Friends of Grovelands Park

I am a member of the Friends of Grovelands Park and I attended a general meeting this week. This year was Grovelands Park centenary and hundreds of people attended the celebrations in the park to make it a marvellous success.

I am surprised that there aren’t more members of this group to support and maintain this historic park. If you want to become more involved with the park and the Friends of Grovelands Park, they are actively seeking more members. Annual membership is £5 and their website is here http://www.n21.net/friends-of-grovelands-park-winchmore-hill-n21-london.html. The next meeting is Thursday 21st November 2013, 8pm at St Paul’s Church Hall.

At the FoG meeting we heard about Travellers being evicted from Edmonton and actively looking for a new place to set up in the Enfield area. I had a traveller knock at my door and ask if I wanted anything sharpened the day before the meeting. Does anyone get anything sharpened on their doorstep by gypsies anymore? Or is it a tactic to check whether anyone is at home? I didn’t feel safe.

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I had to speak out at the FoG meeting about SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team) and our campaign. I clarified what we are trying to achieve and also what Enfield’s current proposals on the land adjacent to Grovelands are. The majority of FoG members have an open mind about the Grovelands proposals, I think that is because we are all waiting to see whether English Heritage says the concept is viable.

Some members, like me, have strong views, some in favour of a school and some against a school. If you support the school proposal please register your support on the SWEAT website  http://wewantlocalschools.wordpress.com/

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St. Ives and seals (or sea-lions)

We, my family, the in-laws and I, spent a glorious Bank Holiday weekend at St. Ives in Cornwall. After doing a key exchange with my neighbours so they could look after Tin Tin, the cat, whilst we were away, we were off.

We had to exchange keys as we had taken care of their guinea pig, Lily, before the weekend. That had been a concern as Lily had been to the vet a number of times prior to us looking after her. I was worried that the hormonal Lily, who was overheating and had to have an ice pack in her cage day and night would not make it and I didn’t want her to expire on my watch. Fortunately we left her in good health as we set off on our long weekend.

St. Ives has a beautiful little harbour that is quite unspoilt. The resort still has a feel about it that must have been there in Victorian times. When the tide is out you can walk and paddle in the harbour itself but there is also a lovely long and wide beach next to the harbour.

My babies loved paddling in the sea and building sandcastles on the beach. No other entertainment was needed. On one of our evenings we had a Cornish pasty al fresco. Just as the babies were tucking in to their pastry we were joined by a gang of sea gulls who, given half a chance, would have run off with our dinners.

sealsThe evening was completed by a walk up the quay where fishermen were bringing in their catch. As we walked along we noticed huge eyes looking up at us from the sea. The seals (or sea-lions, I don’t know the difference) were seemingly waiting for easy pickings from the fisherman. The whole family of 4 seals came up for a feast which they never got. Children in wet suits were jumping off the quay for fun and neither the children nor the seals were bothered by the presence of the other. It was lovely to watch.

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How to engage with the local community?

My family and I took a walk in Grovelands Park over the weekend. We had a lovely time visiting the playgrounds, watching the wildlife, playing ball and eating ice lollies.I met a lady with her 3 year old son who attends the playgroup that I also attend with my 2 year old twins and we enjoyed a catch up chat.

I mention this because as we chatted it became obvious that she did not know anything about the concept proposal by Enfield Council for a new school in the land adjacent to Grovelands Park. Admittedly these proposals are in the very early stages and it will not go ahead without the approval of English Heritage however this is something that directly affects this lady and her son and she has no knowledge of it. She will be applying for a primary school place this autumn and visits Grovelands Park recreationally.

How can we reach mothers with young children so that they are aware of news that they need to know of? I assume that details of this new school proposal will not go out in the School Pack that Enfield Council will provide to the parents of primary school aged children this year.

I know that many mothers use social networking, as I do, but do I find out information that I feel is life affecting through Twitter or Facebook? For me that is a resounding No.

I am a committee member of the Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association and we need to attract the younger community, such as young mothers to join up. When members join our association they receive a newsletter and weekly email updates of local news. News that mothers should know about such as schools, local projects and the like.

Unfortunately Residents’ Associations tend to attract mainly older citizens which means that the whole community is not represented and an emphasis is put on things that may not interest younger generations. On the plus side I can say that being a member of FLDRA makes me feel very young even though I am middle aged.

An issue does exist of how to engage with all members of the local community.


Grovelands Park

I visited Grovelands Park today and have added some images of the Park onto my gallery page. I have recently joined Friends of Grovelands Park which keeps members and the public informed of Park related news.

I attended a meeting of Friends of Grovelands because of the Grovelands Park Improvements Proposal. I anticipated that the proposal would be an agenda item at the Friends meeting. I’m glad I attended  the meeting to put forward the concerns of parents regarding the lack of primary school places in our area and why I, and the SWEAT group, would be supporting Enfield Council’s proposals.

I think that most members at the meeting seemed happy with the concept plans as long as the outlook of the park was not affected. The Friends agreed that the plans were in too early a stage to make any decisions. I came away with the feeling that they have a reasonable outlook, and understand the need for a school in the area.

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Broomfield House Film

I have been visiting Broomfield Park since I was a child. My family lived opposite the park in Broomfield Lane and my siblings and I would cross the road and jump or clamber over the park fence to gain entrance.

If you are familiar with the area you will know that Broomfield House is a Grade II listed house in Broomfield Park that originates from the 16th century and was devastated by fire in 1984. It is very sad that Broomfield House exists as charred remains held up by scaffolding and has done so for nearly 30 years. Read More


Grovelands Park Improvements Meeting

I attended a meeting held by Enfield Council proposing a new primary school in the land adjacent to Grovelands Park. I was invited as a key stakeholder because of my interest in Education and my campaign for increased Primary School Provision.

Members of the SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team) group, created specifically to campaign for local children to go to local schools, and members of FLDRA (Fox Lane District Residents’ Association) also attended in support of the proposals.

Gary Barnes, Assistant Director, Regeneration, presented the concept proposed, a new 2 form entry primary school built in a style to compliment the neighbouring Priory building. The building would be set down in the land and with a green roof so that the vista from the park would not be disturbed. An excellent proposal that is much needed for the local community.

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Under the knife & cakes

I had Arthroscopy surgery on my right knee in Barnet Hospital as a day case and was very impressed by the efficient service provided by our NHS.

I have (or had)  a torn cartilage as a result of a climbing accident in my youth which was worsened by a skiing accident a few years ago. My first visit to a doctor for this problem was 10 months ago; so 10 months from initial consultation to repair is a time frame that I as a customer am content with. Read More


St John’s Summer Fete 2013

Remember the fetes of yesteryear when competitions and afternoon teas were compulsory?  Well, St John’s summer fete has decided to go ‘Vintage’ this year based on fetes of the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The Fete runs from 12-4pm with David Burrowes, MP, opening the fete. There are various stalls, bric-a-brac, clothes, cake, gifts, raffle, plants, composting and many more for you to peruse.

For the children there is a bouncy castle and face painting as well as various games to try out, such as the bottle tombola and hunt for silver in the sand!

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Sweating for our children

The first meeting of the South West Enfield Action Team (or SWEAT) took place on Tuesday 25th June at my home. I met the other members of our newly formed group who are prepared to give up their free time and campaign for an issue that is so important to every parent, the education of our children.

In the Fox Lane area there are insufficient local school places and many of the parents are forced to transport their children to schools across the borough or have to resort to private education.

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