Archive for 18/06/2014

Municipal Dreams

It’s easy to miss the modernist masterpiece of Hornsey Town Hall, completed in 1935, as you fight your way through the yummy mummies and baby buggies of Crouch End but take time to admire it.  It’s been described as ‘the quintessential English modern public building of the decade’. (1)  And look to the buildings to left and right and through the clutter of contemporary commercialism – this was a civic complex intended to enshrine the role of local government at the very centre of local life.


Hornsey’s first local administration had been formed as far back as 1867.  The Hornsey Local Board built its offices in Southwood Lane in Highgate the following year.  At that time, Hornsey was basically a collection of local villages but the coming of the railways would radically transform it.  With seven local rail stations by 1887, Hornsey became a centre of middle-class villadom – the…

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Backyard DIY

A couple of months ago I had the idea of using pallet wood as a cheap lawn edging solution. Lawn edging is something I’d wanted for a while but with around 80m to cover the cost was always prohibitive.

When I first thought of using pallets I tested out some self made stakes along a metre stretch and really liked the results. So, for the last two days I’ve been making hundreds of pallet wood stakes and making my way around the lawn. I think the result is great!

The wood is untreated so it won’t last forever but since pallet wood is free and these stakes are so easy to install I didn’t consider the benefit to be worth the cost and effort of treating it.

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compost bin‘Of composts shall the Muse descend to sing,

Nor soil her heavenly plumes? The sacred Muse

Nought sordid deems, but what is base; nought fair

Unless true Virtue stamp it with her seal.

Then, planter, wouldst thou double thine estate;

Never, ah never, be asham’d to tread

Thy dung heaps, where the refuse of thy mills,

With all the ashes, all thy coppers yield,

With weeds, mould, dung, and stale, a compost form,

Of force to fertilise the poorest soil.’

James Grainger 1721-66

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