N21 Festival Event
Portraits of the new village

“Portraits of the New Village” - The Drawing Workshop

Sponsored by’ All Safe and Sound’

The N21 Festival Drawing Workshop took place on Saturday 16th June although inevitably, preparations began long before this. The idea for a drawing workshop was inspired both by the national Big Draw project and the words of the  artist David Hockney who writes that he believes that drawing or making marks is an aspect of being human ‘The urge to draw must be quite deep in us, because children love to do it- being bold with a crayon’.


Many people, children and families, came to the Drawing Workshop and were ‘bold with a crayon’ their enthusiasm and wonderful drawings mirrored the traditions of the Cresswell family as recorded in Henrietta’s book.  Her father Dr.Cresswell made many drawings which illustrated what the village looked like one hundred years ago.
One hundred years later children made drawings to record the people of the village in 2012.

Although the book did not have any coloured illustrations, many of the originals are watercolours. We were able to give the children coloured crayons and large printed drawing sheets which commemorated Henrietta and her book. The results were bright beautiful drawings showing wonderful observation and a great deal of natural talent. Donations of £1 and 50p for each drawing were given  to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice

Three weeks before the event, Zoe Ryder and I, feeling rather nervous and somewhat intimidated, visited three local schools, PGHS, St Paul’s and Keeble House, and spoke to the children about the Festival and the drawing work shop. We took with us examples of the drawing sheets and the rather scary life size picture of Henrietta and her dog. The children found Henrietta very funny and but thought the picture fitted in well with the idea of Winchmore Hill’s ‘Horrible Histories’

Also prior to the event I took drawing sheets round to the local shops and asked them to draw their own portraits and display them in their windows a week before the start of the Festival. The amazing results proved to be not only good publicity but also a source of great amusement both to neighbouring shopkeepers and local shoppers.

We were fortunate to have the upper room at the Kings Head for the event. This long airy room has lots of tables and a couple of large mirrors which was ideal for drawing self portraits. 
The night before the Workshop Hugh’s ingenuity, the legs from the display boards and several boxes of plastic ties, transformed the room into an ideal workshop space ,  with ‘washing lines’ to peg the pictures up for display.
The workshop, proved to be hugely popular and the Kings Head Room was full all day with a stream of enthusiastic children of all ages who came to draw self portraits and make pictures of their friends and families. There were also many accompanying adults asking if it would be ok for grown ups to do a drawing as well.


All this could not of course have been successful without a hard working team of helpers. Many thanks must go to: Susanna, Gill, Nila, Zab, Nat, Paul, Andy, David, Zoe, Anna, Andrew and Daisy. Also of course to Hugh and Ann whose help and enthusiasm was an inspiration to us all.

Sixteen prizes were awarded to the portraits that were felt to be the most interesting. 


The prizes, donated by several N21 retailers, were presented on the day of the Fancy Fair, by Father Richard from Holy Trinity Church and Father Marcus from St Paul’s.
Both clerics wore academic gowns, which made the event a suitably impressive occasion, thought by one child to be ‘just like Hogwarts’.  The youngest prize winner was three; the oldest had owned a bus pass for some time.

After the Workshop the prize winning pictures were included, for the Festival week, with the main art show in Holy Trinity Church hall. We were also able to exhibit many of the other drawings in the front entrance of Sainsbury’s Winchmore Hill.


Hopefully it will be possible to repeat this very successful event sometime in the not too distant future.

Audrey Kirby

Before the event

The N21 Festival drawing event !

One hundred years ago Henrietta Cresswell wrote a book about Winchmore Hill as she remembered it as a child. Henrietta and her father Dr Cresswell used drawings as a way to record their impressions of Winchmore Hill during their lifetimes.

Maybe they realised that the old village would eventually change almost out of all recognition and that perhaps their images would provide a record of what was then a rural idyll. 

portraits-of-the-new-village-1-by-andrew-n21-festival.jpg portraits-of-the-new-village-2-by-joshua-n21-festival.jpg portraits-of-the-new-village-2-by-james-n21-festival.jpg

It seems appropriate that one hundred years later we should try to record through our drawings the people who now live and work in the ‘Village’.

Much of what the Cresswells saw has gone, but maybe a record of how we look now can serve as an archive for the future of the New Village.

There are two parts to the event - one for local residents and visitors and one for local N21 Shop Keepers.

N21 Residents and Visitors

There will be a drawing workshop for children and families, with all materials provided, for you to draw a portrait of yourself or your friend or relative in

The Kings Head long room, Winchmore Hill Green N21 on Saturday 16th June from 10.00am-4.00pm

and, weather permitting, on Winchmore Hill Green. 

All drawings will be exhibited until 3.30pm when prizes for the most interesting work will be awarded and three or four portraits selected for display in the N21 Festival Art Exhibition.

N21 Shop Keepers

If you are the owner or worker in a local shop, we'd like you to do a portrait of yourself or your colleague and place the portrait in your shop window in the week leading up to and during the N21 Festival.
Drawing sheets will be distributed to N21 shopkeepers on June 1st for display from June 8th - June 23rd.

Each drawing that you create on our special Memories of a Lost Village template will cost 50p, with all profits going to support the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. Donations welcome.

Please join us and add your faces to the New Village.

The Organiser


Audrey Kirby is the workshop Leader and is a practising artist, teacher and historian.

Trained at Middlesex and Central Saint Martins.

Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London.

I agree wholeheartedly with artist David Hockney who believes that drawing or making marks is an aspect of being human ‘The urge to draw must be quite deep in us, because children love to do it- being bold with a crayon’.

I hope many people, children and families, will come to our workshop and ‘be bold with a crayon’ following the traditions of the Cresswell family. 

The Sponsor 


All Safe and Sound
Unit 4
Waterways Business Centre
Navigation Drive

020 8350 7607

01992 717277

All Safe and Sound Ltd are an Enfield based company specialising in the provision, installation, hire and operation of audio visual solutions for events, venues and organisations.

Founded in 1997 and with a combined experience in excess of 50 years, we have a wealth of understanding on the delivery and execution of faultless events.

We achieve this by providing excellent quality production equipment at a competitive price, with friendly and exceptional service and expertise.