Ten things you didn't know about Barnet...

Times Series: Oh la la! Bienvenue a Barnét! Oh la la! Bienvenue a Barnét!

With almost 300,000 residents, there are tales from Barnet’s past lurking on every corner. Aime Williams has compiled a list of the top ten to impress your friends next time you’re wandering around the town.

Oh la la! Bienvenue a Barnét! In 2008, a few style-concious graffiti artists took it upon themselves to class up the borough's image. They added an acute accent to the e on scores of road signs, using masking tape, Velcro and black paint. But - quel dommage - Barnet Council was unimpressed and said the added accents were “vandalism”.

Gruesome... It might make your bones shiver and send a chill down your spine - but the corpse of a headless child was found buried underground in Sunny Hill Park, Hendon, in 1966. Think of that next time you walk your dog across the fields.

Know your ABCs? Next time you pick up your Oxford English Dictionary, remember it started life in a shed in Mill Hill School, in The Ridgeway. Headmaster James Murray began penning the hefty book in a shed he called the Scriptorium in 1879.

Tales of the orient... Sir Stamford Raffles, who founded Singapore, is buried in St Mary’s Church, Hendon. He established the modern-day version of the Asian city in 1819.

Everybody is starry-eyed... If you’re fascinated by all things in the sky, you’ll love this one. The tiny extrasolar planet HD 80606b was first spotted by intrepid astronomers at the Hendon Observatory in Mill Hill.

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedez Benz? (Or a Bentley) Pretty swanky - Bentley Motors built a factory at Oxgate Lane in 1920, and Cricklewood remained their headquarters until they were bought out by Rolls Royce in 1931.

Can you tell what it is yet? The same factory built Rolf Harris’s revolutionary Stylophone handheld organ in the late 1960s.

Lock your doors... Cricklewood was home to a wild lynx named Lara that terrified residents for more than a decade. She was later captured and lived a long and happy life in a zoo in Paris.

Fancy jetting off to a far away land? Finchley residents might find a home away from home in rural Arica. The suburb is twinned with the tiny town of Jinja in Uganda, and has been since the sixties.

Come fly (and jump) with me... The first ever parachute jump from a powered plane took place at Hendon Aerodrome.

Comments (1)

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9:17am Wed 29 Jan 14

Barnet Resident says...

Oxgate Lane is in LB Brent not Barnet.
Oxgate Lane is in LB Brent not Barnet. Barnet Resident
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