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Every street in Palmers Green #6: How Palmers Green went round in circles

Rosalie Skating Rink exterior image (c) Enfield Local Studies Archive by kind permission
Rosalie Skating Rink exterior image (c) Enfield Local Studies Archive by kind permission

If you think that nothing about Palmers Green has ever been cutting edge, then think again. Or perhaps not.

In October 1910 John Cathles Hill, a speculative builder who had been responsible for much of the development of the Bowes Manor Estate (and two of north London’s most beautiful pubs, Crouch End’s Queen’s Head and Green Lanes’ The Salisbury), opened  a vast hall to cater for the craze of the age – roller skating.  Named the Rosalie, on its opening day, 700 people thronged to whizz round on the maple floor, to the accompaniment of a military band.

Dignified whizzing around (c) Enfield Local Studies Archive by kind permission
Dignified whizzing around (c) Enfield Local Studies Archive by kind permission

Unfortunately Hill had opened his new amenity just a little too late. After a rousing start, visitor numbers quickly fell off a cliff and by 1912 the building was sold to the London Omnibus Company. The failure of the rink may have been the last straw for Hill, who at one time had been a major builder and owner of the largest brick kiln in the world. In 1912 he was also declared bankrupt  with a deficit of over one million pounds.

The roller rink building is still standing, now the home of rather more enduring wheeled transport in the form of Arriva buses. In 2004 Maurice Cullum, Mike Wormall, Ted Simpson  Arriva employees at the garage, decided to research the history of the bus garage further.  The result was  Palmers Green Bus Station – a comprehensive history, a 140 page tome detailing the history of the building and of London buses in the area. If you see it, grab it, because it now often goes for extortionate prices on the internet.

Nomination for the local list: Palmers Green Bus Station

  • This article has been prepared as part of the process to nominate buildings and landmarks to Enfield’s updated local list. For more information see And if you have any suggestions for buildings which aren’t listed but should be included in the local list, please get in touch. But do get in touch soon, as submissions need to be in by the second weeks in November.


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Market N13, the place for Father’s Day fun!

20150517_123013Market N13, Palmers Green’s relaunched Sunday market is celebrating 3 months trading, by providing a fun venue for kids and Dads (and everyone else!) to enjoy Father’s Day together.  Come along for your regular Sunday shopping and join in with the festivities.

The aim is to share local talent, to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who have supported the market up to now, to invite others to get involved, but above all to have family focused activities, laughter and maybe a little bit of silliness on this special day for Fathers.

  • ‘open mic’ competition – bring your favourite Dad jokes
  • learn to juggle
  • make a father’s day gift with Carla from Hang out the Bunting
  • listen to the Storyteller and bring a favourite story to share
  • wear your favourite silly hat
  • have your face painted by ZaraZoo

20150607_123059All this plus live music  AND all the market’s regular traders selling good fresh foods and handmade crafts.

Check the facebook events page for updated information and the day’s programme.


HELP!   – Market N13 is  always looking for volunteer helpers. Do get in touch at  or speak with  Annita at the kiosk café on Platform 1, any weekday morning.

JARS! – empty glass jars with screw top lids wanted for jam and chutney based activity later in the year.

Date: Sunday 21st June 2015.    Venue: Palmers Green station car park.    Time: 10am – 3pm

brockmans veg cropped

Art and Culture Community Green Palmers Green Health Palmers Green Planning and open spaces Shops

£20,000 to smarten up Palmers Green? – it’s there for the asking

IMG_0232A couple of weeks ago, Londonist reported on a new community fund which has been set up by the Greater London Authority’s regeneration team to improve the capital’s  high streets. There is £9 million in all up for grabs, to be spent on making local high streets a more attractive place to live and visit.

Community groups can apply for grants of up to £20,000 by way of the project website, though projects need to find 25 per cent of the money. There is also the facility to apply for larger grants through a more detailed application process. Says Londonist, “Projects can be almost anything, from cosmetic improvements to an area or launching a street food market to attract more people to visit; tackling licensing issues which prevent cafes and restaurants from putting chairs in the streets, to setting up a traders’ association. Arts activities, pop-up venues, and new community spaces are also examples which have been mooted.”

What could Palmers Green do with £20,000 or more? How about a project to paint and harmonise shop frontages, and finally get some proper greening. It would require our shopkeepers and businesses to step forward and work together. And unlike – apparently –  Mini Holland, it could be relatively uncontroversial.

To be or  not to be, that is the question.

For more information visit

Health Palmers Green

Spitting to become illegal in Palmers Green

Earlier this week I was standing at the bus stop on Green Lanes, when I was joined by a middle  aged lady. As we gently sizzled in the sun my companion, with no sign of self-consciousness, began to dig deep and promptly issue a copious and foamy splat of spittle. I prayed I would remember where it was when I left my spot to get on the bus.

Image by kind permission of Leithcote, Creative Commons
Image by kind permission of Leithcote, Creative Commons

Now let’s be honest, there are some bad habits which you might be able to see the appeal of but I have never understood the need – in terms of giving comfort, medical relief or any other benefit – for spitting. I have lived an entirely spit  free life, and anything which might have turned out less than 100% perfect cannot easily be attributed to my failure to honk my guts up and  deposit it on the pavement.

But could spitting in Enfield be about to become a thing of the past? Following a campaign led by the Enfield Over 50s group, and a petition signed by over 4000 people, Enfield could be about to become the first borough in the country with a ban on spitting.

The borough has asked the Government to create a special by law covering Enfield which would make spitting an offence. Eric Pickles is understood to have given his approval in principle, and the law will be confirmed provided a month-long public  consultation is  in support of the move.

The new by law will mean that those caught spitting on the street without a ‘reasonable excuse’ will be issued with a fixed penalty notice and could be fined up to £5000.

But you will still be able to spit into a tissue or hanky if you really want to.



Art and Culture Community Health History Palmers Green Planning and open spaces Uncategorized Winchmore Hill

Plans to build on Grovelands?

Grovelands: in need of 'opening up'
Grovelands: in need of ‘opening up’

A letter sent to local residents last week has sparked alarm about the Council’s  plans for the future of Grovelands Park.

The letter, from Gary Barnes, Assistant Director of  Regeneration, Leisure and Libraries, states that the Council are planning to ‘invest in’ and ‘redevelop’ the ancient park. The intention is to conduct an historic parks survey and develop a management plan – both of which are standard good practice in parks management – but also to explore the options for introducing a new two form entry primary school and improve sports facilities. The intention is also to ‘open up’ the park, including lands owned by Thames Water though it is unclear what this opening up might mean.

Mr Barnes states that plans are at an early stage and Enfield therefore feel that it is the right time to talk to residents and stakeholders and explain their plans.  If you want to take part, you don’t have much notice though – the meeting is tomorrow 18 July, at 4 in the public restaurant at Southgate College.  What do you mean “but I’m at work”?


Dont touch!

Photo DJCMackay, creative commons
Photo DJCMackay, creative commons

Its all OK – travelling on the train in the morning doesnt expose you significantly to disease, says this assumption-shattering post from the Londonist.

To catch something, you are likely to need to physically touch someone, and we certainly arent going to do that are we?

But I would still prefer it if you use a handkerchief when you sneeze please, fellow Palmers Greeners