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Garden drainage expert needed

This is what happened after the heavy rains over Easter. Almost our entire garden under water. It’s often got waterlogged but this was far worse than usual. It also doesn’t help that the soil in our garden is pretty poor and composed largely of clay.

If anyone can recommend garden drainage experts, I’d be very grateful. 

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FRIENDS OF ALEXANDRA PALACE THEATRE

Hello from a new member, the Friends of Alexandra Palace Theatre.  As you may know, the Palace's Victorian theatre, tucked away behind the Ice Rink, is being restored.  In the next year, it will reopen. For the theatre's history and the latest news on the restoration, the Friends have a YouTube page - www.youtube.com/channel/UCaJybyAEYU0hr_cRiLBvW9A. New videos are being added every so often, so plese take a look and enable the 'subscribe' function so you'll know when there's something new.

We're also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aptheatre) and have a webpage, too (fapt.org.uk). If you want to join us as a Friend, it's not expensive - fapt.org.uk/w/membership. As a Friend, you will be kept bang up to date on what's going on and will be contributing to the fundraising still needed to complete the restoration work. 

In the meantime, we'll use this site to keep you informed as well, if you're happy for us to do that.  When the theatre eventually re-opens, we'll all have something to be really proud of on our doorsteps!

 

I'm Richard Smith and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have - and even happier if you are able to share the videos and messages with your friends and contacts.

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Kaire Dressmaking and Alterations

I’m Kaire and I am designer and dressmaker working from the studio nearby Alexandra Palace. I make custom made clothing and alter all types of clothing.

As a child I spent lot of my time in my aunts atelier. It is where I got my interest for dressmaking. I went on studying fashion design in Estonian Academy of Arts and continued with design technology degree in Denmark. In 2009 I moved to London and been working in Muswell Hill for many years now. Something that began with few dresses for friends has now grown into small business that creates made-to-measure clothing for women and also offers alteration services. 

Here is something I am working on at the moment.

If you like to get in touch please look up Kaire Dressmaking, visit www.kaire.co.uk

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From the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association

Local resident and famed gum painter, Ben Wilson, was born in Cambridge and grew up in Barnet. He has lived in Muswell Hill for 25 years and is a familiar face in the area. His tiny paintings on the discarded gum which litters our streets are his way of working with the environment and transforming it in a delightful way. Ben attended an Arts Foundation course at Middlesex University and was offered places at various art colleges but preferred to develop his skills in his own individual style. The university supported him to work in its grounds. He began with wood sculpture, using fallen wood, and then moved on to gum painting. As he paints on existing ‘litter’ he is not technically inflicting criminal damage but transforming a negative action into a positive result. Ben has a huge portfolio of requests from passers-by who may ask for dedications, declarations of love, and a variety of messages personal to them. He tries to fulfil them all. This is the main impetus for his work, the fact that he is relating both to people and his environment and providing social commentary. His art attracts a lot of interest locally, nationally and internationally – his work can be seen all over the world. His fondness for Muswell Hill lies in the village atmosphere, the variety of people he meets on the street, the individual shops, the nearby woodlands and the panoramic views over London, a city he loves. There is a wealth of information about Ben, including images and videos, on the internet – just search for Ben Wilson chewing gum man! But also look carefully next time you are rushing around shopping or visiting the bank. Take a moment to absorb and enjoy the miniature world that Ben has created for us all.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

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Music at St Andrew's 2018

A one hour (approx.) programme,

previously performed at St Clement Danes Church

 

Further events in 2018 include


Sunday Afternoon Recitals 4.00-5.00pm

29 April - Recital by Yukiko Shinohara (piano)

3 June - Recital by Jennifer Lee (piano)

also

Saturday 17 March - Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra

Saturday 12 May - Fortismere Community Choir

Saturday 30 June - Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra



 

www.alexandrapark.org

@alexparkparish

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Music at St Andrew's 2018

Further events in 2018 include


Sunday Afternoon Recitals 4.00-5.00pm

18 February - Recital by Jaivin Raj (baritone) & Sina Lari (piano)

29 April - Recital by Yukiko Shinohara (piano)

3 June - Recital by Jennifer Lee (piano)

also

Saturday 17 March - Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra

Saturday 12 May - Fortismere Community Choir

Saturday 30 June - Fortismere Community Symphony Orchestra



www.alexandrapark.org

@alexparkparish

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One weekend a couple of months ago I spotted a group of unknown men with cameras wandering around the garages behind our house. I was a bit anxious about what they might be doing. Were they a developer's spies hunting for yet more back areas to cram new flats into? I went out and spoke to them, and they turned out be an entirely peaceful expedition from Club Lotus France on a pilgrimage to the sites where the earliest Lotuses were built by Colin Chapman and the Allen brothers, in garages on Alexandra Park Road, and Valance Road, and later at the works they set up next to Hornsey station, at what is now Jewson's depot. They kindly set me straight over conflicting accounts I had heard of where exactly the first car was built (Alexandra Park Road, not Valance Road - though I believe that which car really was the first Lotus may remain contestable).

Gilles, who acted as the very diplomatic spokesman, has written a nice and interesting article on their visit in the Club's house magazine, and has sent a scan. Here it is - a bit shrunken to fit this post. The French conversation group might like it for homework. If anyone would like the full-size images, let me know, with e-mail, and I'll send it.

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Last week Christmas shopping really kicked off with three local markets pretty much back-to-back. The first sale took place in Clyde Road, where there was a good mix of ceramics, plants, homewares and toys on offer plus free coffee and cake. This was followed by a weekend craft sale at the Pavilion, and then the Muswell Hill Creatives market in St James's Square. My visit to this last market was curtailed when my burglar alarm went off and I only had a chance to buy one thing before reluctantly tearing myself away. But it seemed very busy and it  was lovely to have live music from a brass band.

Some of the items available in the Clyde Road sale.

This was the craft sale at the Pavilion in the Albert Rec, where I bought some locally produced honey and a bracelet.

Lastly, a glimpse of some of the the many lovely things on offer at the Muswell Hill Creatives market in Muswell Hill.

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Please come and join us for this year's Remembrance Sunday Service. The service will be conducted by the Revd. Tony Pybus of St Andrew's Church, N10.

Each year, more and more people have attended this, so it would be great to see an even bigger turnout this year!

Our MP, Catherine West will be there as well as local ward councillors.

Time: 3pm

Venue: St Saviours Court, Alexandra Park Road N22

I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible!

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An easy-to-get-to country walk in Hertfordshire.

We have walked in the quite high country between Broxbourne Woods and Hertford a number of times, at different times of year, and would recommend exploring its quiet and gentle mixture of wooded and open landscape. Brickendon, with its large village green, lined with weather-boarded houses, is a good starting point for a variety of routes. This one goes into Hertford, and is about seven miles. It takes in several nature conservation areas and reserves, and a variety of contrasting landscapes: woods, meadows and rolling open fields.

Get there by train, from Alexandra Palace: to Bayford, 25 minutes, every 20 minutes weekdays, 30 minutes weekends. Return from Hertford North.

(The map on the right can be enlarged by clicking on it - or download this pdf map)

Coming out of Bayford station, Brickendon is up the hill to left. Across the road from the station exit is the start of a roadside path, recently installed by the parish council—a welcome improvement as the road was not at all friendly to pedestrians. At the top of the hill is the village green with a playground on the far side, by a crossroads, where there are also seats and picnic tables. Here too is The Farmer's Boy pub, whose fish lunches and beer have never disappointed us. Past the pub, follow the major road round to the left (heading north-eastish). On your left you pass a chapel in large grounds with chestnuts and cedars. It was built in the 1930s using Brickendon timber and Brickendon labour (the donor may have been motivated by the unemployment problems of the period). It's worth a look just for the pleasant, peaceful feel of the place.

A few minutes further along the road, after some brightly coloured houses, there is a turning to the right, at the side of a wooded triangular green, with a pool. Take this turning  to the apex of the green then cross the road which it meets to a footpath leading into the fields beyond, signed to Monks Green. The path through the fields is part of the Broxbourne Wood nature trail and passes through wild flower meadows bordered by trees and areas of conserved butterfly habitat.

At Monks Green bear to the right through the hamlet. The old farm buildings here are from the sixteenth century (much changed) onwards. Parts of the farmyard and surrounding land have been developed as a collection of small modern residential and commercial units. After the new buildings, where the road turns sharp left, go straight ahead through a field towards woods. This continues the Broxbourne Wood nature trail. There’s a duckboard path through the wood to a field beyond, where large colourful dragonflies flit about under the surrounding trees.

The path follows the edge of the the neighbouring woods, heading for Highfield Farm, then round the farmyard into more fields. Shortly after the farm, before the start of a thick hawthorn hedge, step through the hedgerow into the wood, where you can see a well-trodden path, still following the edge of the wood but on the other side. ( If you continue on the path through the fields, you will end up on the road, which is not nice for walking.) Continue along the edge of the wood to the end of the fields. Here is the beginning of Broxbourne Wood Nature Reserve, and a path at right angles across our way, marked by the intertwined trunks of an old hedgerow.

Turn left: this is part of Ermine Street, the Roman road from London to York. The path crosses a road (Mangrove Lane—odd name for this part of the world) and continues due north. At this point there is a notice announcing that this is Ermine Street. Ordnance Survey maps show that in the 1890s an infants school had been started fairly recently in one of the buildings at this junction, suggesting there was a larger population of woodlanders than now, or at least a more organised community. By the 1920s it had disappeared again. More recently, the pub just up the road towards Hoddesdon seems also to have closed. Follow Ermine Street as far as the large communications mast which stands to the right of the track. Here there is a footpath off to the left, between neatly trimmed hedges, leading into Balls Wood, a nature reserve kept by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

The name Balls Wood presumably has some connection with the estate of Balls Park, a stately home just this side of Hertford. It is the home of hazel dormice (a rare spot in this region where they still live) and white admiral butterflies. The dormice are unlikely to be seen, as they stay in the trees or bushes, and are probably asleep anyway, but it's nice to know they are there. Turn right from the path into the wood. There are many ways through it, but it is a good idea to head gradually towards the centre and then walk to the right (north) along one of the broad avenues of very fine hornbeams. At the end of the avenues carry straight on where the wood closes in again, until you reach the end of it. Cross the open field and pick up the footpath which leads left along the edge of the wood opposite, through a high hedge. The path goes down through a broad swathe of unhedged fields, a strong contrast to the earlier part of the walk, to Swallow Grove Farm, where you’ll be greeted by the dog (fenced in).

The footpath passes the farm between a high fence and hedge onto the road. Go round the corner to the right (cautiously), cross over and take the footpath diagonally over the fields on the other side, into tree-lined Morgan's Walk which leads to the outskirts of Hertford. This was the approach to Brickendonbury, at its south end—a Georgian house turned into a late Victorian and Edwardian extravaganza. During the Second World War it was a special operations training base, and now serves the Malaysian rubber industry. Morgan’s Walk comes out at a school, where you should turn right and follow Queens Road to the junction with Highfield Road, shortly after which is a footpath off to the right, steeply down a hill to a stream. Don't cross the stream; turn left and come out in Valley Close, which you follow round to the left to a main road. Cross the road and go through the churchyard. At the gate by the church there is an underpass under what should be a bypass, but has, presumably in despair, gone through roughly the middle of the town. After the underpass a street leads directly into the nice old town centre.

Any of the turnings to the left leads to The Wash/Mill Bridge and the Hertfordshire Theatre. From here you can get a bus to Hertford North station, but there is also a pleasant and interesting way to walk there. Carry on across Mill Bridge, and then go right into Old Cross, which leads to Cowbridge. On the way there are a number of interesting buildings: including, in Cowbridge, on the left, a Victorian double-fronted building, with an arched front containing stairs and balconies. These are four flats for skilled working-class families, designed at the request of Prince Albert as an example to be shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. This version was built in 1864. After the bridge, turn along  Port Vale to the left, past Beane River View (a modern development of care home, sheltered and retirement housing) to the car park just before Millmead School. Go left through the car park, from where a path leads round the school grounds to green space following the river, and ends at Beane Road, near the station. Turn left to the main road and the station entrance.

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Haringey - London Borough of Culture?

The first hunt for London's Borough of Culture has been launched, with one area of the capital in line to receive more than £1 million in funding.

The capital's 32 boroughs will bid for the financial boost, with one taking the title in 2019 and another in 2020.

Announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan at City Hall on Friday as an initiative to bring culture to all Londoners, local authorities will have five months to prepare applications before a decision is made on where to allocate the £2.8 million pot of funding for the two winning bids.

The great thing about culture is not only the economic boom it brings to London... but it enriches our lives, it nourishes the soul, it brings communities together, it heals division. Good culture is for the rich and poor, old and young, no matter your ethnicity or faith.

– Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

The funding will commit boroughs to introducing artistic initiatives and make culture an integral part of their future.

They will be tasked with bringing new opportunities to their area as well as shining a spotlight on existing treasures.

An extra £600,000 will be made available for other boroughs who put forward impressive projects.

http://www.itv.com/news/london/2017-06-30/which-borough-should-be-named-london-borough-of-culture/

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There will be a campaign this Saturday outside Muswell Hill Post Office following the recent announcements that Universal Office Equipment are set to be the franchisee for this office (and ones in Crouch End & Finsbury Park). This is part of the ongoing CWU campaign to protect our post offices and to stope them being closed or downgraded.

The plan is to campaign from 10.30 - 12.30pm outside MH Post Office (420 Muswell Hill Broadway) and to collect signed letters and to encourage people to email the franchisee.

So if you have some free time on Saturday please join us!

Regards,

Liz

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Please take a look at the application to develop part of the old Gee and Garnham site on Crescent Mews into flats, applying to squeeze 14 flats into one building. The average size of the flats are below the recommended minimum size. The site had been partitioned into 4 sections this is just the first stage.

For anyone living on or near Crescent Road/Alexandra Park Road junction the increase in traffic to access the site will be another concern. The proposal is for a car free development but the deliveries/access associated with 14 new flats will add to congestion in the area.

Please take a look at the proposal on the http://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk with the ref HGY/2017/1961 and comment before 26.7.17

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Salt Fish and Twig Pencils

We had a pleasant evening on Saturday at the curious new space for creatives in an ex-carpark off Station Road now called Blue House Yard. Sitting on a handcarved bench outside the wood shop, we ate delicious Creole spicy salt fish with salad in a crispy ‘bun’ (rather like a puri) and drank dark Czech lager (brewed in Myddleton Road N22). Children dashed around in a cheerful fashion, some queuing up to get their twig pencils sharpened with a penknife by the woodman (who seemed to be a source of fascination …).

The food market and picnic tables in the centre of the ex-carpark are surrounded by ten tall, narrow wooden huts, each with just room enough for a tiny shop/workshop downstairs, and storeroom upstairs. I remarked that they reminded me of the tall black huts in Hastings where fishermen used to hang up their huge nets, before the age of nylon – and was told that these were indeed part of the inspiration for the architects, who both designed and built them. The huts in N22 are, however, multi-coloured, each one slightly different from the next.


Some of the huts are shops, selling vintage and retro clothes, art, wood products, cakes ... while others are workshops producing goods for sale elsewhere, including kilts and superior stationery. It is all a bit ad hoc at the moment, with some of the workshops still being set up, and opening hours not established (we were told that most open when the food markets are functioning – Wednesday-Friday 11am-3pm, and Saturday evenings in July 5-10pm ). The cake shop had opened for the first time that day, and the café in a London bus is not open yet. But the bus is there, and the blue café tables made of recycled cable-reels on legs are set out next to it, ready for customers.

The eponymous Blue House (poster-paint blue from ground to roof-ridge) was not open that evening, so I will have to return another time to check out the ceramics studio (which runs classes) – there are also other studios in the house.

I think this is a great space, and hope that Haringey Council will ditch the planned development for it, and instead allow the units to operate permanently – not just for the 5 years ‘meanwhile time’ allocated to them. The stallholders certainly have plans for the future – one of the Guadeloupiennes from the Creole food stall had given up her job as a marketing executive for a telecoms company only the day before, in order to co-run their stall in markets around London, and the cakeshop proprietor is looking for premises locally in which to run classes in cake-baking and decorating.

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Hope some folk can look at the latest crowdfunder to pay for a judicial review of the upcoming decision by Haringey Cabinet to go ahead with their highly risky, indeed reckless and unconsulted, Haringey Development Vehicle. This is now due for agreement by this inner corps of the Council on 3 July --- without ever bothering to go to full Council, never mind actually ask local taxpayers what we think of selling off our public authority land, estates and business premises to a so-called 50/50 limited company with Lendlease, and all valued at £2 billion. Once it's gone it's gone.

The campaign to stop this biggest ever privatisation by a local authority is backed by local Labour parties, LibDems and Greens and many local people and organisations, and trades unions [Lendlease has a record of blacklisting]. We have barristers waiting to make the case for stopping and re-considering in the high court, and we have raised over half of what we may need to date, but a further push for contributions is vital now.

With all due thanks to those who have contributed so far, I would appreciate help in reaching the £4,000 sum before 15 June on the following site, and it would also be excdellent if anyone who can forwards the address to others who may be willing to help ---

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-hdv

And on 3 July there will be march and demonstration from Ducketts Common to teh Civic Centre, from 5:30 pm.

We shall not go quietly.

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Eight years ago some residents in the Muswell Hill area set up a social enterprise called en10ergy to actively promote renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions by installing pv panels, in large arrays, on public and commercial buildings. (A social enterprise is like a company, but its activities are for the benefit of the community as a whole, not for the owners of the business.) The first installations were made on Marks & Spencer’s, Muswell Hill, and on the Muswell Hill Methodist Church. These were paid for mainly from central and local government grant money, which was available in those days, but also from a small amount of capital provided individually by supporters through the sale of Community Shares. The panels are owned by en10ergy, which sells the electricity they generate to the owner of the building at less than the open market rate, and uses the surplus to fund other carbon-reduction actions, particularly helping people insulate their homes.


The sucess of these schemes has encouraged en10ergy to look at the more ambitious aim of raising money, through further Community Share offers, to install pv panels on other sites around Haringey, especially schools. Planning was done towards this; then more government funding became available to local councils, and Haringey decided to do the work on local schools themselves. Alexandra Park School was amongst those which received pv arrays at that time. Only some of the planned installations had been made before changes of government policy made the circumstances for councils much less favourable, and work stopped. en10ergy is now stepping into the gap again and is initiating a scheme with Woodside High School, White Hart Lane, which can be financially viable with support from en10ergy’s existing resources, allowing a reasonable rate of return to be given (about 4%) on shares bought by members of the public for the project. Just as en10ergy is not exactly like a commercial company, the shares are not exactly like stock-market shares. They cannot be sold by their holders, except back to en10ergy. They are valid for twelve years, during which shareholders receive about 4% of the original value of their investment in interest, and one twelfth of the capital they invested. This is the way Community Shares usually work.


This kind of project can have two valuable outcomes. It can provide sources of clean, renewable energy and reduce the energy expenses of community resources like schools. More generally, it can also offer an alternative economic model for supplying the energy needs of an energy-intensive society, perhaps even loosening the grip of energy corporations. The model is being used very extensively in Germany, and parts of Britain also have thriving community energy sectors (notably the South-West of England). London has, in proportion, been lagging behind, but there are a number of community energy enterprises here. Two of the most active are South East London Community Energy and Repowering London, which not only install pv on schools and council housing, but run technical training programmes for work in the renewable energy industry, provide support and advice for residents in fuel poverty, and promote concern with energy and climate change in other ways too.


If you would like to help develop this movement, please consider investing in the solar energy scheme for Woodside, which will also benefit its neighbour, Riverside School, providing for special educational needs students. en10ergy is looking principally for people to invest £500 or more. This minimum means that management of the shares is within the scope of a small organisation.


Come to the en10ergy share launch event for a preview of the scheme and the share offer on Saturday 13 May at 3.00 pm in Tetherdown Hall, Muswell Hill, near the junction of Fortis Green Road and Tetherdown, opposite the United Reformed Church.

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