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There are thousands of Palmers Green stories – and one of them is yours

Do you remember the Black and White Café? Have afternoon tea in Evans and Davies? Buy your undies in Grout’s, or your butter hewn from a big slab in Sainsbury’s?

Those were some of the memories and stories shared by local residents at a special event hosted by the Ruth Winston Centre in conjunction with Talkies Community Cinema a couple of weeks ago as part of the Palmers Green Festival celebrations.

IMG_0612[1]The aim was to look at what Palmers Green was like 50 years or more ago, and the way in which Palmers Green, and our feelings about it, have changed. Once with a reputation for being rather snobby and high falutin’, Palmers Green is now busier than many of its neighbours, excitingly  multicultural, and, in the words of Ralph Hutchings, one of the introductory speakers, ‘definitely on the up’ – a far cry from the 60s when ‘you couldn’t get a decent kebab!’.

The event has now given birth to a new oral history project.

“We have yet to agree a title, but the emphasis will be firmly on ‘now’ as well as ‘then’”, says former Hazelwood teacher Jenny Bourke who is coordinating the project team, which includes Palmers Green Jewel in the North. “The aim is to talk to as wide a range of people as possible, of all ages and from all parts of the community”.

Here are just a few of the many topics the team would love to know more about

  • Do you remember your first impressions of Palmers Green? How has it changed?
  • Can you help us piece together more of the story of Truro House?
  • Do you recall a gymkhana being held in Broomfield Park?
  • Did you have any notable, famous or infamous neighbours or stories about your own street?

“If you took part in the event, the team will be back in touch soon, “says Jenny. “But we’ll also be asking for more people to come forward with their local memories later in the year – we hope as many people as possible will want to be involved.”

But you don’t have to wait until then. If you are a Palmers Greener, old or new, we would love to hear your stories about Palmers Green, whether it be from of 1963 or something that happened just last week.

“We are keen to hear from everyone, but as we are looking in particular at the last 50 years, it  would be great to hear from some people who were actually born in 1963!”

A website will be set up in the New Year, but in the meantime you can contact the project group by emailing

7 replies on “There are thousands of Palmers Green stories – and one of them is yours”

Hi Betty, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you but I have been on holiday. Your story sounds fab and we would like to get in touch with you to record it, please could you click on the contact us button on the tool bar and then you can give your email address privately and I will be in touch.

Hi Jenny…..I think you will find I have already told my story to ‘Jewel in the Crown’ about being born in the Town Hall and living there for 25 years……I don’t want to become a bore!
Betty Wright nee Walton

Not a bore Betty, we are recording people’s reminiscences on a trial basis and we thought, if it goes well, we may contact you to do the same. We will be in touch Betty, probably in the new year.

I don’t think there can be many people who had the experiences I had, living in the Town Hall during the war years and with my father and one of my brothers in the Southgate Fire Brigade (stationed behind the Town Hall). The bombing of the Doctor’s house in Oakthorpe Road, opposite the Town Hall (and being told ‘those bombs were meant for the Town Hall !) I have many stories of the bombing of Palmers Green, although I was only between12 and 17 years of age.

Hi Betty, your stories are wonderful – just about to run the next one and hope we will meet before too long. Hope all good with you? Sue

Hi Suzanne

Is there one ‘office’ that receives all the stories you receive concerning Palmers Green, or are there various departments?

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