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Santa gets caught in traffic – then finds himself in a tight spot!

Who’s been making the news around your way this week?

07 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Above: Santa (Martin Abel) finally made it to Barnsbury Square Gardens; below: two of his helpers – Naomi Jeffs and Michaela Wadsworth

Santa Claus almost didn’t make it to Barnsbury Square Garden’s annual Christmas party on Saturday after a series of unfortunate events. “Martin [Abel] got stuck in traffic in Canonbury,” said Richard Plumb of Friends of Barnsbury Square Gardens who helped organise the event. “Tom usually does santa but he had to attend to family business,” Richard said. “We tried to get other volunteers but Oliver had an accident in the attic and broke his femur. We had a scout leader as a stand-in but he twisted his knee.” Luckily for the children who had gathered at the gardens to receive their gifts Martin was able to get to them in time following a huge dash. “The suit I bought didn’t arrive on time,” said Richard. “I had to get a replacement Santa suit, which was slightly too small for Martin – he had trouble getting it round his belly!” The party also featured mulled wine, mince pies and other snacks and the event was rounded of with a rousing rendition of Christmas carols and seasonal songs.

Tamara Lo, Friend of Barnsbury Square Gardens, enjoying the event

“Many thanks to the organisers and all who helped from the local community and to all those who came and made the event such a success,” said Richard. The hut at the gardens off Thornhill Road opens every Tuesday between 2pm and 4pm and on Saturdays from 11am to 12pm for tea and coffee for visiting neighbours. All welcome!

Volunteers’ bright idea for a Canonbury woodland

Ramsey Flowers members Michelle, Becky and Paola rewiring lights at the woodlands behind Rose Bowl youth club

CHRISTMAS lights in public spaces are usually only put up by the Town Hall but one residents’ group has lit up a corner of Canonbury to the delight of neighbours. Paola who runs Ramsey Flowers N1, a volunteer gardening group which helps spruce up the area, brought light to the woodland around the Rose Bowl youth centre last Thursday. “It was really good to see a space a bit creepy become magical all of a sudden,” said Paola. “The feedback from residents walking by is that it’s magical and that they would usually not walk all the way through.” A team of six adult volunteers and more than 15 young people helped Paola clear the woodland and decorate the trees. Volunteers from running group Good Gym also helped. Good Gym organises runs throughout the country called “missions” where participants take part in a run then do a “good deed”. Paola said: “About 13 people showed up from Good Gym, they took everything down and made it possible to stow the lights for us. Now, more of the street light can come in and the woodland became less reclusive.”

Rose Bowl youngsters Linneta, Nicky and Danielle planting daffodils with Ramsey Flowers for the winter garden

Paola added: “We are thankful for the continuing support of local residents and local business with their time, tools, facilities and wood – Homebase Haringey, Rose Bowl, Awesome CIC and the expert guidance of Islington’s Parks Team.” To find out more about Ramsey Flowers go to:

Christmas turkey at Fish Central!

George Hussein has been serving a free Christmas dinner for the elderly at Fish Central for many years

The annual free Christmas meal for the elderly at Finsbury restaurant Fish Central has taken place for so many years that owner George Hussein isn’t too sure when the tradition began. “The reason I do it is because I’ve been here a long time,” said George. “They’re my ex customers and I want to give back to them.” He added: “I look after my people while I’m in the area.” The popular restaurant in Central Street is known mostly for the fish dishes as the restaurant’s name might suggest but on Thursday December 14 they will be serving up festive turkey meals. “My message is ‘merry christmas and a happy new year. I would like to do this for more years to come,” said George. Elderly residents living in the EC1 area are invited to the meal on December 14, from 11am to 3pm. Fish Central is at149-155 Central Street, King Square, EC1V 8AP, 020 7253 4970.


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