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Enfield loses its nerve over hauntings?

Broomfield's bandstand
Broomfield’s bandstand

The last few days have seen local groups in uproar following the news that Enfield won’t be taking part in London Open House this year. Apparently, Enfield has pulled out because it was unwilling to pay the £4,000 contribution required for its participating venues to appear in the Open House guidebook.

However other sources are suggesting that the real reason is that the Council is concerned about the number of hauntings and strange occurrences in the borough, not least the appearance recently, after a long absence, of ‘Bandstand Bob’ in Broomfield Park, glimpsed by a lady walking her dog just before the park closed. Bandstand Bob was associated with Broomfield House and the area by the lake, but hadn’t been seen since the fire which reduced the structure to its present state in the 1990s.

A few weeks ago there was also the discovery of a manuscript during the Town Hall renovations which indicated that Palmers Green was one of the three haunted hamlets of Middlesex, and that local people participated in rituals to keep witches at bay – a kind of Palmers Scream. The document is currently being examined by Dr Susan Devereux, lecturer in Early Modern History.

A source close to the Council has indicated that the borough is concerned that recent developments, combined with the current showing of the Enfield Haunting on Sky Living, is ‘creating a backward image’ for the borough.

4 replies on “Enfield loses its nerve over hauntings?”

Come off it, Suzanne! Even Enfield wouldn’t pull out of Open House on the basis of a spurious haunting, something that might actually attract crowds to the borough. And who is Bandstand Bob, anyway? You’re making it up and it’s all getting very childish and tiresome.

The truth of Open House is that Enfield Councillors have always been a load of Philistines with no regard for the borough’s heritage – buildings and artefacts that add lustre to the locality – allowing opportunist developers to demolish important buildings and permitting ugly and inappropriate developments. In a book I have called Treasures of Enfield a significant number of the buildings featured now no longer exist, for no other reason than GREED.

If anything creates a ‘backward image’, it is pulling out of Open House!

I guess this is the sort of thing we might have to learn to accept as the next phase of cuts to local government hits. It is a great pity, because Open House was a valued opportunity to see buildings that may otherwise by inaccessible to the public.
The stories of ghosts, ghouls and hauntings seem to be growing by the day….how does this all link to the Palmers Scream?

And even the Outer London Open House events are not confined to the local community: we spent a fascinating day some years back exploring Open House locations in Hillingdon (Harmondsworth and the Great Barn are particularly recommended); so it could bring to the area people who might otherwise never come here.

Although I no longer live in Palmers Green I was brought up here and some of my family still live here, I am concerned about the attitude of Enfield Council that anything associated with history, as your recent document findings and the haunting in Broomfield Park, constitutes by Enfield Council, ‘creating a backward image’. Surely history is part of how a place develops and why it develops, it is also part of our culture, witches, interesting tales of long ago etc. and if Enfield Council cannot accept that this is what Britain is about then they had better rethink their role, that they are not the ones to dictate whether or not there is an Open House in Enfield or not. It would be good if there were private owners with interesting places, gardens, homes etc which could be used for Open House, ghost walks, fr example and all get together and form their own Open House/garden Day without the dictate of the Council.

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