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.

Green wing: Emma Townshend meets volunteers at Charing Cross

"I find," says Maggie with a smile, "that I take more and more interest in worms." Maggie Brennan is a horticultural volunteer working in a garden at the edge of Charing Cross Hospital, west London, and she is sitting with me, taking a brief break on this sunny cold day, trying to explain just what it is about gardening that she loves. "When you're gardening, you can really be in the moment," she adds. "Not worrying about the past, and what you did then, or fretting about the future. Lots of people don't really live in the present at all. Gardening brings you right back to the present, and centres you there."

Simon Calder: Can't remember the Sixties? You can still go there

One virtue of the 1960s: the dreadful term "staycation" was a good four decades from being coined. At the time, mind, the majority of Brits had no option but to holiday at home. Even though the package-holiday industry was expanding rapidly, the government did its utmost to keep us at home with a limit on overseas spending of just £50. So the best way to travel vicariously was to visit exotic locations in Britain that distilled the essence of Abroad and served it up to the passer-by.

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.