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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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Competition generates fresh ideas for the New River

A competition run by the Mayor of London, the Garden Museum and the Landscape Institute has generated some new ideas about a possible future for the New River.

The New River runs from Amwell in Hertfordshire right down into Stoke Newington, with a further now non flowing sections running all the way to its original destination at Saddlers Wells. Though easily one of the oldest remnants of Palmers Green’s past, the New River (neither new, nor a river) is often forgotten as it meanders past hundreds of back garden fences and snakes along its ancient – though oft amended – path.

London Landscape architecture practice Place Design and Planning’s idea was to  reveal, re-connect and diversify the historic waterway as a way of drawing communities along the route together, stimulating business in the area and managing water in a sustainable way.

One of the images from Place Design + Planning’s shortlisted entry for the New River Image Place Design + Planning

The competition was inspired by New York’s High Line, the aim to generate new ideas for bringing hidden, forgotten and abandoned places into public use. While the ideas may perhaps never be implemented, the aim is to stimulate new thinking.

The winner from Fletcher Priest | Pop Down was to create an urban mushroom garden lit by sculptural glass-fibre mushrooms in the old ‘Mail Rail’ tunnels beneath Oxford Street.

Other entries closer to home included an idea from Andres Briones for a Lea Valley Rain farm to store run-off and rainwater to serve the local neighbourhood. Our recent summer suggests that that idea could be very successful.

To view the entries, visit


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£4 million bid to restore Broomfield House

Following our story a few weeks ago, Enfield Council has now formally announced its intention to submit a £4million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to save Broomfield House.

Cllr Del Goddard, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said in a press release on Enfield Council’s website on Monday, “A tremendous amount of effort has gone into producing this HLF bid, particularly from the Broomfield Trust and Friends, but it has been worth it because working together we have produced an exciting vision that we think can work in practice.”

The house has been derelict too long, say the Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park, who have been working together on the bid with Enfield.

“The current plans represent a real opportunity to save one of Palmers Green’s few remaining heritage properties, and restore it as a much needed community asset for the enjoyment of future generations. Many people have already expressed a wish to become actively involved with the project, and the approach to the HLF is taking this into account.

“If the HLF bid is successful and we are able to deliver the House restoration, then we would want to turn our attention to a Parks for People bid to improve the Park at some point in the future ”

If you are interested in hearing more about the plans, a reminder that the next open meeting of the Friends of Broomfield Park is on Wednesday 17 October at the Ruth Winston Centre. The meeting starts at 7.30.


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Home grown fun!

Broomfield Community Orchard’s Summer Picnic this year included a scarecrow, apple bobbing, local honey, a tug o’ war and country dancing.

Up for some home grown country style fun? The next Community Orchard event is Apple Day, 2-5 on 21 October. For more information about the orchard, visit

The fantastic summer picnic scarecrow. Image: Broomfield Community Orchard


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Council opens door for new community cafe in Broomfield Park

The realisation of plans to create a new community café in Broomfield Park is one step closer.

A first sketch of how the new cafe will look (image by kind permission of The Palmers Greenery)

Last week Enfield Council placed an advert in local press inviting expressions of interest for the provision of a ‘Community Facility’ in the park. Meanwhile an architects drawing of how the new café might look has been unveiled by the Palmers Greenery team.

Enfield’s advert paves the way for the Palmers Greenery group to make a formal application to open a new café in the park and is an important milestone in a community project initiated and led by local Palmers Green residents in association with the Friends of Broomfield Park.

Over the last year, the Palmers Greenery team has been working to develop a business plan, engage with local stakeholders, and establish a positive working relationship with London Borough of Enfield. Importantly, they have also been able to secure the ring fencing of £35,000 to cover start-up costs from the Enfield Residents Priority Fund.

The intention is that the Palmers Greenery will be child-friendly and serve affordable, healthy and, where possible, locally sourced food. All surplus generated by the Palmers Greenery will be re-invested directly back into Broomfield Park for park enhancing purposes.

“We welcome LBE’s willingness to embrace new ways of working collaboratively with the community”, says Sarah Cotton of the Palmers Greenery team.

“This project is a real opportunity for LBE to demonstrate that it is listening and responding to local people. We will be working very hard over the next few months to ensure our submission is as robust as possible.”

If you have any specific expertise that you think will be helpful to the Palmers Greenery team as they put the final tweaks to the business plan, please get in touch .


Community History Planning and open spaces

Have your say in the future of Broomfield House

Broomfield House at the turn of the century Image: The Broomfield House Trust/Friends of Broomfield Park

Could change finally be in the air in the chequered fortunes of Broomfield House?

The Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park have announced they are working on a new proposal with Enfield Council to secure financial support from the UK Heritage Lottery Fund, the aim, to restore the House for community purposes. The plans include restoration of the house to its nineteenth century appearance, without the mock Tudor facade added in the 1930s. The intention is to then follow up with a further, second bid, to the Parks for People Lottery Fund, to revitalise the Stable Yard and Baroque Gardens.

The announcement signals a change in direction from Enfield Council, who had previously proposed financing plans for the house and park through housing development. Housing proposal plans displayed on the side of the house have recently been taken down.

The next open meeting of the Friends of Broomfield Park will be on Wednesday 17th October at the Ruth Winston Centre. In the meantime, local residents are being asked to complete a short survey about their usage of the park, and how they would like the house to be developed and used.

So…what facilities would you like to see at Broomfield House ? some performance space? learning facilities? function rooms? A café? a small cinema? Click on the link to have your say, give your support and contribute to a brighter future for Palmers Green’s historic heart.