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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

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Horse with repetition

The recent controversy about horse meat in various products is nothing new apparently.

In his book, Southgate and Edmonton Past, Graham Dalling tells the story of the outcry in 1941 when it was discovered that meat roll served at local British Restaurants (run by the Council) had been adulterated with horse meat.

Investigations showed that the Council’s catering officer was also in possession of unfeasibly large supplies of custard powder, probably intended for the black market.

Police swarmed the Town Hall at Palmers Green and there were calls for the entire Council to resign. They didnt, but the catering officer was successfully prosecuted.

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Some things to look forward to in 2013

Christmas may be over, the leftovers becoming a public health risk, and your Christmas tree droopy, but there is a whole New Year ahead….

2013 sees the 400th anniversary of the opening of the New River. Discovering London’s  Peter Berthoud will be leading a two-day walk along the full length of the river (which isn’t a river and isn’t new) in September.  It’s also the 100th anniversary of the opening of Grovelands Park – celebrations are planned in May – watch this space!

The Palmers Greenery café in Broomfield Park is hopefully due to open soon (check their Facebook page for updates) and we shouldn’t have to wait too long either to find out the result of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Broomfield House.

Annabelle Dawson’s Hampstead Ponds – exhibiting in February

The SPACE Art Gallery has its launch night this weekend, and looks set to be amazing. The programme of exhibitions and events already reaches into early 2014, and includes Ross Ashmore (currently on a quest to paint every London Underground Station), Russian painter Alexander Bessanov, Ann Lunden Jakoby, and Conrad Mecheski . In February there is a group exhibition of more local artists including Annabelle Dawson, Samantha Lesley and  Helen M Ryan. Meanwhile, the wonderful Southgate and Palmers Green  Open Studios and art trail event runs again on the weekend of 8-9 June.

The Talkies Community Cinema is going from strength to strength. The next event,  a showing of Strictly Ballroom, is sold out, but there are tickets on sale for the next event, Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers at the Fox on 20 February. Give them some lovin’….

Peter Brown of the Broomfield Museum Trust will be giving a talk on Broomfield Park at Trinity at Bowes on 24 January at 2pm. Peter is a really fascinating man  – go along if you can.

If you are feeling energetic, or indeed sluggish, why not join the Grovelands park run every Saturday at 9. Its free, and a mixed ability group – just join them next to the lake opposite Grovelands House. More information (and registration for your bar code so you can track you times) at

Poetry in Palmers Green will meet again on 27 April with a line up that includes Grevel Lindop, Martha Kapos, Nancy Mattson, Graham High and Lynda How. The venue is St John’s Church and tickets are £5(£3.50 concs).Further details from

Finally, for you theatre goers, Finchley and Friern Barnet Operatic Society will be returning to the Intimate Theatre on 5- 9 March to perform Anything Goes.

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That was October in Palmers Green – A round-up of Palmers Green in the last month

Its been a busy October for us Palmers Greeners. A few of the things we learned this month …

Enfield Council, together with the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park put in a £4 million bid to the Heritage lottery fund to restore Broomfield House. There is a new website to accompany the bid.  We should find out whether it has been successful in February 2013  …  David Burrowes MP could be getting his edges tweaked in the new constituency boundary changes prop0sed by the Boundary Commission. The changes are currently subject to consultation  …  Theresa May announced that Palmers Green hacker Gary McKinnon will not stand trial in the US after a long national campaign. David Burrowes threatened to resign as PPS if McKinnon was extradited … Well over one thousand people in people in Enfield had already signed up to the petition about local control of GP services as part of the campaign being run by 38 Degrees – sign and view the latest total visit  A meeting was held at the Harvester in Arnos Grove to discuss how to ensure the Clinical Commissioning Group being established for Enfield takes into account the wishes of local people …

Worried about neighbours building a sky scraper in their back garden and overshadowing your dahlias? Enfield Council said no how, no way, were they going to implement the government’s changes to the planning system, while in another part of the forest, delegates at the recent conference of Civic Voice also called on the government to scrap the proposals … The North West London Waste Authority began a charm offensive, with a stall in Morrisons and local leafleting.  There, a massive incinerator on your doorstep at Pinkham Way doesn’t seem nearly as bad now, does it? …..

If you are planning a Sunday trip up town, First Capital Connect provide some advice on how you can get there in only an hour and a half – pretty much no direct trains to Kings Cross until Christmas on a Sunday, unless you get up early. ……. heading the other way up the railway line, a new farmers market opened at Crews Hill. Good reports so far and we wish them well but it is a little bit naughty to say on their website that they are the first and only farmers market in the borough of Enfield. It would be lovely if a few more people could visit our long established farmers market in Palmers Green – Sundays, station car park. There have been a few new stalls recently, and with more footfall it could expand further.

This month we also learned that …

Image reproduced by kind permission of James Birtwistle

in the old days, you could crash your plane into a roof in Palmers Green, and calmly smoke a cigarette before even bothering to climb down …. Myddleton Road was once paved with wood …. Southgate Town Hall is featured in the new Morse prequel Endeavour … The Duke of Chandos may once have lived at Broomfield House, and the Lanscroon murals currently reputed to be languishing in the basement of the Town Hall could have been created to impress a monarch. We also heard about the charms of the long gone Broomfield House Museum… but could it live again?

And finally

David Waumsley of the wonderful Palmers Green based Art Cove cards (sold by Anita at PG station cafe) challenged us to a Smiths lyrics stand off a la Chris Packham, and got bored before we did. I am sure that a common experience among PGJITN’s readers. Without the Smiths bit.

Anyway, enough wittering. If there is a topic you would like to write about, why not get in touch, especially if its about history and people? We would love to hear from you. There is a huge knowledge about Palmers Green out there … lets try and put it all together.

May November bring you great good fortune.

Sue, Palmers Green Jewel in the North

Coming soon

Friday 2 November  Bob Mills at the Electric Mouse Comedy Club at the Fox. Ricky Grover will also be performing in December.

Sunday 4 November Preparing the Garden of Remembrance in Broomfield Park for Remembrance Sunday. If you have some time to come and help park staff, please come to the Garden between 10 and 12

Friday 9 November Big Green Bookshop Bookswap featuring special guest the Rev Richard Coles Great Northern Hotel Hornsey (new bigger venue for this regular event from the fantastic independent Wood Green bookshop)

Sunday 18 November Herbs and their uses at the conservatory Broomfield Park

Saturday 24 November Christmas Bazaar at the Ruth Winston Centre

Saturday 8 December St Nicholas Fair Winchmore Hill Green. Following on from the summer’s fantastic Winchmore Hill Festival: this!

Saturday 8 December North London Symphony Orchestra perform at the United Reformed Church 7.45 pm  – Wagner, Mahler and Franck

Sunday 30 December Floating Lanterns on the Boating Pond, Broomfield Park

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Have you tried the new helium bread?

Helium bread was one of the exciting delicacies offered at Goodall’s in Park Parade Palmers Green in the first years of the 1900s.

Leading medics of the day were testifying to its health benefits, including the King’s physician. And if you hadn’t tried it you were missing out, declared The Recorder in the housewives column of its first issue in November 1907.

I tried a four days’ old loaf the other day, and found it as moist as a few hours’ old household. There is no crust, merely a thin crisp coating. The shape of the loaf is such, that delightful pieces of toast can be made.

It was perfect for afternoon tea too, and look! no waste:

There is one thing about the bread: there never will be any waste; no odd crusts to throw to the birds.

Goodall’s version with added currants was, apparently, was particularly tasty.

 Neither of Goodall’s loaves were the best thing since sliced bread however. That wasnt invented until 1912.

  • The Recorder was published from 1907 to 1916. A searchable disc containing all 170 issues is now available  from Southgate District Civic Trust
An advertisement for Goodalls from the first issue of The Recorder, November 1907, reproduced by kind permission of David Cooper/Southgate Civic Trust



Fears about new health groups’ safeguard of services

Pressure group 38 Degrees is urging local residents to sign a petition to help safeguard NHS services, following steps to set up new  Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) up and down the country.

The groups will have the power to decide what health services can be accessed in local areas and who provides them, but 38 Degrees fears that doctors in Enfield and elsewhere will be under pressure under the new arrangements to  hand out contracts to private companies – and that companies such as Virgin Care and Serco are circling with plans to win bids by slashing costs.

However, the new CCGs are in their infancy, and will have a  legal duty to listen to local people. 38 Degrees say that this means there is an opportunity to ask doctors on the CCGs to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it.

38 Degrees is urging local people to sign petitions to demonstrate to their CCGs that they expect them to protect local services. They are also currently seeking legal advice to help local groups ensure that responsibilty to protect services is written into each CCG’s constitution.

Interested in signing the petition? Visit