Blog

All Posts (48)

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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!

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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/

Read more…

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

Read more…

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

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

Playing Sims4 with Wood Green

The bonfire of buildings that is proposed in the Wood Green Area Action Plan would make a fun children’s game. You can pull down the current bus garage and build another, with a podium on top providing some urban realm – part of a green chain that links Wood Green Common with Trinity Gardens (see p. 111; you have to be an aficionado to understand the language). Then add some dwell places, where your smart Wood Greeners – the numbers swelled by visitors arriving at the new Crossrail 2 station – will sit around drinking coffee and watching the moving statues, resting between bouts of intensive shopping in the large retail outlets that dominate the new Metropolitan Town Centre. The current Library is not quite in the right place – it would be better placed with the new block of civic and commercial buildings in the Civic Boulevard, so let’s demolish it and build a new one round the corner. This would in addition open up the view from the High Road all the way to Alexandra Palace. Or at least it would do, but there’s a couple of rows of Victorian houses in the way – Caxton road and part of Mayes road – better demolish them too. Somebody must have had such fun with this!

Except this is not a children’s game but some serious plans for the future of Wood Green. The thinking behind some of these proposals makes good sense – Wood Green is too much centered on the north-south axis of the High Road, and dominated by four-wheeled traffic. Some pedestrianised and really cycle-friendly areas would certainly improve it. But these do not require major changes in infrastructure, so why the wholesale demolition (‘no buildings need to be retained’ is the chilling phrase used in section after section of the proposals)? The existing library is an attractive, light and airy building, purpose-built, and it does not crowd onto the High Road. Opening up access to a pedestrianised area behind it – made so much larger by the proposed removal of Morrison’s and the Mall/Shopping City – might be achieved by taking down the Arcade next to it, perhaps. And the little shops currently in the Arcade could then be moved into the empty parking lot in Caxton Road (I enjoy this game too!).

What is it about Wood Green that prompts planners to only think of knocking it down and starting again? The Mall/Shopping City are not attractive buildings by any stretch of the imagination, but a little tweaking could make a huge difference (as was agreed by the little group of people standing round a Council adviser at the last AAP exhibition in Wood Green Library on Saturday). Apart from anything else, the Market Hall could be kept. Its little shop units provide so much useful everyday stuff that the big retail units which the Council want to attract would not be interested in stocking. I go to Neil Electrics for hoover bags and other electrical accessories, the Tropical Mini Market for coconut powder (haven’t found this anywhere else) and a huge range of spices, Big Value kitchen store when we break wine glasses on the kitchen floor, and above all the haberdashery at the Cloth Shop (as well of course as dress materials and knitting wool) – which is so hard to find anywhere else these days. If I lived nearer, I might get fish from the exotic fishmonger. The AAP consultation document frequently mentions the proposed daily markets under (what looks like) pretty gazebos (see image below), where you will no doubt be able to browse for street food and artisan bread. But these do not replace the useful little shop units (some catering particularly for Wood Green’s multi-ethnic community) which cannot be packed away at the end of each day.

Wood Green has distinctive buildings from different historical periods – including the Library, the Mall, the attractive Victorian terrace that is Caxton Road (there is a petition to save this), and the Civic Centre. Why demolish all these (with the possible exception of the Civic Centre), together with many others, to replace them with a characterless homogenised town centre which is just like all the other ones built in recent years around the country? I have noticed one continuity, however – the current Library has a roof terrace with plants along the edge just like those in the sketch below. The difference being that the current plants are a tangled mass of unsightly weeds.

p.90. Fig.7.14: 3D Model of view over the market to Ally Pally

The desirability of opening up views of Alexandra Palace is repeatedly mentioned in the consultation document (see e.g. the caption on the left). Diverting attention away, perhaps, from memories of the 2011 riots in the High Road, this view out to the west would lift our eyes to the hills and the Palace’s newly refurbished Theatre and inner courts. The Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust  will have achieved this transformation, however, with Lottery funding, not by handing over their prize asset to developers, as the Council are proposing to do with many of these buildings.

But that is incorrect - the Council emphasise they are not handing their assets over. They are keeping a 50% stake in the ‘development vehicle’ shared with the Australian developers Lendlease. Croydon and Tunbridge Wells councils had similar arrangements with their developers a few years ago, but both these ventures failed. Tunbridge Wells, at least, are now thought to owe hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation to their developer. What makes Haringey so sure that their megalomaniac, super-risky, £2bn project is likely to be any more successful?

The Council say they have no option. But they do, if not one that you would expect a local authority to make. Both Croydon and Tunbridge Wells are now setting up their own companies – as are several other councils, including Enfield – to keep more control over their projects and profits. The emphasis is on tweaking existing buildings rather than razing them to the ground – the option that developers would of course much prefer.

Having their own companies also ensures that these councils get some ‘affordable’ and social housing included in the development. This has been much harder to achieve for councils dealing with developers in recent years following changes in planning regulations – according to the archtectural critic of the Guardian. Haringey certainly failed to get any ‘affordable’ properties at all (with a target of 40%) in plans for hundreds of flats being built near the new Spurs stadium in Tottenham (expected buyers are no doubt City people who will commute to Liverpool Street station). Also rejected was the request that the expected huge energy consumption by the stadium be served by a sustainable district energy network powered by the incineration of waste (a similar system is proposed in the AAP – will the Council have any more luck with this?). And not a single solar panel will be installed on the vast stadium roof. Haringey and other councils are like putty in the hands of the developers and their legal teams.

It seems that the owners of the Mall were persuaded by the Council to demolish it (in return maybe for offers of more storeys in the replacement buildings?). The social housing tenants in the apartments above the Mall will then no doubt join the mass exodus from the borough of similar tenants from demolished Broadwater Farm, Northumberland Park and other estates – mostly in Tottenham – for whom the Council does not have alternative accommodation available, nor the funds to pay for private landlords to accommodate them (petition and Haringey Defend Council Housing). Those who have bought ex-council flats are also unlikely to be able to afford to stay here.

This massive development programme is predicated on one thing – the building of a Crossrail 2 station at Wood Green. Large numbers of new shoppers, workers, residents would be required to utilise all the new facilities – what is going to bring them here but Crossrail 2? Not the overloaded Piccadilly line. Let us pretend that shops in the High Road have not been closing down one by one in recent years – Crossrail 2 will wave its magic wand and bring prosperity to the area. What happens if the station is built at Turnpike Lane instead? Or even not built at all (as has been rumoured)?

The Council are hoping for a decision on Crossrail 2 in the summer. Then when they make their decision about the AAP in September, it is possible that they will have to scrap many of these plans and think again – as the adviser in the Library admitted.

                                                                                                                                                                                    


 Wood Green Area Action Plan Preferred Option Consultation Draft Feb. 2017 is rather vague, and often difficult to interpret (it is a pdf which can be downloaded). There is info. about which buildings are not going to be tall, but less about which are, and how high they are likely to be. More specific proposals for different areas of WG begin on p.102, starting with a contents page for the different areas which follow.

The consultation *has now been extended to 28th April*, and comments can be made until then at https://woodgreen.commonplace.is/

The easiest way to see other people's comments (which you can 'like'/'agree with') is to click on Wood Green Map, then on Comments at the top of the page. There are some other comments which you cannot see this way, but this gives you the longest list.

 

Read more…

Some Grand Jazz at Karamel Cafe

On Thursday night we went to the End of Season Jam Session of Jazz@Karamel, and enjoyed it hugely. We are not regular jazz-goers, but this was really worth-while, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes jazz and doesn't know the venue, or who has a broad taste in music generally. Members of several bands who've played here recently were present, and the number gradually increased as the evening went on. Some young, some more weathered, but all extremely accomplished, and the shere quality of musicianship was very high. It was a treat to hear the way they all paid close attention to each other and supported each other with great skill. A trumpet duet in the grand finale - with just about everyone on stage or standing around the room and playing - was a highlight for me. The space is just right for the sound of this kind of music. The jazz programme is organised by Stu Butterfield - himself one of the drummers that evening - who obviously knows a lot of excellent players and can persuade them to come along. (Good simple food and drinks can be had throughout the evening too.) These sessions are worth looking out for.

Thursday night finale. Photo: John Suddaby

Read more…

Palace Gates Residents Association 2016 AGM report

Full minutes of the 2016 AGM of Palace Gates Residents Association can be found at http://www.palacegatesra.info. Here is a summary of some main points.

The Gardening Group:
The large beds at the Crescent Rise mini-roundabout are now becoming well established. During this year’s dry summer a neighbour kindly contributed a regular water supply, which kept the project alive. We have been cutting back shrubs, spreading compost and planting bulbs, and are grateful to Dave at the Crescent Hardware for supplying compost at a very good price. On the Triangle we have installed new hanging baskets. Plans for next year include the installation of more signs, pointing out PGRA maintains the beds, and holding a ‘Big Dig‘ day in March, when we will construct a rockery in one of the smaller beds at the mini-roundabout. More volunteers to help with this work would be very much appreciated, as their is lots to do. The group meets on the first Saturday of every month, 11.00 to 1.00 - see http://www.palacegatesra.info/gardening-group for more details.

Palace Gates Food Co-operative:
This has now been running successfully for about 6 years. There is a meeting every 6 weeks, held in a member's home, where residents can order healthy dry foods and eco-cleaning products from Infinity Foods. A catalogue and contact address is available at http://alexandraparkneighbours.org.uk/local-groups/palace-gates-food-coop

Installation of bench on the Palace Gates Triangle:
After an application to Haringey under the Ward Budget scheme for a circular bench to be placed around the large ash tree was turned down, a standard bench, with arms, to be placed behind the notice board on the Triangle, facing towards the tree and the bus stop, has apprently been approved in principle, with the condition that the agreement of residents and businesses is forthcoming.

Safer Streets:
The new Community Roadwatch scheme, has been finally launched by TfL, in conjunction with London Boroughs and the Metropolitan Police. This involves Police Community Support Officers, with at least 2 members of the local community conducting speed checks at places where speeding is thought to be a problem.  Warning letters are sent to drivers who are speeding. Some speed checks have already been carried out in Alexandra ward.

Pinkham Way:
The Pinkham Way Alliance has been fighting since 2011 to prevent a large Mechanical Biological Treatment plant being built at Pinkham Way on the North Circular Rd, only a short distance away from our neighbourhood. Although North London Waste Authority announced that it was abandoning its plans for the site, it has now re-stated that it wants to use the land, though it is not clear for what purpose, and PWA is continuing to battle. Please sign up to www.pinkhamwayalliance.org to be kept informed of further developments, including fund-raising campaigns to support the costs of the substantial professional planning and legal advice, which the PWA continues to incur.

Police and Crime Report:
Every 3 months representatives of the PGRA attend the meeting of the Alexandra Ward Safer Neighbourhood Team panel together with members of the local Police and local Councillors. These meetings are an information-sharing forum, where the public have the opportunity to hear about local policing issues, express their concerns and agree priorities for police action in the local area. PGRA has campaigned for attention to be paid to traffic speeding, and this is now being tackled by the Community Roadwatch scheme. The Police reoprt that we live in a ‘relatively’ crime free neighbourhood, but there has been a spate of bogus callers, preying mainly on older residents, pretending to be utility company representatives, usually in pairs. The Police urge residents to call 101 to report anything suspicious. Some residents have also drawn attention to aggressive doorstep calls from street traders, selling fish.

Planned increase in the Events programme for Alexandra Park:
This was discussed at a recent meeting of the Alexandra Park and Palace Statutory Advisory and Consultative Committee, on which PGRA is represented. Concerns have been expressed over the sharp increase in the number of proposed events, noise levels, accessibility, road closures, public transport disruption and parking. It is also appreciated that the Palace needs to make itself financially sustainable, as a valuable local resource, and that a balance needs to be struck.

Friends of Ally Pally Station:
The Friends of Ally Pally Station was set up in early summer to fill the station platforms with plants and flowers. The Opening Day was held on June 4th. Supporters include Great Northern Rail, the Sunshine Garden Centre, the PGRA, Hobarts, Our Cottage and Crescent Hardware. Gardening Parties have been held in early October to weed the pots and planters and to plant spring bulbs and winter plants. For more information see: www.friendsofallypallystation.co.uk. The Friends have also been designated an official ‘Rail User Group’, which means that they can provide a significant voice in discussions with Great Northern about recent developments at the station.

Controlled Parking Zone:
The current position on extension of the controlled parking zone remains uncertain. A public meeting was set for late October, but no further information has emerged. The PGRA does not adopt a position on the existing CPZ scheme or its extension, but it has tried to ensure that the process and decision-making is carried out effectively and legitimately.

Read more…
Ive added the restoration of the Alexandra Palace East Wing theatre to the projects that members of the public can vote for in our annual Aviva community award event. Its just a case of clicking on the link below and casting your 10 votes after a 2 minute registration. Anyone can vote. The more votes, the better the chances we get the cash. Its that simple folks.Once completed, we can all look forward to school invites to see and hear the little ones start their flourishing acting and singing/ dancing careers in a proper theatre environment thats actually one of the last of its kind in Europe.Opened by Queen Victoria, the theatre had been closed for decades whilst the rain, cold and damp have moved in making the chances of saving it look less and less a reality. Even from the outside, sitting as it does alongside the ice rink, it looks pretty sad and forgotten. Thats because it was. But how can you forget a theatre exists?However, some far sighted lottery funding and a new public appeal has secured enough cash to get phase 1 underway (building work has already started) but they need more. And 25K will go a long way. And its free money just needing enough votes to secure it.Do feel free to social link the heck out of this one. Voting is open for 3 weeks and then its time up and we already know it fits the criteria set by the judging panel. The Palace team are also doing their best to get the votes in as wellhttps://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-5
Read more…

Fraud warning

Bounds Green, Wood Green. A man asking for the price of a moderately expensive train fare: small, white, 50s, pointy face, business clothes without jacket. Claimed to have recently been robbed, and to work for the Samaritans. We have the story from two separate sources a month or so apart.

Read more…

Palace Gates Garden Group

The Palace Gates Gardening Group meets event first Saturday of the month at 11am. This month, we had a couple of young helpers to help remove weeds, water and plant new bulbs. Newbies always welcome! - no experience required.

Read more…

Gardens day music and dance

Sunday was gardens open day in Alexandra Park Road N22. A bunch of gardens at the junction with Palace Gates Road has opened annually for many years, showing gardens with all sorts of different characters: big, small, front, back, compact and rambling, and with all sorts of ingenious uses of space - around dustbins and pavement trees, in old baths and pots, and wherever. It was down to only three gardens this year, one of the stars having sadly (from thee street-gardening point of view) had to move away during the year.

The events also spilled out into the street for traditional (so they say) dancing with swords or clogs (clogs on female feet, swords in male hands). The dancers are accompanied by pipe or accordion, but more musicians are hidden away behind the plants, accompanying the tea and cakes and plant sales. This year was the last time, at least in its old form, that all this is going to happen, so here are some pictures for the record, or for those who've never seen it - especially the sword dancing, which is a very dramatic and visual experience. There was some talk of Welsh tunes being danced to, and there was another bloke wandering around waving a sword and giving orders which was probably the English contribution (... only joking).

Here are more pictures of sword dancing and plants:

                                                                     The end

Read more…

Advertisements

Click on an advert for more info.