Bourlet’s the jewellers is long gone, but its distinctive clock remains

Have you ever wondered what Palmers Green was like before the coming of the builders? Are you curious about the people who live here now, their memories and how Palmers Green has changed? Do you have a sneaking pride in where you live?

This website aims to celebrate Palmers Green and satisfy our natural curiosity  – about its streets and how they came about, and about those who live and work there now, and long before us. The focus is on the sense of place which makes it special, and how we and our neighbours share and enjoy present day Palmers Green.

So now its over to you. The intention is to develop the site with sections on the people who live and work here now, pictures and memories contributed by PG residents, and features on current activities, issues, as well as curiosities and hopefully some things which are amusing and fun.

So, to start things off:

  • What have we missed?
  • Did we get something horribly wrong?
  • Do you have more information to add to a topic? Suggestions for a new one?
  • Do you want to write something or submit a guest blog
  • Do you have photos we could use ?
  • Would you be willing to talk to us about your Palmers Green memories?

We would love to hear from you.

Here is how to get in touch

This site is run with the kind support of Anthony Webb, your personal Palmers Green Estate Agent.

Logo blue - agents

115 Responses to

  1. Vincent J.Doherty says:

    This website – A positive exciting idea !

  2. Kerry colletta says:

    well done what a great idea all good for Palmers Green.

  3. Frances says:

    Having grown up in Palmers Green in the 1960s, I was delighted to find your website – it is brilliant.

  4. Helen says:

    I lived in Palmers Green from when I was born in 1963 until I got married in 1987 and have many happy memories :)

  5. adrian day says:

    My daughter is keen to babysit for families on the Lakes Estate again this summer (we live in Old Park Road). email me on adriancday1@btinternet.com for details.

  6. Stephen Leader (vicar) says:

    We have a Flower Festival at St John the Evangelist Church from lunch time on Friday 14th of June until 19:00 on Sunday 16th June. All welcome. Free entry and refreshments available. For more info, check out http://www.stjohnsplamersgreen.org

  7. Wendy says:

    Born in 1955 we first lived in Osborne Road and then moved to Old Park Road. Last weekend I visited Broomfield Park after about 40 years! Delighted to see a lot unchanged but very sad to see the running track gone and of course the stunning house where I spent many hours looking at the stuffed animals and watching bees! The beautiful greenhouse was often a refuge in hide-and-seek and I well remember the Summer shows also held in the grounds. To me this iconic London Park remains as special as ever.

  8. Jane says:

    I had a Saturday job at Grouts….and it literally had everything in it!!!
    Oh for shops like that nowadays …..loved living in Palmers Green in 60’s!!
    Going to St Pauls in Winchmore Hill for live groups and dancing in an old hall !!!

  9. Jennifer says:

    I for one miss Grouts so much…. now I have to go looking for things that I could get in Grouts…

  10. Arvind Joshi says:

    Thank you very much for interesting comments/ information. I lived in Palmerston crescent from 1970. I used to be in A.T.C. – Winchmore Hill squadron (1965 – 1968).Every month, one Sunday we had to march fromPalmers Green triangle (Aldermans Hill) to Cannon hill (traffic lights).Can anyone give me some info. Re. a cinema( name of cinema) which used to be where current Mc Donald is situated.Entrance was where Mc Donald’s is,at present. I saw ‘West Side Story’ in 1966/1967.
    Thank you.

  11. Jane says:

    moved from Palmers Green eons ago but there was THE QUEENS on the corner of Lodge Drive and the Gaumont further up to where Tesco …was or is ???
    Also I too lived in Palmerston Crescent till 1966
    A fellow Palmerston Crescenter !!

    Hope this answers your question ……….

    • Arvind Joshi says:

      Jane,
      Thank you very much. Yes, the cinema was on Lodge Drive. “Those were the DAYS”. We lived at No: 94 Palmerston Cres. The family still own the property. Gaumont was before my time —- was before we moved to Palmers Green. I now live ‘DOWNUNDER’.
      Regards,
      Arvind.

  12. Wendy says:

    lucky you, my Saturday job was in the Dry Cleaners! Wonderful shop. I went to those disco/dances too – oh happy days!

  13. Carol Robinson says:

    I moved with my family to Palmers Green in 1969. I worked at Barclays Bank in Aldermans Hill from 1974 to 1990 and in that time I saw a lot of changes. I remember Grouts as being such an iconic shop and Bourlets which was a fabulous jewellers. I remember Pierres Patiserie where I regular had lunch, and Evans & Davies and hated it when they turned it into an indoor market. That part of Palmers Green went a bit downhill for a while and now it’s just a high street with pound shops, estate agents, nail bars and multicultural shops which is a shame as it’s taken away the history of the place in a way. The fire which destroyed Broomfield House was devastating and years later, it is still in the same state. Then when they cut down the big Chestnut Tree on the Triangle, it just destroyed part of me too. I hate to say it, but Palmers Green in the 1970s/80s were by far the best it ever was.

  14. Wendy says:

    remember all those stuffed animals in Broomfield House? … and the bees?
    The beautiful greenhouse is still there but sadly no longer open all day [sign of the times :-(]
    We used to hide under the plants :-)
    Also what about the budgies? Many hours spent there!

  15. Heather Lawrence says:

    I have lived in Palmers Green for 48 years!
    Does anyone have information about the large grey mansion that used to be in Hedge Lane. It used to be covered in beautiful mauve wisteria and reminded me of Great Expectations and Miss Havesham’s house!?

  16. David March says:

    Come and help plant a native hedgerow in Broomfield park this Saturday and sunday morning 10-12.00 Meet at the gates to the Community Orchard (nest to the Bowling green)

  17. Wendy says:

    Tesco didn’t exist back then :-) – No this was on the corner of one of the roads between Fox Lane and Osborne Road.

  18. John Saunders says:

    We moved into The Larches in 1955 and recall the large house in Hedge Lane, now Mintern Close, referred to by Heather Lawrence. Next to it I believe was a small factory owned by the occupants of the house. I’ve long forgotten what the factory produced. though I think enamelling was involved in some form. Other recollections are the open air swimming pool in Barrowell Green, Evans & Davies department store near the Triangle. The old style counters in Sainsbury or was it Home & Colonial shop in Green Lanes between The Fox and the Triangle.. Burtons and the billiard hall above. Just to name a few.

    • Wendy says:

      oh happy days! Barrowell Green swimming pool – fond memories. Remember the 2 pet shops on Aldermans Hill? One opposite the train station and another further up opposite the park? We bought 2 dogs from these shops and owned them for many years. I grew up there from 1955 – to late 70’s and it was a lovely, lovely area.

      • Hoopers was the pet shop. There was a butchers, Chamberlains, greengrocers, Westlakes, the family now have a hardware shop in Green Lanes, all on that parade opposite Broomfield Park. And a popular English restaurant on the parade opposite the gates.

    • Adrian Perkins says:

      Thank god some one remembers the grand house in Hedge Lane, I lived in Crawford Gardens and my house backed onto it. I lived next door to Terry Medwin who played for Spurs and Wales. I remember going over to Tatems Park and seeing some of the old statues that were at the front of that house dumped near the paddling pool, the part that was over grown. Palmers green in the 70’s was brilliant,Jane’s and Adams, Grouts, Evans and Davies, first time in a lift was their. Opus records where I bought Dark side of the moon, the rec where I played football till it got dark. Happy days. If anyone has a picture of that old house I would be very happy as I have searched for ages.

      • Heather Lawrence says:

        Adrian- that mansion has always haunted me for some reason. It could be because of my love of Dickens’ novels. Do you know who used to live there?

  19. Heather Lawrence says:

    John I remember the Sainsbury shop which had a butcher’s counter and that there was sawdust on the floor – to catch any blood dripping from the meat!

  20. Jane says:

    Freemans the bakers,Dolcis & Lilley & skinners!! oh to have a choice of shoe shops…….instead of none now!!!! What was the name of the ladies clothes shop next to Grouts where you could pay weekly for the latest clothes? Yes happy days indeed

  21. Pam says:

    I have just spent a lovely half hour reminising reading all the comments. I
    spent my teenage years growing up in Palmerston Crescent from about 1951 to
    1957. My friend and I use to go to the Queens cinema and the Palmadium as it
    was then called every week. I persuaded my husband to buy a house in Palmers
    Green when we got married and we have lived here well over 40 years off Hedge
    Lane. The factory was called Brutons making enamelled metal signs and there
    was also a sports club on site for staff. The sports club was sold to the
    Council it has a Bowling Green, tennis courts and football,called The Broomfield
    Club, we have been members of the bowling section for many years.Hope I was able
    to help with one or two memories.

  22. Heather Lawrence says:

    Pam – that is great info re the factory. Do you know who owned the grey mansion house?

    • Adrian Perkins says:

      I’ve just found out a bit more information about the “grey mansion”

      JAMES BRUTON, Deceased.
      the estate of James Bruton, late of ” The
      Limes,” Hedge-lane, Palmers Green, Middlesex,
      Enameller and Enamel Manufacturer (who died on
      (the 8th December, 1922,

      Page 1
      3898
      THE LONDON GAZETTE, 30 JULY, 1946 stated :- NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership between James William Bruton
      and Robert Thomas Bruton carrying on business as
      Enamellers and Enamel Manufacturers at 87-89,
      Hedge Lane, Palmers Green, London, N.I3, under
      the style or firm of JAMES BRUTON & SONS
      has been dissolved as from the 3ist day of March
      1946, the said business having been sold and the
      said James William Bruton and Robert Thomas
      Bruton having retired from business.—.Dated ninth
      day of July, 1946

      Also
      THE LONDON GAZETTE, 31sT JULY 1969
      Public Notices
      The Limes, Hedge Lane, Palmers Green, Lon-
      don, N.I3,Freehold purchased by Fairview Estates (Barnet) Limited

      I was 9 or 10 when the mansion was demolished and would love to see some photographic evidence of it.

      • Samantha Doyle says:

        Hi Adrian, James Bruton was my Great Grandfather, his daughter Sheila was my Grandmother. I don’t know much about James but I’ll ask my mother if she can shed any light on him. I know she remembers the house as she used to visit her Grandfather regularly .

    • JAMES GLANVILLE says:

      hi
      my folks used to own sheridan house nursing home at 449 green lanes (i think that was the number) just down from the fox and across from the toy store ?
      such a long time ago.
      james

  23. Heather Lawrence says:

    Adrian I could kick myself that I never bothered to take a photo of the mansion. Let us hope someone else, maybe associated with the Bruton family will be able to help.

  24. David says:

    Maxwell Miel: In reply to Helen & Suzanne, regarding info on Palmers Green estate agents Maxwell Miel situated in P.Green. From my memory “A very go ahead modern real estate business’ in mid 70’s to mid 80’s.
    Mr Miel’s father was a successful businessman after the war (2nd!) who was fortunate to own & rent out many properties in Palmers Green. The business continued with his son to flourish moving to real estate/house sales from the 50’s to the 80’s.
    Mr Miel ran the Palmers Green office at 101-103? Green Lanes P.Green and used the premises next door to run a fortnightly auction selling anything & everything, ( my sister met her future husband there!). Mr Miel lived on the corner of Broad Walk m& Bourne Hill.
    Mr Miel was a client of ours & photographed his mother and grandson in our studio Kelvin Photos 87 Green Lanes Palmers Green. Hope this helps.

  25. David Todd says:

    Hi Julie, that’s great please share photo, love to help, my email is todphoto@iinet.net.au.
    Regards David Todd.

  26. Hilary Kay. says:

    I Lived in Palmers Green from 1952 – 1981. I My first school was St. Michels in Tottenhall Rd but changed to St Angela’s Convent Sch in Oakthorpe Rd. I would visit Evans & Davis quite a lot with my Mum which originally had a tube system for taking payment of items I also got my St Angela’s sch. uniform from that store. I can also remember shopping at Sainsbury’s, Grouts, Lilly& Skinner, a fabulous shop which sold fresh ground coffee, biscuits which were displayed in glass cases and another food shop called Macfisheries. Grouts was like a cave crammed with any and every haberdashery item you could think of. There was a hairdressers called Fior and of course a Lyons Tea shop and a Walworth which had an oak floor.
    I am happy to share my memories.

  27. Dave Todd says:

    In reply to REG HART, who says he knew Aubrey & Bill, my dad was Aubrey my father in law was Bill…would love to hear of your connection.
    Many Thanks
    Dave Todd.

  28. My husband was born in Palmers Green 74 years ago and I was born in Winchmore Hill at about the same time. We have been living in The Larches for the past 44 years, my husband having lived only a few doors away from our present home since 1945. We have seen many changes in Palmers Green and have very fond memories of the Barrowell Green swimming pool. The pool would open on the 1st May each year and was open until the end of September. We would sit on the stone bench and despite the abundance of pine needles from the trees all along one side and the occasional bits of ash and dust from the waste disposal plant, would spend most of our school holidays around the pool having great fun. Remember the chimney? I can remember it being knocked down as we watched this being done from the bedroom in mum’s house, where she has been living for the past 73 years (now 101 years old).The shop which sold freshly ground coffee and loose tea from large casks was call the UK Tea Company (or Clarke’s). The lovely polished coffee grinding machine was in the window. So many memories.

    • Raymond Spencer Rann says:

      Dad bought our ‘ouse, “Brookside”, 64 The Larches in 1937/38 (Mortgage courtesy of Shell Oil,) ( Dad’s Bossis). After the War (WW2) my Ma (Elsie) was great friends with Edie ‘an Dick Davis who also bought a ‘ouse in The Larches. They (not Dick) were part-time attendant/life guards at Barrowell Green Pool. Ma could not swim a stroke…Mrs Barry(ie?) would not let me ‘an my friend/neighbour Martin get in ahead of them ‘orrendous queues in the ordinary expectid summer ‘ot days (before global warmin’ o’corse) ‘an no family discount neither. Annyway no regrets ‘cept my watch was stolen from them open changin rooms an’ I fell off them parallel bars on my ‘ead, ‘ence the spellins. I’m safe now farmin’ (sheepish etc) in Cornywall (Stratton near Bude EX239jz) ‘cept for my dangerous Lucy daughter livin’ across my yard/ HMCRC (Income Tax)/Brtish Gas (‘lectric chargis)/Cornywall Council (Plannin’ an’ Taxi)/BT (broadband dopiness) No Rush, Raymond Spencer Rann. Southgate County Old Scholars (failed in most subjects (NOT railway spottins). Rifle Brigade (95th). (Corporal retd). Compositor/Printer (5 years apprenticeship). Advertisin’ Typographer/writer/art director/ photographer. No rush but waitin’ for my bread to bake(Panasonic)i in this crumblin kitchin up ‘ere…from Raymond Spencer Rann. (I need a little lie down (since 1955) no rush.

  29. Andrew Davidson says:

    I lived in Upsdell Ave in Palmers green from 1953 to 1979, and I have always wondered how did “Upsdell Ave” get its name

    I too remember going to Broomfield Park and the Museum, watching the bees come and go, the stuffed animals and the art displays. There was a café at the rear of Broomfield House
    Also I remember the Elm trees in the top field, and seeing the fires after the trees were felled because of Dutch Elm beetle
    There was one thing you never did and that was to ride your bike around the gardens otherwise the “Parky” was after you.

    At the Triangle there was the ABC bakery/café, Evens and Davis had a lift to get to the 2nd floor.
    The trolley buses that ran up and down Green Lanes, then going on holiday for 2 week come home to find the Trolley busses gone

    There was a “Lone Star” business in Green lanes that made toy metal guns and other things, it was near the hump over the river near the petrol station.

    There was a shoe shop in PG not far from the zebra crossing that had tropical fish display.

    The old house oppite the PG town hall, what was the connection.

    I went to St Michael at Bowes School and the Infants, and remember the Allotments where the new school is now.

  30. Reg Hart says:

    Upsdell Avenue – I tried to trace the orgins years ago without any luck. Of course it is a surname.

    I covered some of the topics you listed in my articles published in the ‘Enfied Gazette’ –

    Broomfield Park in issues dated 30 August , 13th September, 20th September,11th October, 25th October and 8th November 2007.
    Buses – 8 Feb 2007
    Lone Star – 20th December 2007
    Tottenhall Road Schools – 16th November 2006

    I have always lived (since 1943) in Tottenhall Road.
    What you call the allotments also housed the red tinned St Mary’s Church where pupils from St Michae’ls school had their noon meal and was also the sports hall. A badminton club hired it of an evening. At the Grenoble Gardens end was Lambs Insitute Hall.

    Copies of my ‘Gazette’ and other articles are available at Enfield Archives or from me upon request.

    Reg

    • Suzanne Beard says:

      Hi Reg

      we would love to republish these if you would be up for it. The aim of the website is to have an encyclopaedic history of the area that people can access online. I have been doing some research on Lone Star for an article recently so particularly love to hear more about that – or publish yours instead!

      all best, and love to Tottenhall Road!
      Sue

    • John Bye says:

      Thank you Reg I lived in Tottenhall Rd 1944 to 1964,Iwent to St Michael’s and I forgot the name of the “red hut” and I never knew that name of the “black hut”, my late Uncle had a large hut in the ground behind the red hut where he ran his plumbing ans building business and lived over the road at number 49, I remember you from St Michaels . Once again thanks your knowledge is astounding.
      Regards John Bye

  31. Reg Hart says:

    Fine, I need to know the format as it consists of nearly one thousand words plus photographs. You will have noted that it was orginally published just before Christmas 2007 – it deals with not only with the history of the company but also Father Christmas collecting his gifts produced there for the little boys and girls.

  32. Hilary Kay. says:

    Just read your message,I lived in Wolves Lane and I attended St Michael’s sch in the 1950’s and then went on to St.Angela’s in Palmers Green. I remember going with my mum to Evens & Davis,Grouts and Lyon’s Corner House for ice cream and chocolate sauce.
    Kind regards,
    Hilary

    • Nic Lucas says:

      All my 3 Sisters and and my brothers went to St Angela’s in the 1950 I went to St Monica’s from 57..we lived in Windsor Road and attended St Monica’s church .

      • Liz Pegram says:

        You wouldn’t by any chance be the elder brother of Maria Lucas would you? I lived in Hedge Lane and for a time we were best friends. I’d love to know how she’s doing now! If you are the Nic Lucas I think you are you used to play with my brother Martin, despite him being a lot younger than you!

    • Reg Hart says:

      Can you name your teachers at St Michaels school?

  33. I first attended st georges school in palmerston road across from st michaels church and then on to st michaels school and also a choir boy at the church I have innumerable memmories of palmers green and southgate

  34. Roger Newark says:

    In 1958-59 while in my last year at Minchenden School, I had a Saturday job in the curtain department of Evans and Davies. By the time I was there the overhead “cash railway” system, which always fascinated me as a child, had been removed, so I never had a chance to use it. However, a similar system (also made by Lamson Paragon) was in use in Grouts further along Green Lanes. I believe when Grouts closed that system was dismantled and taken to the East Anglia Transport Museum at Lowestoft, although when I last enquired they had not had an opportunity to get it re-erected. Earlier posts had mentioned the Queens Cinema in Green Lanes, and I seem to remember as a small child there being another cinema near the same location called the Palmadium. Initially, we lived in Mitchell Road, off the North Circular Road, by the Metal Box factory but later moved to Laburnham Gardens, Winchmore Hill. I was also a member of 85 Squadron ATC at their original headquarters at “Ashridge” opposite Oakwood underground station and later at their next squadron headquarters in Winchmore Hill Road where the swimming baths now are. This was, of course, all before their move to the Farm Road site. I spent many hours gazing in the windows of the two Camera Craft shops in Green Lanes and I am sure it was those shops that started my interest in photography, which I carry on to this day!

  35. David Todd says:

    Hi Suzanne, re your Lone Star research, I remember visiting the P.Green factory with my Dad & brother in 1956.The factory was located behind the ‘Bridge Garage’ in Green Lanes near the ‘Cock Tavern. My Dad was a photographer who ran Kelvin Photos at 87 Green Lanes and often photographed at the Lone Star factory. I have a photograph which I will send you that shows my brother, Pete & cousin Michael resplendent in their 1956 Christmas gift of gun belt, holster,chaps blazing their guns at the camera.

    • Hi David, I remember Kelvin Photos a well respected photographers, I wonder if you have any to share on my local history and interest Facebook page, Winchmore Hill And Palmers Green Memories. And if you have any of the two schools in Tottenhall Road, Barrowell Green Pool and the Dust Destructors or any of now demolished house. sMe and my members would be greatly pleased if you could.

  36. Roger Newark says:

    I believe Lone Star later relocated to Hatfield and then to Welham Green until they went into receivership in the 1980s.

  37. Hilary Kay. says:

    I went to Tottenhall school I still have a letter the headteacher sent me when I had a very serious car accident in the 1950’s.

  38. Jenny says:

    I was at Hazelwood school in the 1960s and vividly recall the road safety demos when real cars and motor bikes would be brought into the playground and driven a high speed knocking over various participants – the idea was to scare us into being safety conscious.

  39. Suzanne Beard says:

    testing

  40. I was there then too – happy days :-)

  41. Richard says:

    what’s your address/postcode? “How to Find Us”?

  42. reg hart says:

    The popular dry cleaners of palmers green until 1968 was Achilles Serre ltd

    • Over different periods there were several dry cleaners in Palmers Green. On the corner of Windsor Road there was one, formerly a Cullens. Was this Achille Serre, Reg? Next to
      A V Burke Greengrocer and next but two from Park Avenue, was Century Dry Cleaners, between the Post Office and Hazlewood Lane was Mayfair Dry Cleaners, next to Sun Harvest Bakers, which was next to Courts Furnishers was Smart ‘N’ Up Dry Cleaners, next to Bejam was Greensleeves Dry Cleaners, French Dyers and Cleaners was near Grouts and Eastman Dyers and Cleaners was next to the Turner & Lisney Depot, Aldermans Hill.

  43. Reg Hart says:

    What an interesting response from Richard Starling about dry cleaners. It has caused me a couple of hours loss of sleep racking my brains and an equal amount of time scrambling about in my loft..

    The Century Dry Cleaning Co was at 376 Green Lanes

    Mayfair Dry Cleaners had the postal address of 356 Green Lanes

    I tend to think that a firm of dry cleaners might have occupied the premises taken over by Grouts – I need to look at my records and papers of 1904 to check that one out.

    At those times: and until the 1920s the numbering of Green Lanes was much different.

    ‘Yeats & Co Dry Cleaners’ from 1908 [approximately] occupied 23 The Market.

    Nearby was the famous jewellers J.T. Bourlet at number 18 or possibly 15 – I cannot decipher my scribble

    The numbers ran consecutively. Bourlet was renumbered 349 Green Lanes

    [Contrary to some writings I think that Bourlet’s and T. W.. Parker were older than Grouts].

    Crossing Bowes Road [North Circular Road] at 53 Green Lanes I saw Beau Brummel dyers and cleaners.

    I can line-up a few more: 36 Green Lanes had Collins Valet services and Dry Cleaners:

    57 Green Lanes ‘Stay Press Number One Dry Cleaners':

    26 Green Lanes ‘Beautex Dyers and Cleaners’.

    There were some more – not counting the laundry receiving offices – no prizes if you come up with the correct answers – keep happy everybody.

    Late correction : Bourlet was at number 18 where the famous clock faces can still been viewed.

    Reg

    .

  44. Martin Folly says:

    I was at Hazelwood then too – yes they were pretty dramatic. We got ‘cycling proficiency’ demonstrations too – not a bad thing to revive, I would think.

  45. Martin Folly says:

    My mother went to school at a small (and from the sound of it rather Dickensian) private school, which was situated at or near the junction of Caversham Avenue and Fox Lane. This would have been late 1920s/early 1930s. Does anyone know anything of such an establishment. I believe it was run by two unmarried sisters (but I may be mistaken about that). I have some photographs of her in some kind of drama event (I won’t call it a play…). She was given a test for entry at another, more high-status, Palmer’s Green private school, but apparently they took one look at her and her father and decided she was too working class. They put her at the back of the test class and told her not to say anything…

    • Suzanne Beard says:

      I wonder if this was Miss Hum’s school, the one that Flora Robson went to, but that was over the other side of Green Lanes, where the dogs trust place is now. There was also a small school further up Fox Lane. Love to see the photo Martin, and perhaps we can collectively get to the bottom of this for you too, you never know!

  46. Steve Escott says:

    Its down memory lane for me. I lived at 78 Hedge Lane from 1960 until 1978. I very much remember the big grey house opposite the rec. I remember going through the rubble of it and
    retrieving a gas mask . The factory next door to it was indeed a stove enamellers.
    As an aside my first job was at the Triangle Pet stores , my school mate Stephen Cooper got me the job as his Father Jock owned the shop..
    I miss and remember Evans & Davies ,Broomfiejd house the two cinemas ,Briggs, the doctor Who style Police box on the Triangle next to the underground toilets.
    I could go on.
    Very happy memories
    Stephen Escott
    ( Hazelwood lane & Minchenden school )

  47. Raymond Spencer Rann says:

    Rememberin the underground toilets at The Triangle (gents, immaculate) at the hub of Palmers Green activities very convenient ‘cos Lyons, Woolworths, ABC, Triangle Cafe, BeZazz Coffee Bar, no help….mebbee Pritchards Restaurant or Evans an Davies closin at 5.30, o’corse. Annyway no pubs, so those in dire need….round the back o’the Palmadium or Queens, Cinema… lift the fire door latches with our pen knives to access the immaculate toilets (pink as I remembers)…shangri la……the A films were a bit alarming (The Outlaw starrin Jane Russell etc) for us boys, but the B films (Regis Toomy always so satisfying)….but watchin and singin with the the organist at the Capitol (Winchmore Hill) …I rest my case…..can life get better?

  48. Reg Hart says:

    The public toilets are an essential service that the local authority no longer provides.

    Also consigned to the history books are the loos at Fords Grove and those on the North Circular Road near what is often called Clockhouse Parade.

    The council say use those at the hamburger joint at 286 Green Lanes.

    Very sad. The answer to your question Mr Rann is that things are worse than in the 1940s

    .

    • Raymond Spencer Rann says:

      Tried to ignore the problem but something so close to my Hart cannot be ignored…40cm……16 inches in the old munny….IBS has shaped my life (Ma always ensured I had fried breakfast and cheese sanwiches last thing at night) annyway in the 50’s the immaculate tiled penny-in-the-slot toilets at Cambridge Roundabout and Turnpike Lane never failed and got me through my apprenticeship..Turnpike Lane to Holborn (Tube) uneasy, while most travellers enjoyed their Daily Express/Worker etc…comin home easier no fried food durin workin hours, Large Evenin News to hide anxiety behind as we stopped at that disused station north of Kings X……Annyway I remembers Fords Grove Toilets becos I saw in the car park beside, a Riley Kestrel Sports Car with the biggest brakes you ever saw……Annyway I bought this farmhouse becos it was walkin distance to 2 public toilets (Garage on the A39 ATLANTIC HIGHWAY (Planners eh?)) now shut….and Stratton Village conveniences shut…council planners (give up, eh?) This on highways vital to motor tourism down ‘ere. Bude, town now furthest from railway connection in England since Dr. Beecham plannins. Annyway I’m on the cesspits (not at this minnit) and lookin at compostin wc’s….what about this recurrin council worry re ‘eritage allotments, will there be a market when I gets goin one asks, or will they be gone as well. Annyway for ‘olliday relief I go to Spain where most shops and cafes offer the natural conveniences….not to mention the ferries and o’corse great relaxin rail travel.

  49. Jenny says:

    Why did Palmers Green only have one pub – the Fox?

    • Heather Lawrence says:

      Jenny there were a few others – The Dog & Duck, The Cock Tavern , The Cambridge and The Bird In Hand.

    • Apart from others mentioned, there is The Woodman, Bourne Hill.

      • Jenny says:

        yes but most of those were in Southgate and hardly walking distance.The Cock was a horrible place – frequented by drug users. Then it became the Manhattan……….so tacky. The Legends – who do they think that they are fooling! Now it’s a supermarket – probably the best use for it.

        • Roger Newark says:

          I think there was a time in the 1950s when The Cock was quite respectable. My late Dad, who, during the day was Chief Clerk in the Finchley Council Education offices, played the piano some evenings at The Cock. He was very impressed that they had a Clavioline, a very early synthesiser, that sat to one side of the piano keyboard, with a knee operated volume control. This was very cutting edge for those days.

          • Reg Hart says:

            I do not recall a Mr Newark at the pub,.but I remember Ernie Pavey with his clavioline.

            I may have got his surname slightly wrong. He was a good advert for ‘Brylcreem’. His ‘clav’ was rivalled by ‘Univox’..

            When Ernie packed it in at ‘the Cock Tavern’ he became bar steward of the sports club to the west of the railway line in Broomfield Lane..

            I then enjoyed some afternoon drinking sessions with Ernie – I will not say any more.

            Reg

          • Jenny says:

            It might have been OK in the 50s but it was a real dive by the 1960s.

        • Jenny am I missing a comment here? All the pubs mentioned by Heather and mine, The Woodman, were/are in Palmers Green. Most pubs go through “awkward’ times even The Fox. But the point was The Fox wasn’t the only pub in Palmers Green.

  50. Jenny says:

    My friend at school lived in Bush Hill Park and we used to argue which was the best area to live in. She used to claim that Palmers Green was a fuddy duddy old place and to prove her point she would say ‘what about Grouts”?

  51. David says:

    Jenny, is it possible to upload photographs of old Palmers Green etc, if so would you know the maximum size that can be sent. Thank you..David Todd.

  52. Ray Savoy says:

    I lived in Palmers Green from 1938 until 1948. When I went to St.Michael’s Mr. Bennet was the head and the teachers I remember were Mr. Rodwell (bastard), Mrs. Ford, Miss Haddock, Mrs. Finnegan. Mr. Rolls was in the RAF during the war, and after he was de-mobbed he married Miss Haddock. I think they were an item before the war. We all thought it was funny…Rolls and Haddock. I just remembered, There was a Mrs. Milne (handy with the stick) and a Mrs. Bassford (not sure if that was her last name, could have been Bass).

    • Reg Hart says:

      Oh yes, Mr Rodwell…and I put the coal on the fire for him in that bottom classroom.

      Mr Bennett was my father’s teacher at Downhills school, Tottenham in 1922.. When Clifford J Bennett retired he became an independent local councillor for a time. I have quite a few notes about him.and a photograph.

      I think Mrs Bassford might have been a Mrs Beresford and her son Anthony may have been a pupil…but perhaps I am wrong.

  53. Ray Savoy says:

    Don’t remember his first name, but he did have a son in my class whose name was David. I did leave St. Michael’s in1945 or 46 to go to Minchenden.

  54. Jenny says:

    I remember Truro House. Does anyone know what is happening to it? I heard that it is being renovated. I hope that they don’t change it too much. It reminds me of something out of Dickins. Could it become a family home again I wonder?

  55. Jenny says:

    Does anyone know if the bottom end of Park Avenue – New River Cres (where the garages are) was a WW2 bomb site?

  56. Roger Newark says:

    If you look at Bomb Site London http://bombsight.org/#16/51.6210/-0.0973, it shows where bombs were dropped in the New River Crescent/Park Avenue area.

  57. Jenny says:

    Does anyone know about ‘Bandstand Bob’ of Broomhill Park? Please enlighten me.

  58. Ray Savoy says:

    Lived in PG from1936 to 1948. Never heard of Broomhill Park. Did you mean Broomfield Park. I was there quite often and now and then did attend the band concerts at the bandstand. The conductor may have been Bandstand Bob, but I don’t remember that

  59. Jenny Hirshberg says:

    yes Broomfield Park

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