NEWS FLASH: Avenue House to close down?

New information coming in is that the situation is indeed serious with threatened closure at end of this month when the building and grounds could be closed to the public.

I have contacted the Barnet Council Press Office, and also Avenue House but have been met with a wall of silence. We will keep you informed if they contact us about the situation.

David Smith of The Finchley Society says; “This is quite alarming news as all our archives are at Avenue house. Then there is the Stephens Ink museum on the premises. And, Spike Milligan statue committee will not be able to put his statue in the grounds if they are closed to the public.”

There is a rumour, and we stress it is just a rumour, that there is a possibility that a school is interested in acquiring the premises and land.




11 Responses to “NEWS FLASH: Avenue House to close down?”

  1. Maggie Airey Says:

    This is dreadful news! Given the stated determination of the Borough to provide only statutory services, it could well be more than a rumour.
    The body running Avenue House have never properly developed its potential, serving rather to deter possible clients.
    The grounds are a welcome lung of good air in an otherwise heavily built-up area.
    Inky Stevenson must be turning in his grave!

  2. Ampers Says:

    Maggie, the closure is fact, the rumour is that it may be sold to a school.

    Barnet Council have now got in touch with me saying that they will send me more information by the end of the day.

    Janett Durham of Avenue House has also since got in touch with me and will be sending more information by the end of today.

    Next copy on this will be published tomorrow morning.

  3. Peter Marsh Says:

    As a trustee of The Stephens Collection I am very dismayed to hear that Avenue House might have to close.
    Further more, if the rumour is true, and Avenue House is to be sold, then I would hope that the museum could continue to operate within the house as a continuing educational facility for schools and the general public. To sever the link from Avenue House and operate from any other location would be to lose its main purpose.

    The grounds of Avenue House have been transformed by the present trust to the equivalent of Green Flag status without any funding from the council and are rightly regarded by local users as the best in the borough. To lose this facility or have it revert to the state of neglect that existed before would be a huge loss.

    What can we do to help?

    • Ampers Says:

      Very little other than if you hear anything please let me know as soon as possible. Alas we are understaffed although we are in the process of taking on three new people, but they all have full time jobs which makes life difficult.

  4. Pat Dunnill Says:

    Inky Stephens left Avenue House Estate to the people of Finchley, subject to the condition that it be “open for the use and enjoyment always of the public under reasonable regulations”. The legacy was accepted by Finchley Council in August 1918. The Charity Commission became involved when Finchley Council wanted to sell or demolish the property. Finchley ratepayers wanted the Council to accept. Various uses were proposed. There were several court hearings. There was a possibility of reversion to the Stephens family. Transfer to Finchley District Council was completed on October 6th 1927, nearly ten years after Stephens died. A fuller version of this was published in 1977 in the Finchley Society newsletter. Information was gleaned from the Finchley Council Minutes (very detailed in those days!)

  5. Pat Dunnill Says:

    Have you had any comment from Janett Durrant (manager of Avenue House)

  6. Pat Dunnill Says:

    Any more news about Avenue House, please?

    • Ampers Says:

      Everyone is keeping very quiet. Janett Durrant has not come back to me as she promised. Total silence in that quarter, and the Council have not offered any more information. I think we’ll just have to wait until the end of the month when it is all a done deal. It seems pretty apparant that if the council try to sell the property where will be court cases so I am reasonably assured of that. As soon as I hear the faintest whisper I will report back.

  7. Avenue House to close down? « The Finchley Arrow Says:

    […] NEWS FLASH: Avenue House to close down? […]

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