Art and Culture Palmers Green Uncategorized

Memories of a happy childhood

Born Melanie Ann Skinner, poet, short story writer and painter Melanie Ann Camp lived in Berkshire Gardens from 1957 until the early 80s when she moved to her grandmother’s house in Edmonton. Though she left the area completely when she married, she still has family connections with Palmers Green and is a regular visitor.

In her new book of poems, “A Penny in my Hand (Growing up in Suburbia)”  Melanie captures happy memories of suburban life in Palmers Green during the 60s and 70s.

“The roads and avenues, then, were all lined with trees, shading the pavement from the sun on those long hot summers.  Privet hedges and little walls surrounded each front garden and everyone had a gate,” she recalls.

The book is dedicated to Melanie’s father, Albert “Chick” Skinner (pictured), her mother and her grandparents.

Melanie has kindly allowed us to publish one of the poems in the book. Copies of A Penny in my hand are available at £5 plus £1.50 p&p. If you would like a copy, please email

Saturday Morning Shopping
Buying fresh bread at the local shops,
And talking to people in the street.
Watching vans deliver fish from the seas,
And meat from the farms,
Not so far away.
The newsagent and the sweet shop,
Full of children eager for a new comic,
Or a packet of sherbet.
Lazily walking back up the road,
Knocking on friends doors,
And going over to the park.
To feed the ducks.
Or just sit in the shade
Of the old Willow Tree
Beside the small lake
And in front of a beautiful old house.