diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 23, 2023

100 things you need to know about Betstyle Circus

1) It's not a circus.
2) It's not a gambling company.
3) It's a roundabout.

4) It's in north London.
5) It's due north of Buckingham Palace.
6) Its nearest station is New Southgate.
7) Its second-nearest station is Arnos Grove.
8) It's in zone 4.
9) It's in N11.

10) It's in the London Borough of Enfield.
11) It's on the very edge of the London borough of Enfield.
12) It's also on the very edge of the London borough of Barnet.
13) It's always been a boundary-type place.
14) It used to be where Friern Barnet Urban District met East Barnet Urban District met the Municipal Borough of Southgate.
15) Until 1965 it was the southeasternmost point in the county of Hertfordshire, which blows my mind, but the boundary between Middlesex and Hertfordshire was always a bit wacky in these parts.
16) The precise point was marked by a boundary post round the back of the BP garage.

17) Betstyle Circus has a BP Garage.
18) The garage has an M&S Simply Food and a Wild Bean Cafe.

19) The roundabout used to be a six-way road junction.
20) Technically it used to be a crossroads adjacent to two T-junctions.
21) This is why the roundabout has a funny shape.
22) The roundabout is mostly round but also has a sticky-out loop where one of the T-junctions used to be.
23) The main circular part of the roundabout contains trees and shrubbery.
24) The small tearshape part of the roundabout is all grass.
25) The main part of the roundabout is sponsored by Demetriou & English, a funeral directors from Bowes Park.
26) The small part of the roundabout is sponsored by Schmidt Kitchen and Interior Solutions of Palmers Green.
27) Enfield Council planted a raingarden around the northern rim of the main roundabout in 2018.

28) The roundabout used to be a hamlet.
29) It was a hamlet where several roads met.
30) The hamlet was called Betstile.
31) Now it all starts to make sense.

32) One of the first buildings by the crossroads was called Betstile Lodge.
33) Later came Betstile House.
34) Later still Betstile Lodge became Betstile Farm.
35) Two of the arms of the crossroads were called Betstile Road.
36) Another was called Betstile Lane.

37) Everything changed when the railways came in 1850. Cottages were built for railway workers. A huge asylum opened on the far side of the station - this was Colney Hatch Pauper Lunatic Asylum. A shabby genteel suburb grew up on this side of the station.
38) The station was initially called Colney Hatch & Southgate, then Southgate and Colney Hatch (1855), then New Southgate and Colney Hatch (1876), then New Southgate for Colney Hatch (1883), then New Southgate and Friern Barnet (1923) and finally New Southgate (1971).
39) Victorian developers tried to call the new suburb Colney Hatch Park but the asylum had a very bad press so an alternative name won out.
40) With all of this growth the name Betstile was totally lost and the area became known as New Southgate instead.

41) In the 1860s other buildings in sight of the crossroads included a waterworks, a Baptist Church, a school, railwaymen's cottages and the Clock and Watchmakers Asylum.
42) In the 1880s Betstile House was replaced by a row of cottages.
43) By 1900 the Middlesex side was substantially developed but the Hertfordshire side was still fields.
44) By 1910 the yard of A K Lander, Monumental Mason, was located on the western side of the crossroads.
45) Around this time the area became known locally as Lander's Corner.
46) In the early 1930s suburbia exploded across the Arnos Grove estate and the road junction became more significant.
47) In the mid 1970s the road junction became a large roundabout.
48) Planners named it Betstyle Circus as a nod to the past.
49) That was the really important fact, in case you hadn't noticed.

50) Betstyle Circus is still a key local road junction.
51) Friern Barnet Road leads to Friern Barnet. It's the A1003.
52) Oakleigh Road South leads to Oakleigh Park. It's the A109.
53) Brunswick Park Road leads to Brunswick Park. It's unclassified.
54) Waterfall Road leads to Southgate. It's the A1003.
55) Bowes Road leads to Bowes Park. It's the A1110.
56) High Road no longer leads anywhere. It used to be the A109.

57) Oakleigh Road South, Brunswick Park Road and the BP garage are in Barnet.
58) Everything else around the roundabout is in Enfield.
59) The Enfield side is in a Drinking Control Area where a police constable can require you not to consume alcohol in the area else face confiscation or a fine.

60) The North Circular is a short distance to the south.
61) Betstyle Circus is therefore just outside the ULEZ.
62) But not for long.

63) There are four bus stops called Betstyle Circus. Their letters are D, E, G and P.
64) You can catch seven buses here - 34, 184, 232, 251, 298, 382 and N91.
65) You can catch a bus to Edgware, Potters Bar, Walthamstow or (at night) Trafalgar Square.
66) There are also two bus stops named Betstyle Road (a local residential street).
67) Last month Jack made a video of buses at Betstyle Circus.

68) The roundabout doesn't have traffic signals.
69) Each arm of the roundabout has a pair of zebra crossings.
70) Walking round the roundabout once involves crossing eight zebra crossings.
71) Betstyle Circus therefore has 16 belisha beacons...
72) ...and a heck of a lot of zig-zag road markings.

73) Between Bowes Road and Friern Barnet Road is a council estate.
74) Between Friern Barnet Road and Oakleigh Road South is a curved modern five-storey block of flats.
75) Between Oakleigh Road South and Brunswick Park Road is the BP garage and Boundary Court.
76) Between Brunswick Park Road and Waterfall Road are three blocks of flats.
77) Between Waterfall Road and Bowes Road is a shopping parade and that's where all the interest is.

78) The parade starts with the Penridge Suite, a 300 seater wedding venue that looks like three shops.
79) Nextdoor is Arnos Grove post office, who also do Oyster top-ups and ID-approved photos.
80) Nextdoor is Firstline Motorcycles, primarily Honda, who buy bikes for cash.
81) Nextdoor is the International Food Centre, a very typical local grocery shop.
82) Nextdoor is Despina's Food Store, a Greek-Cypriot-run delicatessen, adjoined to Despina's Barbecue Supplies.
83) Originally these would have been 11 shops but there's been a lot of knock-through.

84) The shopping parade has free parking outside because this is outer London.
85) You can park for up to an hour.
86) The noticeboard at the Post Office contains ads for tai chi, a mobile locksmith, St Paul's Church Food Bank and a Real Men Empowerment Conference this Saturday at Shield of Faith Ministries.
87) Despina's sell Caprice Crispy Wafer Sticks.

88) Security cameras look down on Betstyle Circus.
89) The MPs for Betstyle Circus are Theresa Villiers (Con) and Bambos Charalambous (Lab).
90) Traffic circulates clockwise round Betstyle Circus.
91) You can buy Percy Pigs at Betstyle Circus.
92) Betstyle Circus has a pillarbox but no litter bins.
93) Betstyle Circus is built on London Clay.
94) Boris Johnson has been to a party at Betstyle Circus.
95) Daisies are the predominant flower at Betstyle Circus.
96) The Olympic torch passed through Betstyle Circus on 25 July 2012.
97) Betstyle Circus is an anagram of Secretly Cubist.
98) Betstyle Circus is 58m above sea level.
99) Technically you didn't need to know any of these things, but you've probably worked that out by now.

100) To summarise, Betstyle Circus is a roundabout on the site of the hamlet of Betstile.

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