Carpenter John `Miles’ (Maurice)

John `Miles’ (Maurice) Carpenter

A working-class left-wing poet, who was educated at Birkbeck, Carpenter wrote for the Young Communist League cultural magazine, ‘Alive!’ In 1939-40.  A friend of Edith Sitwell, he worked at Archer’s bookshop in Parton Street, and published several published works, including the volume of poetry, `The Tall Interpreter’, published in the late 1940s, a short story called ‘Night Shift – the Machine Stops’ in 1943, and an autobiographical book called ‘A Rebel  in the Thirties’.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he provided lectures at the post-war LCC council estate of South Oxhey, midway between Harrow and Watford (pictured). An LCC estate, it was then perceived as a left-wing hot-spot and was known in the local paper as `cockney utopia’ and ‘little Moscow’! The Communist Party and YCL held many meetings there in early 1950s that attracted large numbers.

Source: John Schad, Professor of Modern Literature, University of Lancaster

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