AFTER what seemed like fifty thousand choruses of ‘Thiiiiings Can I Only Get Better, Tony Blair went home to Richmond Crescent, not so far from the old Arsenal ground in Islington, after winning the 1997 general election. He took stock at what had just happened, how he’d become Prime Minister, possibly spending an extra few moments deciphering the dance moves he may well have witnessed from Emily Thornberry, future MP for Islington South that night (…I think there is film footage of her ecstatic swaying somewhere). These were his last hours before his walk down Downing Street as the new number one.
The Guardian reported later: “Children ran around. A precociously warm spring dawn lit the rooftops. ‘We were all thrilled because the Tories were out,’ says someone who was in the crowd. Yet there was something else in the air as well. ‘There was a bit of a sense of ownership, a sense that a little bit of the election victory belonged to Richmond Crescent.'” Awww.
But of course, victory meant the end for Blair’s time in the street. The family moved into Number 10 and sold up the Islington pad, for just a bit more than £600,000.
It’s been sold again since, but maybe Tony and Cherie should’ve held onto it. The old gaff, the scene of political history, is currently being marketed at around £3.1 million. It traps London’s rising house price graph in a snapshot.