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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The following was recently issued by the Friends of Bruce Castle Park.

This is an urgent notice to advise all Friends of Bruce Castle members of a threat to Bruce Castle Park by a Spurs proposal to hire it for two American football "NFL Tailgate events" a fortnight apart in October, hosting up to 60,000 people each time for music, food and drink, big film screens, and drum majorettes and cheerleaders.  The council will be consulting stakeholder groups about these events but seems to have already agreed with Spurs to hire out the Park for them.

We are therefore appealing to members of FoBC to register their objections to these NFL Tailgate events.  The council requires that these be made via stakeholder groups which are local to the Park, so if you are a member of a local Neighbourhood Watch, a Residents Association, the Friends of a Park or a Traders Partnership please ask it to write to Sarah Jones, the council's Events and Partnership Manager, at River Park House, 1st Floor, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ, email sarah.jones@haringey.gov.uk.

If you are not a member of such a group, then please write individually to your local Haringey councillors at River Park House, 225 High Road N22 8HQ their contact details can be found in Haringey People magazine or on Haringey's website at www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex 

Please do not contact the Museum on this matter.

Thank you in advance for anything and everything you can do to help resist this threat to the archaeology and heritage -- and indeed the natural environment and users' enjoyment -- of Bruce Castle Park.

Significant damage could be caused to the Park in what is traditionally the wettest month of the year, especially to the grassed area by so many people and by the big trucks needed to deliver the stages, food and drink outlets and other equipment.  In addition, Spurs and its agents may want to cut through or even remove entirely the bank along the northern side of the Park to make a new entrance for these trucks.  This bank appears on the 1864 Ordnance Survey map and is probably a remnant of the Mount Walk listed in the 1789 sale inventory of the building, which probably extended around the "home park" area of Bruce Castle's originally much larger grounds and is therefore an 18th century (and possibly earlier) landscape feature.
 
We have been in contact with Historic England -- the statutory body with responsibility for the listing of national heritage assets -- about the application of the Grade 1 listing of Bruce Castle (the building) to its context (the Park).  Historic England has advised us that "There is a statutory requirement for planning applications affecting Grade 1 listed buildings and their setting to be notified to us" (emphasis per original) and that a Listed Building Consent will need to be submitted by the organisers, for Historic England to consider before the events can go ahead.  However, neither the council nor Spurs and its agents seem to be taking account of the Park's archaeological sensitivity or of the statutory requirement for Listed Building Consent, although we have written to the council officers to remind them of this.

There would also be the disruption caused by the setting up and taking down of the event -- park users, local residents and local businesses would all be severely adversely affected, with some local businesses (notably the Antwerp Arms immediately to the north of the Park and the T in the Park cafe inside it) possibly having to remain closed for much of that time.  Although it's claimed that the fee to hire the Park for the event will help to "improve" it, destroying an 18th century landscape feature and turning the grassed area into a churned-up quagmire cannot be classed as "improvements" -- and any damage to the archaeology would be irreparable.

From the FoBC Committee
Cherry McAskill
Membership Secretary
FoBC

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....and within half an hour of posting this, the following came in

UPDATE AND GOOD NEWS - and a big thank you for all your support.

This afternoon it has been announced that Bruce Castle Park will no longer be considered to be the proposed venue for the forthcoming NFL Tailgates in October.

These will now go ahead in the new stadium instead.

Here is their statement:
“The NFL has decided not to pursue the idea of a pregame Tailgate at Bruce Castle Park when it stages its first two games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 6 and 13.

We believe that adding a second location into an event where the majority of fans will be visiting a new venue for the first time could create additional issues relating to way-finding and getting fans to the stadium from the major transport hubs.

Our focus, therefore, will be to create a fantastic stadium experience for our fans at the 2019 games and to re-evaluate Tailgate for future years based on our learnings from this year. We appreciate the time and effort of many people that has gone into helping us explore the option of Tailgate at Bruce Castle Park.”

Thank you all once again. And enjoy the long Bank Holiday weekend and the sun in beautiful historical Bruce Castle Park

A sensible decision by NFL. We do though need to know who in Haringey Clowncil was responsible for proposing this stupid, reckless, and dangerous scheme. Elected councillors should be stewards of our parks and land and buildings. Not falling over one another to sell or rent them off to rich corporations.

DFT

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