, caused sparks to fly, but the reader was always left with the impression that she meant precisely what she said and was prepared to stand by it. This taste for controversy and a willingness to raise the hackles of the pompous and complacent went hand-in-hand with a more academic trait in her personality which found expression in her keen interest in local history and genealogy.

Hit & Run: Time for a rug rethink

By the time Barack Obama takes the hottest seat on the planet – the one behind the oak and mahogany desk in the White House's Oval Office – his presidential in-tray will be groaning under the weight of America's considerable ills. But not all his decisions will alter the course of national and international history. There is one piece of domestic policy that will nevertheless demand his attention: the small matter of his rug.

Pandora: PA problems bug Tony Blair

The secret paranoia of former statesmen. The former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson memorably told two journalists: "I see myself as a big fat spider in the corner of the room. Sometimes I speak when I'm asleep. You should both listen. Occasionally when we meet, I might tell you to go to the Charing Cross Road and kick a blind man standing on the corner. That blind man may tell you something, lead you somewhere."

Professor Norman Morris: Humane obstetrician

In 1960 the newly appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School gave a lecture that greatly annoyed the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The professor was Norman Morris and in his lecture, "Human Relations in Obstetric Practice", he argued that medical advances over the past 25 years made childbirth less hazardous, but that many serious gaps remained in doctors' understanding of their patients' emotional condition during pregnancy and labour.

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