Art and Culture Community Film Music Muswell Hill

Beat combos hit the Fox

It is of course well known that John, Paul, George, Ringo and Eleanor Rigby all came from Palmers Green  – and that Maxwell bought his silver hammer in Westlakes, having failed to find one with the appropriate hallmark in the pound shop.

In commemoration, Talkies in partnership with Second Sight Films will be marking the 50th Anniversary of the heady days of 1964 with a special showing at the Fox of The Beatles’ seminal  feature film, A Hard Day’s Night, restored, remixed and now in glorious high definition.

Love them do...the Sonnets
Love them do…the Sonnets

There will be live music from Geoff Simpson’s the Sonnets, a sixties combo who at the time specialised in covers. Geoff went on to play and write songs for the West Coast Consortium, (later Consortium) who released a number of singles that dented the lower end of the top 40s.

There will also be a Beatles quiz and, of course, an opportunity to dust off that Beatles’ wig and jacket.

The date for your calendar is Wednesday 22 July and tickets are on sale now.

Bowes Park Community Food Muswell Hill

Bounds Green is over the hill

The Guardian’s ‘Let’s move to…’ on Bounds Green is published this very day:

Art and Culture Bowes Park Community Music Muswell Hill

How Haringey helped to free Nelson Mandela

The sad loss of Nelson Mandela this week took me back to student days, the boycotting of Barclay’s bank, and concerts and campaigns all over the country in support of the ANC’s struggle.

I was interested therefore to see the excellent piece by Richard McKeever of Bowes and Bounds Connected on the day that Nelson Mandela came to Alexandra Park, not long after his release in 1990. Mandela had come visit life long friend and fellow campaigner Oliver Tambo at his house in Alexandra Park Road – Tambo had spent 30 years in exile in the UK, from 1960 to 1990, and had recently suffered a stroke.

It wasn’t, however, Mandela’s first visit to the area. A self-confessed Anglophile, Mandela had stayed with Tambo during a ten night ‘underground visit’ in 1962.

The area’s connections with the anti-apartheid movement go much deeper however. The presence of Tambo and fellow campaigners Yusuf Dadoo and Vella Pillay, all living in Haringey, meant strong links with the ANC at a time when they were still regarded by some as a terrorist organisation.

African Sounds, the first Nelson Mandela birthday concert, took place at Alexandra Palace in 1983. Headlined by Hugh Masekela, it was attended by one Jerry Dammers who at that time had never heard of Mandela. The chants of “Free Nelson Mandela” from the crowd inspired him to write the Specials song of the same name, and go on to form Artists Against Apartheid with Tambo’s son Dali. Together with the Anti Apartheid Movement, Artists Against Apartheid organised the 70th birthday concert at Wembley which was broadcast all over the world and lead in no small measure to Mandela’s final release.

Tambo died in 1993 and a memorial was erected in the Albert Road Rec in 2007 – Mandela sent a message care of his daughter Zenani, who attended the unveiling.


Art and Culture Community Food History Music Muswell Hill Planning and open spaces Uncategorized

Ally Pally park celebrates its big birthday

Alexandra Park celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and Sunday sees the big birthday bash, featuring a street party, music, a farmers market, a tethered balloon, Victorian street performers and more. The event is entirely free, with the main festival running from 11-4, and music from local groups continuing into the evening.

The park was  originally designed by Victorian landscape architect Alexander McKenzie (1830-1893), who, as the superintendent of works for land owned by the London Metropolitan Board of works, held responsiblity for Finsbury Park, Blackheath and Southwark Parks, and whose work also included designs for Victoria Embankment gardens.

For more information about this weekend’s festivities, visit