Palmers Green mysteries #1

Who is it that buys Farmer’s Weekly?


A new word for ugly

I was amused by this article from Londonist’s ever entertaining Matt Brown, not least because it introduced me to a new word, ‘cackbastard’ which I am sure will come in handy.

I love Palmers Green but I don’t love it all. The Store21 parade for example which is all the more upsetting when you remember that it replaced the by all accounts wonderful Palmadium Cinema.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this.


Fireworks and candle grease

One of the loveliest things about running a history blog is when people get in touch with what Palmers Green means to them and how it shaped their lives. Here are some memories from Brian Watling who grew up here on and off from 1938.

I grew up in Palmers Green, Lived for 2 to 3 years in an apartment in Oakthorpe road from my birth in 1938 and then we moved to Lynbridge gardens where we lived until I left home and married in 1964.

My father was an Air Raid Warden during the war and I can remember seeing the Doodlebugs coming over Palmers Green after I returned from Newcastle where I was evacuated to early in the war. I still have a coat hanger from Groats haberdashery with their Ivory name plaque riveted to the wood. I went to Hazelwood Lane Infants school and Junior schools.

Our house backed onto the New River which always drew us to trespass in the hope that the “River Men” did not see us. Janes and Adams was my favourite toy shop, The chemist at the top of Hazelwood Lane provided us with certain chemicals to make our home made fireworks!.  I used to get my hair cut in the barbers just round the corner from the National Westminster bank on the Triangle. We spent a lot of our playtime in Broomfield Park, using candle grease on the slide to make it really quick. There was also an abundance of conker trees near the entrance where we were forever throwing various missiles at the trees in order to get the conkers to drop much to the annoyance of passers by and the Park Keepers.

My Father founded the Fives Cricket Club whose home was at the “Wreck” at the end of Lynbridge Gardens. I understand that the Fives now play up near Oakwood Tube Station.

Other places we often frequented in the school holidays were Hadley Woods (29 Bus from the Triangle) where we used to trespass onto the railway line and stick pennies on the line with tape so when the train ran over them they doubled in size!

Barrowell Green Swimming Baths were great fun in the summer accessed through Ash Grove where a Doodlebug landed during the war. I remember sleeping in a steel shelter with my brother in our back room during the war, you slid into it and then pulled up the steel fence panel around the outside to protect us in case the house got hit.


Can you read this Palmers Green address?

Ruth O Reilly has been researching her family history and found a record with this address in Palmers Green. It’s from a form completed in the late 1940’s . She cant make it out, and has tried looking at maps, “but of course the road might have been re-developed and long since gone…” she says.

Do you recognise it? What do you think it says?


Have you got an ugly old door?

The first in our new DIY series….Next week: how to remove your leaded glass with a sledge hammer.

family history Uncategorized

Did you know Dr George MacDonald?

If you have ever tried to find out more about your family’s history, you will know that from time to time the trail seems to go cold.

Ryan Clarke has been on the hunt for more information about his relative Montague Clarke, who died in Wood Green in 1965. Dr MacDonald or his family may have the key to unlock more of Montague’s history:

My relative Montague Clarke seems to have died with no close relatives around in 1965 in Wood Green. He left some things to Dr G G MacDonald in his will, and I wondered if the doctors descendants may still have them, as Id love to see.

Montague seems to have collected unusual items and left them to a variety of places at his death including the National and Tate galleries and the V&A theatre collection.

Equally I’m looking for anyone who may have known or had a photo of Montague. His line, from my great great great grandad’s brother seems to have died out with him.

We know that Mr MacDonald lived at ‘Wentworth’, 23 Broomfield Avenue. He married Elaine Watts and was practicing in 1965.

Can you help? Let us know …