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New book celebrates the history of Winchmore Hill

A fascinating collection of historic photos of Winchmore Hill collected together as part this summer’s N21 festival is now available in book form.

“Journey through Winchmore Hill, Past & Present”, gives a unique pictorial comparison between old and present day images and is accompanied by descriptive text extracts from Henrietta Cresswell’s book, “Memories of a Lost Village”, the full text of which is included. Its also packed full of little known facts about the area – Did you know, for example, that Winchmore Hill could have been a fashionable health spa or that smuggled goods were once sold on The Green?

The hardback book will have a limited edition of 200, and contains 160 full colour pages, with foil blocking on the cover, printed endpapers and two bookmark ribbons.

The book receives its official launch on Tuesday 4 December at the Queens Head, starting from 7 – all are welcome. You can also get your copy at Saturday 8 December’s St Nicholas Fair on Winchmore Hill Green, about which more soon, or order online at

Better get yours quickly – before they sell out.

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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

Bowes Park Palmers Green Southgate Winchmore Hill

Could boundary proposals mean all change for Enfield Southgate?

Image: freefoto

The Boundary Commission has published its revised proposals for Enfield Southgate as part of its national review.

In March, the Commission proposed that Haselbury ward should be added to the constituency, while  Bowes ward was to be shunted into Hornsey and Wood Green, currently a Liberal Democrat constituency (Lynn Featherstone is the current MP there).

The latest proposals, published on Tuesday, bring Bowes back into Enfield Southgate constituency, which is currently represented by Conservative MP David Burrowes. Bush Hill Park, currently in Labour leaning Edmonton, also moves into Enfield Southgate.

Following disagreements and deals within the (‘still very much a’) coalition, it is unclear whether the changes will happen, as the Tories will need Lib Dem support to get them passed. The Lib Dems are of course still smarting from the Conservatives failure to back their proposals for changes to the Lords.

But it is interesting to speculate what impact the changes could have on the constituency’s representation.

To see the new constituency boundaries proposed by the Commission, see


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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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St Nicholas brings merriment to the green

Winchmore Hill follows up the summer’s fantastic N21 Festival with the St Nicholas Fair, to be held on the Green on 8 December. There will be stalls, music, children’s activities, merriment, horses, reindeer, St Nicholas and snow….Festive events start at 2pm.