Shops Uncategorized

Palmers Green institution to close after 94 years

C A Phillips art shop and picture framers is finally to close after 94 years in the same family.

Founder Arthur Phillips (c) Vernon Phillips

The business was founded by Arthur  Phillips when he was demobilised after the Great War in 1918. He specialised in picture framing and gradually expanded the business to incorporate artists materials.

After the Second World War, Clifford Phillips – the C A in the business name – took over, continuing much as before but adding graphics products to cater for the advertising boom.

Clifford Phillips (c) Vernon Phillips

Vernon Phillips entered the business during the 70’s and since then the company has specialised in artist’s materials, picture framing, restoration of oil paintings and antique frames, as well as stocking graphic art supplies, craft materials and technical drawing products.

W H Smith’s aside, only funeral director Seawards has remained continually in business – and at the same location  – for as long.

Current owner Vernon Phillips

Vernon Phillips had hoped that the business would continue after his retirement and the lease had been up for sale for 2 years.  Unfortunately there have been no takers, and C A Phillips is due to close its doors for the last time in June.  The care and expert advice of Vernon and his team will be sadly missed.

All images reproduced by kind permission of Vernon Phillips

Art and Culture Uncategorized

Celebrating Stevie Smith, Palmers Green’s poet


1 Avondale, the home of poet Stevie Smith until 1971

The suburbs are not traditionally full of poets and artists.   Perhaps Palmers Green, though, is an exception, as home to at least two great writers: Paul Scott and Stevie Smith

Stevie Smith lived in the same house in Palmers Green, 1 Avondale, from the age of four until her death in 1971 at the age of 69 – sixty five years. Her suburban surroundings and the experience of living in Palmers Green connected profoundly with her writing.

In 2002 Palmers Green hosted a poetry festival, under the title 10 days with Stevie Smith, complete with its own ‘fringe’ (a gent by the name of Peter Brown playing a song inspired by the poem Avondale on the harmonium who met festival goers at the station). An English Heritage blue plaque was unveiled in her memory by poet laureate Andrew Motion in 2005.

Since then, though, and particularly with the demise of the Palmers Green Bookshop, all seems to have gone quiet in remembering and celebrating Stevie. Until now. On Saturday 30 June, poets Anne Bryan and Katherine Gallagher will be holding a day’s workshop at St John’s Parish Centre, Palmers Green, under the title Not waving by drowing: not drowning but waving – the enigma of Stevie Smith.

The day will be in two parts – a writing workshop from 10.30 am- 1 pm, followed by, from 2 – 4.30,  a talk ‘Who was Stevie?’ plus questions and readings of poems.

Writing workshop £16, ( £13 conc.) Afternoon: £12 (£10 concs.) Full day – £28 (£23 concs.). Booking essential.

For further information, please telephone 020 8881 1418  web site

Community Palmers Green Uncategorized

Jubileeness breaks out

Outbreak in Burford Gardens pictured below. Many other incidents reported…..

Enthusiastic jubileeing
Art and Culture Uncategorized

The Wood Green Banksy

Bowes and Bounds Green Connected are reporting that a new artwork by graffiti artist Banksy sprang up in Wood Green overnight on May 13/14 2012 – on the wall of the PoundLand shop on the corner of Wood Green High Road and Whymark Avenue at the Turnpike Lane end of the High Road. Photo taken by Luke Giles

History Uncategorized

The mystery of Deadman’s Bridge

Just south of central Palmers Green, as Green Lanes approaches the North Circular, are two bridges, the first crossing the New River (Kings Arms Bridge), and the second crossing Pymmes Brook, and going by the name Deadman’s Bridge.

Why it is called that we do not seem to know, but the name appears to be ancient. A History of the County of Middlesex vol 5 (www/ states that in the sixteenth century Green Lanes was a collection of linked roads, one of them being Deadman’s Hill in Palmers Green. In 1789 they find a reference to “Bowes Farm Bridge, presumably Deadman’s bridge in Green Lanes” where “a single arch, was built…by the road trustees and repaired in 1822 by the county”. Presumably the 1789 bridge replaced an earlier structure, (given that Pymmes Brook always needed to be traversed by those heading north). Presumably too the present bridge is in part or wholly another post 1822 incarnation.  Does anyone know?

Another mystery is what occasioned the warning to traction engines and carriages which is posted on the bridge on a metal plaque (the wording is slightly unclear – the decifering below is by photographer Fin Fahey)

‘COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX / TAKE NOTICE that this Bridge / which is a County Bridge is insufficient to carry / weights beyond the [ordinary?] traffic of the / District and that the owners and persons in / charge of LOCOMOTIVE TRACTION ENGINES / and heavily laden CARRIAGES are warned / against using the Bridge for the passage of / any such Engines or Carriages / Richd. Nicholson / Clerk of the Peace.’



If you are reading this in May 2012 – welcome – thanks for taking a look. The site is slowly growing at the moment, but there are a few bits on it already and lots more to come.

At the moment, the content is mostly about the history and development of Palmers Green (see ‘places, people and “artistic villas”), but the idea  – in fact the whole aim of creating this site- is to develop it with sections on the people who live and work here now, pictures and memories contributed by PG residents, and features on current activities, issues, as well as curiosities and hopefully some things which are amusing and fun. 

Please add us to your ‘Favourites’. And please please please contribute! You might want to expand a section, add completely new content, provide pictures (double yes please!!) or suggest new ideas. And please tell me what you think.  This site is intended to be for, and by, everyone.