All Saints' Church

Arts Centre & Church, 122 Oakleigh Road North, London N20 9EZ, 020 8445 8388

Stars

 

Some ancient churches have hanging up somewhere
a list of the incumbents of the parish.
Such a list at All Saints’ would be brief: only 4 to date.

But the church could instead muster quite a star-studded list
of famous people who in some way or another are now part of its history…
Here is a gallery of some of them…

Dick Turpin who is supposed to have kept his horse Black Bess in the Spinney…

Alfred Lord Tennyson whom the first Vicar’s father John Milesc published…

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet (27 February 1848 – 7 October 1918) who was composing such music as that for Blake’s “Jerusalem” & the hymn tune REPTON (“Dear Lord & Father of mankind”) while his half brother Sydney Gambier Parry was busy painting our church’s sanctuary & chancel arch…

Cyril Fletcher who, when a sixth-former, put on shows to help raise money to add the big hall to the original small hall…

Sir Charles Groves who sang in the choir while living with his aunt in Queen’s Avenue…

Procul Harum who performed in one of their early gigs at All Saints’ & whose “Whiter Shade of Pale” is still occasionally played at weddings here…

The Who (“Pinball Wizard” etc) who as The High Numbers were late for a gig here & so had their fee reduced by half a crown…

Sade who was a school girl here & performed at All Saints’…

Sonia Freeman who was confirmed here when she & her sister Maria lived in Myddelton Park,
with their mother, Clare accompanying on the piano for several of Adrian’s early productions…

Peter Sellers who had one of his children baptized here when the family lived in Oakleigh Avenue…

Another Goon who lived locally was Spike Milligan.
When he was booked to come to All Saints’ to host an event
remembering wartime experiences
the audience was waiting for him to turn up
when the sound of someone playing the piano came through from the back hall.
Thinking it was a teenager, the Vicar went through to apprehend them
& found Spike in an otherwise empty hall
improvising on the piano having come in through the back door.
“Where is everyone?” he asked Adrian.One f the first gigs for which Adrian was responsible at All Saints’
took place in the school playground.
It featured a group called The Sting
& the Python Michael Palin,
pictured here with the Queen’s Avenue houses in the background.
Later in the day the star gave Adrian’s small son Timothy
a lesson on how to play the drums…
Later, of course, Tim did become a musician
winning the BBC Young Composer of the year competition…

& his more recent work is detailed on Tim’s website. www.timbenjamin.com/
In 1985 Warner Brothers shot part of the Miss Marples film MURDER WITH MIRRORS in the Hall;
& in caravans parked on the grass between the hall & Myddelton Park lived the cast that included
Helen Hayes, Bette Davis, John Mills, Leo McKern, Tim Roth, Dorothy Tutin & Frances de la Tour
Lady Victoria daughter of Earl Haig who visited us one year to launch the Poppy Appeal. Either side of her here, as they chat to Adrian is the then Mayor of Barnet Leslie Sussman & his wife the Mayoress Adrienne.
Archbishop Robert Runcie
who baptized both Elise (then Benjamin) & James Kent-Winsley
Margaret Thatcher
who, after being selected as MP for Finchley & Friern Barnet,
was adopted as MP in All Saints’ Hall;
& who, as Prime Minister, attended the Centenary Pageant
& became a strong supporter of the Arts Centre…
with, on her right, Ena Constable
(a lifelong member of All Saints’, who was on the selection panel
that chose Lady Thatcher as candidate for our constituency)
at a meeting of the League of Jewish Women in 1966…
with Adrian & Martine at Woodhouse School
the night it was announced that the bridgehead had been established
during the Falklands campaign…
about to visit the school (with Stephen Mutch & Alison Lovejoy)
attending a Flower Festival here (with Frank Holdrup as church warden waiting to show her in)…
& with Canon Gilmore, Adrian & Tiggy opening the Nursery in Friern Barnet Lane…

Archbishop Trevor Huddlesdon who led “Songs of Peace” fo the United Nations Association at the Arts Centre…

Floella Benjamin with our Sunday School
(Floella was then in “Jesus Christ Superstar” for which Adrian was Theatre Chaplain
& she is now in the House of Lords…!)
Many other celebrities have come to perform at the Arts Centre…
& a frequent visitor to All Saints’ is Journalist & UNICEF Ambassador Martin Bell
pictured here with Lydia Rider who sorted out engagements for him
in the old BBC Newsroom.