Art and Culture Comedy Community Uncategorized

More ‘silents’ around the corner

Around the Corner Cinema returns in July with two new screenings as part of the 2013 Mimetic festival.

As with February’s screenings, the emphasis is on the wonderful, silent and  seldom seen.

“The Mimetic Festival aims to celebrate the very best emerging mime, puppetry and cabaret in the UK – its a fantastic programme of theatre and arts, and experimentatation, and we will be showing arguably two of the best silent films ever made,” says Around the Corner’s John Stewart.

The Last Laugh posterMade in 1924 and showing at Enfield Grammar School Hall on 16 July, the Last Laugh follows the story of an elderly doorman at a famous hotel who is demoted to washroom attendant and tries in vain to conceal his shame from friends and family, with tragic consequences – or are they?

The film was highly praised on its release, and is unusual in using almost no intertitles – more unusual still, when they are used, they do not represent dialogue on screen.  Director F W Murnau described his story in the Last Laugh as absurd – on the grounds that everyone knows that a washroom attendant earns more than a doorman!

This screening will feature live, improvised piano accompaniment from British Film Institute silent film pianist, Costas Fotopoulos who works internationally as a concert and silent film pianist, and as a composer and arranger for film, the stage and the concert hall. There will also be an introduction from  Pamela Hutchinson; Editor of Silent London, and Features Production Editor for The Guardian.

The Kid posterShowing on July 25th, also at Enfield Grammar School Hall, the Kid is one of Charlie Chaplin’s most celebrated and most personal feature films. The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) and an abandoned child (Jackie Coogan) triumph over life’s hard knocks in the landmark film that changed the notion of what a screen comedy could be. An award winning short film (The Girl is Mime) directed by Tim Bunn, and starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office), will be screened beforehand.

For tickets and further information, visit the Around the Corner website.

For further information about other events in July’s Mimetic Festival visit


Community Palmers Green Shops Uncategorized

The thatched cottage that went for a Burton

The Thatched Cottage in 1903, image by kind permission of Enfield Local Studies and Archive
The Thatched Cottage in 1903, image by kind permission of Enfield Local Studies and Archive

It may seem hard to imagine it now, but once upon a time Palmers Green was famed for a quaint rural attraction. Until 1938, the site of Palmers Green’s excellent hardware store Westlakes was occupied by “Ye Old Thatched Cottage”, a local landmark.

Alan Dumayne in his book Once Upon a Time in Palmers Green says that in years gone by the mere mention of the Cottage would bring a faraway look of sweet remembrance into old Palmers Greeners’ eyes. The cottage had been built in the late 18th Century by the Governor of the Bank of England Thomas Lewis as a lodge to the big house, The Lodge, which once stood on the east side of Green Lanes.

The Cottage lost its rustic gardens to the widening of Green Lanes in 1906 and had begun to look a little sorry for itself by 1911 when it was rescued by one Percy Whellock, who had it as a garden shop and nursery (there were two acres of ground behind).  The cottage was a well-known attraction, with colourful and abundant bedding plants in front setting off its attractive rural thatch. It was demolished to make way for a branch of Burton’s gentleman’s tailors in 1938.

Well established and possibly at their zenith when they came to Palmers Green just before the Second World War, Burtons were founded in Chesterfield in 1903 by 18 year old Montague Burton (then known as Meshe David Oskinsky – legend has it that he chose his new name having spent several hours on Burton on Trent Railway station).

Burton’s aimed to be an ethical employer by the standards of the time, giving generously to support the arts and even playing a role in the founding of the United Nations. One of Montague Burton’s mottos was ‘Good clothes develop a man’s self-respect’ and a full, smart but affordable three piece suit became known colloquially as the Full Monty.

Burton's foundation stone. Image  (c) S Beard
Burton’s foundation stone. Image (c) S Beard

It was a Burton’s tradition that the foundation stone for each new store should be laid by a member of the family, and Palmers Green’s stone, laid by Montague’s son Arnold James Burton, can still be seen. Far from being an elder statesman, Arnold was just 21 when he wielded the ceremonial trowel in Green Lanes.

If you ask nicely, Westlakes’ staff will proudly show you a picture of the Thatched House and remains of the original fittings from the 1930s store, including a fine parquet floor. They will also cut your keys, supply you with a new phone, and give you DIY advice and the tools to transform your home, and do it all with a friendly smile. You don’t get that at Homebase.

For more information about Montague Burton, see

Art and Culture Palmers Green

Cameras roll again in PG

2013-05-23 18.29.10The  film cameras are rolling again in Palmers Green this week.

The BBC are making  the pilot episode of a new drama, Family – locations include  the Fox and a house in Selbourne Road.

Thanks Caister Blue for the tip off!

Right: filming support vehicles in the car park of the Fox this afternoon

Comedy Palmers Green

So, has anyone noticed anything recently?

smunneryComedy genius Simon Munnery returns to Palmers Green for a one-off gig at Gary Colman’s Electric Mouse Comedy Club at the Fox next Friday.

Renowned for this off beat originality, Munnery won the 2012 Chortle awards for Best Comedy Innovation for his show La Concepta which he opened a non dining restaurant for eight non diners at a time, presenting ‘haute cuisine without the shame of eating’. In his most recent show, The Fylm-Makker, Munnery didn’t appear on stage at all, instead sitting in the audience behind a box of tricks that could only display his face, the table or both. From there he made live films – or Fylms – which were projected on a big screen at the front of the theatre.

Also on the bill are Junior Simpson and Nick Doody, and the event is compared by Gary Colman. You can reserve tickets to pick up on the door by emailing Doors open 7.30pm.