To Broadwater Farm,Tottenham, for a Garden Party

Monday 23rd June 2014

All the way on the bus to Tottenham (the National Gardens Scheme Garden Party was to be held at the Broadwater Farm Community Centre), Royston King and I regaled the other passengers with inside information about the Royal Family: the condition of the Duke of Edinburgh’s prostate, how the Queen lost an earring on the staircase in Northern Ireland, how the maid came in while she was talking to the Secretary of State and said, ‘Your bath is drawn, M’m’, how Royston, leaving the Royal plane in the Caribbean in the 90s, to get ahead to take pictures of her disembarking, brushed against a curtain and revealed the Majesty of England standing like a statute behind it, preparing to resume her Majesty.

Then we gained Tottenham for the Garden Party. I was invited as one who had opened his garden under the National Gardens Scheme, Royston because he had given millions for the improvement of the place where the party was happening. Royston had been lunching with Princess Anne in the City and before that visiting Epping Forest with the Lord Mayor of London. We walked through Tottenham to the Broadwater Farm Estate, the scene of riots and the death of PC Keith Blakelock.  Royston showed that Tottenham is full of history and we stopped to compliment an Iraqi man on his geraniums. I was wearing a pale grey suit by Zara with a black trim and an embroidered scarf. We saw Robert the Bruce’s English residence. Royston had had a hedge lowered in the park to lessen the barriers between difference races, one race very much using the football pitch behind the hedge, and other races not. Then we gained the Garden Party in the Community Centre. With Royston, one forges straight to the top, thus the Chair of the National Gardens Scheme. ‘You really ought to be a Dame,’ Royston said and they were heads together to see about it.

It was  a charming party with Caribbean chicken thighs and spicy vegetable wedges. We saw some Gays and they saw us. Royston is highly visible, not least for being Black and always mentioning it and other things such as What’s a typical Black surname?  in a voice that carries some miles. Royston said, ‘I’d probably have got the ginger one.’ But we were leaving anyway to inspect some flower beds that he’d given millions for. ‘My legacy,’ Royston declared. So we never knew whether the really bronzed Gay, as opposed to the ginger, would have been any fun.

The flower beds were lacking. Everything was dead, owing to water-logging. If alive, in the wrong place, such as half a hedge of raggedy santolina that petered out. Awful wasteful planting of trees right next to other trees. Really utter moronism. Royston said he’d see what he could do but really Tottenham must help itself more. How many more millions?

The Park at Broadwater Farm is impressive. Lots of sky and air, some interesting features, such as a learning-to-drive facility from the 50s. The actual estate, where riots and death occurred, could be conceived as a modern mansion lived in by one family and then everyone would love it and it would be one of the wonders of north London.

Robert the Bruce’s English Residence at Tottenham, as Remodelled in the 17th Century

The Park at Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham

The Broadwater Farm Estate in its Park: Think of it as a Mansion

The Broadwater Farm Estate, Seen in its Park.

Posted Monday, June 23, 2014 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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