South Mimms
Social life


Victoria County History



T F T Baker, R B Pugh (Editors), A P Baggs, Diane K Bolton, Eileen P Scarff, G C Tyack

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'South Mimms: Social life', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5: Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham (1976), pp. 293-294. URL: Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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There were frequent complaints of illegal hunting both in the South Mimms warren and in Enfield Chase. (fn. 63) The lords of South Mimms and Old Fold manors claimed hunting rights in the Chase, (fn. 64) which were confirmed in 1563 for Ralph Waller, the tenant of Old Fold. (fn. 65) The Enfield Chase Staghounds met in South Mimms until c. 1918 and the Old Berkeley hunted there until the foundation of Major Smith-Bosanquet's Hunt in 1908. (fn. 66) Many boys were kept away from school in the 1880s and 1890s in order to beat the woods for shooting parties. (fn. 67)

There were 28 licensed victuallers in 1715, (fn. 68) about the same number throughout the 18th century, (fn. 69) and 20 in 1820. (fn. 70) Vicars in the late 19th century criticized the prevalence of drunkenness: P. F. Hammond refused the pot of beer offered him at the church door in 1889 (fn. 71) and his successor, W. H. Wood, urged that the number of public houses should be reduced. In 1894, besides beershops, there were eight public houses in South Mimms village, serving a population of 250. (fn. 72) In 1876 a branch of the Church of England temperance society was formed in South Mimms and by 1885 it had over 170 members. (fn. 73) The licence of the Queen's Head was withdrawn in 1892 and that of the Greyhound, restored in 1894, in 1918. (fn. 74) Many tea rooms and coffee taverns were opened, especially in High Street, Barnet, in the late 19th century. (fn. 75) In 1907 the Plough in South Mimms village became the Plough tea rooms. (fn. 76)

The Amicable Union society met at the Cross Keys, South Mimms, between 1801 and 1808 (fn. 77) and another friendly society at the Red Lion in 1815. (fn. 78) At Potters Bar in the 1830s the New Friendly society met at the White Horse. (fn. 79) and another society at the Robin Hood and Little John. (fn. 80) The United Society of South Mimms, which met at the Bull, Potters Bar, in 1807, owned the former workhouse from 1836 until 1869. (fn. 81) The local lodge (Court Cecil) of the Ancient Order of Foresters was founded in 1867. (fn. 82)

In the late 19th century local fairs were wellattended and in 1876 a foresters' fĂȘte was held in the village. (fn. 83) Although the holiday formerly given on May Day was abolished in 1871, school attendances on that day were still very low during the 1880s. (fn. 84) In 1891 oak apples were worn as button holes on May 29th, as they still were in the 1930s. (fn. 85)

Potters Bar village institute was built in 1893 by public subscription in memory of Henry Parker of Parkfield, and contained a hall seating 200 persons, a reading room, lending library, and billiard room. Club premises were added to the institute by E. C. Mott and a cricket club was started. (fn. 86) The hall was later purchased by the Potters Bar branch of the British Legion and used as their headquarters. (fn. 87) The Hyde institute and reading rooms, built in 1904, although outside the boundaries, were intended to serve South Mimms residents within a two-mile radius of Chipping Barnet parish church. (fn. 88) Local organizations founded in the late 19th century included the South Mimms choral society (c. 1890), the Young Men's friendly society (1891), and the Horticultural society (1891). (fn. 89) Other horticultural societies were started (fn. 90) and in 1969 a 10-acre field in St. Albans Road was rented by the Brookdale garden community association and divided into 75 plots, for recreation and organic cultivation. (fn. 91)

In 1973 Old Fold Manor golf club, founded in 1910, had a course of 124 a. (fn. 92) and Potters Bar golf club, formed in 1923, had 140 a. (fn. 93) There was also a private golf club at Dyrham Park. (fn. 94) The Ritz cinema opened in Darkes Lane in 1934 (fn. 95) but was pulled down in 1967-8. (fn. 96)


63 Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Ct. Roll) 14/28, f. 4; D.L. 1/170/54.
64 Hatfield C.F.E.P. (Legal) 33/21; M.R.O., Acc. 351/660.
65 D.L. 1/54/F7.
66 Brittain, South Mymms, 122.
67 M.R.O., D.R.O. 5/G1/1 (sch. log bk. 1870-95), 209, 214.
68 M.R.O., L.V. 3/1.
69 Ibid. 3/96; 5/2; 5/20; 6/2; 7/36; 8/62.
70 Ibid. 20/1.
71 Brittain, South Mymms, 115.
72 Ibid. 133-4.
73 Ibid. 115-16.
74 Ibid. 134.
75 Kelly's Dirs. Mdx. (1894, 1898); Kelly's Dir. Barnet (1889-90).
76 Brittain, South Mymms, 89.
77 F.S. 1/897.
78 F.S. 1/1362.
79 F.S. 1/2140.
80 F.S. 1/1935.
81 F.S. 1/1211; F.S. 1/1683; Brittain, South Mymms, 94.
82 F.S. 1/4601.
83 Brittain, South Mymms, 121; M.R.O., D.R.O. 5/G1/1 (sch. log bk. 1870-95), 120.
84 M.R.O., D.R.O. 5/G1/1 (sch. log bk. 1870-95), 11.
85 Brittain, South Mymms, 132.
86 Char. Com. file; Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1908).
87 Potters Bar, Official Guide [1972].
88 Kelly's Dir. Barnet (1927).
89 Brittain, South Mymms, 128.
90 Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1902).
91 Char. Com. file.
92 Ex inf. the sec.
93 Ex inf. the sec.
94 Potters Bar, Official Guide [1972].
95 Story of Potters Bar, 76.
96 Ex inf. Mrs. H. M. Baker.