OF PRIORY PARK
protecting our park
At a Friends of Priory Park committee meeting with Brian Haley Lead
member for the Environmfent (Haringey Council) in August, he made the
announcement that the council had decided that a permanent skatepark was
inappropriate for Priory
Park, especially as there
are 3 others currently in use in the borough, one very close at Alexandra Park.
The announcement was of course a great relief to the committee and doubtless to
the many residents and park users who opposed the scheme. The committee has
pushed for a permanent covered and manned skatepark to be erected in this part
of Haringey but has been told there are at present no funds for a scheme of
this magnitude. However it’s proposed that the mobile skatepark will be used on
a more regular basis especially in the holidays and at weekends. The committee
considered this to be a sensible compromise.Thanks to all those who supported
us in this fight and wrote letters on our behalf.
Catherine Perry’s Farewell
To the Friends of Priory Park
My role with BTCV as West
Haringey Heritage Project Officer has come to an end. It was a Heritage Lottery
Fund funded position which covered September 2004 to October 2006.
The role was to focus on the
local history and heritage of West Haringey
through a series of walks & talks, community events and school activities.
Thanks to the incredible support from local people, council officers and
volunteers many projects in the role have been a success. The Hornsey
Historical Society in particular has helped me enormously through their
research on local history and their unending advice and friendly support – I
urge you all to join!
Of course particular thanks
also to the Friends of Priory Park for your help in supporting me in my role. I
hope in turn I have been able to contribute in some way to this lovely park’s
I have worked a number of
times in Priory Park over the past couple of years.
There has been the bulb planting each year with Rokesly Junior
School. Last year I was
helped out by over 90 children and we planted daffs and crocus near the café
and close to the ever present (except when it is nicked) Green Flag. The parks
department - Tony, Sue, Brian and crew - has always helped me, especially by
making the former bowling pavilion usable for project bases and storing things
like bulbs and art equipment.
In July 2005 I got together
with the New River Action Group and local artist/photographer Lucy Brown to
hold a New River Day in the park. Albert Pinching of the Hornsey Historical
Society led a guided walk to over 60 people on where the river used to flow.
It’s hard to imagine now, but the river did cross the high street three times
and people would sit in the Three Compasses pub garden for a spot of fishing,
relaxing on their trip ‘out to the country’ from the smog filled streets of London. In fact there is a current photographic
exhibition of the New River taken by Lucy currently on display at the former
Pump House near the new development of flats at the eastern end of the high
street, and also in the new café in Finsbury Park (the images will be up until
Sunday 22nd October at Finsbury Park and for an additional week at
the Pumphouse, till 31st October).
At the beginning of my post I
agreed with Tony Healey (Priory Park Manager) that I would help develop a
heritage trail for Priory
Park which would enhance
the Green Flag application. Working with Vic MacRae and delving into the
archives of Bruce
and the Hornsey Historical Society, the trail was eventually put together and
is standing on 4 separate boards around the park. I hope that a few folk take a
bit of pleasure in reading them and learning about the park’s history and also
how it fits in with the general development of Hornsey in the nineteenth
My work in the park hit the
dizzy heights of celebrity and television fame when Michael Aspel took time out
of filming for the Antiques Roadshow this June and came to open the trail. The
Friends, led by Fran Shepherd, put
together a brilliant exhibition to celebrate the 80th birthday of
the park (combining nicely with the octogenarian-ism of the park’s most ardent
protector, Vic) and I had great fun handing out/eating the Dunns made 80th
birthday cake to passers by, fresh
from their delight/disappointment at the Antiques Roadshow valuation tables.
I shall be still in the borough
with BTCV, funded by a grant from the Parks Department, as a Green Community
Outreach project officer though moving my focus to the east of Haringey. Though
the history and heritage of a park will always be a prime concern to me in
understanding an area, my new role will focus too on practical conservation in
Haringey’s green spaces.
I feel very lucky to have
worked in Priory Park and with the Friends – it is such a
well used and kept park. From the work of the Friends of Priory Park and
grounds team there I have seen what can be done in other parks across the
borough. From what I have learnt here I hope I can help sow some seeds of
Despite my new focus, please
still feel free to contact me for advice, for example on event organisation and
Cath – Haringey Community
Project Officer, 07764 655724 firstname.lastname@example.org
BTCV is the UK's largest practical
conservation charity, working with more than 130,000 volunteers every year
to help people bring about positive environmental change www.btcv.org