Green Belts serve many purposes but it’s unlikely that many of us could point to exactly where they lie. John Grindrod has a personal connection to the issues revolving around these mystery zones, and his book Outskirts offers a refreshingly personal social history of these most divisive areas of the UK. Today he explores the development of Green Belts, uncovering a fascinating and bamboozling history, and shares his own poignant stories of growing up near one after his family left London for a fresh start in an estate nearby – tales which will resonate with New Town dwellers who’ve made similar moves.
John Grindrod worked as a bookseller and publisher for 25 years. His first book, the critically acclaimed Concretopia, told the tale of the rebuilding of Britain after the Second World War. It was described by Alain de Botton as ‘charming’, by the 20th Century Society as ‘witty and informative’ and by Leo Hollis as ‘powerful and personal’. John lives in London and has spent much time discovering where the Green Belts actually are.