A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Our local area has just one Blue Plaque commemorating a notable former resident or building, it is one of the Plaques erected by Enfield Council.
At the Green Lanes end of Kelvin Avenue a blue plaque on a modern house notes the site of the former Bowes Manor - home of Thomas Wilde the First Baron of Truro and Lord Chancellor (Read more about him here)
There are a few different commemorative schemes in operation including Haringey's Green Plaque scheme - but the English Heritage scheme is probably the best known, and they have an open call for new proposals of individuals to commemorate.
Who else should we be celebrating locally? Are their other historically famous residents?
What about our local heroes - are there other people whose contribution to our area and our community could be recognised?
I think the idea oc commemorative plaques a great one because it gives us a sense of history and also acknowledges the contributions that local people have made to the community. I quite like the idea of sitting in the "Dog & Duck" noting that it was where the writer Stevie Smith used to quaff as well........however I feel that sometimes we are inclined to just appraoch the idea with a "Kings & Queens" historical perspective. Take the case of the Peace activist, potter, writer and educator Devi Prasad who died on the 1st June a year ago. He used to live in Edmonton and is a towering figure in India and in circles here in the UK....but do you think it has made any difference.....no because instead of a democratic appraoch to plaques we have a few who decide and always take the least line of resistence so as not to get anybody's knicjkers in a twsist....a plaque for a Peace Activist...heaven forbid!.......Please do a Google Search on Devi Prasad.....
I agree with Walter’s concerns about a tendency to focus on the lofty and the popular. But please take some comfort that Oliver Tambo, who spent years in exile at a house in Windermere Road N10 now has a plaque on the house and a commemorative garden nearby.
I too agree there is a tendency to the attitude of "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" (and men they too frequently are!)
I'd love to hear suggestions for other notable locals - perhaps a more democratic commemoration of the contributions of local folk - not just the rich and famous.
That is great and is what we should be doing more of.....so how did that happen, and is there a process wherby we can get people recognized? I'd like to know how that happens.......I know a sort of Art trail was done in Edmonton with local people being mentioned........but did it involve the community?
How about if once a year we ask people to submit names of people to be commemorated? People like Albert would be a great source of reference but we coud also try and get the local traditions....I was in Ponders End Library the other day and it was amazing listening to these two elderly gentlemen discussing the end of the trolley buses.......I felt really priveleged to be able to connect to something quite vital as is our local history and traditions which can also be in an oral form.
Another nearly local hero is Jerome K Jerome, the author of “Three men in a Boat”. JKJ wasn’t born in New Southgate, but he is known to have spent some of his childhood there. He is on the 1871 census as living at 7 Springfield Villas N11, which is long demolished. The site of the house is thought to be almost opposite the Postal Sorting Office in Springfield Road N11 by the entrance gate to Garfield School.
A local historian (Colin Barratt) had access to some of the Jerome family documents and the story is that JKJ’s interest in playing with boats had its origins in his teenage games with small boats on the lake in what is now Scout Park off Passmore Gardens/ Bounds Green Road. It’s not much of a lake now, but it might have been in the late 19th Century.
One of my favourite London memorials is not that far away - just over in Bruce Grove - Tottenham. It is a plaque commemorating the home of Luke Howard - 18th / 19th Century meteorologist who devised the system for classifying clouds.
It has the delightful inscription: "Luke Howard ... Namer of Clouds"
Another Blue Plaque fairly close by is particularly pertinent today. June 27th marks the 45th anniversary of the first use of an ATM in the UK - at Barclays Enfield Town - the celebrity making the first withdrawal was none other than Reg Varney - star of On the Buses! Follow this link for picture and more information
The full list of 47 blue plaques available to Google for London Borough of Enfield is attached
Another Dead White European Male (DWEM) I know, but how about....
The businessman and philanthropist John Passmore Edwards (1823-1911) who founded The Passmore Edwards Cottage Hospital which opened in 1895. It expanded gradually to become the 45 bed Wood Green and Southgate Hospital before closing in 1983. The site is occupied now by Passmore Edwards House (sheltered housing) on Rhys Avenue, close to Bounds Green Health Centre & tube station.
A local heroine should surely be radio presenter, Clare McDonnell, of the much lamented BBC London radio station, GLR. Her excellent breakfast show used to be laced with references to Bounds Green, although I'm not sure where exactly on our patch she resided or if she's still here.
Good shouts both, I'd say.