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Carnival day Palmers Green 1931

Huge thanks to Nick Cox who alerted us to this wonderful video of carnival day in Palmers Green in 1931.

Made by Camera Craft, the footage was found in a skip by You Tube user Andyvalve100, who we are trying to contact now. He says of this amazing find

The Southgate featured here is the London Suburb and indeed it was while working in the area a few years back that I found this film amongst things being thrown away in a company clearout.

In fact, as you will see, it is all shot in Palmers Green, and gives a wonderful impression of what it might have been like to walk along Palmers Green’s streets over 80 years ago, when many of the buildings were 20 or 30 years old, the streets bustled and the cinemas were still with us.

It shows a wonderful procession of local trades, businesses and groups: the fire brigade, soldiers, nurses, local hospital groups, marching bands, penny farthing riders, peace campaigners (‘truth is the first casualty of war’), polo players, life savers, and a group of ladies with placards showing the evolution of women’s rights. There also seem to be riders from a local hunt.

Among the businesses are Express Dairy, Stapleton and Sons, Northmet, Clayton Homes,  John Eaton, a 1903 Humber car advertising a local garage, and a float from the Cock Forge imagining its own past in 1732. The Easiest Way and Easy Money are showing at the cinema.

The date of the film is September 26 and celebrates the ‘jubilee’ but for the moment I am stumped as to what jubilee this is. George V’s diamond jubilee was in 1935. Does anyone know?

Betty Wright (then Walton) remembers the day well, because it was her fourth birthday – in fact, her birthday often seemed to coincide with annual civic events .

The film taken from there, showing the beginning of Alderman’s Hill…showed where my ‘best friend’ lived…at No 3, above an Estate Agents…her parents were the Care Takers.  It’s a pity the Town Hall wasn’t shown….or at least I didn’t see it.  I feel certain my elder sister and brothers would have been in the Parade…they would have been 14, 15 and 18.

I do remember each year on my birthday (just a co-incidence) the Southgate Fire Brigade gave a display in Broomfield Park (or may be in the grounds at the rear of the Town Hall where the fire station was).  They put on a display of a burning building,  and firemen running up ladders to ‘save’ people.  They also used hook ladders, which my brother excelled at.  Unfortunately, shortly after my son joined the brigade and had set his heart on ‘being as good as Uncle Jack’ with hook ladders…they were banned because of ….yes, you guessed, ‘health and safety’.


Please show this film to your friends and relatives  – we would love to hear all your memories, of days like these, what life was like then, and Palmers Green’s people, shops and businesses.

4 replies on “Carnival day Palmers Green 1931”

Re. 1931 film of P.Green. Brilliant find by Nick Cox, congrats for passing it on to everyone, anyone know where the company clear-out was? .

I was very interested to see this old film of PG. I grew up in Palmers Green from 1944, living in Hedge Lane for most of the time, until I moved away in 1969. I have no real insight into the reason for the Jubilee procession in 1931, however, having searched the web (Wikipedia), my suggestion is that it celebrates 50 years since Southgate became a separate local government district of Middlesex; it was then, in 1881, that Southgate became separated from Edmonton.

Any advance on that?

It was two years after these celebrations that, in 1933, Southgate was granted a charter of incorporation and became a municipal borough.

This is fantastic Sue. Like you, I have absolutely no idea what the jubilee is.

I like to imagine everyone walked and gestured at the speed shown on these old films.

You may find me imitating it in Morrison’s one day.

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