Bowes and Bounds Connected

A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green

"On my London street, you're lucky if your direct neighbour waves a greeting. Anyone living four houses down could be living in Timbuktu; I don't even know what they look like." That's what I remember from an interview on the radio a few weeks back. The woman being interviewed was explaining her opposition to a new Royal Mail scheme where neighbours opt-in to receive parcels for each other. She hardly knew her neighbours and was certainly not ready to trust them with her Amazon deliveries.

That's definitely not how I feel. This morning; in London; I had an encounter which resoundingly confirmed my positive experience of neighbourliness. I answered my door to a woman who I vaguely recognised but had never spoken to or even greeted. She'd come to tell me that my car window was open, and was obviously concerned about a potential break-in. The car was parked 40 meters away in front of her house.

Here was someone living eight houses away from me who: knew that I owned the car, knew where I lived and most of all cared enough to come and tell me. I still don't know your name; but thank you very much.

You've also gifted me the awareness of the invisible strands of connectedness that exists between many of us on the street; even if we don't chit-chat, wave or even nod when we pass by each other.

Views: 1852

Comment by Lindsey Berthoud on July 5, 2012 at 16:22

Excellent! The best neighbourly relationship I have in my street is with the builders who converted the place I live in, and are now doing one across the road. They always say hello.

I love it that I always have a chat with the man in Nemi Dry Cleaners or get a wave when I walk past. He's super friendly. 

And there's a man I walk past a lot in the next street who's often out having a ciggie when I go to the station. We're definitely on nodding terms. 

Comment by Richard McKeever on July 5, 2012 at 16:37

I was thinking the other day about the impact of Wheelie Bins locally - whilst they are an ugly eyesore dominating otherwise pleasant front gardens - having to go "out the front" with the potato peelings or to the recycling bin has noticeably increased my "neighbour interactions" I am more frequently in a place where I see, and am visible to, my neighbours - even if it is only marked with a cursory nod!

Comment by Susie Jones on July 5, 2012 at 19:02
We are amazed at how friendly our street is! We've lived in other parts of North London and have had virtually zero interaction with our neighbours, even our immediate neighbours!

We moved into our house in Queens Road a year and half ago after 6 months of very loud renovation work! We were expecting to be hated by our neighbours because of this but it seems they are just grateful we turned an unloved, downtrodden, ugly duckling of a house into a loved family home!

Added to this, almost evey day when we leave the house, our neighbours (even people who are merely walking past) say hello and now that I am 5 months pregnant, many have said congratulations to the both of us!

I can't stress enough to our family and friends what a nice, friendly road and area we live in! We're really pleased we took the plunge and moved to Bounds Green!
Comment by Kathie Burke on July 6, 2012 at 16:19

I live in Highworth Road and have never had such great neighbours (since childhood, anyway, when gangs of us played in the street in Stoke Newington).  It's very normal to pop out to the bins (see Richard's comment above) and end up chatting with about half-a-dozen different people and getting earfuls of all the latest!  Also, having a recent injury, I've had people coming in to feed the cats, feed me, wait while I abluted in case of accident, even help me dress!  Really amazing kindness and consideration.  I lived in Southgate before but was only friends with one family; here it's like living in a village, but in London.

I think Bounds Green is a very special place with a wonderful character; we must watch out for the developers/flat-builders/old property-demolishers etc or else we'll be like the people on The Secret History of Our Streets, bemoaning the loss of something great.

Comment by Toby Travis on July 9, 2012 at 10:03

We've given our front garden (in Stanley Rd) a make-over, replacing the paving stones with plants and installing a bench made from old fence posts. Sitting there in the morning with a cup of coffee we have begun to slowly meet more of our neighbours - at first just a nod, then a hello, maybe a comment about the weather. It seemed awkward at first, even a little intrusive on people's privacy, but in general it has increased our sense of belonging in the street. Perhaps rethinking front gardens as pleasant spaces to pass the time rather than as a barrier or just a place to store wheelie bins would be an easy and cheap way to increase a general sense of neighbourliness.

Comment by sue coles on July 9, 2012 at 10:34

I've heard about the friendliness of Highworth Road residents but here too in Maidstone Road the neighbours are very friendly.  We had a tea party in the street last year and are hoping for a street party this September.  Yes, Bounds Green is a very special place.

Comment by Zaza S on July 9, 2012 at 14:29

I do agree that Bounds Green is special for many different reasons, but think there is a flip side -- people who have to know all there is to know and are not shy to ask (why is there a midwife's car outside that person's house? Did Y ask you to trim your eucalyptus? Why are those folks replacing their doors and spending good money?) I would be more than happy to help out where needed with pets, keys, deliveries or someone in Kathie's position but think the balance between friendliness and intrusiveness has to be considered. 

Comment by Antoinnette Flood on July 20, 2012 at 20:45

I love living in Bounds Green. My neighbours on Herbert road are very friendly and I know most of them. The children play together on the street, I have had a knock on my door several times with people bringing food. Its lovely. I wouldn't want to live any where else:)

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