Areas like Palmers Green have changed a great deal over the years; the memories of others help us see where we live with new eyes. Can you imagine what it would be like to be caught in an air raid? For the streets to have virtually no cars? To be one of the first Irish or Greek families to settle in the area? For Palmers Green to have a department store, two cinemas and no betting shops or nail bars?

Have you and your family lived or worked in the Palmers Green area for donkeys  years? We would love to hear about your memories of the area, and how it has changed, over a cup of tea. In the meantime, here are some memories of Palmers Green from other sites.

You will also find memories from contributors below, and across other pages on the website, where a post has maybe triggered a memory or two…


Rosalie lived in Palmers Green during the war, and provided this memory of her wartime life as part of the BBC project the  WW2 People’s War, an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at’.

Carol shares her memories of Grouts on the London RIP website

Memories of Palmers Green from the Francis Frith website



267 replies on “Memories”

The Tesco replaced a cinema that used to be there, In the early 60’s I saw Robin Hood,there, the Walt Disney cartoon production. Was sad to see it go.

My parents told me that they, as newly weds, lived in a flat over the Dolls’ Hospital in Palmers Green. Later, they raised us four kids in York Road. We moved to Crawley in about 1955 or 6. I attended Bowes Road School and Southgate County Grammar School. I had some really good teachers and friends I missed a lot when we moved.
Mum rode her bike to Tottenhall Road to care for patients in the old fever hospital. She showed us the brick steps built under the ground floor windows. That would have been where visitors could wave to their loved ones in the hospital.
I especially appreciate the care and teaching some of us received as St John Ambulance cadets. We met at Bowes Road School Tuesday evenings and learnt first aid, home nursing, drill, lots of things. The adults who gave their time for us were great people!

I also went to Bowes Road School but only from 1952 to 1953 in the infants. Miss Tibbets was the head I believe. I hated the dumplings at school dinners. For the coronation, we all went to the Ritz – not on the day itself – to see it on the big screen. I was given an anointing spoon to commemmorate the big day

Anyone remember “The North London Decorating Company” at the junction of The North Circular and Green Lanes? Founded in 1901 by my grandfather, but was knocked down in the 60’s to make way for the widened North Circular?

Hi. Can u help??!! Please?? I worked in Tesco in Palmers Green when I was 16 years old in roughly 1990. I have very clear memories of it. The price stickers rather than bar codes…The staff cafeteria… the bag searches as you left the building after a shift… etc etc. I have a friend who grew up in Palmers green and he says that there was no Tesco in Palmers green?!! One of us is going mad!! Which one is it??
Can someone confirm the existence of a Tesco store in Palmers Green at this time? Thank you so much. Please help!

In answer to your question about tescos, I worked there for many years and there was a Tescos there. however, it did changes hands to a new type of shop a few years later. I left in 1986 as a Grocery Manager.

I have fond memories of Palmers Green, as I worked at the station from aged 15 in 1963 till 1968. Mr Mardell was the Station Master, Dave Conway was a Porter and Ron Newman was the leading Porter. I used to go to the Devonshire Cafe for dinner, not everyday but quite a few times, we would take the dinner back to the station, then return the empty plates all washed. In 1967 I became the signalman there. So many happy memories. Shame I cannot post some photos here.

Does anyone remember Palmers Green High School in the early to mid ’60’s. My first girlfriend used to go there, she was one of a pair of twins, the Bower girls. I believe she moved up to Scotland after living in Ibiza for a while.

Hi I lived in Princes Avenue with my grandparents in 1969 and reading the comments the memories came flooding back. I remember Peter Townsend the sports car dealer opposite the library and the ABC and the Wimpy bar at the triangle. I remember my Nan going I to Tescos on Green Lane and used to run around Brookfield park and go into the burned down museum with the bees and the art work. I had a mini and a few cortinas in the 70s all with big bore exhausts and used to make a deliberate noise going up Green lanes. I remember we got a TV from Stanwood Radio and remember the tiny shop on alderman shill that had wood showing decay in the window. I remember once using the underground public toilet at the triangle and sure there was an assistant there in the days before we considered disabled people. I recall Evans and Davis, Jane and Adams and the owner had an e type jaguar. I also remember Burtons at the triangle and having a girl friend who lived in Tottenham road and the estate agents around Doms cafe including Dennis, Maxwell Miel who had a reg. plate MAX 2 and Stephen Graces. I lived in Winchmore Hill while married and enjoyed the playing field that is now Sainsbury’s and Baker, butcher and tea shop with the Green by Broadwalk and have fond memories of PG and WH as a young man. Peter

I lived in Tottenham rd during the war and remember being wrapped in a tartan rug and carried out side by my dad who was an air raid warden to see. our school on fire by insendery bombs ,also the sky appearing like a red sun set and being told it was London docks on rodwell Mrs green are. two of the teachers l remember and Mr bennet was our headmaster,.true air raid shelter was at the top of the play ground. Does any one remember the fever hospital in this rd? Also the lady who sold us orange flavoured ice cubes for 1 penny .

Probably TottenHALL Rd…School Mr bennett was headmaster was St. Michael’s School..The fever hospital was Greentrees further up Tottenhall past Bird in Hand Pub and before Norfolk Pk alleyway.

Yes, definitely Tottenhall Rd, not Tottenham. I was born at 7 Oakthorpe Rd, PG in 1944 and moved to East Anglia in 1971. Memories of a lovely green and leafy suburb, with a beautiful park – Broomfield. Remember the Pet Shop across the road from there, selling all manner of exotic animals (would be prohibited today) including Marmaset monkeys!
Remember the excellent Dom’s Cafe at Bowes Rd; Sainsbury’s and it’s snaking queues for freshly cut cheese and butter.
Happy memories of Greenwood Gate Tennis Club in the “Rec” too, circa 1959 – 1963

Do you remember a bus that got his by a bomb during the war as no one seems to have any photos or accounts about this.

Yes Simon there are on this site. Try putting dance hall into search, or I will find the link for you later!

Responding to the notes on Barrowell Green Swimming pool, I was born in Southgate and lived at 6 Tintern Gardens from 1936 – 56, and attended Southgate County Grammar School. Southgate County School organised its annual swimming gala there whilst I was at the school from 1948-53, under the leadership of Mr. Reg Pratt, the handicrafts master. I have found on the website for Enfield Sports that the swimming pool was closed in 1979 – it was probably too old to justify renovation and the annual maintenance costs – pity, we had most enjoyable swimming afternoons there. I also used to enjoy swimming lessons and free practice twice per week at the schools’ Arnos Grove Swimming pool – is that still a local schools facility?
Ken Elvery,
Dordrecht, Netherlands

Dear Ken. Are you skating on thin ice already in the Netherlands? Here in Cornwall too warm and damp this week for me as a farmer. Annyway I have told already of my Mum on this lovely chat previous, being part-time life saver and attendant at THE POOL, she could not swim a stroke. I studied at Southgate County 1946-1950. Mr. Pratt was very critical of my dovetail jointing but roped me in scenery building for the annual Gilbert and Sullivan Operas as did Miss Green, Art, for paintings. Annyway Mike Ovenden was our form springboard expert at both Barrowell and Arnos Grove…tho I seem to remember that Jackie Brown at the Pool was overall open diving champion. Mr. Music Baggarley, S.County did not think much of my voice, a judgement echoed by Regimental Sgt.Major, Rifle Brigade, on the Square, Winchester. National Service. 1955-1957. Anyway again…thanks for reminding me…time to order on the net, Bovril, at Sainsburys Bude, not Winchmore Hill Broadway. N21.

The bombs which fell in Green Lanes/Princes Avenue referred to earlier were caused because one of our anti-aircraft guns which were mounted on the railway line shot off the back of a plane carrying bombs to drop on London and the whole stick fell there. We lived just at the top of Sidney Avenue in Palmerston Road and I remember crouching under the kitchen table as a very small girl with my mother and my brother and I can still recall the sound of the planes going overhead and the gun fire. The sound of a siren still turns my stomach over to this day. I remember the tremendous explosion and my father tying the washing up bowl over his head with a towel and running down Sidney Avenue to help. Many years later when I was adult he told me what he saw. People were lying everywhere because a bus had been crushed, and there had been a dance going on in the hall above Pitmans College which had been bombed. There was a bank on one corner of Sidney Avenue which had also been hit. He said there was money all over the place and as far as he could see it was all being collected up to be given back, The other corner was also hit and certainly Keith`s cars set up business there and eventually on both sides of Sidney Avenue, becoming a flourishing business. Dad joined the Home Guard and I remember him cleaning his rifle regularly which used to stand in the corner of the kitchen. I assume there was no ammunition in the house, though!

Thank you Suzanne. I suppose those of us `of a certain age` have lots of war memories stored away. I could probably bore everyone to death with them!

I lived in Tottenham rd all through the war being born in ,1935. I remember headmaster Mr Bennett at t ottenhall rd junior school
And how kind he was to. Me
I then went to
Arno’s and remember Mr collier miss wastel and headmaster Mr Rossi also school nurse nitty Nora! Who helped me get accepted for nursing training.
I grew up in Palmer’s green
Church under rev. Symms Davies tempering miss Bennett miss Edith Ashby miss Doris woods
I was Jean cook then with a brother Brian l remember the bombing of the dance hall between princes avenue and Tottenhall rd and the trolly bus wires catching fire and my friend Louise loosing a leg l remember Doreen young and Gary spicer.also the smell of Mac fishery’s shop.

I remember the Bamboo I used to go there a lot. The guy that ran it looked like Carlos out of Crossroads . Great times, scooters, mods, good jukebox, used to go upstairs.

I remember Dr Baxter well, he plastered up my left hand when I broke a finger playing leapfrog at school! His house and grounds backed onto the new river on the opposite bank to ours which was in Lynbridge gardens. He used to fish the river during his leisure time, the only person in those days who could legally do so as the river was out of bounds to all. But we used to dangle fishing lines from the river bridge in Hazelwood lane in an effort to catch something. I remember one of my friends falling into the river off the bridge and clambering out the other side after swimming under the bridge in the river current. We often played up the “Wreck” at the end of Lynbridge grdns where the parky Mr Moody and his co parky Mr Savage would chase us if we caused them any trouble! We had to make our own fun in those days, there were no iPads, computers,,,,,,,,,,, etc. Saturday morning pictures at the Palladium was always good fun watching Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon etc. I used to sing in the small choir there on stage just before the pictures started, members of the choir got in for nothing via the back door instead of having to pay sixpence like all the others. Those were the days.

Hello Brian, I’m so glad you remember Dr Baxter. As I hadn’t had any response to my original comment I was beginning to think I had imagined him. He must have spent a lot of time fixing kid’s injuries as my memory of him was from when I fell off my scooter whizzing round the garden and I damaged a tendon in my leg. He made me move it in all directions to see what damage I’d done and he really hurt me but he was so stern that I was too scared to complain and laid there with my eyes filled with tears but kept a stiff upper lip and wouldn’t cry as that would have been seen as weak! I must have been about 5 or 6. I also loved the names of the park keepers you remember – they just seem very appropriate somehow! Nowadays there aren’t park keepers any more and some people get up to all sorts in local parks making some of them no-go areas in some cases.

We were spoilt for choice for cinemas at that time with the 2 in Palmers Green, Southgate, Regal at Edmonton, Enfield and Bowes Road and they all had a different atmosphere. It was nice to hear your memories.


Hi Sylvia, No your not dreaming, Dr Baxter was there, he had a huge almond tree near the entrance to the surgery off Hazelwood lane which we would scrumpy almonds from when they started to ripen! I went back to PG last year for a look around and was amazed at all the cars parked in my old road, Lynbridge Grdns as when I lived there there were none. We had lunch at the Fox pub and then went for a stroll around Grovelands Park.

Hello Brian, thank goodness I’m not losing the plot! I also seem to remember that the path to Dr Baxter’s surgery had a pergola over it which used to be covered with blossom (? roses) at certain times of the year and was very beautiful. I bet you noticed big changes to the shops in PG when you went to The Fox. Green Lanes has changed so much since we were youngsters especially the current work on the cycle lane which is quite an issue locally. This isn’t the place to get involved in that discussion so I’ll just say that changes aren’t always for the best! It’s best to just have fond memories of how it was – Sylvia

We lived in Hamilton Crescent and the kids played in the Rec …but it was short for Recreation Ground….lol. Loved it there in palmer s green even earlier where l myself grew up too. 2sainsbury s & 2 Macfisheries , 2 China shops Lawleys and Moors or was it Muirs. An abundance of dress shops and Evans and Davies……An unforgetable shop that sold everything. A lift man too to take you to the upper floor who would call out …Corsetry and Carpets.

Used to live in Palmers Green (1976-1983). Me and my two brothers been discussing the dept store at the triangle but didn’t think it was Evans & Davies at that time . Was it also another name?

Does anyone remember Victor Value supermarket in Wood Green – it was not far from the Civic center and before myddleton road. In myddleton road there was a fish and chip shop –

I lived in Pateur Gardens From 1950 to 1966 does any one recall the Barrowell Green swimming pool . also the restuarant above the sweet shop in Green Lanes which was opposite the Queens Cinema?

Barrowell Green pool was always on the cards in the summer! My main memory of the Queens Cinema was the film “The King and I” which I watched there with one of my friends Malcom Oldhill. I lived in Palmers Green from 1938 to 1964.

Hi Gerry, I,m not sure but you could well be right as I do not remember any other type of restaurant there, Regards Brian

Making own fun! Living in The Larches 1938…off to Devon November 1940..back to Palmers Green 1946..11+ and off to Southgate County School. Mum was Pool Attendant at Barrowell Green but we still had to join those long queues to get long a wait…so full had to wait as Mrs. Barry only allowed the extras in as people left. Opposite were the cottage gates where Italian Prisoners of War sold the plaitings of straw for pocket money. The Prisoners were building the estate up to Ash Grove. Back to the New River, us 4 from 3b Southgate County met on Sundays in Geoffs Grannys House, Riverway and mounting to her Summer House Roof Platform at the end of her garden invented the game of Catchreeling, making our apparatus from cotton reels and cottons supplied by Granny the object was to cast as fly fishing to snare the bundles of cut grasses that seasonally the New River Authority trimmed from the banks. Scores were listed and published on my Dad’s old Barlock Typewriter. Then in to tea and rock cakes and bashing out Boogie on Gran’s cherished piano. Incidentally Gran used to black her ever smouldering grate with liquid something which inevitably warmed the proceedings. But then came THE GIRLS. After several meetings of our Catchreeling Society, girls were allowed to participate. Life was never the same again.

Raymond, did you go to Ilfracombe Devon during the war. as many did back then or another location.

Did you have a brother named Terry Hicks. I’m sure he was in my class at Winchmore? I was Yvonne Farmer and our form teacher was Mrs Phair.

Yes….that’s where I learnt to swim. One day I remember hearing some youths had put a razor blade on the shoot and I was terrified. Remember the bovril machine. Think pool is still there

Sadly the open air pool no longer exists, I believe it has been replaced by our Council recycling centre on that site. However, local schools do still use Arnos Grove, Southgate, Edmonton Green pools etc.
I do remember the restaurant above the sweet shop too. Was that called Pritchards or am I mixing it up with somewhere else? I remember going there with my Mother and having lovely ice cream in a silver sundae dish……. very posh!

Lived in Palmers Green from 1966 to 1987. My parents continued to live there until 2009 in Kelvin Avenue. Lots of great memories. Remembered the lift in Evans & Davies, Grouts, Courts, Bishops (supermarket), Stephen Gracey estate agents, A Legg & Sons hardware (now Occasional Half pub), Bakers Oven, Tesco (supermarket and a smal local one between Kelvin and Melbourne Aves).
Went to St Monica School from 1970-71 before we were transferred to the new Our Lady of Lourdes School in Arnos Grove

you could add doms cafe where you had a great breakfast there. in the 70’s I delivered your free paper for a while.

Definitely around 1958 when Bezazz opened: frothy coffee in tiny glass cups. Bamboo cane area dividers, Italian shiny coffee machines and music…..
Magic for post-war Palmers Green teenagers.

The name ‘Bezazz’ brings back happy memories of the late 50’s and early 60’s. I owned a Maicoletta scooter in those days which out- paced the Vespas and Lambrettas of those days. It was a super meeting place for a great crowd, all feeling very sophisticated drinking coffee from glass cups. When a change of scenery was called for, it was all off to the Amelia coffee bar in Oakwood.

The Beezaz was like a second home !! and the old St Pauls hall that had the live groups there!Great times and we didnt have any booze either…….good memories!! xx

Could you tell me where Beezaz was situated and were there any other coffee shops in the area. I’m doing some research on my family who lived in Tottenhall Road where teenagers and young adults hung out.
Thank you for any help you can give

Hi John !
I seem to recall that it was situated in Princes Avenue on the right, a short distance from Green Lanes. I was in my late teens when it was opened.

Janes and Adams was my first job after leaving school circa 1959. There were two blokes in the back workshop mending bikes and preparing new ones. We sold nuts, bolts, spares for bikes, tyres wheels, skates with steel wheels. In the summer we sold ex Wimbledon tennis balls. Dinky toys and we once had a red motor bike (brand new) for sale. I worked with a tall thin man who was the manager. I bought my first motorised bike from them, a cycle master, which had an engine in the back wheel. Up until the purchase of the motorised bike I used to cycle in every day from Muswell hill

I also bought a BSA Winged Wheel from them and had it fitted to my pushbike on which I commuted from Palmers Green to Tottenham Hale every day for my Apprenticeship at Keith Blackmans Ltd.

I remember J&As when the windows were boarded, just a square foot to stare in. Then came the day of the first postwar consignment of new Dinky Toys…I was late in the queue, all vehicles sold but I did secure a Gun Emplacement Canon. Did I swap it or sell at a profit. Collecting shrapnel since 1939 in Leytonstone gutters and still collecting turning over neolithic shards in Cornish fields…my motto: Its Fun Finding Out (Chapman Pincher and Bernard Wicksteed, 1947) shaped my career. And a bycycle from J&A (Rudge) set me free on those open roads, YHA and the romances. Biking from The Larches to Holborn Kingsway, clock in at 8 am, carry bike up 4 flights of stairs, no smoking allowed, no sitting down ‘cept lunch time at the frame. No seats until the Union got a concession. Clock out 5.30 pm and ride home. Then out agin on bike round to Patricia’s house and on to Capitol Winchmore Hill (if in money) or Queens, Palmers Green. Annyway I was bursting with fitness with all this pedalling on the Rudge when my time came to do National Service (Rifle Brigade. Winchester) and was amazed when on a route march or exercise and dreading the event…as soon as we turned the corner from barracks, everyone from Sergeant to PTI had to fall out for a smoke. Even on cross country runs…I wonder what dear old Mr Robertson, Physical Training Master at Southgate County would have commented. And talk of the Beezaz…we had the Two Bare Feet coffee bar in Winchester…if you could get past Sgt. Poultney and his Perlice in the Guardroom.

Just read (13.10.17) email of your history contribution. As previous I lived in the Larches from 1938 at no 64. Dad’s brother, Uncle Sid Rann lived at no 22. He was ARP in WW2 and a member of Fives Club…after the war ended 5’s Club held a party for local children in the club house. All had presents…mine was miniature guitar…were you at that party? Not in my collection still but maybe will turn up on Ebay or Boot Fair. A burning question in my mind : is that red public fire alarm still on the verge at the end of Madeira Road near opposite Bruton Enamels. This marked the spot where lorries slowed, changed gear to ascend New River bridge and I would grab a tailboard chain and be towed up and up Bourne Hill by a Foden on my bicycle (not the Rudge yet) to St. Georges Road and peel off easily to Southgate County School in Fox Lane. This was for medical reasons (wheezy chest and pneumonia). Not prescribed by my doctor Seifert of Hedge Lane fame.

Hi Raymond, It was Sid Ran your uncle that I remember as a friend of my father, I believe I as at that party you mention but cannot recall the present I received but it may have been a small accordion. Dad was in the ARP with your uncle, I have been trying to find some photos of the ARP at Palmers Green but as yet not successful. Cam rember going to your uncles house one Xmas where everybody joined in to play Charades, I played out being a Milkman with horse and cart! Amazing to find others to share memories with from those times. Regards, Brian Watling

Janes & Adams was my favourite shop in Palmers Green. My parents bought our very first television from them – a Bush table model – which was also installed by them. I remember that day vividly as, just as the tv was made to work, on the screen we were just in time to see the Boat Race with Oxford sinking up to their waists in water.
Later, I remember seeing my very first E Type Jaguar outside the shop with a number plate personalised “JA” – number forgotten.

I lived next to the Bird In Hand Pub in the early 79’s, but my grandparents used to own a toy and Oran shop on the corner of Tottenham road and wolves lane. Happy days playing in the yard out back. Seems a long time ago now!

Can anyone help?my partner is looking for his father.his fathers name is trevor george burgess and the only info we have is trevors mother lived on princes ave palmers green.if anybody knows of the above person and can help my partner find his dad please contact me on 07986272734.thankyou for reading x

Yes..most definitely, I have a memory of a house flattened at the bottom of Park Avenue near to NRC. I lived in New River Crescent. I also remember being taken into a shelter during this time due to the `doodle Bugs’, although I was only about 3-4 years of age.

Hi Norma…these Palmers Green Memories are great, eh? and thank you for posting. I was born 1935 in Clapton E. Clapton Mothers Home, but my Mum was born in 1917, ‘er Mum born in St. Pancras Workhouse (next to St. Pancras Station Lunnon) of them days.,Mum went to skool in Islington of very poor (financial m,barrased) parents (both boxmakers on the premises)…annyway ‘er memories included bein sent from ‘er classroom in Islington with a friend as escort on the tram to Ulleswater Road, Palmers Green, be’cos ‘er teacher ‘ad left certain documents behind (or wassit sanwiches (any teacher memories ‘ere?). Annyway she sees the ambience of Palmers Greenery so later Dad ‘as to buy a property to satisfy ‘er haspirations Palmer Green wise N14…annyway my Palmers Green is Jewell in Crown (I am salutin’ you ‘er Majesty) no rush…keep crackin on, eh?

My Grandparents ,my mother and my god mother were residents of Palmers Green in the 1910 onwards til abt. 1940, I have enjoyed reading all of your comments, because my Mother was so proud to have lived there, and reminisced so often. She and my Father were married at Palmers Green in 1935. My Godmother was a local schoolteacher in .1930 onwards ish ( Miss Una Cook).
I do not expect a comment, as this was many years ago.

Does anyone the name of the 1960’s Record Shop in the parade of shops at the “Cambridge Roundabout” at the junction of Hedge Lane and the North Circular Road ? I went there with my sister and her friends – I think the Small Faces were signing autographs ? Thanks.

I worked at burtons at the triangle in the 60s until at closed inthe 70s some very happy memeries of those times

Yes Bob good memory, striking looking car, my MK 3 Cortina was yellow with black vinyl roof, which was unfortunately mostly removed by a group of baboons at Whipsnade safari park during a warm summer in the 70’s, I believe the place has now closed.

I remember the flower man James! My mum had a job doing tailoring above Burtons and in school holidays I had to go in with her some days. Singing Tom used to give me all the flower heads to play with. Spent hours with bits of wire making stemless posies!

Do you mean `Tom’ the flower man at the Triangle next door to Woolworths? Everytime I see Shirley Bassey, I remember Tom; for he gave 2 tickets to my friend Chris West, who worked in Woolworths (me at Evans & Davies, at 16 years of age) for the London Palladium. Little did we know when we saw Shirley Bassey at her first performance, that she would go on to become such a great star.

I lived in Burford Gardens from 1954 until 1978,went to Hazelwood school where I had a huge crush on a girl called Hilary Taylor. Where are you now and all the others from these years? They were great times at that school but I then left at 11 to go to Ambrose Fleming Technical Grammar School for boys, what an awful place, hated every minute and left at 15. I then started my apprenticeship at Kenning Car Mart at the Triangle behind Woolworths. Who remembers Tom the singing flower seller at the top of the access between the buildings?
Had good times in Broomfield park and fishing in Grovelands park lake. My mum used to take me to the clinic in Broomfield House and I can still taste the orange juice they gave us,fantastic! I also got a passion for steam trains watching them working the sidings at the station. We used to have a grocers van come around each week, does anyone remember Mr Meadows who ran this van? We bought our first TV off him, black and white of course. I also was in the cubs and then the scouts,153 North London which met at the Congregational church at the end of Burford Gardens where my sister also got married around 1967 I think. Truly some of the best times of my life in Palmers Green.

I remember Tom I worked opposite him at Triangle Cars for 5 years in th 60’s . Also went to Hazelwood Lane school then to Winchmore school previously.

James what year were you at Ambrose Fleming , I was there from when it first opened in 1962 [ I think ] until 1965 .

Great memories, we lived in Winchmore Hill, in the 60s, 70s and 80s these comments bring back so many memories. Can somebody help with this? My brothers and I were trying to remember where the furniture store Jays was located in Palmer’s Green, can someone help. Ta

No, RIchard is it was definitely Jays but I think it was further down towards Bowes Road. They sold lovely solid, classy furniture. My parents bought our furniture there. By the way I went to Winchmore Secondary Modern in the days when Mr. Shepherd was headmaster I liked him a lot the naughty kids called him the “beak” but he was a nice man. Anyone remember him? By the way my dentist was also Dr. Finkel! memories – those were the best days.

OK sorry Lorna, but just thought the name being similar and all that. Now Mr Shepherd, I’m afraid that a majority were not keen,malthough you must speak as you find. Winchmore School was my school from 1955-1960. It is being discussed today and frequently, on my Facebook page Winchmore Hill And Palmers Green Memories. Just request to join and add your own memories and photos. Maybe a member will remember Jays.

Just found this: ‘The next occupant of the premises was Jay’s Furnishing Stores, a hire-purchase furniture store first listed in Ward’s 1911 directory. I’m not sure where Jay’s originated – in Croydon or elsewhere – but in any case it appears to have ended up as a national chain, with branches in places such as Bristol, Luton, Northampton, Croydon and Sheffield, as well as areas of London including Palmers Green, Stoke Newington, and Walthamstow.’

Wow Thanks Richard awesome now I win the bet with my brothers!! I’ll be checking your face book page. Residing in Florida but will be returning to the UK some time early next year and looking forward to checking out the old haunts. Thanks again.

Just found this by chance and been reading some of the comments as I grew up near this area. I have vague recollections of my mother taking us to what seemed quite a posh tea shop called Shepherds which was on Aldermans Hill opposite the park, does anybody remember this? It would have been maybe late 60s/ early 70’s Also I remember the very high slide in Broomfield park with concrete below ……scary!

Hi Anna, I remember the tea shop next to t he. Park, and the slide which we used to grease with candle wax in the fifties so that it was so fast you went flying of the end!

Just a qwik qweery… (my daughter is out this evenin an I’m baby sittin…so privit time on the computer, eh?) (“When I was a boy” is banned in daylight hours this family). Was Mrs Dark the wife of Mr. teecher at Winchmore ‘ill and Southgate County Grammer, Fox Lane, do you remember? (‘appy Famiily memories agin, eh? an dreemin on you remember Lou Ansell and ‘is Dance Band founded I believe at Hazlewood Lane Skool and practicin evenins before puttin on dances for the skool and other worthy causes. Some of the musicians achieved International fame (not me…I was on drums) . I still ‘as the familly piano bungin up my front room, ‘opin the latist sprog will unravvell its potential. If not…at last space for my clockwerk trainset (O guageTrix or Bing…(not Hornby? you may ask) too fashionable and hexpensive now thanks to ebay….

Dr Stewart was our doctor too. He pierced my ears in the early 60’s – very unusual then and done with a big needle! Lovely doctor. Our dentist was Mr Finkel and I remember a story about a wall falling down by his house and squashing someone! What about the lovely pantos at the Intimate theatre.

Hello Raymond, Your memories of Palmers Green are a real ‘Gold Mine’. I used to go out with a boy who lived along The Larches, (number 92), in the 1960’s. He said the new housing development that is now Myrtle Road just off The Fairway (where I was born),was built on the site of a Nursery. Can you remember the name of it? I think Myrtle Road was built in 1950, is that right?

List of teachers at Hazelwood school 1960s, Miss Hughes, Mrs Jones, Mrs Lee, Mrs Dark. Miss Gibbs. Mrs Gibbs, Mr Roper, Mrs Langford(Nee Anstey) Mrs Potts, Mrs Buchannon, Mr Hollingsworth, Mr Streatham,Mrs Chapman, Mrs Rupert, Also the caretaker who was aptly named Mr Moody,

I cannot believe Miss Hughes was still there in 1960’s. She was there when I was there in 1940’s. She must have been quite young then (unless it was a different Miss Hughes), but then young children think anyone over 20 is old.

Yes I remember Miss Hughes, she was the head of Hazelwood Primary around 1946 when I started. She was a lovely lady; then onto Junior school run by Miss Belfontaine, who was a bit of a demon but very good at her job. Also remember Mrs Dark who took 4A, an excellent teacher. She mopped up my tears when I failed the 11+ (I did however become a teacher myself and always remembered her kindness) Then onto Winchmore County School -what a great school. In my form 5 of us went on to become teachers….so much for the 11+ …. thanks to Mr Sheppard, our brilliant Headmaster who never gave up on us and of course Mrs Phair who was the most fantastic teacher ever created-.such a `one off’

Dear David and Pennie, must interject…no rush…annyway, ‘avin a larf in cornywall now and rememberin’ Palmers Green an’ Winchmore ‘ill….!955, Concriptd to the Rifle Brigade…..married Patricia (Winchmore ‘ill 1957) where was Doms in the ‘igh street?. As to guy fawkes night…I was shot n the leg by a lout with an airrifle November, Beech Avenue rush. no NHS .no grudgis but years go on this tripe celebration with fireworks still upsets loads o’ animals for a month (even pets let alone them foxis ‘an badgers) annually…..Annyway ice cream an’ jellys under a glass case (repro) at the Ritz cinema 1943 in Leyton (before the doodle bugs) but nil else at the Odeon Southgate (2/9 for the best seats and icis (extra) in the interval (with my wife 1959). Patricia loved the pictures…but for me the sing along organ player at Capitol Winchmor ‘ill.. why did we did disagree occasion like….ladies may comment, no rush

David – they are wonderful memories aren’t they? I lived in Tottenhall Road until 1955 when we moved to Winchmore Hill but I remember the home made guys outside the shops on Green Lanes. Dom’s and the baker opposite were always good pitches!

Sylvia & Pennie have jogged my memory of Dom’s cafe in Palmers Green.
My memory goes back to 1956, I would have been 8 years old and my Dad used to take myself & my younger brother to Dom’s most Saturday’s during the summer holidays for a midday lunch ‘treat’, He would put us on one of the 5 bar stools which were positioned at the rear of the cafe on the right hand side, we would pick up the menu because it looked grown up! ….and ALWAYS ordered egg, sausage & chips. Our Dad would pay the 2/6d, and pick us up 45 minutes later as he worked nearby. After the last chip was scoffed the owner would place in front of us a huge strawberry milkshake made with the soft ice cream they were known for, this shake was always served in a heavy fancy thick glass with a straw to slurp up the last visible clinging bubbles.
The ice cream was served from a sliding glass hatch facing the street, so you didn’t have to go inside if an ice cream was all you wanted, in the summer the servery was always open otherwise a light tap on the glass and brother or sister would serve you with beautiful soft ice cream in a cone and a smile all for threepence.
The owners were brother and sister Dominic & Anna both born in Italy who arrived in England after the second world war,they were very hard working & organised, so much so they only lived 200 yards opposite in Tottenhall Rd. They ran the cafe on their own with no other help.
Dom drove a maroon Renaualt Dauphine, which I remember being the first foreign car I saw in Palmers Green. I believe some time in the 80’s Dom’s was sold but the new owner had the good foresite to retain the classic “Dom’s signage, but not the good foresite to retain the ice cream servery!. I haven’t been back for many years but believe the Dom’s cafe is still there.
ps. My brother and I also used to ‘park’ our ‘guy’ on the day’s leading up to Guy Fawkes night outside Dom’s (with his permission) as it was always busy and situated between two bus stops.
Penny for the Guy!!….thank you for jogging my memory.

Fantastic David, that’s amazing. You even remember the prices! I’m impressed. Can you imagine leaving two young children in a café now, you would probably get a visit from Social Services.
I wasn’t as lucky as you & never actually ate at Dom’s though, but if I was very good my treat was the ice cream and I still have a sweet tooth to this day. But you are right about the window where you got served. I really love this website for bringing back all those memories stored in the depths of our brains. It’s great.

When I read Jenny H & Martin’s comments about Doctors, it reminded me of the first one I had. I wonder if anyone remembers Dr Baxter who had a surgery in Hazelwood Lane at the junction with New River Crescent where the maisonettes are now? The surgery was in a big detached house with a lovely garden round it & you walked through a long pergola covered in flowers to get to the house. He was very stern and terrified me! When he retired (1956′ ish), I was 11 and my family were transferred onto Dr Stewart’s list. I think that surgery was based in the houses that Martin mentioned (10/8/14) for a short while and then to a tiny building, like a garage, at the top of Windsor Rd with a bigger branch in Winchmore Hill, nr Green Dragon Lane. In the last few years Windsor Rd closed and we had to go to W Hill. Dr Stewart was a wonderful Dr who never seem to rush you, yet never seemed to run late with his apt & made you feel really at ease. He has also now retired and the surgery has now moved nearer to the roundabout at W.Hill next to the petrol station.

I suppose the range of shops in every High St has changed so much these days because almost everyone has a car, fridges and freezers and generally shop only once or twice a week, whereas when I was young, people shopped every day and had to walk to the shops for fresh produce. Take butchers, for instance, within 10-15 min walk of me (Chequers Way, where Metal Box Co was), there were 5/6 butchers that I remember walking to with my Mum. One in Tottenhall Rd, Drakes at The Cambridge roundabout & at the Triangle, another at Empire Parade and Dewhurst in Green Lanes opp Tottenhall Rd.

The other memory was of the café Doms (Dave Todd 1/7/14) where they sold really delicious ice cream too!

Life is very different now and this great website has brought back lots of lovely memories for me.
Sylvia Gambin

Sylvia. I still hanker for an ice cream like Dom’s – scraped onto a cornet with a spatula not scooped! I manage to find “scraped” ice cream every now and then but nothing like the taste I remember.

Pennie, I can tell you have great taste! People who have only had ‘soft’ ice cream have no idea what they’re missing. The only place I’ve ever found an equivalent to Dom’s, is in the home of ice cream, Italy and that’s a long way to go for a cornet!!!
Happy searching, Sylvia Gambin

Sylvia 0 I grew in in NRC, What was there before the maisonettes were built. Also why did they demolish whatever was there before?

It was a large detached house surrounded by a beautiful garden which took up the whole of that corner site. You walked up a long gravel path under the pergola to get to the house which had dark wooden panelling etc., very posh! Dr Baxter used some of the rooms for his surgery and, I would imagine, must have lived there in the rest of the house. He retired in about 1956 when I was 11 and the house was demolished after that and the land must have been sold to a developer who built the maisonettes. As I was only young then, I have no idea why that happened. Perhaps he moved out of the area or maybe passed away and the family sold it but that’s only a guess.

Sylvia , there was a WW2 bombsite at the corner of Sidney Ave/Green Lanes near Bowes Rd it was used in the 50/60/70’s as a car yard called Kieth Cars, no longer live in PG so not sure what stands there today.

It was never built on, apart from a temporary building. It is now a tyre suppliers and fitters. The buildings opposite however, which was the bombed out Princes Dance Hall, were rebuilt in a totally different style. All will be revealed on Google Street View.

Hi David, yes, I remember Keith’s Cars being there for many years &, as Richard S says, it is now a tyre dealer and I remember Pitman’s just opp. But I was answering Jenny H’s comment about the site at the top of Hedge Lane which was a car dealership etc & is now a very good Turkish Deli, which she thought had been a bomb site. I’ve lived here all my life (born ’45) but don’t remember that or Keith’s being a bomb site. Maybe it was rebuilt very quickly or my memory’s going!

Hi Sylvia, in the P.Green archives somewhere there is a report that on the night of March 15th 1941 the Princes Dance Hall (corner of Princes Ave) was packed with young couples. A bus going north, was just slowing down to the bus stop opposite when three bombs fell in close proximity. The Dance Hall suffered badly but most of the fatalities were caused by the wrecking of the shop premises opposite on both corners with Sidney Avenue.
It was a black moment for Palmers Green as the bodies of the dead & injured were laid out on the pavement. The corner premises were never re-built on and the empty space was then used as an open car forecourt called Kieth’s Cars. Unfortunately I have no knowledge of the Hedge Lane premises,hope this is helpful. David.

Thanks David, my son has just shown me some pictures of that dreadful scene at Sidney Ave but I think I must be losing the plot because I really don’t remember it being a bomb site after the war. Most of the sites stayed flattened for many years afterwards some right up to the 60’s. In fact on A10 between Lister Gardens and Ostliffe Rd, there is still a gap in the terrace where 2 houses were hit during the war.
I have a friend who is bit older than me who has lived up near Hedge Lane all her life and she might be able to enlighten us about that mystery when I can contact her.

I used to have a paper round in the paper shop top of hedge lane and green lanes in 1963 I got fifteen Bob a week Mr pogson was the proprietor does any body remember him. I also attended Hazelwood school and remember Mrs bellefontaine I am now 66 years old.

Stephen Woodward – I recall Miss Bellefontaine – I’m exactly ten years younger that you and started at Hazelwood in 1963. She retired when I was there and replaced my Mrs Gibbs – trendy and Beatles fan. Where do you live now?

Miss Bellefontaine was the head teacher at Hazelwood Infants school during the forties, I know as I attended that school.

Beg to differ, Miss Hughes was headmistress of the Infants, and Miss Bellfontaine was headmistress of the juniors. I went there 1953 – 1958.

yes: miss belfontaine was head of Hazelwood juniors and mis hughes head of infants

Miss Hughes was head of the infant school. Other teachers were Miss Sweeny who would let you ring the bell if it was your birthday, Miss Calcott (horrible) and Mrs Dark.
Miss Bellefontaine was head of junior school. Teachers were Mrs Bear?, Miss Lettice, Mr Pearce and his friend Sammy Slipper if the boys were naughty. Best teacher was the top class with Mr Smith. I started in the infants second year in 1947.

Hello Stephen..thanks for your promptin memorries…just south of your late employer street-wise in them days on the corner of ‘edge Lane was ‘alf a shop where I ‘ad to take ma’s dry cleanins, come snow or shine…annyway Dad ‘ad to ‘ave ‘is dickies starched weekly ‘,cos he was appearin’ (come snow or shine) on Friday nights at the Manor ‘ouse Turnpike Lane or Tott’nam Muni…playin sax(s) clarinet, piano, accordian, dubble base etc for the fashionable dancers in them days. Annyway, do you ‘ave a clue as to whether the proprietor ,Mr. Pogson was related to THE Mr. E. O. Pogson. us failed musicians worship for evermore….no rush… puttin the latest grandaughter Reenie to bed…..’ope she gets on the bandstand soon she’s got the lungs for it and we may need ‘er thirty shillin’s a week to pay ‘orf the mortgage….Annyway (am I keepin you up?) I ‘ad no spare cash for new comics in them days…did you ever deliver the Eagle…I’m payin £8.00 a copy for the good ones now…..

My grandparents moved to Palmers Green in 1910. The lived AT 56, Lightcliffe Road and granddad worked at a city bank. He took the train each morning from Palmers Green station. In 1914 he was commissioned into the Middlesex Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant and was killed on 1st July 1916 at the Somme. My grandmother moved to Halifax in 1919 and remarried.

Michelle I started Hazelwood in January 1964. I also remember Miss Bellfountain (Spelling) she was head of the Junior before Miss Gibbs. I recall Miss Gibbs as having a scary face – she had pictures of the Beatles up in the corridors and wore rather wayout clothes. Recall Mrs Potts and Mrs Langford and Miss Buchanon (whom I disliked – nasty old bat)

yes recall them well. I was at Hazelwood school in the 1960s. The headmistress, Miss Hughes must have been about 110, My class teacher was a woman aptly named Mrs Dark – a horrible and spiteful woman.

I started at Hazelwood school infants in 1965 and I remember the head Mrs Hughes in my first year. The following year came a new head Mrs Cannon in 1968 I went up into the juniors and the head there was Mrs Gibbs . She was young and trendy…in fact I saw her once in the old HMV shop in Wood Green buying a Yes album !

I don’t recall the cart. I just recall the horse. I assumed that the horse was some kind of pet that he took with him on his deliveries.

also the Unigate milkman who had an electric cart and kept saying ‘oh brother’. Also Jack the window cleaner who lost a leg at the Somme.

I lived in Conway Road all of my early life from 1944 to 1968 when I emigrated to Canada. Remember the Rag and Bone man had a horse and cart and my mum would send me out with a shovel and bucket to scoop up any droppings the horse might leave. We always had nice Rose bushes !
Lots of happy memories of Palmers Green – ice cream at John Coombs sweet shop. Getting up early after a windy night to get conkers in Broomfield park. Coronation fireworks display in the park. Veluchi’s barber shop near the Triangle- only one and three pence for a mod style hair cut. Getting my school blazer and cap at Isaac Walton’s.
Happy times at Arnos school and some not so nice if you got the cane. Remember Reg Hart who has posted here- he was interested in meteorology back then.
Good to have found this site.

Some good times at Arnos. I have written up many of my memories..

Many people remember my weather station.

Keep happy


Hello Roger. I lived at no46 Conway road, My mother knew your parents. I remember being in your house when she visited them. I think it was late 50s . I think your Father was there too. I think that he worked on the railways. What a lovely road it was then. Conway park and blagdens lane were my playground when the old rubbish dump was behind the stables a goldmine of wartime and Victorian memorabilia. I now live in Bedfordshire.

Hi Victoria, I remember the milkman well, his horse was called Dobbin and Mum used to get me running out in the road with a bucket and shovel if he dropped his business near us so it would be good for the roses in her garden. Dobbin fell over on the slope below the New river bridge in Hazelwood Lane when the road was very icy one winter and we all rushed out with buckets of cinders to spread over the road so the horse to get e grip and get back on its feet, luckily no harm was done and the milk was just a bit late being delivered that day.

Hi Gerry, I’m nearly retired and living in Australia, you may remember my father Aubrey Todd who ran Kelvin Photos. Would love to hear your memories of the 50’s & 60’s. Regards David.

Hi David
I was just 15 and left school to become the first employee your father Aubrey gave me my first job and I never looked back and went on to become a photographer in the RAF as national service was compulsory at 18 after I joined a Photo retail shop in Turnpike lane named A M DAVIS after I started my own career in Muswell Hill N10 Then went on to open 7 more shops before starting a Franchise called FOTOVALUE with over 1000 outlets throughout Europe allowing the owners to retain their own name with just banners to say the where part of Fotovalue. I retired at 44 and have now become an expect at doing nothing. I owe so much to your father who be came friends with my father and would meet for a drink in the COCK TAVERN. Much later in I guess the 70’s? I would supply Aubrey with items from the palmers green branch by which time I think you where becoming involved in running the shop “KELVIN PHOTOS
Best wishes

Hi Gerry
I remember the Brody and Hicks name and Fotovalue. When I lived in London and just started my business Aubrey would do most of my black and white printing and I also did a few weddings for him. Dave then joined him at Kelvin and we became great mates and we would go to Arsenal matches together. Before marrying my first wife I too lived in Muswell Hill then Palmerston Road before buying a flat in Woodberry Avenue.

Nice to hear from you. you may remember I also had a retail shop in Muswell hill, = 253 Muswell hiil broadway. – Gerry Hicks

Hi. David….just seen your mail regardin Palmers\Geen Photo ‘istory and sees you now lives in Australia…do you know my cousin Jill Rann (as was) lived at 22 The Larches.N13? Daughter of Uncle Sid Rann (Imperial Father of the Chapel. St. Clements Press. Holborn). Annyway…I bought my first camera from Mr Kalms (Dixons) Edgeware (Agfa Silette) on the knock (so much a week) and cycled to Edgeware to pay the monthly…a Canon copy of the Leica followed f1.8 lens but paid its way at weddins and I think I was one of the first to get back with ‘ome developed colour (Ferrania) to the celebrations in them days. Annyway my best buy camera wise was a Thornton Pickard plate (Camera Craft) in original tweed hold-all includin’ tripod. Sorry to say my own Weddin Photos (brilliant) from Artricia, Winchmore Hill selected by my father-in-law Edward Cable Later on in Advertisin I helped to promote the £10 fare to Australia for adventurous families but had to stay behind to assist David Bailey, Don McCullin, Billy Apple et al.. No rush now but still on the familly tree search (Sixteen String Jack Rann and Sue) (Sue still rowing back to GB from Botany Bay 1779)…’ave you ‘eard from yore coastgards annythin? Wishin you Happy New Year! Ray in Cornywall

To Gerry Hicks- yes I remember you, you had a wife called Rose and a daughter called Carol?

Wow! You just came up in conversation and I Googled you. You might remember the Saturday boy who wrote the window tickets and went on to be a successful photographer in the ‘eighties. I then became a (successful) travel writer and ended up as a journalist for an american newsletter. I remember the Ford Zephyr. Now retired living in Strawberry Hill.

Doc Meldrum had a most interesting signature …it resembled WWWWWWWW
If my memory is correct that represented ………….W.W. Meldrum

Reg I remember you from St Michaels at Bowes, I recall you had a interest in meteorology, and went on to Arnos School ans I went to Winchmore Hill Secondary. My name is John Bye, I don’t know if you remember me.

Yes, very tall, Scottish doctor with elderly receptionist and very noisy gas fire. He had been a prisoner of war and always seemed incredibly nervous.

Yes, and the gas fire which hissed and stuttered. He was very tall, very Scottish and prescribed bottles of Minadex (green and foul tasting) for almost all childhood ailments!

Yes, remember it as Roberts. Many toys purchased there! Going back toward Hedge Lane… on the North side…remember a chap who used to make basket work/wicker goods/walking sticks? It’s a hazy memory but I do remember buying a basket for my school books (they were the ‘in’ thing then) It was a glorious place to live as a child. Lovely shops, great parks – such a pretty place.

Hazy memory? I also, an’ geography class at Southgate County Fox Lane… “Please Miss! (Miss Watts?) watts north Miss?” “Sit down Raymond! we’ve already ‘ad enough laughs for the day over your conviction that The Sahara Desert is in the middle of Australia.)(i am yet to be convinced I wos wrong). Annyway….back to… on the North side …an’ them baskets…I remembers a cafe at this location. Ma used to send me there up Hedge Lane in the school ‘olidays with a shillin for my lunch (includin tip)…I remembers the custard. Other fine dinin’ h’experiences in dear ‘ol Palmers Green…geograffical-wise goin east. Cafe between Gamble’s an J ‘an Adams (Ma says ” not goin in there Raymond, too cheep “) on our way back from The Palmadium. Next, The Curzon just past the Post Office (not goin in there Raymond, too h’expensive). Next..The Triangle Cafe shut (ABC an Lyons) also shut at 5.. So back ‘ome goin West? no munny for the trollybus… past Evans ‘an Davies… Pritchards Restaurant (Ma’s favourite ‘cept for Shell Oils’ Social Club at Teddington) Same waitress uniforms, black, with frilly white ‘eddressis an’ aprons…so the long walk ‘ome to The Larches ‘an cheese sanwiches. However, “you might ‘ave missed” as Waitrose now sez ‘ere in Cornywall….Hazelwood Lane ‘an the Pilgrims Rest (maitre’d, a Swiss gentleman…later to command The Cherry Tree on Southgate Green) tho’ never done it better than Pilgrims in my an’ my Patricia’s opinion…Other Cafes in Lunnon Town.. Savoy, Carlton Towers, The White House, Tante Clair etc..’an them Cafes in Bray, Berks, don’t make it in my list but that MacDonalds (you know, the one just across the road from Valencia (Espagne?) Train Station (not the new International Train H’estacion) (‘tho the coffee an croissants is worth a go ‘ere (ambience etc)) So…it’s between Palmers Green Pilgrims (overalls, ambience) etc., Valencia, McDonalds (frys) and Sgt Craven (Army Caterin Corps) attached Rifle Brigade (Winchester)…Savoury Mince…………now for Lamb Chops a la Remoska at Colebrook Cornywall.

Remember Roberts toy shop near the corner of Hazelwood Lane? Also Victor Value supermarket. The shop later became Tesco. Before Victor Value there was a lovely old music hall. Also there was an old style Sainsburys – Bricks mens shop, No Job Centres in those days. We called them Labour Exchanges and people were made to queue outside. In those days they called a spade a spade!

In the late 60’s, early 70’s a small ladies shop appeared near Burtons. We were entranced by the trendy clothes and selection of jazzy tights. Wonderful. Aldermans Hill had some fascinating shops too….the tiny pet shop opposite the station, the flower man – then on to an electrical shop where I bought my first portable telly for my room with my first wages! Further up another pet shop Hoopers? A hardware emporium and a very old fashioned (even then) gift/tobacco /sweet shop toward the end of the parade. Was it a post office too?
Wendy (was Wendy Small )

Hello Wendy, I do recall the ladies shop you mean. I think it was called Harvey Sports (a friend of mine had a Saturday job there) & next door was a fabric shop called Metres which sold everything from net curtains to dress fabrics and upholstery materials, The couple who ran it were very kind & patient working our how much material you needed for your windows etc. Also in Alderman’s Hill was a butcher called Drakes and the Gas Company with the Electricity Co round near the current McDonalds in Lodge Drive. In Green Lanes itself there were 2 jewellers too. One called Bourlet (nr Smokers Paradise) & Hinds which was almost opposite I think.

I. Worked at Burtons in palmers green for most of the. 70s. Until it closed. , some of my best memories of that time

Hi Mitchell… thank you for fillinin some pot’oles,,
yore memories are late stuff to me for my writins as I sink into the west…I remembers Janes ‘an Adams afore the ‘lectric shop hexpansion….in my days the winders were boarded up..just a sq.ft peep’ole like all shops (Ma ‘an I ‘urried past on our Fridy night out to Palmadium Pictures (Ma wouidn’t go to the Queens, “bit seedy” she sed)(no one looked in them dark doorways then ‘cos o’ things goin on! (with Pa as escort we did go to the Queens later on seein’ Cat ‘an the Canary (Bob Hope, ‘avent bin able to sleep in a bed with ‘edboard since and Pinnochio…nightmares ‘cos o’ the Whale swallerin (Jonah?) ..annyway the day come in ’46 for the first consignment of Dinky Toys on sale at J&A…I got there late in the queue and only the h’Emplacement Coastal Gun was left…bought it but should .ave kept it…in it’s box what price now? Annyone remember that great Destroyer model opposite the counter in J&A’s, is it still cutttin’ the seas in defence of our Realm?

I lived in Palmers Green from 1965 to 1993 and I have many memories of the shops back in the 60s and 70s, I even had a saturday job in Gambles the corn merchant, in 1977. Some of the shops that havent been mentioned – from my memory, are; The mens raincoat shop at the top of Windsor Road and the little old man who stood at the door – he was creepy!. A few doors away was a grocers shop called Crows’. Further down , a few doors from the Fox was a confectioner called J.Vercoe. Between Windsor Road and Park Avenue was a greengrocers called Burkes, there were 2 Janes and Adams shops, the toy shop already mentioned, plus 2 doors from that there was the electrical shop – an old sign saying Ultra Radio was still up on the front at the first floor (last time I looked). The chemist at the top of Hazelwood Lane was called Cross & Herbert. On the other side of the road there was a record shop called Opus – I used to spend a lot of time in there in the 70s, you could also buy records from John Menzies a few doors down. On the corner of Aldermans Hill and Devonshire Gdns was the United Dairies shop. I could go on and on really…but one last one for now – the Box o’ Chicken next to Martins the newsagent…and I remember that bloke in Martins, you’re right he did look like Reg Varney!! Thats where I bought my comics too…Beano, Whizzer & Chips and Sparkey.

I remember the mac shop. It was called something like ‘The Rubber Mac shop’!!!! It catered for men and women. It was quite good really if you wanted a weatherproof coat and were prepared to go in! The old boy used to stand outside and entice you in with phrases like”….this one would suit you…”etc. Once in, the shop was very narrow and long with coats of all sorts hanging along the walls.
I used to buy my records from Ashwells which was next door to Lloyds Bank. The other side of the Bank was a school outfitters where I was bought school uniforms, blazers and badges etc. Further up from Ashwells towards Devonshire Rd.was a beautiful shop selling china and glass.This was close to the shop with the heavy coffee smell…a quite small shop which was probably next door to the 2nd. CameraCraft shop. There was also Kate Riddle, a hat shop with a ‘tasteful’ window display. Then along from there was a sports shop where I bought my school tennis racquet. Then, of course, the great Grouts with its ‘artistic’ window displays! Socks, vests, liberty bodices(!) & knickers etc. And gloves which were cleverly (!) hang across the window pegged on string!!! No expense spared by Mr.Grout!! Although we joke about the shop you could actually buy just about anything you required in the haberdashery line, ric-rac braid, elastic, cotton, ‘american cloth’ by the yard etc.
Inside, the shop was very long with a back section which you rarely ventured into, mainly sheets and towels and net curtaining, Down the middle of the shop, arranged on chairs were tatty cardboard boxes holding items like socks, childs vests etc…special offers, I guess!
I remember going there with my Grandmother in the 40’s/50’s. She bought all her underwear from there. She would sit regally on the little wooden chairs by the counter. These chairs had the smallest seats I’ve ever seen and I often thought it was a miracle that my Gran ever managed to perch on one. As she asked for ‘opera top’ petticoats and long legged knickers the woman behind the counter would operate the very cleaver drawers lining the walls holding the goods. These drawers had glass fronts so you could see the contents. They could be dropped down to serve the goods. Once purchased the items would be carefully wrapped in brown paper and tied with string before the exciting moment (for me anyway) of paying. The money offered was ‘flushed’ along and up to the cashier in the small glass fronted cash office, high up. What a job to have, stuck up there in this rather dark shop every day!! Your change would come whizzing back in the rather splendid looking canisters.
There was a second Grouts shop at 470 Green Lanes just before Hedge Lane. This was run by a short tubby lady. This was a more calm shop selling much the same things as the other one. The walls were lined with painted tongued and grooved wood. The shop later became an extension to Gateway Film Productions (where I worked). The wood walls remained!

Hi Christine. I don’t remember the Rubber Mac Shop…Ma made me buy my Mac (Grey Gabberdine, de reguer worn over the right arm when h’escortin’ the ladies (no rain at the wrong time in them pre global warmin days) but de reguer in Broomfield or Grovelands Park to spread for the ladies (Sir Walter Raaly like etc)) from Fifty Shillin’ Tailors? (opposite Courts Furnitures?) Annyway she, (my Ma) also directed me to buy my first suit from them (powder blue with just a touch o’ pink pin stripes) for my first day to work in 1950. After my first day in Old ‘olborn never wore the suit agin at work or come to think o’ it, any suit (retired 1988). But the mac an the suit attracted my beloved Patricia nee Cable (Winchmore ‘ill) (not me, you unnerstand). My taste dress-wise (MENS) was Bricks across the road, specially them T-shirts. Annyway back to Patricia (and her Ma), they worshipped Grouts and in my stores upstairs I ‘ave loads o’Grouts stuff and the 60’s ‘lectric Singer sewing machine kept ready ‘an oiled like for my grandaughter (6) and ‘er new baby sister comin October. . .

Hello Christine, I do remember the china and glass shop which I went in with my Mother to buy any special gifts for people. It was called Lawleys I believe. Also the sports shop was further up on the parade of shops opposite the old Woolworths. It was called Briggs and there was another branch down at Wood Green. I still have a tennis racquet in the loft that I bought from P Green branch when I was about 13/14! Many years ago.

OM G how I hated Grouts, I was marched in there twice a year by my mother to buy the navy knickers, beige brown high woollen socks and worst of all the liberty bodices with their horrible rubber buttons…all of which had to be worn to school until the end of May..despite a heat wave .I ‘m shuddering to think of that shop and the humiliation it brought to me at Hazelwood Primary School.

Remember Martins the newsagents- corner of Green Lanes and Hedge Lane. A man who was the spitting image of Reginald Varney (On the Buses fame} served behind the counter. I used to by comics from him in the 60s. He suspected everyone under the age of 18 of being a shoplifter.

I have edited this comment because what it says was of a personal nature and could cause offence. Play nicely please.

Hi Raymond
Very interesting. My father, Bert Hart, worked for Allen & Appleyard making furniture.
To ‘supplement income’ he was a musician from 1926. He played an accordion and the drums for many of the big orchestras and hotels in central London. After the war he ran various bands – “Bert Hart’s band – any combination”. A saxophonist my father often booked had the first name of ‘Larry’.
I knew of Joe performing at the Municipal Hall, Tottenham – but he is not in our family tree.

Hi Reg. Thanks for your rememberins. Yore Dad probably employed my Dad (as a freelance) their musical doins seems to ‘ave run parallels. Dad livin then in Islinton/’ighbury played piano, accordian, dubblebase, all sizes of saxophones and clarinet as reserve needed in the West End ‘otels in Lunnon includin the Savoy ‘otel (10/6d an evenin’)(after the War e’ was to reminisce when taken to lunch in Savoy Grill by conglommerats an councils gaspin to get ‘old of Shell’s munny) as assistant investment manager (16th Floor) for Shell Oil (millions to spend) and for No.1 Balloon Barrage Dance Band (later the Squadronnaires ‘an Skyrockitts) that is when e’ wasn,t tendin ‘is personal barrage balloon in East ‘am 1939. Annyway after ‘ostilities ‘e also gigged (very fashionable nowadays, eh?) for Joe Hart at Tottenham Muni and Manor ‘ouse Finsbury P, Dick Davis an Billy Cotton etc. Our Joe Hart lived in ‘edge Lane opposite Doc. Seiferts (e’ the owner of the Studebaker Car and Parker Pen (2/6d for cesstificats after the War) practice. Doc. Seifert refused to save my ‘an my Dads life in the 40’S…annyway no ‘ard feelins ‘e saved my life later..,as for Tottenhall Road…more our ‘memories ‘istories. rush…sheep on the boil. Footnote: Dad an’ is fellow freelances performed under aliasis to avoid problems with HMCRC….why else am I cultivatin a full Santa Claus beard…5 months to go! .

Dear (if I may say so having lived in The Larches since 1937) Reg. Seekin relatives of a gentleman printer named Richard Wall who lived at No.8 The Promenade N13 ‘opin to return some property I found, I come across this Jewel and your writins…are you related to Joe Hart for whose band my Dad used to play the saxophone…usually Friday evenins for 32/6? Dad did buy furniture at A an A’s…and all else for Elsie (my Mum) without consulting ‘er. She ‘ated the chairs and the ‘oover and most else ‘e lovingly carried ‘ome. I farms in Cornwall now an’ apologise for the grammer neglected at Southgate County Grammar (an spellins). As Mr. Auger sed “want to be a farmer eh-eh-young-un? don’t make us laugh it’s football or economics ‘ere. Ray.

Dear Ray, If your Dad was Eric Rann, then he was my Great Uncle – brother to my Granddad Syd, who also lived at The Larches. Syd’s daughter, Jill, is my Mum, now living in Midhurst, W.Sussex and still thriving, thankfully. I guess that makes you and she cousins! Best regards, Nick Hurst.

Hallo Raymond, Wondered whether or not your father was Fred Rann who used to go to the Fives Club? If so I knew him, he was a great friend of my Father Frank Watling who found the Fives Social Club. I’m sure Fred Rain lived in the Larches.

Hello again, I posted a question about your possible father Fred Rann, but I now realise I meant Sid Rann, was he your father?

I have so many memories of Palmers Green in the late 1940s [through to the present day] that I could be here all night, tomorrow and for the next month typing them up. Some are specific – others generic.

Has any reader furniture in use purchased from Allen & Appleyards at 362 Green Lanes, replacing ‘Kiltycakes Cafe’ next to the still existing post office?


I remember the entrance to Appleyards next to the post office. They were green wooden gates.

Yes Bezazz coffee bar, went their most nights as well around 1964 onwards coffee, egg & chips, juke box, pinball machine, 3/6d last all night!..some faces Denis Day, Mick Stanton, Mick Smith, Dave Todd, Michael joannou, Michael De Bear,Wendy & Susan Smale, Laureen Blackwell, the cast goes on!

Hi Mike, yes I remember Bruno walking from the cafe with snooker cue in hand after a days work to the Cock pub to try & win a few bob in the billiard room, he also had the ‘Bezazz Coffee Bar’ corner of Princes Ave, with juke box & pin ball machines great times all for the price of a coke or coffee with your mates. Michael do you remember Mr Forkin at St. Michaels school Tottenhall Rd.arranging a boxing ring with proper gloves in the playground afternoon break with you & Everett Houghton as contenders?

Well the years are rolling back! Everett was the first black lad in our school in the mid 50s. What a great guy he was. Spent a few happy days with him and also his parents at their house up by the new river. Wonder what happened to him, I would love to know.
Bruno was my neighbour in the flats above the shops on the N Circular Rd and round the corner to Bows road He moved from the Quick service cafe to the Bezazz and as you say it was the hub for many. Again has anyone any info on Bruno? would love to know..

oh that did make me laugh 🙂 – yes remember him.
Going back a bit…… who used to run up Fox Lane, stand on the bridge and wait to be covered in steam from the trains 🙂

Remember the minicab office at the top of Hedge Lane in the 1970s. There was a big fat man with tattoos who ran it and used the F word all the time. ‘I’ll call you a F……cab’ etc. He really lowered the tone of Palmers Green,

Remember the barbers shop. The front half was a sweet shop and there was hair all over the floor, The old buzzard who cut the hair used to ask for a tip. He even used to ask children for a tip!

No this barbers was near Janes and Adams – Electrical shop and also bicycle shop. An elderly man worked there and a younger surely man.

Was this the Barbers that was in a room behind Glossop’s the sweet and tobacco shop. Glossops was near J&A. Mr and Mrs Glossop were a very jolly couple always ready to share a yarn. When you entered the shop there was another door immediately opposite the entrance door. It had engraved glass in it and behind this door there was a barbers shop with two chaps who cut mens hair. There was nearly always a queue to have your hair cut and my Mum would go shopping while I and my brothers sat and waited next to the coat stand. When we were small the barber put a piece of wood across the arms of the chair for us to sit on or we could not be seen in the mirror!
I recall watching with amazement whilst waiting as the barber lit a candle and singed older mens hair, hoping desperately he would not set light to m,e when my turn came!

I lived in Windsor Road from 1965 to 1970 and I remember a sweet shop called The Windsor – we always called it the ‘red shop’ as the front was painted red. I remember the bloke who served there and was a grumpy old git – so I suspect this could be the same place. although i dont remember it having a cafe, maybe it did before my time though

Remember the old people’s home burning down in 1966.Buses were diverted down Windsor Road. One old lady lost her life in the fire,

Hi Jenny, I took a photo of these homes about this time (1966) before the fire for a school photo project on ‘old buildings’ I believe they were called “Skinners Alms Houses”.
I will try & search the attic for the pic & copy & send it.

I grew up in New River Crescent during the 1960s. There was some credible evidence that the house on the corner of New River Crescent and Hedge Lane in the direction of Green Lanes was haunted. Apparitions were seen and there was some poltergeist activity mainly at night with loud bangs downstairs. Is it still haunted? Does anyone happen to know?

There was a garage forecourt at the top of Hedge Lane where in intersects with Green Lanes, Was that a WW2 bomb site does anyone know?

Hi Jenny, slightly different location, a bomb did fall near the intersection of Green Lanes & Bowes Rd/N.C.Rd opposite Princes Ave. People were killed and the site was eventually leased by two brothers and used a a used car lot space called Keith Cars until the late 70’s.

I bought my red Mk III Ford Cortina from Keiths in the mid-late 1970s and my maye, Dave Todd bought a bright yellow one from the same dealer as I recall. I used it fir a while to work as a mini cab driver for a bloke called Roy that was in a tacky office opposite Woodberry Avenue (where I lived) in Green Lanes.

My father was in the home guard and attended when the bomb dropped at that site, it was a dance hall at the time. We lived in Upsdell Avenue from 1941 to 1957. Helen

There was a car dealership at the top end of Hedge Lane on the site currently occupied by Yaser Halim. I seem to remember it being a Vauxhall dealer then a Volvo garage (?Triangle motors), in the 80’s & 90’s. Then for a short while it was a Menswear shop that sold high end suits, shoes etc. Hope this helps.

Hello Jenny,
I do remember a Vauxhall dealer being at the top of Hedge Lane where Yaser Halim is now. I think it then became Volvo (Triangle Motors) followed by a high end men’s outfitters selling suits, shoes etc. I don’t remember it being a bomb site though

Hi Jennie,
I have spoken to a friend of mine who was born in the mid 30’s & has lived near Hedge Lane most of her life but she doesn’t remember a bomb dropping at the top of Hedge Lane. Like me, she does remember the car dealer being there though.
Sylvia Gambin

There was no bomb site where the garage was. I do remember though looking at one of those planes that were bombs without pilots (forgot what they were called – could it be doodle bug) with my dad and it’s engine stopped right over head. We dashed under our iron table which was a kind of indoor shelter. But although it stopped above us it must have drifted because the next day going to school I saw it had hit the house the other side of the field in Hazelwood Lane. I can still remember how I felt when I saw it. I lived in Madeira Road. I cannot recall any other bombs round that area. I also remember going to the Intimate Theatre with my mother every Tuesday evening. When I was in the juniors my friend and I used to like nothing more than to lay down on the railway bridge near the Church at the top of Hedge Lane and let the smoke of the trains roll over us. I used to get home absolutely filthy – but so happy. Fortunately my mother never chastised me about it.

Hi Jenny !
My earliest memories of the site are from WW2 when, as a youngster in a pushchair I saw an aircraft being wheeled out of the building which stood there. My understanding is that the building was originally built as a roller-skating rink, and then became a garage of sorts with just a few pumps virtually on the pavement. Possibly during WW2 it was requisitioned for war work.
Across Hedge Lane, does anyone remember the wartime pill boxes which stood close to where the trolleybuses made their turn-round at journey’s end.

I remember the coffee shop in the 1960s as a child. The smell really made me sick. I also recall Roberts toy shop on the other side.

Lived in New River Crescent during 60s and 70s. House backed on to the river. Recall the police fishing bodies out of the water occasionally – suicides.

Anyone remember The Quick Service Cafe on the corner of Bowes Rd and N Circular run by
a great character called Brun Hill. Steak Chips and peas 2/6p and the included bread and butter,
Ho for the old days

Mike, (have you still got the Roller!?) ….Yes I remember the cafe well, 1964, it was on the corner of N.C Rd & Green Lanes. Good lunch time food & very good value. The owner, Bruno & his wife lived opposite in Green Lanes 3rd floor above ‘Phiipe’s: Ladies Hairdressers’. After the ‘Quick Service Cafe’ Bruno in 1967 moved 100mts to the corner of Princes Ave/Green Lanes & opened a coffee bar called ‘The Bezazz Bar’….Juke box, two pin ball machines, served tea/coffee/& light snacks.Spent most of my teenage years using this coffee bar as a meeting place to ponder over a two hour cup of coffee to decide what our next move would be!!
Bruno would leave the bar at 9.30pm each night, snooker cue in hand and walk to the ‘Cock Tavern’ for several beers & a few games of snooker.
I would dearly like to know what Bruno did/go next, does anyone know please…also did anyone know a window cleaner same era, bit of a wide boy,one of two brothers, called Vic Madden, not to be confused with an actor of a similar name.
Dave Todd

Yes, Dave, I knew Vic Madden by sight only, in the early 60s. Some boys from Winchmore worked for him on the window cleaning. He was a bit of a nifty jiver down Wood Green Jazz Club. I met him later as a tenant in one of his many properties and worked for him for a short while in the 90s. Last I heard he was still alive and well in his house in The Meadway, starving comfortably!

Thanks Richard for the update on Vic, knew him from his window cleaning business in P.Green, cup’s of tea in Dom’s cafe & long discussions on where to go for the next holiday in Spain. By the way do you have a brother Brian, married to Rosemarie?
Thanks Dave.

Hi Dave, I do remember you and your dad’s photography business. Probably some of my first photographs were taken there. Lived in Melville Gardens and Grenoble Gardens. My family name was Church but we have moved away now.


I also remember Vic Madden the window cleaner. He was a brilliant dancer and he and his partner won many competitions in the old days. My Aunty Jean used to make his partners costumes and lives in Princess Avenue. I lived in Wolves Lane.
The mention of Grouts brouht back many memories.

Hello Dave, I didn’t know Victor Madden when he was young as I live in Ely, nr Cambridge, but luckily, I met Victor on a Rock and Roll weekender in 2009 and we spent the next 7 years together. He was simply the best jiver (having been a professional dancer in his younger days). I had the best 7 years of my life with Victor, but sadly he died only last month, February 7 of cancer. I can say that Victor enjoyed every minute of every day. I wish I had found this page earlier as he would have loved to chatted with you about Palmers Green as that is where he had his office and owned several properties in that area. Celia Rutterford

Grouts the haberdashers on the corner of Green Lanes and a small side road the name of which I can’t recall and then a little further down, near Fox Lane and on the other side a huge white post office. But it is the cramped interior, with drawers reaching up the the ceiling, full of mysterious items linked with the esoteric art of higher level dressmaking that won’t leave my memory, and the old ladies (probably not that old, but that’s how I recalled them aged less than 9, when we moved from PG).

The small side road was Devonshire Avenue which continued behind the shops and ended near the railway station at the Triangle.

Don’t start me on the shops – the wonderful Evans and Davies and the evocatic smell of Grouts!
The whizzing of the overhead cash canisters as they zinged above to the cashier – fantastic system.

Hi John – It’s not my memory of PG that’s off, it’s my ability to tell right from left – I’m waving my left hand around saying I’m sure it was on this side!!! Thanks for the info. And another question – on the same side as the H&C but further towards Winchmore Hill – opposite a photographers, there was a Jaguar garage. Any idea of what it was called?

Okay Pennie. No I cannot remember the name of the garage and can barely remember the garage let alone that it was selling Jags. Was the camera shop you are thinking off ‘Camera Craft’ just beyond the top of Osborne Road and some way short of Hedge Lane?

I think that this garage was called Saul & Slatters – a John Slatter who worked there, married my cousin Margaret Cantwell in 1962.

The garage was Saul and Slatter Ltd. The Sales Department was at 44-46 Aldermans Hill and Service was at 234 Green Lanes. In 1961 the company was acquired by Car Mart Sales Ltd, but retained its name. I was born in Southgate in October 1936 and lived with my parents at 6 Tintern Gardens until September 1956, when they moved to Willingdon, Eastbourne. As a schoolboy I attended Southgate County Grammar School in Fox Lane from 1948-53, and remember admiring new Jaguar cars in the Saul and Slatter showroom in Aldermans Hill.
Since 1970 I’ve lived in the Netherlands and from 1980 am the fortunate owner of a mint condition, unrestored 1963 Jaguar Mk 2, 3.4 litre. Details of the garage are in my 1963 copy of the “Jaguar Sales & Service Facilities in the United Kingdom”. So my boyhood dreams finally became reality!
Dordrecht, Netherlands
July 2015

I used to work weekends 1970-1972 for Kenning Car Hire which I’m sure was probably on the site you recall. We used to have all the hire vans parked on the forecourt in front of what clearly had been a showroom. At the time Kennings had a garage in Edmonton which I remember was a Jaguar dealer so I imagine our old car hire site was the Jaguar dealer you recall and would most likely have also been a Kennings branch.

It may be that your memory of PG is slightly off but, as I recall, it was the Home & Colonial grocer shop and it was on the left hand side as one went north towards Winchmore Hill; it was on that side shortly before Devonshire Road, the Fox Inn and Fox Lane, possibly about where the Red Cross shop has been in recent times. Otherwise it was as you describe with the coffee grinding machine in the window and the aroma pervading Green Lanes. By the way, the founder of the H&C chain of grocers made a lot of money and had built for him the last castle to be built in England; Castle Drago in Devon – now a National Trust Property.

I wonder if anyone out there can help with a memory? In the 50’s there was a shop towards the end of Palmers Green (on the right hand side as you went toward Winchmore Hill) that ground coffee. In the window there was a (seemingly) huge coffee grinding machine. Both my cousin and I remember the shop and the smell but not the name of it. Obviously at that time, there weren’t many shops selling fresh coffee let alone grinding it on the premises. Can anyone help?

It wasn’t the Home & Colonial… that was a few shops further up, I will ask around about the name but ohhh!! the smell as you walked anywhere near it ….lovely….

There were a couple of shops where fresh coffee was roasted and ground. One was called the UK tea company. The one on the right going North was Cullens …The coffee machine was dark red and black.Cullens also had another outlet nr the Cherry tree at the end of the Mall. Cullens sold loose biscuits from large tins and lots of different dried fruits and unpacked ingredients that could be bought in any quantities and were then bagged in paper bags.

Think the shop with the coffe grinder and gorgeous smell was called Rawlins.went to school with the daughter of the owners. We went to Sothgate County Grammer School in Fox Lane.

I remember the shop well….think it was called Cullens. The manager was named Mr Hemmings and his daughter Lesley was a good friend of mine in the Girl Guides at St John’s Hall

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