Art and Culture Comedy Community Film Palmers Green

Time to put on shorts

haclownwithdateFrankly the weather is abysmal but next Wednesday (29 January) Talkies Community Cinema plans to fill PG with cheer with a special programme featuring London’s young film makers.

Showing at the Fox, the evening of short comic films will be introduced by and MC’d by actor Gem Carmella, who has graced our screens in The Bill, Casualty and Holby City. There is even one with that nice Martin Freeman.

Here some teasers for the programme

  • Do estate agents fulfil your dreams?  Kate Herron might answer that in Open House
  • You will order your coffee carefully after Marc Hardman shows We Are What We Drink
  • The Wizard by Simon Guerrier gives a comic slant to a ‘back to work’ scheme
  • Cat lover or not, Pussy People from Andrew Lang will raise a smile
  • Chris Shepherd, an experienced animator and engaging raconteur will show three animated films – Broken Jaw, Don’t Fear Death and his collaboration with artist David Shrigley Who I am and What I Want
  • Martin Freeman takes on a very different persona in The Girl is Mime by Tim Bunn
  • Dan Turner’s Storm animates Tim MInchin’s beat poem about alternative lifestyles.

and all for a modest fiver.

You can get tickets by booking online, or direct from Annita at the Palmers Green station kiosk, or Anthony Webb estate agents.

Art and Culture Community Film History Palmers Green Uncategorized

New exhibition warns of the evil that humans do

Some things are hard to express in words. Some things must be understood and remembered, because the price of not understanding, not remembering, is too high.

The Gun by Moshe Galili
The Gun by Moshe Galili

Artist Moshe Galili and his wife Ruby live locally now. But in 1944 fourteen- year-old Moshe (then Andor Guttmann) lived in German occupied Budapest. His family had been forcibly relocated to one of the ‘yellow star’ houses designated for the Jews of the city. Moshe, his mother Serena, and his sisters managed to survive until Hungary was liberated by the allies, often hiding in cellars but his father was shot while fighting in the Jewish armed resistance. In all, 555,000 of the 825,000 Jews who had lived in pre-war Hungary were killed in the Holocaust, the majority in Auschwitz.

Moshe’s exhibition at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield, 20 Jan to 17 Feb, entitled Watch Out! is a warning echo based on his experiences during the Nazi period.  These are not things which can allowed to be simply consigned to the past, is the message. We must be vigilant, and determined to fight discrimination, anti-Semitism and racism, because the risks have not gone away. Indeed, anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Hungary and across Europe, in particular in those countries which were once part of the old Soviet bloc

The injustice to the victims of the Holocaust and the strong return of the age-old anti-Semitism propelled me to paint my pictures through which I hope to warn the viewers to watch out because the evil in humans is never far below the surface.

Moshe’s work is stunning and powerful and must to be seen. The paintings are accompanied by a description of his experiences in the war, words which are immediate and equally powerful.

To coincide with the exhibition, Talkies Community Cinema will be showing the film Fateless. It tells the story of  14-year-old Hungarian Jew György Köves, whose arrest on a bus in Budapest leads to near death in German labour camps, and his struggle to reconcile himself to these events in the years after the war. Tickets are £5. For more information and to book, visit

The exhibition is free.


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A year in Palmers Green

And so, we have made it to 2014. The New Year lies before us, full of unknown things and hopeful resolutions.

But before we move on proper, one last look at some of the things we covered on this website in 2013, including one or two stories you might have missed…


2013 kicked off with Betty Wright nee Walton’s amazing story of how she and her brothers and sisters grew up in Southgate Town Hall in the years leading up to and including the war – her father had been a fire officer and the Councils official mace bearer. Sadly letters to local councillors and Mayor Anwar suggesting that Enfield Council open the Town Hall to local people one last time before the developers moved in, and in particular to enable Betty and her family to  see the place where she was born, were simply ignored.

Graham Dalling at work image This is local London
Graham Dalling at work image This is local London

We heard the tale of Dr Alex Comfort, writer of the Joy of Sex and expert on ageing, who also grew up in Palmers Green, and lost fingers in a childhood experiment with fireworks. Sadly, we also learned of the death of much loved local author, historian and Enfield Archivist Graham Dalling, who once worked in the Town Hall.

Myddleton Road apparently became flesh and started tweeting about its unloved state and Enfield Council put on display a rare Constable drawing from its archives.

We discussed the origins of the word Broomfield, only to learn of news that another bid for funding for restoration of the house had failed, though some of the feedback was promising and hopes remained that a way forward could be found.


Space Art Gallery, a pop up venue on Southgate High Street, opened its second exhibition with work by Polish artist Maciej Hoffman. Wood Green’s Banksy was chipped and shipped to a US auction house, then withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour after a vociferous campaign, only to be put up for auction again later in the year. New artwork appeared in its stead, and in proof that you couldn’t make it up, we heard Poundland declare that they were fans of Banksy’s. Who knew? In the local corridors of power (also known as Enfield Council), Bush Hill Tory Councillor Chris Joannides hit the national press after being suspended from the party for making inappropriate remarks on Facebook.

There was news that PG could become better connected (though there could be disruption ahead for our neighbours in the south) – London First published its report on Cross Rail 2, this time linking North to South, and calling at Ally Pally. Still on transport, the third exhibition at Space Art Gallery featured 100 paintings of London Underground stations by Ross Ashmore. Broomfield Community Orchard embarked enthusiastically on the ancient ritual of wassailing.


IMG_3132Southgate underground station celebrated its 80th birthday and we looked at the story of its opening. We also learned about a wartime horsemeat scandal at Southgate Town Hall. A new local debating group was formed, and we heard Chas and Dave sing the praises of the long gone Empire in Edmonton. (There is a rumour that Chas and Dave first met in Palmers Green – does anyone know if it’s true?). There were long queues outside Palmers Green’s flagship branch of Laiki bank, as Greece announced a bank levy, but relief as it was later announced that UK customers would mostly be exempt.


Poor old soul - Truro house in a state of dilapidation May 2012
Poor old soul – Truro house in a state of dilapidation May 2012


An anarchist cell was discovered taking direct action in Winchmore Hill. We learned a little more about the mysterious history of Truro House, and rare footage was discovered of a carnival in Palmers Green in 1931. We also found out, as if we didn’t already have an inkling, that PG is one of the busiest stations on First Capital Connect’s Great Northern Route.

Palmers Green residents were distraught to be deprived of their burger fix when local Scottish brasserie MacDonald’s was closed for a number of days.


May saw the launch of a new website bringing together local community groups, news and activities for the whole area. Designed and managed by webmaster Basil Clarke, Palmers Green Community is an excellent source of news about local groups and issues, and includes a forum and an excellent ‘what’s on’ section. It’s a brilliant addition to Palmers Green life – please sign up and get involved!

The Thatched Cottage in 1903, image by kind permission of Enfield Local Studies and Archive
The Thatched Cottage in 1903, image by kind permission of Enfield Local Studies and Archive

The Centenary Festival, a great programme and the kind weather brought thousands to Grovelands Park to celebrate over two days. We uncovered the story of a past Palmers Green tourist attraction – the flower bedecked Thatched House that once stood on the site of Westlakes and was famed for miles around.


Cameras were rolling again in June as the BBC made a pilot episode of a new drama called Family. Locations included the Fox and a house in Selbourne Road. Our neighbouring site Bowes and Bounds Connected told an amazing tale of the kinky cobbler of Myddleton Road, one of my favourite posts of the year.

Image: Dan Maier
Image: Dan Maier

Open Studios weekend saw the Creative Network team get last minute access to the old Blockbusters building in Southgate and use it to stunning effect. This year, thanks to an Arts Council grant, the weekend also included a number of free workshops, alongside the opportunity to view work by over 30 artists, designers and crafts people. A second craft fair in November was packed out and full of excellent work.


In July a few lucky ticket holders got an opportunity to travel the whole of the Piccadilly Line from Cockfosters to Edgware on a 1938 vintage train as part of London Underground’s 150th anniversary celebrations. By then we were in the grip of a summer heat wave, but learned that it was far from as hot as PG has ever got according to In August 2003, the temperature reached 100 degrees. The coldest temperature recorded was just 17 degrees on January 12, 1987.

Enfield Council consulted on plans to ‘open up the park’ and build a new school on an unused Thames Water site adjacent to Grovelands park, splitting opinion in the area, given the love of the park and the desperate need for school places in the area. Meanwhile Alexandra Park celebrated its 150th birthday.

Image by kind permission of Leithcote, Creative Commons
Image by kind permission of Leithcote, Creative Commons

We investigated Palmers Green’s strong connections with the suffragettes and the Pankhurst family, including a riot in Palmers Green Triangle. Good thing then that July also saw news that spitting would be banned across Enfield.

Finally, an excellent film was launched to promote the restoration of Broomfield House.  Created directed and produced by Christine Lalla, the film celebrates Broomfield’s unique history and heritage in the words of local people. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really should.


August saw our neighbours in Winchmore Hill out on the Green again for the Summer Art Exhibition including work by some of the area’s most interesting artists, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists and jewellers. There was a UFO sighting in Enfield and we explored the story of how one man’s unofficial green belt policy shaped the future of Palmers Green


September’s Palmers Green Festival in Broomfield Park was the biggest and best for many years, and the park was positively buzzing. The Palmers Green Tales project – recording memories of local residents – was launched at Ruth Winston House as part of the festival, and Southgate Photographic society produced and excellent video showing how familiar views in PG had changed during the last 100 years. We also revisited the story of the Cuffley airship, and a world war one dog fight which was witnessed by thousands of people in North London’s skies.


And so the nights began to draw in. In October, a worrying PG betting shop shortage was averted with the news of the opening of another bookies; people danced in the streets.  We investigated some of Enfield ghosts but found that although the borough has more than its fair share, PG itself just isn’t that spooky. Unless you know different.

IMG_0758Joe Studman launched the first local history course for 30 years at the Dugdale Centre, accompanied by six themed walks. The course was so successful that it will run again in April – book your place now, it’s selling fast. Palmers Green Triangle’s underground toilets were sealed off and the clutter in the triangle removed though there is still no news about how long we will have to wait for more substantial improvements to the area and the reinstatement of our lost tree. We told the story of the terrible night in 1941 when the Princes Dance Hall was bombed with great loss of life. Betty Walton’s father was one of the first on the scene.


In November, the library was closed for the first part of the changes to the Town Hall area, and hoardings were put up around the Town Hall itself. But on the upside, we had our first real Christmas tree in many a year.


With the sad death of Nelson Mandela, we explored the role of Alexandra Park in the fight against apartheid. The BBC screened a follow up to the programme it filmed 10 years ago on the buildings at risk in London, including Broomfield House. And Palmers Green featured in an award winning feature film writtenby local lads Sam Bourke and Stefan Georgiou, Dead Cat, screened at Talkies Community Cinema.

On the subject of Talkies, it would have been difficult to mention all the great events that the Talkies team has run in the last 12 months; the programme has been varied and interesting and is becoming an indispensable part of PG’s social glue. As has Palmers Green Life, the new monthly magazine set up by Anthony Webb estate agents, featuring history, people, local groups and events. PG has needed something like this for years and now we have it.

Finally, a thanks to everyone who has been so kind about this website and the articles we have provided for Palmers Green Life. We had more than 10,000 individual visitors to the site this year, ad 34,000 ‘hits’ which is gobsmacking. I hope that you enjoyed what you read. If, perchance, you would like to contribute an article to the site, please do get in touch.

Here’s to a great 2014. Happy New Year!





Community Film Music Palmers Green

Guillermo and Bob at Talkies this October

Talkies Community Cinema’s autumn programme continues this month with a surreal tale from fascist era Spain at the Dugdale Centre on 10 October, and a night dedicated to Bob Dylan at the Fox on 30 October.

Heart of SummerWritten and directed by Guillermo del Toro, and interweaving real and mythical worlds, Pan’s Labrynth tells the story of Ofelia, a girl fascinated with fairy-tales, who is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she’s a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks…

imnottheresquareThe next in Talkies’ music related nights at the Fox, I’m not there, features six actors exploring different facets of Bob Dylan’s life and public persona, through intercutting story lines, though Dylan’s name is only mentioned once!  The stars include Heath Ledger giving one of his last ever film performances, and Cate Blanchett who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Jude Quinn, a version of Dylan from the Newport Folk Festival era. Other left field casting includes Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. Film review site Rotten Tomatoes describes it as ‘a deliciously unconventional experience’.

Both nights are fantastic value at just £5.00. To book your ticket, visit