Early History 1934 – 1938

Originally called BARNET RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION

Prior to World War 1 there had been a previous organisation of the same name.

The inaugural meeting was on 17 October 1934 in the Barnet Council offices with some seventy ratepayers present. The area covered included Totteridge.

The next meeting was in February 1935 in Church House, again a full house. Among those present were Lord and Lady Hewart.

The membership after one year was 614 but had reduced to 271 by August 37

In these early years a lot of effort went into social activities including an annual dinner & dance, and all the tickets were sold for a whist drive.

Early complaints that were followed up included:

  • A resident’s distress with a public convenience erected outside his house
  • Aeroplanes stunting over gardens on a Sunday afternoon
  • Overhanging hedges
  • Potholes ; it was reported that a horse had fallen into one

More long running campaigns included:

  • Dissatisfaction with the refuse collection service and a demand for the contracted out dustmen to be returned to direct labour
  • Pressure to have the railway extended to Arkley
  • Concerns over smells and the use of the refuse dump
  • Pressure to introduce pedestrian crossings at some eight locations
  • Problems with flooding under the railway bridge at the bottom of Barnet Hill
  • Concerns over heavy traffic on the Great North Road

With the 1938 Electrification imminent a letter was sent to the London Passenger Transport Board asking that the proposed new booking hall should be sited at the top of the station approach and escalators provided. The reply was that the heavy cost was not justified (still on our agenda 80 years later!)

It was agreed to keep a watching brief on the public conveniences at the north end of town, though how and for what reason was not recorded.

(Extracts from Minute Book 1934-38 held in the Borough archives)