Crouch End Animal Welfare hosted a Dog Show and Family Fun Day last week.
We went down to seek signatures for our petition to save Victorian Villas on Shepherds Hill from demolition. For first time readers only…. the villas are in a conservation area, they are the reason for the conservation area, what will happen to the conservation area if the villas aren’t there?… but, we found more than people putting ink on paper.
Firstly we found free food from the co-op. We didn’t rate the pizza but we went a bundle on the muffins. Almost fatally we ran into our friends Jim, Max and Lily. We ate together, we drank together, we sat and chatted for hours. So what about petitioning? Friends are better.
Ultimately we gave 60 minutes towards the end of day to the act of signing up supporters. There we were in Hornsey Town Hall Square accosting passers by with our slogan; ‘Help Make Conservation Matter in Crouch End’, and we were doing a roaring trade with both those who just wanted to sign up and those who wanted to stop and chat.
Reps from the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum, responsible for local planning would shuffle by, quietly. They know about us and ultimately came on board by making objections to the council, but they’re not all sure, about this issue of protection. Are the villas of that much interest, do they have architectural significance? They need to address such questions. But, they’re there now and their latest project seems to be about protecting the local pubs.
Conservation is hot in Crouch End. The people care and the organisations back it up. But the developers seem to have the power. Some times they match with the council quite well. “You have a white elephant – we have money – we can build and we can profit”, so its not always easy to win and we must fight on.
Jean thinks all this arose because the government relaxed planning regulations. She tells me about Mark and Sue, gardeners in Hertfordshire who are trying to protect a farm. The green belt is under pressure and the Tory’s ate my garden.
Sheila (false name) comes up to me. She is 80 years old. She asks me if I am who she thinks I am. I confirm that I am indeed. She tells me she had received a text from Thailand telling her about our petition and that she had signed it. She wants a copy of the paper petition to take to her Residents Associaiton. We give her a copy.
Max and Lily, mentioned earlier, were first to sign . They are children. Lily is about to go to big school. Young and old sign the petition but I liked Sheila’s story best because it told me about our petition reaching Thailand , people there being concerned and it further humoured me to think we’re almost Big in Japan