Do you remember the Black and White Café? Have afternoon tea in Evans and Davies? Buy your undies in Grout’s, or your butter hewn from a big slab in Sainsbury’s?
Those were some of the memories and stories shared by local residents at a special event hosted by the Ruth Winston Centre in conjunction with Talkies Community Cinema a couple of weeks ago as part of the Palmers Green Festival celebrations.
The aim was to look at what Palmers Green was like 50 years or more ago, and the way in which Palmers Green, and our feelings about it, have changed. Once with a reputation for being rather snobby and high falutin’, Palmers Green is now busier than many of its neighbours, excitingly multicultural, and, in the words of Ralph Hutchings, one of the introductory speakers, ‘definitely on the up’ – a far cry from the 60s when ‘you couldn’t get a decent kebab!’.
The event has now given birth to a new oral history project.
“We have yet to agree a title, but the emphasis will be firmly on ‘now’ as well as ‘then’”, says former Hazelwood teacher Jenny Bourke who is coordinating the project team, which includes Palmers Green Jewel in the North. “The aim is to talk to as wide a range of people as possible, of all ages and from all parts of the community”.
Here are just a few of the many topics the team would love to know more about
- Do you remember your first impressions of Palmers Green? How has it changed?
- Can you help us piece together more of the story of Truro House?
- Do you recall a gymkhana being held in Broomfield Park?
- Did you have any notable, famous or infamous neighbours or stories about your own street?
“If you took part in the event, the team will be back in touch soon, “says Jenny. “But we’ll also be asking for more people to come forward with their local memories later in the year – we hope as many people as possible will want to be involved.”
But you don’t have to wait until then. If you are a Palmers Greener, old or new, we would love to hear your stories about Palmers Green, whether it be from of 1963 or something that happened just last week.
“We are keen to hear from everyone, but as we are looking in particular at the last 50 years, it would be great to hear from some people who were actually born in 1963!”
A website will be set up in the New Year, but in the meantime you can contact the project group by emailing email@example.com.