Bowes Park Community Green Palmers Green Uncategorized

Let’s move to…

66_theranelagh_pubhero_01The Guardian is calling for insider info on the delights of Bounds Green for it’s ‘Let’s Move To…’ feature in Weekend magazine.

You will have to move fast though. The deadline is today (and be careful what you say or you may never get a table in the Ranelagh again…). Email

PG next?

Art and Culture Bowes Park Community Food Green Palmers Green History Music Palmers Green Uncategorized

A beautiful day in Palmers Green …

Palmers Greeners gather round the bandstand for an afternoon of music
The sun was out, the sky was blue … thousands of people flocked to the Palmers Green Festival for a day that was so good it took us half the week to recover.

Palmers Green Jewel in the North were there with a joint stall with local history compadre Joe Studman’s Jaywalks, as well as a display of fascinating old views of the area and publications from Southgate District Civic Trust.

Thank you to everyone who came to say

SDCT deep in conversation with Joe Studman of Jaywalks
David Cooper of SDCT deep in conversation with Joe Studman of Jaywalks

hello – it was great to meet so many wonderful people – and thank you in particular to the Palmers Green Festival team for all the hard work which went into such a brilliant event (I am sure we don’t know the half of it!).

If you signed up for information about Jaywalks, the oral history project Rock n Roll Enfield, or to receive our articles about Palmers Green, we will be back in touch very soon.

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We await our public!
Art and Culture Bowes Park Comedy Community History Music Palmers Green Shops Southgate Uncategorized Winchmore Hill

That was May in Palmers Green – a round up of events in the last month

It was a month of highs and lows, and not only in the temperature.

The success story of the month surely goes to the Palmers Greenery team, who learned that they have the go-ahead to create a new community café in Broomfield Park. There has been a huge amount of work to get this far, and its great to see their efforts being rewarded and a new community amenity to look forward to. Further down south, we also heard that regeneration of Ally Pally was to be one of 6 major projects across the UK to receive Heritage Lottery Fund support.

At the Grovelands Festival - image Colin Younger
At the Grovelands Festival – image Colin Younger

The Grovelands Park Centenary Celebrations will surely be talked about for years to come – the biggest gathering I have seen in all my time in the area, and full of colour, fun and a great musical line up, including the legendary Tornados of Telstar fame. Many thanks to Colin Younger for his photos of the day, which adorn this round-up.

Back home here on PGJITN, we got into the swing by telling the story of the day of Grovelands official opening and the shenanigans that were somewhat omitted in the more official reports of the time. We also found out more about the Thatched Cottage which once stood on the site of Westlakes, and Westlakes’ previous incarnations of the local showcase for the wares of Montague Burton. Meanwhile our neighbours in Bowes and Bounds regaled us with the story of the kinky cobbler of Myddleton Road.

Finally, the sad saga of the Poundland Bansky seems to have been concluded with its private sale at an auction in London, at which it fetched over three quarters of a million pounds. That’s 750,000 times the price of any article purchasable in Poundland. The mural is being taken to join a private collection of Banksy’s work in the USA – though Banksy is reported to have said that once a work is removed from its location its no longer a Banksy.

shoppingfestival2013There is plenty to look forward to in June, starting this weekend with the Palmers Green Shopping Festival, our annual celebration of all that Palmers Green has to offer. Unlike many areas, we still have a reasonably thriving high street, with new businesses coming in, but like everywhere, the high street is at risk, and the shape of what it has to offer could change radically if we don’t support our local traders. Hazelwood Road will be closed on Saturday to host a day of entertainment, including the wonderful SOUP ukulele orchestra, local singers and Greek Dancing from Hazelwood School. There will be street performers,  stalls, ice cream and a bouncy castle, and shops all over Palmers Green will be running activities and promotions.

Devonshire Road has long taken the lead in showing what can be done with a little bit of community spirit. Residents are currently exploring setting up a monthly ‘play in the street’ day, and this weekend they have come up with the fabulous idea of a draw on the pavement day. They also have a great Facebook page– come on the rest of Palmers Green, keep up! While you are out and about, why not also pop in to the St John’s Church Flower festival including work by local children, all centred around the theme All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Coming up this month and beyond:

Tonight! The Others at St Harmonica’s Blues Club

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 June All things bright and beautifulSt John’s Church Flower Festival

Saturday 15 June Palmers Green Shopping Festival

Saturday 15 June Enfield Chamber Orchestra play Schumann, Ravel and Mozart at the United Reformed Church Fox Lane

Saturday 22 June Multifaith funday and football tournament MCEC (Palmers Green Mosque) 30 Oakthorpe Road

Sunday 23 June Winchmore Hill Quakers Benefit Concert featuring Paul Pulati and the Bandorians

Wednesday 3 July The Principal Theatre Company presents open air Shakespeare at the Old Ashmoleans Rugby Club, the Bourne: Hamlet

Thursday 4 July Talkies Community Cinema present Zero Dark Thirty at the Dugdale Centre

Thursday 4 July The Principal Theatre Company presents open air Shakespeare at the Old Ashmoleans Rugby Club, the Bourne: Comedy of Errors

Friday 5 July The Principal Theatre Company presents open air Shakespeare at the Old Ashmoleans Rugby Club, the Bourne: Hamlet

Friday 5 July Electric Mouse Comedy at the Fox: Adam Bloom

Saturday 6 July The Principal Theatre Company presents open air Shakespeare at the Old Ashmoleans Rugby Club, the Bourne: Comedy of Errors

Saturday 6 July Opening night at Space Art Gallery: Conrad Mecheski

Saturday 6 July St John’s Church Summer fair

Saturday 6 July 12-4 Walker School summer fete – celebrating the school’s diamond jubilee

Saturday 6 July North London Symphony Orchestra play Berlioz, Brahms, Elgar at the United Reformed Church, Fox Lane

Tuesday 16 July Around the Corner Cinema present  F W Murnau’s The Last Laugh as part of the Mimetic Festival

Wednesday 17 July Talkies Community Cinema presents Oil City Confidential at The Fox

Saturday 20 July The Southgate Chamber of Commerce Southgate Summer Festival

Thursday 25 July Around the Corner Cinema presents Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid at Enfield Grammar School as part of the Mimetic Festival

Sunday 1 September Palmers Green Community Festival



Art and Culture Bowes Park History Shops

Kinky boots!

123 Myddleton Road today. Image (c) Richard McKeever
123 Myddleton Road today. Image (c) Richard McKeever

A few days ago Richard McKeever of Bowes and Bounds Connected posted a wonderful story about Spyros Andrea, the kinky cobbler of Myddleton Road, who cobbled for Paul Raymond’s Revue Bar, Joan Collins, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. I highly commend it to you – click here.  Richard warns that some of the information in the article comes from some ‘specialist’ parts of the internet, so he has not included links to sources!

Art and Culture Bowes Park Community Food Health History Music Planning and open spaces Shops Southgate Uncategorized

That was April (and a bit of March) in Palmers Green –a round up of news and events

It was all rush rush rush in Palmers Green April.

Latest data published by the Office of the Rail Regulator revealed what we always knew – Palmers Green station is a tad busy. Roger Preston from FCC kindly furnished us with some additional data on some other stations on the Great Northern route. Some of them were even busier. But most were on the wider part of the route and all were interchanges. Looks like we are the busiest station that isn’t.

2013-04-10 10.30.36Palmers Green residents were distraught to be deprived of their burger fix in April when local Scottish brasserie MacDonald’s was closed for a number of days.  Meanwhile, the gym on Green Lanes suffered from water damage, also briefly closing Westlakes below.

There was much local debate over the suspended coffee scheme. Enfield Chase’s Karen Mercer, owner of My Coffee Stop on the platform, suggested that there might be better ways of helping the homeless than handing over money to Starbucks and other chains. The story was first covered in the local papers, and then went London-wide in the Londonist. In addition to running the coffee shop, Karen is the mastermind behind the Ideas Station, which provides training and support on social media. Sign up to her Facebook group to find out more.

Over in Westminster, our local MP David Burrowes campaigned for longer sentences for Chris Huhne and Vicky Price and opposed amendments to planning legislation which would have allowed individual councils to opt out of plans to relax controls on permitted development, in particular domestic extensions. However, Eric Pickles is understood to have given the red light to a compromise whereby neighbours are required to be consulted over extensions.

Mr Burrowes was back on Palmers Green’s streets in April opposing plans to open yet another betting shop, this time on the ground floor of Trios Banqueting Suite, an issue which is attracting attention on all sides of the political spectrum. Let’s hope the protest is successful in the way that it has been here in the past and more recently in Lewisham. Unfortunately fruit machines make huge amounts of money and betting shops and their ilk can move in because traditional shops are closing. If you don’t want them here, then that’s a big argument for making a resolution to use your local high street.

We unearthed a little more local history this month, including a fantastic piece of footage of a carnival in 1931 celebrating 50 years of Southgate as an independent borough from Edmonton, all shot in Palmers Green. We shone more light on the mysterious history of Truro House, Southgate Station turned 80, and we heard Chas n Dave sing about old Edmonton Green, and learned that the horsemeat scandal that rocked the country was nothing new – we had our own. Meanwhile, Grange Park was rocked by anarchist direct action, and a new local debating society was launched.

Grovelands centenary postcardAs we approach summer, the build-up is beginning for a number of local festivals. The first is next weekend when we celebrate 100 years since the opening of Grovelands Park. It looks set to be a fantastic event, with a pageant evoking the original opening ceremony, boats on the lake, music, food and a host of other activities. June 8-9 sees the return of Open Studios, now in its second year and bigger and even better than in 2012. June 15 is the date for this year’s annual Palmers Green Shopping Festival, organised by local businesses, and 1 September the Palmers Green Festival, with a week’s festival events building up to the big day. Meanwhile, Talkies continues at the Dugdale Centre, with its First Thursday series and some exciting additional events promised. More soon.

open gardenIf you are at a loose end this weekend, why not pop along to Arnos Park Lodge to view Elizabeth Dobbie’s beautiful gardens? The event is a fundraiser for Broomfield Park Conservatory, and there will be refreshments and the chance to buy plants from the local area. The entrance is beside 41 Brookdale N11, and the gardens are open from 2-5 on Sunday. You could perhaps combine it with a trip to see the new exhibitions by Reinhard Stammer, Marina Gruzer and Jasper Jones at the Space Art Gallery.

Finally, our thanks to Tony Ourris of Anthony Webb estate agents, who have kindly agreed to support this website. Thanks Tony!

And so we march on into Spring….

Sue from Palmers Green

All through May Space Art Gallery Southgate presents work by Reinhard Stammer, Marina Gruzer and Jasper Jones

Friday 10 May Hill Street Blues Band and Blue Patch at St Harmonicas Blues Club

Saturday 11 May St Paul’s Church May Fair 11am-2pm

Tuesday 14 May Buskers Night at the Step, Myddleton Road

Thursday to Saturday 16-18 May St John’s Players present Hobsons Choice at the St John’s Hall

Friday 17 May St Harmonicas Blues Club

Saturday and Sunday 18-19 May Grovelands Park Festival

Thursday 23 May The New River – a Discover London talk by Peter Berthoud at the Step, Myddleton Road

Friday 24 May St Harmonics Blues Club

Sunday 26 May Plant swap at the Broomfield Conservatory 2.40 to 4.30

30 May to 1 June Acorn Theatre Group present Grease at the Intimate Theatre

Sunday 2 June Live celtic music from Maurice Judge at Broomfield Conservatory 2.30-4.30

Sunday 2 June New River Walk – Hertford to Enfield led by John Polley of the New River Action Group. More walks planned over the summer.

Saturday and Sunday 8-9 June Open Studios and Art Trail

Sunday 9 June Art workshop in Broomfield Conservatory

Saturday 15 June Palmers Green Shopping Festival

Sunday 1 September Palmers Green Community Festival

Art and Culture Bowes Park History Palmers Green Uncategorized

The truth about Truro

One of the most frequent enquiries we get on this website and in search engine referrals is about Truro House. Not everyone knows its name. Sometimes its the ‘old house on the corner’ or ‘old house opposite the Town Hall’. It seems like Truro house has always invited curiosity.

Friend of this website Betty Wright lived in the Town Hall from 1926 to the 1950s and has kindly sent us this press cutting from 1974. Back then Truro House, given that it was built around 1850 or 60, was not much older, relatively speaking, than many of our own houses today – just over 100 years. Even then it seems to have been a bit of a mystery.


We seem to know the following. It stands on  the site of the Kings Arms pub – Oakthorpe Lane was once Kings Arms Lane.

Peter Brown of the Broomfield Museum Trust also tells us in his fascinating leaflet on Truro House that the land was once owned by Thomas Wilde (1782-1858) first Baron Truro who  lived at Bowes Manor and was Lord Chancellor from 1850-1852. The estate was then purchased by Alderman Thomas, and there was a Truro Cottage on the site in 1867’s ordnance survey site. However, neither Wilde nor Sidney appear to have lived there and it seems like the house may have been rebuilt or remodeled around 1890 when it was occupied by Frederick Colliver, a stock jobber, and his family.

From 1898 it was owned by the Davis family: Miss Charlotte Davis lived there from 1936 to her death in 1995 with her French housekeeper, Mlle Florence Zanotti. Peter tells us that while she was there, she allowed the Southgate Civic Trust Trees Group to inject the eleven elms which stood in the garden to try and save them from Dutch Elm disease – unfortunately without success. She also sold part of the land for the building of Honeysuckle House.

I have heard people say that Miss Davis liked to keep herself to herself, but I would love to hear from people who knew her. Graham Dalling used to tell the story of how, when the Enfield Local Studies Team were based in Palmers Green Library, he and David Pam went knocking on the door, only to be sent away with a flea in their ear.

The fate and more recent goings on in the house remain a bit of a mystery. Is it occupied? Currently there seems to be a small enclosure and the vegetation seems a bit more under control than usual, but perhaps that’s just the recent bad weather.

Perhaps most interesting is the call from writer of the 1974 article, one ‘Fuimus’ to consider the status of the house in the borough, a call which could have been made yesterday and has so far been unheeded. It and the Town Hall are the only buildings with open space fronting the New River, which celebrates its 400th anniversary this year, but which we hardly seem to make anything of in Palmers Green.

Truro House is a beautiful and sizeable  but not large building, with mature trees which have a tree preservation order. The gardens could be a wonderful public space, and the building may have potential as a community meeting place. I am just saying.

truro house