Hopes have been dashed of getting approval for an early start to an archaeological excavation to determine the precise site of the Battle of Barnet of 1471. An application for funding has been rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Two designs for a new High Street entrance to the Spires shopping centre – one of which would be without the two original spires of Barnet Methodist Church – are now on public display and open for consultation.
A long-awaited meeting between Theresa Villiers MP and senior executives of British Telecom has still left unanswered many of the questions about when – or if ever – many High Barnet residents will be offered a superfast broadband connection.
A final decision is expected by the end of January on the extent of financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the cost of an archaeological excavation to determine the precise site of the Battle of Barnet of 1471.
Ronnie Biggs, who spent the final years of his life at the Carlton Court Care Home in Bells Hill Barnet, has died at the age of 84. He was released from jail on parole in 2009, shortly before his 80th birthday, after completing a third of the 30-year sentence that was imposed after the Great Train Robbery in August 1963.
A planning inspector has now been appointed to consider the objections made by the Barnet Society and other local groups to the installation of unauthorised timber cladding above retail premises in Church Passage, in the heart of the High Barnet conservation area.
Celebrations along the high streets of Britain have been few and far between in the last few years, so the official re-opening of Barnet Market after its recent make-over was just the kind of fillip local traders have been crying out for. Hopefully the revival of the market, much strengthened by the attraction of additional stallholders, will give a much-needed boost to the Spires shopping centre and help to stem the run of retail closures. New steel frames for the market stalls, topped off with a smart set of awnings, gave the market a fresh look as friends, supporters and stallholders celebrated the first Saturday’s trading on the resurfaced site (9.11.2013). At last the Friends of Barnet Market had a positive story to tell: after six years’ disruption and uncertainty the market finally had a settled site and an opportunity to rebuild the custom lost since the demolition of what was once Barnet’s cattle market. Rarely has High Barnet been so united than in its campaign to preserve one of the town’s few remaining living links to its historic past – a market that was originally given its royal charter by King John in the 12th century. Among those who joined the celebrations to mark the re-opening were the Chipping Barnet MP, Mrs Theresa Villiers, and leading members of the Friends of Barnet Market, the Barnet Society, Barnet Residents Association and other local groups. Their presence was a chance to say a collective “thank you” to all those who had campaigned so steadfastly on the market’s behalf and who have done all they can to encourage customers to remain loyal to the small band of stallholders who never gave up of returning to their traditional site.
A plan to deposit landfill on the golf course that takes in part of the site of the Battle of Barnet has alarmed the Battlefields Trust. Old Fold Manor Golf Club at Monken Hadley is drawing up proposals to re-landscape the 900 yard stretch of the course which runs parallel to the St Albans Road.
Several thousand properties in and around High Barnet’s conservation area have been left without any clear explanation from British Telecom as to when – if ever – their premises will get a superfast broadband connection. Six months ago planning rules were relaxed to speed up the installation of new high-speed optical fibre broadband cabinets, but British Telecom is still telling customers that it can offer no precise timescale because of “delays agreeing cabinet locations with your local council”.
After a lengthy closure the Old Court House recreation ground has a functioning café once again. A new tenant has reopened the business after a major refurbishment and is hoping that High Barnet will embrace the café culture that has proved so popular at Trent Park in Cockfosters and at Oak Hill Park in East Barnet.
Whitings Hill is hardly likely to rival New England in the fall, but two plantations planted almost 20 years ago by the Barnet Society are now resplendent with mature trees and are presenting a vibrant display of autumn colours. Tucked away between Quinta Drive and Mays Lane, the Whitings Hill open space might be unfamiliar to many High Barnet residents, but it is a tranquil setting and a walk to the top of the hill is highly recommended.