N21 Festival Historical Exhibition
Memories of a Lost Village

The small sub-committee established to arrange the Historic Photographs Exhibition comprised Catherine Drennan (chair), Audrey Kirby, Celia Reynolds and Brian Foyle. 


We began about a year ago with an appeal for photographs and the next few months were spent collecting these together from many sources.  The process of selection was based upon a connection with the text of the book “Memories of a Lost Village” and from about 300 photographs we retained about 50.

During this time we investigated various locations, which inevitably dictated methods and layouts of our presentation.  The choice of the historic Friends Meeting House was most appropriate but we were not aware at this stage that we would have to dismantle everything each evening and re-erect each morning !  We have to thank Peter Eves for his assistance in this task. Whilst it was always planned to have the talks in the evenings at the Friends Meeting House, we did not expect the huge numbers that turned out, believing that we could just put the stands to one side each evening. The first talk soon indicated that this would not give us sufficient room, so the exhibition was removed from the main hall each night to allow more people into the talks.

The Exhibition was formally opened by Sheila Dumayne, wife of the late Alan Dumayne, author of a number of local history books of the area. See the opening here ...

We had a late evening on Wednesday to allow those that had a long working day to visit during the week.

We divided the photographs into a series of chapters on panels and each photograph had a small one beside it showing the up to date view.  A map locating the view point was also shown on each panel.  According to many visitors and the comments recorded in the Visitors Book, this was much appreciated.

We estimate that over 100 people visited us each day and about 400/500 on the Fancy Fair day, altogether about 1,000 people, although we were not located directly on The Green.  We were delighted with this response which indicated that it was most successful.

We should also say that the results of the “Memories” project were displayed, where older members of the community wrote down their memories of the past and local school children were asked to create a story around the memory and was much appreciated and presented yet another successful facet of the whole Festival. See the memories project here . 

Many visitors felt some permanent record of the Exhibition should be considered and wished to be advised of the outcome of any discussion the main committee may have.

In fact the team did get back together and after much effort a book was published, based on the idea of the exhibition, Journey though Winchmore Hill. This was a limited-edition hardback book which sold out in 5 days. More information here.

Being inexperienced in puttting on exhibitions, we omitted to have a visitors book initially, but then put one out for the people to register their views later in the week. Here is what they said ..

I am 85 years old, visiting with son who lives here (in Hoodcote Gardens) and we are enjoying reading all about the lives and experiences of yester year.  Thanks. B Lemcclott.

A truly wonderful exhibition – a chance to see our village as the beautiful place it began!  Many thanks, Terri G

Such moving nostalgia for the past filling many of the gaps in my knowledge.  Many, many thanks.  M Stone

Thank you to all the people who were kind enough to arrange all this.  Much appreciated. JFD

Many thanks for an excellent exhibition.  Well done.  K Brown

V good.  R Purver

Very good, a lovely display of old Winchmore Hill village with a lot of unseen pictures.  David.

Beautifully put together and such an interesting display of village life.  Your hard work is much appreciated.  J and V Potter

Very well done to all concerned.  My father-in-law Eric Spalding, wrote the history of St Paul’s Church in the 1960, he would have been overjoyed to see the effort that has gone into this excellent exhibition.  P Hutchinson

An excellent, most interesting exhibition, so nice to see then and now photographs.  Thank you.  C and M Johnson

Quite fascinating, I do so hope this collection is kept and it would be wonderful to see it published.  It is too valuable not to be seen again.  APH

A really great display.  So well done, fascinating to see.  Thank you.  S and R Boyes

Very good.  S Delvin

Absolutely fascinating.  B Soydan

Excellent exhibition.  I feel privileged to have lived here for 20 years. 

We have lived here for 30+ years and have learnt more of our local history this week than the 30 years before (too busy working to realise what we have!).  Wonderful exhibition and Festival.

Wonderful exhibition, very well presented and fascinating to see the “new” against the “old”.  Congratulations to all involved in the N21 Festival.  Its been fantastic.  M and A Nixon

Congratulations.  Great exhibition and a nice cup of tea.  Mr Slapy

Super display.  A lot of thought and planning has really paid off.  We liked the posters dotted around the area.  Congratulations.  Ron and Elaine

Having moved here from Tottenham in 1988, it is great to see pride being taken in the history of the area.

It was interesting to compare the old with the new. A great little exhibition. 

Thank you for the consideration and careful choice of photographs; for a relative small exhibition it covers so many aspects of Winchmore Hill.  A joy to see.  A pity it cannot find a permanent home. 

A really interesting exhibition, beautifully displayed.  Thank you!  J Owen

Fantastic photos and stories.  We loved it.  Sarah and Molly aged 5

Wonderful exhibition.  The photos brought back so many childhood memories – the old school – the shops on the green…I have lived here now for 74.  P Ellis nee Willoughby

I lived in Southgate till 1972.  I came over from Harrow to see this exhibition and it was well worth the journey.  Ilene B

Have been resident for 38 years – seen a few changes but love the “old feel” it retains.  Pleased to be part of “village life”.  Well done!! M Viner

Have lived in Winchmore Hill for 21 years, it still has that village feel and charm.  A wonderful exhibition.  Mr and Mrs Knight – Stonehall Lodge

Lovely to see the original Winchmore Hill.  Brings back memories of living on Wilson Street and running to catch the train or walking down to Sainsburys to be served individually.  Those were the days…

Very good.  Been twice! Like the copies put up around the streets, good work. 

As a local lad I was spellbound by this excellent exhibition – such a lot of history attached to it.  How things have changed, but are they for the better.  RM

A really interesting insight to our village.  It has obviously taken many, many hours to put together.  The “memory book” was an especially nice touch.  Thank you all. 

Fantastic exhibition to illustrate HC’s book.  Very well put together.  Most enjoyable experience.  RG

A wonderful exhibition.  It should be recorded either in a book or a DVD or both!  So that we can all be reminded of our heritage.  D Day

Lovely exhibition.  Being new to the area I found it very interesting to note the vast changes in some areas and so little in others.  LG

Very interesting!  Thank you.  I’ll come back this weekend with my husband.  C

Interesting and informative.  Douglas

What a fantastic and informative exhibition.  A super celebration of our local history.  Well done on an amazing week.  S Cotton.

A fascinating “backward glance”!  I Farebrother

This beautiful little exhibition triggered my own early Second World War Memories – although not in Winchmore Hill.  FW

Makes me feel I would like to be back in the 1860s.  A Walton

Very interesting and well presented. 

Most interesting.  D Wilson and U Cooper

An interesting, beautifully presented exhibition.  The modern photos should how everything has changed – an excellent approach – Thank you! M Green

What a wonderful evocation of the “old” Winchmore Hill.  Now when we pass some of the newer buildings we can imagine what used to stand there in the past.  Congratulations and many thanks to all involved in arranging this excellent exhibition.  T McC

Very good and informative.  B Sharrock

Delightful exhibition, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  J McC

Great to see, thank you for putting this exhibition together.  Polly

So interesting!  Thank you for a wonderful exhibition.  J Clarke

An edifying experience.  Very interesting to get a window on the past! A Lloyd

Very well done, thank you for all the trouble taken to make photos clear.  Mabel H

Very well presented exhibition.  I Young

Lovely exhibition, must have involved a lot of work.  Thank you.  MC

Really interesting exhibition, seeing old and new.  Thank you for putting it together so well.  Coyles

Very well done – photos good.  P McQuistan

Very good photos – photos lovely.  K Miers

Thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and all of the N21 Festival so far.  We would like to enquire about buying the photos if possible.  L and J Sewell

Enjoyed seeing all the old photographs of houses and places.  Very good.  Thank you. J Scott

The photographs were so interesting to see.  The combination of old scenes and new was a very good idea.  It really brought the past to the present.  Delores and Viviette

Lovely to see such a well presented exhibition and particularly the contrast between then and now. 

A very interesting and educational visit, so lovely to return and be part of the festival.  Such a shame “the Memories” book is now out of print – perhaps if enough people pledge their interest it will return for everyone to enjoy.  Alison B

A well thought out and moving exhibition.

Fascinating – thoroughly enjoyed exhibition.  Mary S

Excellent exhibition and most interesting.  Patsy F and Ruth D

Fantastic exhibition.  Thank you.  K Thompson and A Lee

Such a wonderful exhibition, so interesting. I’ve had to come back a second time. M King

A lovely exhibition and a wonderful festival.  So lovely to look back on times gone by.  V Huffer

A lovely exhibition, seeing the old and the new pictures was very interesting.  My grandfather had a shop on the Green, a general shop and oil sold out the back.  Dorothy D

Simply wonder.  Long may the festival continue!

Really wonderful photos – enjoyed them very much. 

A lovely exhibition.  So wonderful you have preserved all these pictures of your history. 

Nice to see so much history has been kept, brings back memories.

Brilliant exhibition – great to see past and present and so much resonance.  Well done to all who put this together. 

Really wonderful.  J McC

So interesting and amazing how little really has changed and really enjoyed the comparison with yesteryear.  Well done for putting it together.  B Salt

Delightful exhibition, well done to all who participated.  AG

A fine, informative history.  The Sanders family of N21

Lovely exhibition, full of interest.  The Halsteads of EN2

Fantastic exhibition, very compelling. 

Thanks so much for all your hard work and interesting talks as well as the exhibition.  J Robertson-Molloy

Thoroughly enjoyed exhibition – thank you v much!

I quite liked it.  I do think it would be nice if there were any pictures of Highlands Hospital but nevermind.

Great exhibition, very interesting, lovely photos.  Thank you!  

Before the event

The N21 Festival Historical Exhibition sponsored by The Winchmore Hill Residents Association will take place in The Friends Meeting House, 59 Church Hill, Winchmore Hill, London N21.


The Exhibition is Free and will be open from 12 until 6pm on Monday 18th June and from 10 until 6pm from Tuesday 17th June until Saturday 23rd June 2012, with an extended hours evening on Wednesday 20th June until 8.00 pm.

Ever wondered what Winchmore Hill was like when it was truly a village?  You have the opportunity to find out during the week commencing June 18th 2012 when there will be an exhibition of photographs dating from the early years of the 20th century. 

This exhibition is one of the highlights of the N21 Festival which is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of the book “Memories of a Lost Village” by Henrietta Cresswell who was born in Winchmore Hill and lived there throughout the second half of the 19th century. 

To produce this exhibition a small sub-committee of volunteers was formed to search out as many photos of the period as possible.  Libraries were visited, archives searched and local historian consulted, resulting in an unprecedented number of fascinating images.  There followed several meetings to decide which ones to use.  Some were wonderfully interesting but not of sufficient quality to be scanned and reproduced to a size suitable for exhibiting. 

Having made the selection, the next question was: in what order should we arrange them?  Then one of the committee members came up with the idea of matching each photo with a quotation from Henrietta’s book, working through in chronological order.  These quotations then formed the captions for each photo.  So, after a good deal of work we had our exhibition.

You will find it at The Friends’ Meeting House, 59 Church Hill, Winchmore Hill, London, N21. during the week of 18th to 23rd June where you’ll be greeted by a life-sized image of Henrietta herself and you can browse to the accompaniment of readings from her book.

Admission is free and refreshments will be available.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity of seeing what your Winchmore Hill looked like 100 years ago. 

Would you like to learn more about the history of the area ? Click here to find out more.


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