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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I walked down Conway Road yesterday evening and saw an entrance to a site which I imagine must have been a workshop/light factory. It's now housing, called Priscilla Place. I read that it used to be a fire station, which would fit in since the fire station building is the one fronting on to Conway Raod, by the bend in the road at the western end of the plot. A practice yard, stabling for the horses before mechanisation? Anyone know the story?



Below are a couple of photos from ground level:



By the by, I also noticed this nice old survivor shop front just opposite, on Conway Road:



And it's companion a few doors down:



Seems like there was a thriving little area of shops - here's an old picture of one just round the corner in Etherley.


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I know Deborah (she's speaking at the WI in January). I will ask her!

I lived in Woodlands Pk Rd. from 59 to 68, I walked along Conway Rd. to school everyday in Black Boy Lane. I seem to remember black gates in this corner with an industrial unit behind. The fire station was public baths at this time. There were shops along one side of Conway Rd. I remember the barbers where I went for a short back & sides.

It seems that the  fire station was closed in the 20s probably when horses were being phased out in favour of petrol engined fire engines that were faster, not only on the road but on the turnout so this area could be covered by other stations. It is ironic that the first station built without provision for horses should be closed when horses were done away with. A lot of fire stations were closed at this time.

I started at Woodlands Pk School in 59 when it was a boys school, all seemed fine, had a good report which I've got.

For my second year we were joined by the girls which meant I ended up with a bad report.

Mr. Shepherd never noticed me gazing at Susan Hill all of that year, he thought I was thick, which probably says more about him than me.My teacher was Mr. Chase for my third year, the only teacher ever to inspire me.

If he had been my teacher for my 11 plus year things would have turned out differently.Instead of Mr. Chase I was put with Miss. Rudge for my last year as I had done so well and then went to Belmont Sec. Mod. 

Thanks for sharing those memories, Roy. But I suspect that the closure of the fire station wasn't related to the end of horse-drawn fire appliances

I'm not sure when it closed, but it was still showing on the 1938 OS map as a fire station. However, by the time of the one surveyed in 1954, it was showing as Fireman's flats to the front adn public baths to the rear. 

I've just added a 1904 description of the station to the same page as the last link.

Hello Hugh,

Thanks for the interesting article.

My Grandad joined the Tottenham Fire Brigade in 1921 for the annual leave period, he was told to go to Shand Mason to get his helmet and axe so he cycled to Blackfriars and back. He ended up as The Brigades third officer in charge of The Central Station, High X.  He knew (old man) Eddington and mentioned him a lot. He also spoke of the old machines that the brigade had particularly a super pump which I assumed was the Zwicky machine. He was made a Sub.O. in the NFS, ridiculous for a man with his experience and a waste but that was the attitude towards small brigades and their personnel at the time. He was awarded the BEM for his actions in the docks during the air raids, see the London Gazette. He was made Stn. O. after the war and retired in 1951.

My Dad joined the AFS in 1940 based at the Central Stn.

I joined the LFB in 1972. I served most of my time at Hornsey but was stationed at St. Loys Rd. 83 to 85.

Conway Rd. may have closed when Middx. FB. was formed, a lot were, during a major reorganisation.

I wish I could discuss all this with my Grandad who died in 82.

Hello Roy. you knew my husband Frank Horne, (known as Frankie).

I think it was your son who came to his funeral in August 2021. We lived in quarters at Conway Road old fire station for a while, in fact our youngest daughter was born there.

This was a council yard , and we used to play there as children as I went to school with the son of the family that actually lived in a house there . We used to have a great time as they had bays with different sized stones and sand in them , great for war games . The two shops on the corner of Rowley Road opposite the yard entrance were Caves the bakers on the even numbered side of Rowley Road , the smell from the bakery was fantastic ,and on the other corner was Mick Myers off license . He had two dogs , one black one white the same as on the black and white whisky bottle .

I live in Rowley Road from 1949 till about 1960 . My grandfather was the local bobby and was later head gardener in St Anns Hospital .

Somebody once said "We are a Nation of Shopkeepers".   It seemed there was a shop on practically every corner being kept in business by neighbouring properties.  Sad loss to neighbourhood communities.  Times change. 

Somebody once said "We are a Nation of Shopkeepers".   It seemed there was a shop on practically every corner being kept in business by neighbouring properties.  Sad loss to neighbourhood communities.  Times change. 

I also used to go to Woodlands school from 1942 _1948 I used to go to the bakers to get a hot jam doughnut, very scrummy. . My husband served in the fire brigade at Tottenham and for a while we lived in quarters in Conway road where  in fact our daughter was born so on her birth certificate it says, " born in old fire station " which has always amused her

There were quite a few shops in Conway Road when I was a child: a shoe-repair shop that was owned by a Polish man who had been a PoW in WW2, a general grocery shop that sold wonderful bacon, a green-grocers that sold hone-made frozen lolleys made from orange squash for a ha’penny each. There was also a barber-shop where I would go with my friend Paul Saar who was there on his Mum’s orders to get a short back and sides… happy days running errands.

A bit further along, on the corner of Conway Road and Avondale, there’s what was originally commercial premises, now converted into an extended set of flats (more recognisable as a former shop when I first moved to the area many years ago). According to Location, Location, Location, which featured one of the flats in a previous series, it was originally a post office — perhaps hence the pillar box still on the corner. With the shopping parade by the old fire station, looks as though St Ann’s was quite a self-contained little community when the streets were first laid out.

The Location, Location, Location team seem to have relied more on invention than research.

41 Avondale Road was one of the first buildings erected on Avondale Road. The first record of it that I have is in the Post Office Directory of 1900 when it was one of just four premises standing in the road namely Nos 1 (Christopher Creswell, Grocer), 41 (Samuel Taylor, Greengrocer), 99 (Charles Hardy, Coal Agent) and 20 (Martin Howe, Bootmaker). A pillar box was recorded outside number 41.

The previous directory I have access to is the 1896 one at which point there was no Avondale Road.

In 1903, there were only three houses recorded. Charles Hardy seems to have moved on and 99 appears to have been standing empty. Greengrocer William Swain had replaced Samuel Taylor at number 41. The other two occupants remained unchanged.

Jumping to 1909, the road was fully built up and number 41 was occupied by Dairyman Edward Bracebridge. By 1914, Edward Webb was running the dairy and in 1922, William Pealing was running a 'domestic stores' in the premises. 

No sign of any post office.

Bracebridge seems to be worth a bit of a story in his own right.  I find that I've previously mentioned him at a premises in Grand Parade (in a story I wrote about a Harringay rifle range). The 1911 census has him living at 31 Woodlands Park Road with his dairy manager William Footer and two young Footers.

It seems that Bracebridge was quite a player in the world of London dairies. Before 1907, I've found no mention of him (on an admittedly quick search). Then from 1907, he bursts on to the scene with advertisements in which he claimed to be the largest dairy in Tottenham borough and at one point in London.

(Click the images below to enlarge).

I guess the researchers/editor fancied the idea of a post office at the corner to pad out their story (though if they'd spent 10 minutes on research, they could have found a much richer story).



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