The Hub Huddle: Power to the People!

News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham

9th May 2020

We can all feel very fortunate and inspired by living in a neighbourhood that has such a great history of community initiatives to improve the local area for the people living in it, which still continues to this day. Looking around us, the fruits of past struggles and campaigns by local people can be seen and enjoyed everywhere. In this blog, we will look at just a few.


A brief History

The first part of Tower Gardens Estate was started in 1903 by the London County Council and it was its first ‘garden suburb”.  It was originally built for the rehousing of working class residents from the slums of Whitechapel in Tower Hamlets (which is the connection to the name Tower Gardens). The money for the project came from a Jewish philanthropist who had been a Liberal MP for Whitechapel demanding that the working class residents should be rehoused, without distinction of race or creed. By 1915 there were 963 homes. The chief architect, WE Riley was strongly influenced by William Morris’s Arts and Crafts movement and Garden City, ideals which gave Tower Gardens its special character. Building stopped during the first world war which took a heavy toll on the working population. As a result the Estate was extended, named the White Hart Lane Estate and continued to the 1930s with a total of 2229 dwellings.

Residents get organised

An active Tenants’ Association, The White Hart Lane Estate Welfare Association, was founded in 1919. The rents were relatively high and rates had to paid on top, and the Association took up this and other issues like the lack of electricity on the Estate. They campaigned for a community hall (which they did not get) and used local school facilities to meet where they organised many community events including sports, whist drives, dances and flower shows. They also had their own savings and loan club with 800 members. The Association continued to be active into the 1960s and since then new groups have developed to support the Estate and its residents.

The Tower Gardens Estate Conservation Committee was very active in the 1980s successfully lobbying for conservation of the estate’s historic character. The Tower Garden Residents’ Network was set up in 1998 fighting for improvements and tenure on the estate, and building up community mutual aid and solidarity. There were meetings, bulletins and surveys and much successful campaigning for traffic calming measures, re-opening of a derelict allotment site, and safety in Tower Gardens Park – and support for the founding of the Friends of Lordship Rec in 2001.

Then the Tower Gardens Residents Group was set up and is still active today.

See this link for a more detailed history

Friends of Tower Gardens Park


There is an active Friends Group in Tower Gardens Park with local people taking control of the area that had become very neglected and dangerous. They organise regular clean up and gardening days and have lobbied and worked with the council to share their vision for their park to make it a wonderful place for local residents to enjoy. A Community Action Plan has been developed devised and agreed by all (see below).
Friends of Tower Gardens Park:Email:
Twitter at @TowerFriends


The history of Broadwater Farm Estate is so much more than just riots, It predates them and includes the tireless work of many residents working to make it a safe and decent place to live, and running popular activities for children and young people.

Broadwater Farm Estate showing the beautiful waterfall mural by Bernette Hall and
Donald Taylor
, 1991

Broadwater Farm Estate was built in 1967. Because it was built in a river valley subject to flooding, the concrete blocks were built off the ground. The first floor was linked by interconnecting walkways, with other walkways above that made the lower ones very dark. Shops were also on the first floor so there was really no connection with ground level that limited a feeling of true community. There were few facilties. By 1973 conditions on the estate had deteriorated and became damp and pest infested. The hidden, dark walkways became a hotspot for criminal behaviour. Unemployment on the estate was high. People did not want to move onto the estate.

The residents take control

The authorities wanted to demolish the estate but many residents fought against this. Community leaders emerged, determined to revive the Estate and challenge its poor reputation and in 1981 the Broadwater Farm Youth Association (BWFYA), founded by Dolly Kiffin, including a young Clasford Stirling, MBE who still puts so much into Lordship Rec’s sports field and the estate today. The Youth Association set up a youth club and advice centre and began to lobby for change. Eventually the Council saw the wisdom of working with the residents to deal with concerns together.

Breaking point

However, despite all the advances made, underlying problems still persisted, the Afro-Caribbean community still suffered disproportionate disadvantage and unemployment was high. There was growing distrust of police. Raids on members of the black community were common and it was during one of these raids that Cynthia Jarrett, the mother of a young man who was a member of the Youth Association, collapsed and died. Residents planned a peaceful demonstration outside Tottenham Police Station but their progress was blocked and a state of siege existed that caused an escalation that culminated in the death of a policeman, PC Keith Blakelock. An inquiry found that policing and police attitudes needed to change, and recommended improvements to the estate (and to Lordship Rec).

Building on the previous good work of the Youth Association, work began with the council to take action to improve living conditions on the estate, adding a community centre, health centre, neighbourhood office, and enterprise centre and by 1993 the walkways were removed, shops were moved to ground level and concierges and children’s play areas were introduced. The Youth Association established a remembrance garden for those affected by the riots, murals were created and training and enterprise initiatives were set up with local labour being used to do the renovations. And Broadwater Farm Residents Association was set up and is still active today.

Since that time the estate has become a much safer place and until the decision was made to demolish a couple of the blocks that were deemed of dangerous construction, the estate has always been full. There is now an excellent school with an integrated campus for children with disabilities and a great children’s centre. Clasford Stirling and others continue to do amazing work with young people and families and run several youth football teams for boys and girls.

For more detail see this blog about the history of Broadwater Farm

To make history come alive, take this local Community Empowerment Walk

Locally-made film about Broadwater Farm
Local community artist, Wendy Charlton made this fantastic film The Farm – Narratives of Home, telling the stories of 4 residents on Broadwater Farm in collaboration with local spoken word artist, Abe Gibson.

A long history of local involvement that has transformed the park landscape and also the relationship between residents and the council.

Community Action in Lordship Rec
After years of Government cuts to public services, Lordship Rec had deteriorated. Facilities were inadequate and there was no staffing. In the 1990s, Broadwater Farm Estate residents drove forward regeneration on their estate and in the park. They organised multicultural festivals in the new community centre and in the park. Broadwater United football teams multiplied and they began to manage the sports pitch in the Rec. Local people helped to plant the current Woodland at the south of the park. Some physical improvements were then made in the Rec with drainage in the main field and a new BMX track but chronic lack of staffing and maintenance continued. The Mother & Toddler Group took over the disused small park building by the lake as play a facility and they continue to hold sessions in the Hub today.

 The creation of the Friends of Lordship Rec
In 2001 the Friends of Lordship Rec was formed, inspired by the work of the Friends of Downhills Park and the successes on the neighbouring estates (see above). The aim was to raise the profile of this ailing space and to make improvements to encourage local people to use the park again. The Friends raised money for projects like the regeneration of the lake area and the creation of a rustic track through the woodland along with information boards. They also organised annual festivals and conservation workdays in the park to engage local people. This has resulted in a number of volunteer groups across the rec, co-managing different areas like the orchard, the woodland, the spinney, the meadows, the river and the lake and encouraged sports and music groups to develop activities in the park which generated activities such as Bike Fest, Youth Fest, One World Folk Festival, Jazz Fest and Blockorama to name but a few.

The Lordship Rec Users Forum was set up in 2002 involving the Friends, other park user groups and local community organisations and Haringey Council. The Forum has met monthly since that time, being a place where coordinated discussion takes place about park improvements and the general running of the Rec. Through the Forum the Friends and others co-manage the park with the Council. A vision for community-led regeneration was developed through the Forum and this later became the blueprint for a bid made to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the major regeneration works in the Rec to bring old features back to life and to introduce new ones and make the Rec the fantastic place it is today. To demonstrate local demands to make our local park fit for purpose again, the forum brought everyone together to organise a large “Restore the Rec Festival” in 2008 involving around 4000 people.

A huge photo opportunity at the “Restore the Rec” Festival in 2008. So many people wanted to have their say!

In 2012, this culminated in the present refurbishment of the Shell Theatre, Model Traffic Area and main entrance, including the old toilet block on Lordship Lane that is now a bicycle project, Rockstone Bike Hut, and the introduction of a new bike dirt track and a beautiful new Hub building. Not least was the creation of a new channel for the Moselle River with bridges and water plants. After the works 8,000 local people attended a Lordship Rec ‘Re-launch’ Community Festival in September 2012.

For more information see the BBC Countryfile broadcast about the Rec:

Or check out the Friends of Lordship Rec website:

Downhills shelter memorial

An active member of the Friends of Lordship Rec, now sadly deceased, Ray Swain, spent a lot of time dedicated to finding information about a terrible tragedy that happened in the Rec during World War II. A bomb fell during an air raid and entered the ventilator shaft of a shelter, killing many local people. This information had been suppressed during the war and the loss of over 40 people had never been commemorated until Ray sought out the information and set about contacting relatives. So many people were so grateful to him and the Friends appealed for money to create a permanent memorial that you can now see on the path by the woodland in the Rec, carved by a local sculptor Gary March. The photo above is of the commemoration event organised by the Friends and attended by families of the victims and some survivors with the memorial sculpture inset.

To find out other interesting bits of local history see the fantastic website that Ray and his brother created. It is a mine of fascinating information and photographic evidence.

Residents, still doing it for themselves

Lordship Hub is the jewel in the crown of the park improvements made in 2012 and is the perfect base from which to continue the regeneration of the park and the wider area. The Friends had not at first intended to run the Hub but just wanted to be a partner in it, but as no appropriate tenant came forward, it seemed obvious that if it was to become a truly community building then we had to take it on. Over the past 6 years, hundreds of people have had a hand in making the Hub what it is today. The Hub is run as a cooperative and all users are welcome as members. The aim of the Hub is empowerment of people and the strengthening of our community, allowing people the opportunity to get involved and be part of a collective movement for change. On the one hand it is a café with rooms available for parties, classes and events but on the other hand it is the support and base for all the voluntary groups in the park and also a place where people can volunteer, learn new skills and feel committed to their community. Long may it thrive!


One bit of Coronavirus support on masks and mask making:

For the future, we want to chronicle the lock down with examples of neighbourhood projects you have been involved in, moments of collective joy and new skills you or your family have developed or shared during lockdown be it fabulous artwork, crafts or poetry/prose or delicious cookery (with recipes). Send photos, documents or videos to

The Hub Huddle: The Birds in the Trees

News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham

1st May 2020

Welcome to the the ‘Hub Huddle’, and hope you are keeping safe and well

This week, a member of the Friends of Lordship Rec and keen amateur bird watcher takes us on a bird walk through Lordship Rec woodland, following the lovely Wildlife Walk round the rec, taking in all the places where wildlife habitats are. (see below)

Over the last week the wonderful array of trees in the Rec have been coming into full leaf.  The greens are stunning, but its now harder to spot the birds that are singing out to attract mates and defend territories.   Many pairs of Robins, Blackbirds, Wrens, Great Tits and Blue Tits are resident in the Rec all year around and breed here, and its hard to miss their full-voice singing if you walk through and around the Rec’s wooded areas.    In the last couple of weeks summer visitors have joined the residents, including the ChiffChaff.   The bird may be hard to see but you can tune in to their song which, as the name suggests, is a repetition of two notes in an irregular, sing-song pattern:   chiff-chaff. chiff-chaff chiff-chaff ……  Some Chiffchaffs overwinter in the UK but most overwinter in the Mediterranean or even Africa, so they may have come all that way to the Rec.

Also, in the beautiful hawthorn hedges around the rec you will not miss the sound of all the sparrows who love to hide in there where they feel safe.

A Wildlife walk around the Rec produced by the Friends of Lordship Rec
On the lake
We were lucky to have 3 pairs of Tufted Ducks joining the more common Mallard ducks on the lake last week. They stayed around for a couple of weeks, but they seem to have moved on now probably to somewhere more secluded. Tufted Ducks have occasionally been seen on the Lake before but haven’t stayed as long as this.  The  male is black with white flanks and a long tuft at the back of the head, hence the name, whilst the female is entirely chocolate-brown.   Will they stick around or have to find somewhere more secluded to breed?

See if you can recognise the birdsong

Some Friends of Lordship Rec conservation contacts :
Friends of Lordship Rec: an open, public group which works to monitor, improve and develop the Rec through supporting volunteering and park activities. In ordinary times,  the Friends meet on 1st Sunday of every month at Lordship Hub:

Lordship Rec Wildlife Group: a group involved in caring for and surveying all things natural in the Rec and increasing biodiversity. In ordinary times the group meets at Lordship Hub at 12-1pm on 2nd Thursday of the month:
Woodland Group: hold regular work days to manage the Woodland near Downhills Park Road and welcome new volunteers:
Orchard Group: do regular work days and training to manage the Orchard and other Rec trees, organise celebrations of nature and welcome new volunteers:

All Lordship Rec groups and activities can be seen on

Survey of Rec wildlife done by Friends of Lordship Rec

How to get involved in helping or getting help in the community

The Hub Huddle: The Model traffic area


News, info, thoughts and links from Lordship Hub, Lordship Rec and Central Tottenham

24th April 2020

Hi everyone. We hope this finds you well.

Welcome to the the ‘Hub Huddle’, keeping you connected to the Hub and Lordship Rec in these difficult and disconnected times.

We thought we would start with a bit of historical fun. A celebration of our unique Model Traffic Area. Pre-WW2 and pre-Pandemic, in 1938, the Minister of Transport, opens this fantastic new facility for the “kiddies” of Tottenham, the world’s first!. This sensational video is real, I promise!

Original Model Traffic Area

Bike Fest in 2013 celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Model Traffic Area

The bike theme continues in the rec today:
Rockstone Bike Workshop by the Lordship Lane Gate, where you can learn about how to mend your bike, get your bike fixed, buy or hire a bike: 020 8802 5642. Rockstone also run Brakethru Cycling Club, special cycle sessions for adults with a disability.
Wheely Tots a bike based charity who work with families supporting them to be healthy confident and resilient:
Tottenham BMX Club use the Lordship Rec loop track to train bmxers:
Cycle Confident a Council run bike organisation running cycle skills sessions in the Rec:, 020 3031 6730.

For the future, we want to chronicle the lock down with examples of neighbourhood projects you have been involved in, moments of collective joy and new skills you or your family have developed or shared during lockdown be it fabulous artwork, crafts or poetry/prose or delicious cookery (with recipes). Send photos, documents or videos to

Lordship Hub Treasurer post – volunteer opportunity

Job description – Treasurer

About Lordship Hub Co-op

Lordship Hub is a vibrant community centre and café in the centre of Lordship Rec, Tottenham’s largest public park. It was established in 2014 as a community co-operative to encourage local people to take ownership and make it a great community resource. We encourage all staff, volunteers and users to become members so that they can have a say in what we do and how we do it. For both practical and ethical reasons we have a flat management structure. See:

Our aim is to provide a space and services that are needed by park users and the local community. This includes 2 rooms for hire, and a cafe serving a menu that is all about fresh, wholesome, tasty and affordable food. Our activities and pricing have to be appealing to our local community and also allow us to run a financially sustainable organisation. We have good financial systems, a finance officer and an accountant. We now have an opportunity for a new Treasurer to join our Board as a volunteer.

Overall role for the Treasurer 

  • Maintain an overview of the organisation’s affairs
  • Ensuring its financial viability
  • Ensuring that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.

General responsibilities

  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • To ensure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • To contribute actively to the elected Board’s role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • To safeguard the good name and values of the organisation.
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation.

In addition to the above duties, each board member should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board reach sound decisions generally. This may involve:

  • Scrutinising board papers
  • Leading discussions
  • Focusing on key issues
  • Providing guidance on new initiatives
  • Other issues in which the board member has special expertise

 Additional duties 

  • Preparing annual budget for approval by the Board
  • Reviewing monthly financial summaries as prepared by the Hub’s Financial Officer, performing analysis and preparing reports for briefing at the Board meeting
  • Based on financial data as prepared by the Hub’s Financial Officer, prepare annual financial statements to be signed off by independent examiner
  • Being assured that the financial resources of the organisation meet its present and future needs
  • Ensuring that the organisation has an appropriate reserves policy
  • Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place
  • Liaising with paid staff and volunteers about financial matters
  • Advising on the financial implications of the organisation’s strategic plans
  • Ensuring the organisation’s compliance with legislation
  • Ensuring equipment and assets are adequately maintained and insured
  • Ensuring that the accounts are prepared and disclosed in the form required by funders and the relevant statutory bodies
  • Keeping the Board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities
  • Contributing to the fundraising strategy of the organisation
  • Making a formal presentation of the accounts at the annual general meeting
  • Making annual financial filings to the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Sitting on occasional appraisal, recruitment and disciplinary panels as required

Treasurer competencies and personal specification

  • Financial qualification and experience e.g. accounting qualification, prior / current experience of advising charities / managing charity finances
  • Commitment to support the aims and needs of Lordship Hub
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Willingness to speak their mind
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team

The time commitment expected is around 0.5 day per month reviewing / working remotely on monthly financial reporting; attendance of monthly Board meeting (2 hours); preparation of year-end accounts – 3 days; and ad-hoc needs to resolve financial matters.


If interested, please send us your relevant details and experience:

Click to Download (PDF)

River Moselle in Lordship Rec works starting

There will be lots of activity around the Moselle in the Rec on Tuesday 4th February when Ebsford contractors, supported by Haringey Trust for Conservation (TCV)  volunteers,  work on removing vegetation and blockages from the channel to help the River flow.   The faster the flow that can be achieved, the less silt is deposited.  Ebsford , who have been engaged for the next 3 years to assist with the maintenance of the channel will also be applying Siltex,  a natural product, which helps silt to break down.    To avoid the nesting season the next works are scheduled for September.   Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Haringey TCV,
Love the Hub

Open meeting report

On Tuesday 20th August around 20 people took part in a special meeting to discuss how the Lordship Rec Hub can better support the community, and the community can better support the Hub.

As an introduction it was explained that, after five years of successful operation of this community facility, a new era for the Hub was dawning since the signing in March of a 25-year lease.

There followed a highly focussed and constructive discussion in which concerns were aired, questions asked, praise was articulated, and ideas floated. For example:

  • ensure private parties don’t get too noisy, and cars dont park in the Rec (unless authorised to drop off things for an event)
  •  a call for people to come forward to organise a wider range of activities, eg with environmental themes, or after-school clubs etc
  • publicise the Hub and its activities widely

Then we discussed how people can help the Hub. For example:

  • sign up for the weekly email updates and forward to friends etc, and join in our facebook page
  • become a member of the co-op and get actively involved in the decision-making
  • become a volunteer and contribute time and skills to the various parts of the operation (eg work in the cafe, help fundraise, distribute the monthly programme flyers, help organise events etc.).

For more info, please come and browse the Hub’s info table, drop by the office to speak to staff and activists there, or check our website.

Open meeting: Tuesday 20th August, 7pm @ Lordship Hub

To all Lordship Rec park users, Lordship Hub customers and supporters.

This is an invitation to come along and meet with those of us involved in running the Lordship Rec Hub community centre/cafe in the park on Tuesday, 20th August, from 19.00-21.00. We would like to discuss with you how we can work together and support each other, how we can address any concerns, issues or questions you may have, and how local people can get involved in the Hub and park.

The Hub Co-operative’s members, volunteers, staff and supporters have worked hard together over the last 5 years to provide the best community-run services we can for park users and the surrounding communities. Many of us are also members of the Friends of Lordship Rec who have been instrumental in the park’s regeneration over the last 20 years from the featureless, neglected and abandoned space it once was.

We all live locally and are pleased that Lordship Rec has been transformed into a great park with a wide range of facilities and activities serving all ages, sections of our communities and their varying interests. It’s been a long and highly-challenging journey, and after 5 years of negotiations between the Hub and the Council we finally secured a 25-year lease earlier this year.

This is a new stage for us and there are many financial and organisational issues we in the Hub are now grappling with. There are also long-term questions over the Council’s future resourcing for the proper maintenance and management of all Haringey public green spaces, and hence the need to continue to strengthen community involvement in our parks.

Recently we have had some concerns expressed over a handful of Hub weekend functions organised by private hirers. We of course welcome and rely financially on a wide range of classes, activities and functions here, almost all organised by local people. As the Hub becomes more popular as a destination and venue, we want to ensure that we maintain our record of appropriate and well-run activities.

We have a strong set of hire terms and conditions that all must comply with, and we take seriously any breach of those – including taking sanctions against any who refuse to comply. We are making steps to review these terms and conditions, and to improve our monitoring and enforcement, and are happy to discuss this and any other issues.

We are not complacent and want to improve. We are all doing our best and learning as we go along. As a not-for-profit social enterprise run co-operatively by local people for the benefit of park users and our local communities we welcome constructive feedback and active involvement.

We also take this opportunity to invite you to come and use and enjoy the facilities, and to become a member or volunteer to help make the Hub and park the success they need to be!

Best wishes

The Hub Board

Volunteers urgently needed

We urgently need volunteers to help us run the hub and provide a good service to our ever-increasing number of users. This is particularly important in the cafe, especially now it is good weather and the holidays will soon be upon us.
If you have 4 hours to spare once or twice a week, especially at weekends, then please contact or ring 020 8885 5684. You dont need any particular experience as you will be trainedand could learn new and useful skills. It can be hard work but it can also be fun.