The clock a few months ago
Look up if you are passing Costa Coffee and you will see that an old friend is missing. The casing is still there but the two faces of Bourlet’s clock, together with the mechanism, have been taken out.
Of course Bourlet’s clock hasn’t told the right time – or its two faces the same time – for years and though iconic for us locally it’s long been looking a bit sad.
Has someone taken pity on it and taken it down for repair? It’s hard to see but looks like the casing might have had a lick of paint.
Or – please no – has it been permanently removed. Please get in touch if you know more.
Every so often a post or a comment prompts someone else to write beautifully about their memories of Palmers Green. This one is from David Todd:
My memory goes back to 1956, I would have been 8 years old and my Dad used to take myself & my younger brother to Dom’s most Saturday’s during the summer holidays for a midday lunch ‘treat’, He would put us on one of the 5 bar stools which were positioned at the rear of the cafe on the right hand side, we would pick up the menu because it looked grown up! ….and ALWAYS ordered egg, sausage & chips. Our Dad would pay the 2/6d, and pick us up 45 minutes later as he worked nearby. After the last chip was scoffed the owner would place in front of us a huge strawberry milkshake made with the soft ice cream they were known for, this shake was always served in a heavy fancy thick glass with a straw to slurp up the last visible clinging bubbles.
The ice cream was served from a sliding glass hatch facing the street, so you didn’t have to go inside if an ice cream was all you wanted, in the summer the servery was always open otherwise a light tap on the glass and brother or sister would serve you with beautiful soft ice cream in a cone and a smile all for threepence.
The owners were brother and sister Dominic & Anna both born in Italy who arrived in England after the second world war,they were very hard working & organised, so much so they only lived 200 yards opposite in Tottenhall Rd. They ran the cafe on their own with no other help.
Dom drove a maroon Renaualt Dauphine, which I remember being the first foreign car I saw in Palmers Green.
Dom’s is still there, though perhaps not quite the same…
The first in our new DIY series….Next week: how to remove your leaded glass with a sledge hammer.
If you have ever tried to find out more about your family’s history, you will know that from time to time the trail seems to go cold.
Ryan Clarke has been on the hunt for more information about his relative Montague Clarke, who died in Wood Green in 1965. Dr MacDonald or his family may have the key to unlock more of Montague’s history:
My relative Montague Clarke seems to have died with no close relatives around in 1965 in Wood Green. He left some things to Dr G G MacDonald in his will, and I wondered if the doctors descendants may still have them, as Id love to see.
Montague seems to have collected unusual items and left them to a variety of places at his death including the National and Tate galleries and the V&A theatre collection.
Equally I’m looking for anyone who may have known or had a photo of Montague. His line, from my great great great grandad’s brother seems to have died out with him.
We know that Mr MacDonald lived at ‘Wentworth’, 23 Broomfield Avenue. He married Elaine Watts and was practicing in 1965.
Can you help? Let us know …
And so Christmas is nearly here and the accolade of Palmers Green story of the year has been stolen at the last moment by Ian Puddick with his Old Bakery Gin, created in a rediscovered illegal still just south of the North Circular. Ian made it to ITV news this week.
We’ll be back in the New Year with more stories about where we live. In the meantime, wishing you a Merry Christmas, and all best for 2017.
This image was kindly provided by Erol Mehmet, who asked a friend who is currently working on renovations of the building above the Costa Coffee shop to take a picture while he was on the scaffolding. I love this photo, but as Erol says, the clock is in urgent need of TLC before we lose it altogether.