Avenue House – The Stephens collection

The book launch

The book launch

Left to right are Peter and Pat Marsh, Maureen Pierpoint and Stewart Wild, further details can be found under the next photograph.

It is fairly common knowledge that there is a small museum of the Stephens collection (Henry Stephens of Stephen Inks fame) in Avenue House. Recently the Finchley Society not only put together an excellent 24 minute video on Stephens Ink, with local people as actors – and jolly good they were- but published the history of Henry Stephens and two other students, John Keats and George Wilson Mackereth who all studied medicine together, printed by our local East Finchley printer, JG Bryson.The book was called “The unparallel lives of three medical students” and retails now at £6.00.

Two nights ago, on Wednesday 9th, a book launch was held at Waterstones in The Spires, Barnet but unfortunately the author, William Pierpoint, was recovering from a post op infection. However the launch went ahead and the wine flowed freely.

Photo of book launchers

From left to right in the above photograph are Stewart Wild, the Finchley Arrow’s historian, The author’s wife, Maureen Pierpoint, Nicola, their granddaughter, Peter Marsh, the chairman of the trustees, Pat Marsh, another Stephen’s trustee and Eileen Kenning JP, a committee member.

Missing from the photograph, but very much present, was Alicia, the Pierpoint’s daughter-in-law, myself as I was the photographer and of course the bookstore manager and staff and purchasers!

If there is anyone reading this who has the knowledge to change the DVD files to something that YouTube can accept, please will they let the editor know?

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Graffity Gerbal – a book review

Photo of the journalist; Pam TaylorBy Pam Taylor

I was recently sent a copy of this book by Stockwell Book Publishers who thought we might be interested in doing a review as Angela lives in Barnet. This is the first time we have done a review and hope that it will be of interest to some Finchley parents.

It is a very engaging little book all about a gerbil who has a tummy ache after eating a whole grape (rather larger than a gerbil’s normal diet of seeds and nuts). This all leads to Graffiti going to hospital and what happens to him there. The moral for children reading this delightful book is that it is not as frightening visiting a hospital as children may imagine.

Angela Carter was born in London and, as a child, was both shy and friendly. As an adult she is gentle and learning life’s wonders all the time. She was inspired to write this book after working as a volunteer in a well known children’s hospital and seeing many children arriving in a frightened and confused state, and mostly leaving with a smile on their faces. This inspired her to write a book aimed at putting young children’s fears at bay when told they were having to go to the hospital.

This book is due to be published on 2nd March and will be priced at £2.50.

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Finchley Artist exhibits locally

There is a nicely framed collection of prints of Finchley from Mari I’Anson’s book (which was recently published by The Finchley Society) on the walls of Finchley Central’s Bites cafe. These prints would make an affordable and acceptable gift for Christmas,  or one to keep for yourself!

‘Mari I’Anson’s Finchley Sketchbook‘ covers the whole of the Finchley area and depicts many interesting buildings and public places in the area. So, you can enjoy a coffee and snack whilst taking in this small exhibition. Your editor has a copy himself and callers are always picking it up and thumbing through.

Bites cafe is at 362 Regents Park Road, just around the corner of Station Road.

Contact Mari on 020 8346 7011 if you want to know more about the prints.

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The best management book I have ever read

This is a book in two halves.

The first half is about giving a manager time to manage by helping him to avoid taking on a problem from a member of staff, and avoiding having to spend too much time on fire-fighting.

It is also about taking a person who has joined your company – not fresh out of college, but after a few other positions where they have been shouted at, bullied, and made to look small by bosses with king size inferiority complexes.

It enables you, whilst avoiding taking over the problem in the first part, to grow your member of staff into making the correct responsible decisions for themselves in the second part.

It is part of a series of management books called The One-Minute manager by Ken Blanchard but, in my opinion, it is the only one that is a masterpiece and worth every penny of the price.

It is a paperback of around 150 pages and is called “The One-Minute Manager meets the Monkey”, it doesn’t take long to get to the point and there is very little “fillings” in the text. You can buy it, at present, on Amazon UK for £4.22 including delivery!

Apart from business, it can be useful for committee members of clubs and societies as well.


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Scoring at work


By David Lewis

The Beautiful Mind Game

by Renato Fantoni

www.bookshaker.com, £15.00, pp. 183

ISBN 9781905430727

This book, by Finchley businessman Renato Fantoni, approaches the self-improvement market from the unique angle of the football aficionado. You may be currently absorbed by the twists and turns of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but pay attention: Fantoni’s ambitious aim is to show you how you can use football to improve your life and your work.

Italian by origin, Renato Fantoni is in every sense a Renaissance Man. There’s Fantoni the Finchleyite, raised in East Finchley and educated at Finchley County Grammar School. In the 1970s he was a member of a rock band called The Funky 5 from Finchley. He’s run both his businesses – HPS World of Hotels and Fantoni Coaching Assessing and Training – from offices in North Finchley since 1990.

Fantoni the Finchleyite is also Fantoni the footballer. He once took – and failed – a football trial for the Finchley Azzurri. His greatest football moment was winning a friendly match in Victoria Park.

Then there’s Fantoni the fan. He doesn’t say in his book which club team he supports, perhaps not wishing to alienate potential customers who might be rival fans. So I shall not reveal this secret, except to say that he supports the same team I do.

I happen to know all this about Renato because he’s part of my business network. What I didn’t know until I happened to spot his book in the North Finchley Waterstone’s is that all this time Fantoni the footballer, fan and business coach has been thinking deeply about the nature of the game and trying to figure out how its lessons can be applied in life and the workplace.

We must all have noticed the close relationship between life and games. It seems that games develop in imitation of some aspect of life: often war, as with chess, draughts, and team sports such as football and rugby.

This is interesting, but then an even more interesting thing happens. The game, which developed in simulation of life, now returns the compliment and provides lessons on how to succeed in life. I believe this happens because the game is a simplification of life, with stricter rules, which creates a discipline in which principles of success become more readily apparent.

Fantoni recognises the dangers of taking such analogies too far, writing: “Sport is like war; it is based on winners and losers, but the world of work and business can be different because win-win situations are always possible.”

Early in his book, Fantoni sets the scene for later chapters by outlining the ten laws on teamwork of Marcello Lippi, who coached the Italy football team which won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Together these laws form a theoretical and practical basis for promoting successful teamwork in the workplace.

The book goes on to cover other topics which unite the world of football and the world of work (and life): the role of emotion and passion; the individual and the group; the comfort zone. Fantoni proposes a simple, football-influenced decision-making model, called Top Team, for the running of one-to-one coaching sessions and other meetings. Other themes include winning from behind, contentment and dissatisfaction at work, time management, and competitive rivalry. He shares various philosophical reflections with readers. He approaches each idea rigorously by reference to the football experience, but rarely allows the analogy to override reality.

Do you need to be a football fan to get the best out of this book? Fantoni implies you don’t; I’m not so sure. I think you will get more from The Beautiful Mind Game if you understand something about football. I also think you will get more from it if you are in the market for training in management, coaching and self-improvement.

I would even suggest that if your knowledge of football – like mine – is less than encyclopaedic, you could learn quite a lot from the glossary of football expressions which concludes the book, and which Fantoni (perhaps having over-exposed himself to punning headlines on the back pages of the tabloids) titles “VocaBALLary”.

Renato Fantoni has produced an interesting and at times amusing work which successfully marries football lore and culture to the demands of modern business managers and coaches. Va bene.

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