Recent posts in my Muswell Hill Category

January 12, 2010

The UX of moving house: Part 6 - Officialdom

In part 6 of this series, I turn my attention away from estate agents, and towards the user experience of dealing with Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.

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September 1, 2009

The BT broadband boxes that have muzzled the Muswell Hill fibre trial

Muswell Hill BT fibre controversy
Pictures of the new BT broadband boxes causing a nuisance on North London streets.

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May 29, 2009

"Actor in Muswell Hill UFO Sighting Mystery!"

Having written a few posts recently about the potential impact of local council publications on the local press in London, I have to confess that sometimes, when I see what is making the billboards belonging to the Muswell Hill Journal, I can understand why Haringey Council think they need their own magazine as well...!...
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May 27, 2009

'Local newspaper week' - The local council publicity machine

During 'Local newspaper week', I wrote about the impact of local council newspapers on the commercial press. This led to some really interesting comments, and as a result I surveyed the publications produced by London's Boroughs. A quarter of them are at least fortnightly, and over 70% of them take commercial advertising, including giving away free classified listings in one instance, and yet the LGA insists that they do not compete. Another reason that I struggle to buy the necessity...
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May 15, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Being local...

This week has been, according to the Newspaper Society, 'Local Newspaper Week'. It seemed like an opportune moment to blog about some of the things I've noticed about my local newspapers since I moved to Muswell Hill. I've been collecting clippings and pictures of the Muswell Hill Journal and Ham & High Broadway since October, and so far this week I've blogged about advertising, some of the issues around local democracy and the potential impact of the local council's own...
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May 14, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Council newspapers

Between the 11th and 17th May, the Newspaper Society has been promoting 'Local Newspaper Week'. To coincide with this, I've been blogging about some of the things I've noticed about my local newspapers since moving into Muswell Hill last October. So far I've looked at advertising, and at some of the issues around local democracy. Local council newspapers The business model of the regional press is under severe strain. Not only is the economic situation affecting display advertising, but the...
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May 13, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Democracy

For 'Local Newspaper Week' I've been looking at some of the things I've noticed about my local press in Muswell Hill since I moved there back in October. Yesterday I was looking at some issues around advertising. Today I wanted to look at local democracy. One of the principle reasons for ensuring that our regional media survives the current economic climate is because of the diligent role they play in attending council meetings, court proceedings, and holding local organisations like...
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May 12, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Advertising

This week it is the Newspaper Society's 'Local Newspaper Week'. I'm writing a series of blog posts looking at some of the things I've noticed about my local newspapers over the last few months, in print and online. Today I wanted to look a little at the advertising in my local press. Births, deaths and adverts One of the traditional areas of revenue generation for the local newspaper was the 'announcements' page, where people paid to publicly announce births, deaths...
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May 11, 2009

'Local Newspaper Week' - Welcome to your new local...

This week the Newspaper Society is promoting 'Local Newspaper Week'. The aim is to highlight the valuable links that our UK regional press provide with their communities. I've been collecting some clippings and screen-shots from several regional papers in print and online over the last few months, and so it seemed an appropriate week to start blogging about them. Welcome to your new local... I came back to London in October last year, and, being a newspaper kind of guy,...
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April 11, 2009

Tracking the "Credit Crunch" with Google Street View: Muswell Hill

Tracking the "Credit Crunch" with Google Street View
Comparing recent pictures of shops in Muswell Hill and Crouch End with how they appeared when the Google cameras were in town

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April 8, 2009

London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace

At the end of March I found myself at Alexandra Palace on a Saturday morning for the London Festival of Railway Modelling. Although I've never had anything more sophisticated than a Lego train set myself, it is clearly exactly the kind of geeky hobby I would have been into if ZX Spectrums and Doctor Who hadn't existed in my formative years. I found it to be a little different from the London Model Engineering Exhibition that I attended in the...
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February 8, 2009

The Independent goes Muswell Hill at least

It looks like the credit crunch is beginning to bite around Muswell Hill, and this week we lost our branch of the Fine Burger Company. That didn't deter The Independent's distribution team, however. This week, despite the country grinding to a halt under the weight of the snow, the newspapers have continued to get through to the branch. I suppose it is one way of keeping the bulk distribution numbers up for those all important ABCs. I can't help feeling,...
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February 2, 2009

#uksnow out-trends the Superbowl on Twitter

If Twitter crashed last night, it won't have been due to the Superbowl, but more likely the sheer number of British people tweeting #uksnow about the weather. We are nothing if not a national stereotype. I had to get up early this morning, and so I got a few peaceful shots of the snow blanket around Muswell Hill, before the inevitable snowy London rush hour transport chaos ensues....
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January 20, 2009

London Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace

Following my recent trips to the BBC Studios and the old Victorian Theatre, I was back at Alexandra Palace again at the weekend. This time it was for the "London Model Engineering Exhibition". It was an unashamedly niche and geeky event, but I'd invited my young nephew along, which was my excuse anyway. It was a strange mix of a trade show and an exhibition. On one stand, for example, you could by sophisticated engineering equipment that would set you...
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January 17, 2009

BBC Television studio open day at Alexandra Palace

As part of the open day into the more obscure parts of the Alexandra Palace complex over the Christmas holiday, I got to visit one of the studios where, on the 2nd of November 1936, the BBC started broadcasting the world's first regular television service. The studios are housed in one of the neglected corners of the palace, and only kept open by a group of enthusiasts. Even on these kinds of occasion, only a fraction of the original broadcasting...
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January 16, 2009

Open day at the Alexandra Palace Victorian Theatre

In the lull between Christmas and the New Year, I got to visit a couple of the more obscure corners of Alexandra Palace, thanks to open days put on by local enthusiasts. One of the venues which is otherwise seldom open to the public that you could visit was the Victorian Theatre. The Victorian Theatre can be found at the eastern end of Alexandra Palace, alongside the ice rink. This was added as part of the rebuilding following the disastrous...
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December 27, 2008

'Parachuting Teddy Bear Jumps' in Muswell Hill

You might have noticed on the blog that since the move back to the UK, I've been trying to do lots of 'local' things, and really get to grips with having moved to a new area of London. As well as the couple of book launches that I've blogged about - 'Hornsey Past' and 'The Folklore of London' - I've been for a guided walk in Highgate Wood, and even ventured into a carol service in the John Baird pub,...
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December 21, 2008

VAT rate cut information design in Muswell Hill

We are approaching the end of December, and will soon be getting retail figures that will prove whether the Government's emergency VAT rate cut sparked a last minute Xmas shopping spree, or whether retailer's doom and gloom about the Christmas period was warranted. I have painful memories from back in the 1990s of having to re-price every single item in Note For Note, a record store in Walthamstow, due to a VAT rate increase. With no computerised till or stock...
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November 17, 2008

'Hornsey Past' with Steven Denford at Hornsey Library

Last Tuesday I went to Hornsey Library in Crouch End to attend a talk by author Steven Denford about his book 'Hornsey Past'. As I've just moved into the area, it seemed like a good opportunity to get a grounding in some of my new basic local history. Denford himself, in his introduction to the topic, admitted that the old villages were never 'caught up in national events', and unfortunately, the subject matter turned out to be a rather dry...
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