Celebrating the Windrush Generation

Join Bruce Castle to mark Windrush Day – June 22 – the date in 1948 when the Empire Windrush boat landed at Tilbury Docks, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean.

This is the second year there has been a national Windrush Day and Haringey will be celebrating with a variety of free events, talks and exhibitions at the museum in Lordship Lane.

On Saturday, June 22, ‘A Day of Kites & Lights’ will run at the museum from noon to 7pm featuring: traditional Caribbean kite-making workshops and games, music from the Haringey Young Musicians Steel Pan Band and Caribbean food. From 5.30pm to 7pm ‘An Evening at the Bar’ with Cllrs Reg Rice and Adam Jogee sees the first Windrush generation councillor and the most recent in conversation, while the day will conclude with a celebratory light projection on the museum’s newly restored front.

For more details visit: www.haringey.gov.uk/bruce-castle-museum (external link)

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Tidy up Tottenham is the name of the group of residents formed to tackle rubbish and fly-tipping in the borough.

Featuring Facebook and Twitter groups with hundreds of followers (and now Instagram), residents daily post pictures of rubbish dumped in the streets, bringing it to the attention of the council and Veolia.

Anthony and fellow co-founder Emma Geraghty head a committee of volunteers concerned at the amount of rubbish dumped in Tottenham and wish to take positive action against it. Anthony himself was moved to get involved thanks to the morning walk to school.

“My daughter and I walk through this alleyway in Bruce Grove which had become a notorious hotspot for dumping and littering,” he said. “I started thinking, ‘I’m not sure I want to bring my children up in this kind of world’ but I was also motivated by how great this area is with such a wonderful community of people and all it needs is a bit of love and care.”

Tidy up Tottenham works closely with various Friends groups connected to parks and open spaces but they also encourage us all to tackle litter on the streets where we live.

“I would love residents to take small steps and tidy up outside their homes,” said Anthony. “And if, say, there’s a problem bin near your house then talk to your neighbour responsible and ask if they know where to get a bigger bin.  I think the best thing we’ve done is brought people together to talk about this issue which has always been a big problem in Tottenham and, instead of just complaining, we are now saying, ‘Right. Enough is enough. How can we tackle this in a positive way?’”

If you are a resident or a business wishing to get involved visit www.tidyuptottenham.org (external link) 

To report fly-tipping or dumped rubbish visit www.haringey.gov.uk/fly-tipping-and-dumped-rubbish (external link)

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Celebrating half a century in Tottenham

One of the first sports centres in London is about to turn 50.

The Tottenham Community Sports Centre in the High Road has seen generations of families pass through its doors, and on Saturday, July 13, a free Summer Fun & Open Day will take place showcasing many of the regular clubs alongside various attractions and children’s rides. 

Kevin Lincoln, the centre’s secretary, was only 14 when the centre first opened in the spring of 1969. He was running his own football club from his back garden in Sutherland Road off Park Lane and was looking for somewhere for the lads to train indoors. So he joined forces with a number of other groups and clubs – and 50 years on he’s still there!

“In 1970 the government, who owned it at the time, wanted to sell the building and they didn’t want us to have it,” he said. “So about 200 marched on Downing Street and handed over a petition signed by lots of locals and they eventually backed down and offered it to us. We then persuaded Haringey Council to buy it as a sports centre. We have always had great support from the community and that is still a major part of what we’re about.”

Sport comprises the vast majority of clubs that use the building, and it is home to the famous boxing club that Nicola Adams trained in for the 2012 Olympics. But Kevin is keen to stress that other community groups use the building and there is still room for even more.

“Several different prayer groups come here as well as toddler and yoga groups and one for people with learning difficulties,” he said. “The variety is amazing. I still love working here and we’re now looking forward to the next 50 years!”

For more information call the centre on 020 8801 6401 or email totsports@btinternet.com

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A club for the blind and partially sighted

One of the longest-running clubs in our area is searching for new members to ensure its survival.

The Venture Club for Blind and Partially Sighted meets every Friday at noon at St Ann’s Library in Cissbury Road.  With lots of chat, laughs and biscuits this must be one of the friendliest clubs in Tottenham and many of its members have been coming here for decades.

“I started coming here 30 years ago when I developed serious sight loss,” said chairman Michael Dowling. “This is the only club of its type in Haringey and it’s something I look forward to every week. We also go on day trips away to places like Southend and Hastings and go for a big meal every Easter and just before Christmas.”

But from its heyday when there were 50 plus members the size of the club has now dwindled and new members are being sought.

“I don’t know what I would do if they stopped this club,” said John Sillery. “It’s a lifeline for me and my friends are here. I love coming here and it’s important to get out and meet other people.”

For more details call Michael on 020 8801 0924 or you can call the Middlesex Association for the Blind, which the club is affiliated to, on 020 8423 5141.

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Tottenham’s forgotten pioneer

Priscilla Wakefield was an extraordinary woman. Not just a philanthropist and educationalist she was also an economist who initiated the savings bank and found time to write a long list of children’s non-fiction books.

She was born and bred in Tottenham – so it comes as something of a surprise to learn that she is not well known in her own backyard.

“I had never even heard of her,” admitted local historian Margaret Burr. “But I was researching Luke Howard and stumbled across this remarkable woman. She’s my new heroine and now I just want everyone to know about her.”  Margaret was recently invited to talk to residents and dignitaries at a special event in the Priscilla Wakefield House Nursing Home in Tottenham.

“What Margaret told us was just amazing,” said Sue Ann Balcombe, manager at the home. “And just to know that we are named after someone like that is very special. She made such a great contribution locally and nationally and supported women which made me feel proud.”

To find our more visit: www.priscillawakefield.uk (external link) or for more information about the nursing home visit: www.pwhnursinghome.co.uk (external link)

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Prepare for a wheelie great summer

A project for youngsters to learn about bike maintenance, go on organised bike rides and make the most of their two wheels is starting in Northumberland Park.

Called the Somerford Grove Bike Project it’s funded by Haringey Council and will be a free activity running from the first week of June to the middle of September. Every Saturday from 11am to 3pm young people will be able to come along to the Somerford Grove Adventure Playground in Park Lane and have fun learning about bikes.

“We are teaching them everything about bike maintenance including how to change brake cables and check your bike is road worthy,” said project leader, Tam Carrigan. “And we’ll also discuss road safety before heading out as a group around the area and further afield.”

“I’m part of a bike club at the playground,” said Riley, aged seven. “Since coming here I’ve felt more confident and it’s so good for my health – biking keeps my legs strong and healthy! I’ve also learnt about road safety and how to do such things as repair punctures.”

For more details visit: www.haringey-play.org.uk (external link)

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If I was Mayor for the Day…

Jiaqi, aged 11, from Welbourne Primary School in Tottenham Hale

First of all I would give the homeless a home because no-one deserves to be on the streets. Homelessness is something that concerns me. Instead of begging in the streets people would be better off having a home with warmth and food. I once heard this man say, “I have nowhere to go” and he deserves better. Perhaps we could use old buildings as hotels with lots of bathrooms and bedrooms to look after them.

Another concern of mine is bullying. A lot of schoolchildren don’t want to go to their schools because they might be bullied. I’ve been bullied. People kept running away from me and made me feel unsafe, just because I was new here. But I told a teacher and I now have some good friends. We need to talk about bullying then it might get better so I would arrange big conversations on my day about the issue and assemblies at schools across London would talk about the dangers of cyberbullying.

In the evening I would have a party and invite JK Rowling because I love her Harry Potter books. I would like to be a writer. And we would eat foods from around the world so people can come out of their comfort zone and try something different for a change.

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Bind Yoga Studio will stretch you out!

A Tottenham woman has realised her dream of opening her own yoga studio in West Green Road.

Beccy Watkinson opened Bind Yoga at the end of 2018. It is a studio for the community with dozens of different teachers and offering classes every day for all ages and abilities.  She has also introduced children’s sessions and a Community Yoga class on Thursday. All the money from this session goes towards Mind in Haringey – a charity close to Beccy’s heart.

“Mental health is something more people should talk about and there’s a lot of stigma attached to it,” she said. “It’s something I’ve struggled a lot with in life and yoga is fantastic for mental health. You don’t have to jump around all the time in a sweaty physical workout. Lying down and learning to be still and be at peace with your thoughts is a big part of yoga which often gets overlooked.”

For more details go to www.bind-yoga.co.uk (external link)

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Let’s be great together

The Friends of Hartington Park and Carbuncle Passage are organising a community picnic as part of this year's Great Get-Together. It will take place in Hartington Park (N17 9UN) on Saturday 22 June, 12-4pm and all are welcome. You just need to bring your lunch!

As well as being an opportunity to meet your neighbours, it is a chance to get involved in their public consultation and have your say on future plans for the park.  Please contact hartingtonpark@gmail.com for more details.

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