We recently interviewed well known children’s author Jeanne Willis. Jeanne talked to us about her early writing, her primary school teacher who had kept one of her books for 50 years, and when they met recently Miss Stevens was able to show Jeanne one of her earliest books. Jeanne started her working life as a copywriter but became a published author at the age of 21. She has written a large number of books and she tells us about some of her favourites, her interest in metamorphosis and some of her newer books. We edited the interview into 3 short films.
We interviewed Professor Kurt Barling recently and it was wonderful to hear about him growing up in Palmers Green, his education, his interests and his career. Being a mixed race child at school during the sixties was not especially easy in Palmers Green, which at the time was not the multi cultural area it is today and Kurt talks about that. He talks about being into sports and becoming part of the National Youth Jazz orchestra, going to university and becoming the first Black English lecturer at the LSE. Then he became a journalist and broadcaster, becoming involved with campaigns and stories, including modern slavery, Abu Hamza and Finsbury Park Mosque and the Lakanal House Fire and he is now Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University and an author.
Palmers Green Tales recently visited Rodwins, the toy and craft shop in Southgate. We had seen Josie’s picture at the wonderful exhibition entitled, ‘Made in Enfield’ which was on at the Dugdale Centre for several months. We were amazed at the number of toys which had been manufactured in Enfield, it was a truly great exhibition. Josie started Rodwins nearly 60 years ago. The shop has sold lots of different things over the years, toys, bicycles, craft supplies, fancy dress, dance shoes, still selling lots of these things except for the bikes. At one time Josie had 2 shops in Southgate. Josie was a very keen cyclist and knew Tom Maysh, the subject of our last film.
When we went to meet Ian Puddick at Old Bakery Gin in Pymmes Mews, we were intrigued to learn about Tom Maysh who had been a major figure in the cycling world. So we decided to investigate further and have created a short film about him and his shop. The shop was set up by his father, Thomas Maysh in 1922. Thomas repaired cars as well as selling bikes but when Tom took over in 1945 he concentrated on bikes, to the extent that he built his own under the brand name Tom Maysh.
Tom had married in 1940. He met his wife after she came into the shop to buy a bike and his father had suggested that he take the bike home for the customer and they got on so well that they started courting and eventually married.
We recently visited Laura Scaramella and she told us about her Italian language school Parla Italiano, which is based in Palmers Green.
We are so lucky to have access to a language school within walking distance.
We recently visited Old Bakery Gin in Palmers Green and its’ founder Ian Puddick talked to us about his amazing discovery of an illicit gin distillery, which he found whilst renovating an old bakery. After making the discovery he was so intrigued that he decided to become a distiller himself, a legal one of course. Ian is now making a super gin which is now stocked in Harrods, Harvey Nicks and of course The Winchmore.
John Sollis has made a short film about the Fox Pub and the current planning application, which aims to add housing into its’ footprint and ensure the pub retains its status as a local landmark and community asset. It is a very interesting plan and hopefully the outcome will ensure we continue to have a local pub which serves its’ community well, alongside extra badly needed housing.
Our latest film is about the amazing Orchard in Broomfield Park. The space was once a bowling green utilised by the Broomfield Park Bowling Club. When David March, a founding member of the Orchard, discovered the space in 2009, it had been unused for about 15 years. David wanted to make it into a wild flower meadow and orchard and he sought the help of a local campaigning group called Improving our Place, who were very keen and the then local council provided some funds and a designated officer Graham Deal who was a great support in the project.
The project was launched on Tree O’ Clock Day in 2009 and the council provided some pump priming funds and people were invited to sponsor a tree. The Orchard has blossomed into a wonderful oasis within Broomfield Park much loved by local residents and it’s resident bees.
Susan Mehmet and myself have made a film about the Apiary in the Broomfield Park Orchard. I have often visited the Orchard during it’s lovely open days and enjoyed the honey sold by the volunteers, but have been a little wary of going too near the bees. However we were very pleased to hear about how the hives are looked after and how necessary they are, indeed bees ensure our plants and crops are pollinated and consequently that we are fed. The team of volunteers, led by Kim Lumley work very hard to ensure that the hives are safe so the bees can carry on their good work. They also talk to schoolchildren about their work.
We have spent a few months making a film about the volunteers who run the Conservatory in Broomfield Park. We went to and took photographs and film from various open days and were very impressed by the large number of activities which take place throughout the year. We hope you like the final film which is a compilation of all the many events.