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This Week in N21

Fernleigh Road residents urgently seek your help



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If each of the 10,400 households in the

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 Check out who is building what in N21 in 2018


Check out who is building what in N21 in 2017




For Sale 

Firs Lane £689,995


more details here


Barrowell Green £539,950


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Denleigh Gardens £2,459,999

under construction


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Houndsden Road £2,550,000


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 Do you know we are a sports club?

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Fitnesshub21 opens in Winchmore Hill 



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Join the Park Run

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Lots of other sporting activities

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Bush Hill Park Residents Association

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Fox Lane & District Residents Association

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Grovelands Residents Association

Western Enfield Residents Association


Winchmore Hill Residents Association 




Grange Park Horticultural Society Trading Hut

is open for the new gardening season


 10-12 Saturdays and Sundays

Garden sundries and seeds available at favourable prices


The Friends of Grovelands Park

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Become a Friend of Firs Farm

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Grange Park Horticultural Society

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North London Organic Gardeners

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Woodcroft Wildspace

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AM Developments (Landscaping)

Big Seff


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N21 Carpentry & Joinery

N21 Repair Service

PH Sports

S.E Beauty

Smooch Wine Bar & Restaurant

The Southgate Club

Swiss Care Clinic

Winchmore Hill Speakers Club 



London's first vegan and gluten free restaurant opens in Winchmore Hill


 munch 2



The orcas claim another casualty

Melvyn Samuels 3

 Letters reproduced from the Enfield Independent 







Some of these business owners have lost nearly a third of turnover

'Barbaric a more apt description?'





" Introducing our new Urbo dockless hire bikes. Based along Green Lanes, you can ride our green bikes all over Enfield - 30 mins for 50p.

Download the @myurbo app today for only £1.

Your first 5 rides are free.

More info:

Happy cycling!"





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Another cycle lane casualty


Village Road, 17.2.18




Read this new research published

in the Evening Standard




Bike lanes don't clog up our roads, they keep London moving

says Will Norman, London's walking and cycling commissioner


Read the Guardian article here



Segregated cycle lanes are putting patients' lives at risk

medical leaders have warned



Ambulance on the wrong side of the road opposite Sainsbury's


read the Telegraph article




Enfield Council says that orcas

(plastic cycle lane dividers) are safe



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Do you use Winchmore Hill station?


Winchmore Hill Waiting Room Survey

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Grange Park residents

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our train service is NOT good enough




After strong evidence given by Grange Park residents, exposing flaws in the proposed timetable, Govia has agreed to re-look at where more trains can stop at Grange Park. 









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March Newsletter 


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Southgate Homebound

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Ruth Winston Community Centre


Winchmore Hill Community Care




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Dementia Cafe

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Chickenshed Theatre 



The Fontliners Book Club

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The Highlands Village Book Group

invites new members

 contact Kate on 07944 756757

Winchmore Hill Book Club

Grovelands Park
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Winchmore Hill & Palmers Green Memories 
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Winchmore Hill Mummies 
Facebook Group


How to encourage boys to read

on Tuesday, 30 June 2015. Posted in N21 Experts


If you type into Google the phrase "encouraging boys to read", you get some idea of the scale of the problem, not just in this country but in many parts of the world, boys are doing less well than girls, throughout the education system. For example, a BBC article "Boys reading skills must be tackled" says one of the problems is that boys think reading is "uncool".  Michael Morpurgo, writing in the Guardian' "we are faiiling too many boys in the enjoyment of reading". There has even been an all party parliamentary commission into Boys Reading. All made interesting reading.


So boys' lack of interest in reading isn't new and despite all the good intentions from above, it is likely that technology is always going to be a bigger draw for many boys. It has also been argued that the education system just isn't geared towards the way that boys learn; they have ants in their pants. Yet reading is fundamental to all learning and unless children can read properly they struggle across the whole curriculum.


Inspiring teachers, but also parents are enormously important in helping boys (as well as girls) appreciate the joys of reading. I know it's not easy as I have three boys of my own, but it is a battle worth fighting. I often meet parents who despair about getting their children (not always boys) reading. So what can I do, you ask? Here are some tips that will hopefully help you to get your child reading:


It may be stating with the obvious, but reading with children regularly is incredibly important and it is never too young to start. Babies as young as five months show an interest in books, even if they are the chewable variety.


Getting dads and other males to read with young boys, is particularly helpful. It is also good for children to see their parents reading, especially their dads and other males. Reading with your child is the ,ost important thing you can do towards getting them to read independently.Do this every night, if you can and if you can have some quiet time during the day, when you might otherwise let them watch TV or play with their technology games, internet etc. Why not have gadget free weekends once in a while – although you will also have to obey the rules! Let your child get bored and discover the books on their shelves that are there waiting to be opened, or go out together to buy a new book.


The key to getting boys to enjoy reading is to introduce them to books which appeal to their love of action, adventure, super-heroes, mystery, humour and even horror. Boys are naturally curious and often develop more interest in non-fiction than girls. This curiosity about a subject can be a great way of engaging them in reading to find out more about their chosen subject, even if it is football.


Let them choose what they want to read, without being too prescriptive and don't force them to read when they are just not able to sit still, as this will create negative associations. However, settling down with a good book is a way of calming down boys who are over tired or fractious. Reading little, but often may work best for your son, if he seems to have a short attention span, but this will usually improve once he starts to enjoy books.


Do some preparation yourself. Think about how to talk about the story, their favourite character; the pictures. Children of both genders like repetition and will often have a favourite story and character. Maybe you can find further books with this character, make up alternative endings or even make up your own stories together based on the characters they love


Book, books, books.

If you are not already a member of a local library, join tomorrow, not only for a plentiful supply of new books but also because our local libraries have lots of events for young children, especially during the holidays; keeping them involved in books, outside of term time. Go to the library together and choose a pile of books.


Hunt down second hand books in charity shops, such as the wonderful Red Cross book shops in Palmers Green, as well as buying wonderful new children's books as rewards.


Visit bookshops and let them spend time immersed in the beauty, colour and enormous range of wonderful reading matter. They may see other children getting excited about books nd this will rub off. 


When looking at books ask your son to keep an open mind. Choose from different genres: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror etc. and from books for different reading abilities. Try them out. You may not get past the first page of some of them and that is fair enough. There are many books that I don't read past the first page of. But there may just be one or two that you manage to read to him to the end. Once you have found an author or genre that your son enjoys then borrow more books that you now know will appeal to him and maybe he may start to read them on his own. But until such time, keep reading away. You will enjoy it too.


Talk about books that you are reading. Children are naturally curious and if they see you enjoying a book, they are more likely to want to do the same Do you own a Kindle? Whilst it isn't a substitute for a real book, it might be a way of enabling your son to com-bine reading with his obsession with technology. Why not let him have a play with yours?


Don't confine reading just to books - comics, the Internet, billboards and even cereal packets can count as reading.


Audio books are a fantastic way to introduce children to literature. You can choose books that are above your child's reading level but within their comprehension level. I recently listened to Frank Cottrell's Boyce's 'The Unforgotten Coat' with my son and the actress who read it really brought it to life with her Liverpudlian accent, a much better job than I would have done. We enjoyed it so much that we have ordered an-other book by the same author to listen to. Audio books are perfect for any length of car journey.


Many older boys love the work of local teen author Caroline Green, who has created dark fancy worlds that young teens love. You can read about her work here


Book clubs and reading groups are run by some libraries and also some schools. Sometimes outside influences are more powerful. I run a Book Club which has nine boys in it. It was not intended to be a book club for boys but that is how it ended up, weirdly. One mum said it has worked for her son be-cause her son has a 'competitive nature, so as they are all reading the same book they ask each other which part of the story they are up to and it encourages [her] son to read more.'


Try sending them to creative writing workshop events and author events. Sometimes these are run in independent bookshops. I run The Story Room which runs creative writing workshops, book clubs, and writing groups and in each event we talk about books that we are reading and introduce children to new literature. We also run author workshops, which are hugely successful in encouraging a child to read.


Let them choose what they want to read, without being too prescriptive. You know yourself that choosing books is a very personal thing; what appeals to your friends may not appeal to you. Your son initially may make mistakes and choose books that disappoint them but be patient, they will get there in the end. Guide them if they do not know what to choose. There are numerous websites with really good book reviews - my favourites are and If you are looking for reviews of books written by children who have read them, visit our website of the reviews have been written by boys!


Whatever you do, have patience and don't give up!

If you would like any further help on this subject, please feel free to contact me by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"We are failing too many boys in the enjoyment of reading" says Michael Morpurgo

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