Took me a whole 90 minutes and three buses to get to Coldfall School in Muswell Hill and frozen and early I went for a walkabout on the once notorious and once prettier Coldfall and once fully council estate in Haringey.
First let me share my observations of Colney Hatch Lane leading downhill to Alexandra Parade oppodite The Minstrel Boy. What scabbiness. It’s a North London version of self-appreciating Hackney Wick. It’s unkempt and gaudy and then totally not in keeping with the surrounding architecture of past glories is the green build that is South Friern Library closed at 9.30 on a Wednesday morning.
It is half term but I heard no sounds of families and babies or the smell of curries from the compact dwellings. I felt an atmosphere of barren homes and isolation and neglect. The estate is cut off from the posh Muswell Hill and its once suburban neighbour Friern Barnet and never the two shall meet.
The caretaker met me in a school buzzing with cleaners and construction workers working on the new hall’s new roof. Solar panels adorn the 1928 roofs of the old building which stands strong and utilitarian.
Part 2 follows right now.
I got myself back to the twenty first century and bravely entered the Muswell Hill and Friends Facebook site and in came women I vaguely knew by name from my childhood. Working on that because rather than nurture interest in my Headscarves Project all that happened was that hens devoured each morsel of every other woman’s outpouring of knowing someone’s gran and “Yes .I remember you” so I the interloper was left out in the cold. I gave my email and left direct messages while I waited a couple of days to get onto the under populated Coldfall Avenue Facebook site. Being accepted was like being visible at any reading group into which I’ve ever dipped my non regular Barbican going feet. There I boldly advertised my project Headscarves 1950