Monday, 11 December 2017

Building our local community - My personal statement about this years Barnet Eye Awards

On Saturday night, we held the annual Barnet Eye Community Awards Ceremony at The Chandos Arms in Colindale. For me, this is a very special night and I spend months planning it, with my team. I am extremely lucky to have a group of people (who like to stay in the background), who give me the vital support and help required to make this all happen. I'd like to thank them all. The planning starts in July. For the awards such as charity and community campaign of the year, we start making notes about who is doing what, why they should be considered. I ask friends of the blog for nominations and throughout the year, I make notes.

Once we have the nominations and citations in, our team looks at what has been suggested and who would be the best idea. We also look at previous years and change a few categories. This year we brought in Sports club of the year. The work Mill Hill Rugby club have done has meant that it was a  really obvious choice, however lots of people suggested their kids youth football teams etc. I was also very tempted to select Barnet Copthall Diving club, for their amazing campaign to keep a diving pool at Copthall, but this was more in the domain of campaigns. The Rugby club have been massively supportive of all sorts of things in the communty, which is why they swung it. Their clubhouse is one of the gems of Mill Hill, with all sorts of events there throughout the year. Richard Logue who proposed the club, and is rather keen on the oddly shaped ball version of football, clearly enjoyed presenting the award. Afterwards, we had a brief discussion and we concluded that really we need to do more to encourage such clubs, as a community

As for the Charity, we really felt that it would be good to put the work of the foodbank in the spotlight in the run in to Christmas. If we could get more food donations for the less well off members of our community, that would be great and if we could get more people into the idea of regularly donating, even better. This blog has supported the Foodbank since we first heard of its work. As a member of the Parish Council at the Sacred Heart, I had a key role in setting the church up as a regular drop off point, on the first Sunday of every month. During December, we run our Advent Calendar to promote as many local organisations as possible. I'd say that most of them could have been chosen. The venue was a big factor in the choice. We like to move the awards around and we will usually try and pick organisations local to the venue, if we can, as it makes it easier for people to get to. We generally have a pretty good idea of who we want to choose for the more important awards before we choose the venue. As we do it on a shoestring, it also helps.

For the band/musician of the year, we are spoilt for choice. Some years we recognise stalwarts of the local scene (such as Alan Warner of the Foundations last year). This year we went for a great, up and coming local band Drop Pink. To win, you have to have done stuff in and around the community. Alan Warner has done all manner of charity events etc locally. Drop Pink played twice this year, in the freezing cold, at the Mill Hill Markets and brought a stack of fans. Both are great examples of the different aspects of the local music scene.

For the person of the year, it is always a very important decision. Some years it is someone who has done something amazing over the last year. This year, we went for Councillor Jack Cohen from Childs Hill. Jack has been a councillor for over three decades. He is a tireless worker for the residents he represents and is a shining example of what we believe a local councillor should be. I don't think too many people who are familiar with Barnet Council would disagree. It is funny as even his local political opponents speak highly of him, something that is sadly a rarity these days.

Then there is the community event of the year. People put so much effort into these. The North Finchley Music Festival was a great example and a deserved winner. To put on 50 bands for free over a weekend at six different venues is an awesome undertaking. I can't think of anything else on that scale locally.

And what about the night? Well it was a blast. It was great to meet so many people. We informed the winners and it was great to see that they all came down mob handed, to make it a great night. We held a raffle to raise money for The Colindale Foodbank. We raised over £100, which was a great result. Thanks to The Day of the Raj, Mill Hill Rugby Club and Mill Hill Music Complex for the prizes. As the Rugby club won the free recording session, I suspect they will be recording the club anthem. I hope so! One of the main reasons for holding the awards is to help build bridges between the different parts of the community. It was great to see the Rugby club offering their help to the Foodbank in their acceptance speech.

After the awards, we always have some live music. This year, we had Drop Pink and my Band, The False Dots. Sadly due to an overrunning event in the venue, Drop Pink didn't get as long a slot as I'd have liked. Still everyone got to see that they are a great band. We had a blast. Here's a little video of what we played, in our acoustic set.

In short, to sum up, we see the awards as a time to bring our community together, recognise just a few of the great people and organisations that make a difference and to have some fun before Christmas. Every year, this has got bigger and better. We don't want to be the Oscars, we are the Barnet's! We do things a little bit different here. Have a great festive season.

The Barnet Eye Advent Calendar - Monday 11th December - Guest window from Dr Julia Hines

Today we have a guest window. Contributed by long time friend of this blog and chair of Age UK Barnet, Dr Julia Hines.

Our gem today is one I'd never heard of, but will definately check out. Did you know there is a Belarussian church in Woodside Park, built of wood, as a memorial to the victims of Chernobyl?

The Church of St Cyril of Turau and All the Patron Saints The church is located next to the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum and the Marian House, a Belarusian community centre in Woodside Park. It was built as a memorial to victims of Chernobyl and completed in 2016.
The design primarily draws inspiration from the rural wooden churches in Belarus. The materials palette was restricted to wood and glass to reflect their austere and tranquil beauty.  It is therefore essentially ‘windowless’ reflecting the inward-focused Byzantine liturgical tradition. The design of the external walls was inspired by the traditional vertical timber cladding of the Baroque Uniate churches of Belarus.

Julia has nominated Art Against Knives as her good cause for todays window.

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This is a brilliant charity leading the fight in our community,  educating young people that there are better things in life than violence and carrying knives.

Do you have a local gem and a local good cause that you'd like to see in a window? Why not drop us an email and let us know. The Barnet Eye is dedicating the Advent period to building community in our locality, so why not help by giving us your nominations? This has proven to be enormously popular this year, so why not add your window?


Sunday, 10 December 2017

The Tweets of the Week in the London Borough of Barnet - 10/12/2017

This weeks best Tweets from our neighbourhood.


1. Let's start with a word of advice from the Police in Burnt Oak

and this is why

2. Want to drop some food off for Colindale Foodbank


3. Important news if you ever need to use Barnet Police Station


4. This is a great Tweet from Barnet Rebel. A real action shot!


5. Nice snow pic from Finchley


6. A Tube train got stuck in the snow near Woodside Park


7. The Festive Season is getting into full swing in Barnet

8. Nice Historic Tweet this week


9. And we have a missing Doggie! Please try and help find


10. Festive fun in Cricklewood for the big lights Switch On


That's all folks!

The Barnet Eye Community Awards 2017

Last night we held the Barnet Eye Annual Awards 2017at the Chandos Arms in Colindale. I am thrilled to say that the evening was absolutely brilliant. The pub was packed, thanks to all the award winners for turning up in such good heart. All of them thoroughly deserve the award they received. We were also thrilled to raise over £100 for Colindale foodbank. Massive  shout out to Mill Hill Rugby club, The Day of the Raj Express at Mill Hill East and The Mill Hill Music Complex for donating the fantastic prizes. Also a special thank you to our old friend John Keough for taking the time to video the events for us. And finally for everyone who came down for making it a special evening.




Here's a few tweets of some of the fun!








Barneteye Person of the year
Councillor Jack Cohen
Nominated by The Barnet Eye

Citation : “Over three decades, Jack Cohen has been the most effective local councillor in Barnet, representing the Childs Hill Ward. During the period of Lab/LibDem administration, Jack was Mayor and has worked tirelessly for Childs Hill Ward, ensuring that local interests are defended.”

Barneteye Charity of the year
The Colindale Foodbank
Nominated by Emily Kollviett

Citation: “Colindale Foodbank has become a sadly essential part of many desperate local residents lives. Their work has literally saved many families from hardship and hunger and deserve recognition for their efforts.”

Barneteye Pub of the Year
The Chandos Arms
Nominated by Graham Ramsey

Citation: “Emily and Are have turned a failing boozer around into one which won the national pub awards for best community pub. Who are we to argue”

Barneteye Band/Artist of the Year
Drop Pink
Nominated by Mill Hill Music Complex

Citation: “Heading the new generation of local bands, Drop Pink have not only made some great music, but they’ve put themselves at the heart of the local scene with great performances at the Mill Hill Broadway Festivals this year”

Barneteye Sports Club of the Year
Mill Hill Rugby Club
Nominated by Richard Logue (Prospective Lib Dem Candidate for Mill Hill)

Citation: “Mill Hill Rugby Club exemplify what a community sports club should be. They have been at the heart of the local sporting community for decades”

Barneteye Community Event of the Year
North Finchley Music Festival
Nominated by The Barnet Eye & Mill Hill Music Complex

Citation: “Staging an event with 50 live bands at six venues was a monumental achievement.  Roll on next year”

Barneteye Campaigner of the year
Philippa Whitecross
Nominated by John Burgess (Local UNISON Branch secretary & campaigner of the year 2016)

Citation “. I’ve known Philippa for quite a few years and have watched her confidence grow as she embraced different campaigns across Barnet. I admire her courage, her enthusiasm and her sense of self. She is always willing to learn and take on new ideas if it means the campaign will be a success.”

Barneteye Local Campaign of the year
Stop Paddy Power in Colindale
Nominated by The Barnet Eye
Award preseneted by Andrew Dismore (Local GLA Assembly member)

Citation: “A fantastic campaign, bringing the whole community together. Amazing work done by Colindale Village Residents Association to ensure that this unwanted addition was stopped”

Please note that Phillipa Whitecross and John Burgess were not present at the awards so we will present that award at a later date.

We also had a performance by The False Dots and Drop Pinj to entertain the masses. Here is a clip of "Espresso Soho" and "Her Question" by the False Dots.

The Barnet Eye Advent Calendar - Sunday 10th December

It's the tenth day of Advent and we continue our journey through the past today for our little Gem. Today we have a Pathe News Video of Dr Cunninghams collection of antique frocks. This was the largest collection of such items and Dr Cunningham lived in Finchley. I find such antique films fascinating. This video is from 1938, the year before the second world war. 

I guess this really was the end of the era when such things were seen as the height of fashion and elegance. Just a year after, we were plunged into a dire conflict, followed by the austerity of the late 40's & 50's. These gave way to the swinging 60's and the mini!


I'd be fascinated to know what happened to Dr Cunninghams collection of antique frocks






For our Charity focus today, we also focus on Finchley and the excellent North London Hospice. Whilst it is an establishent none of us want to visit or enter, when we have to we find that it is the most fantastic establishment. How many of us have had a friend or relative who needed the services provided and have seen the excellent work first hand. I cannot praise this organisation highly enough and if you are looking for somewhere to help in this festive season, this is cetrainly somewhere that should be high on your list - www.northlondonhospice.org - if you don't fancy donating, why not visit one of their 18 local shops and buy a few presents for your friends and family there. It all helps and makes a big difference.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A message from the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet about our local Mayoral Charity

The Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet
This Sunday evening the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnet will be hosting the Mayor's Christmas Carol Service. Expect an evening of festive carols and readings, complete with a multitude of mince pies and mulled wine. It will take place at Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church, NW11 7AA between 6pm & 8pm.

This is a free event but there will be a collection for the Mayor's Appeal, which as you may know, is supporting Homeless Action in Barnet (Featured in the Barnet Eye Advent Calendar this Monday). This will be the last event benefitting the Appeal in 2017 with a busy programme planned for 2018. Among other things, there will be an Old Tyme Music Hall , a tour of Mansion House and a dinner with Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP.

If you would like to come to the Carol Service, it would be appreciated if you would let us know by clicking here. It is free to attend but it helps us cater refreshments if know how many people are attending

Hope to see you there,

Love from Kate
Download the Mayor's Carol Service Flyer

The Mayor of Barnet's Carol Service

Sunday 10th December - 6pm


Join us for an evening of joyful carols and festive readings complete with minced pies and mulled wine. This is a free event at Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church, 2 North Square NW11 7AA

Tell us you're coming to the Carol Service by clicking here

Mayor's Charity Bridge Night

Thursday 18th January - 7pm


Mayor of Barnet's Charity Bridge Night hosted by the Queen of Heart's Bridge Club, Wingate & Finchley FC, Summers Lane, N12. Directed by Sue Simon and Allan Lipton, kindly sponsored by Joan Lipkin Edwards. Tickets are £25 or £45 for two-partner players.
Book here for the Bridge Evening

Old Tyme Music Hall

Sunday 4th February - 7pm


Join in with the choruses, listen to the songs, be amazed by the magic at the Mayor's Old Time Music Hall. Free Church Hall, Northway, NW11. Tickets are £15 per person.
Book here for the Mayor's Old Tyme Music Hall

Barnet's Multi-Faith Service

Sunday 11th February - 3.00pm


Celebrate diversity in the London Borough of Barnet at the Mayor's Multi-Faith service, Mill Hill School, The Ridgeway.

Exclusive Tour of Mansion House

Monday 12th February


Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. The treasures in the Vault are amazing, as are the works of Dutch and Flemish art, the decor, the sculptures and the marvellous chandeliers. Superb.
Tell me more about the tour of Mansion House

Dinner with The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP

Thursday 22nd February - 7pm


Born in Finchley, educated in Finchley and returning to Finchley for this dinner. Hold the date because we are planning a fabulous evening. 
Tell me more about the dinner with John Bercow
Mayor of Barnet's Charity Appeal

Homeless Action in Barnet

For 20 years HAB has been supporting the most vulnerable across Barnet, from its home in Woodhouse Road. I have long been a supporter of this Charity. It started as a soup kitchen in Finchley Methodist Church and Finchley Reform Synagogue. I remember helping them secure the premises in the mid 1990s and am proud to be supporting them as my chosen charity.

I intend that the money raised during the year will be used to improve and extend this building, enabling HAB to provide its valuable services for future generations.
Learn more about HAB

The Barnet Eye Awards are happening tonight at 9pm at The Chandos Arms - Please come along



The False Dots 
You are cordially invited to attend the Barnet Eye Annual Xmas Party and community awards, with live music by The False Dots + Drop Pink. It's all happening at The Chandos Arms from 9pm to. The Chandos Arms has been nationally recognised as the Community pub of the year at the British Pub awards, so what better way to see what all the fuss is about.


For those readers new to the blog,every year we hold the Barnet Eye Community Awards and it gives our community a chance to celebrate, let our hair down and have a party. And the more of our friends who come along, the better the party we have.



Best of all, it's all free



We'll be presenting our awards to outstanding local people and organisations

Please come along to show your appreciation to these marvellous organisations and people


The categories this year are


Barnet Person of the year


Barnet Charity of the year


Barnet Pub of the Year


Barnet Band/Artist of the Year


Barnet Sports Club of the Year


Barnet Community Event of the Year


Barnet Campaigner of the year


There will be some great sounds being played by the resident DJ after the live music and we'll be boogie'ing into the early hours. 

Live music will be provided by the False Dots doing an extra special show comprising an acoustic and an electric set! They will be ably supported by up and coming Mill Hill Band, Drop Pink, who have given us two amazing shows as part of the Mill Hill Broadway town square festival.


Please join us for an excellent nights entertainment. We will also be having a charity auction for the Charity of the Year, so please bring a few readies!

Here is a number from the False Dots forthcoming album to get you in the mood!