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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Wood Green High Road was our first choice for shopping.  Walking from home on Green lanes you passed the Ritz Cinema - two different programmes every week each with the "B" film, Pearl & Dean advertising, Movietone News and the feature film (I was taken to see "The Dam Busters" several times in 1955 as my father had been in the RAF!)

Crossing the entrance to the bus station you came to Conways Furnishers and then Turnpike Lane Station. After crossing Westbury Avenue and Whymark Avenue there on the right-hand side of the High Road were the three large stores - British Home Stores, Marks and Spencer and Woolworths (actually the original F.W.Woolworth).  One source of entertainment was the antics of the "spivs" who illegaly sold things (possibly of doubtful origin) out of suitcases in front of the stores.  They had a look-out hovering on the kerb who signalled the arrival of the patrolling policeman.  The suitcases would then snapped shut and the spivs would quickly disappear into one of the stores only to re-appear again when the coast was clear.  The day of reckoning came one day when the police came through the stores from the back entrances on Bury Road and several spivs were "nicked".

Further on down past the Wood Green Empire was Halford's who were then mostly a cycle and sports shop and further still the Co-op.  This was a strange building in two parts joined by a long ramp.  They still had the central cashier's desk set up high with overhead wires connecting it to each sales desk. The assistants would write out your purchases on a form which would be put into a cylindrical canister with your payment.  This was put into the overhead system, a lever pulled and the canister sped quickly to the stern-faced cashier.  A few minutes later the canister would be back with your receipt and any change.

Further along still the road curved to the right past Strakers the stationers and then you passed under the railway bridge at Noel Park & Wood Green Station.  Sometimes high over the road a train would come in with a screech of brakes, you would hear the brake pump on the engine going "thump-thump-thump" then, with a slamming of doors, the train would start off again.  Past the station there were more shops or you could cross the road to see what films were on at the Gaumont Cinema.

On this side of the road going back towards Turnpike Lane just after Alexandra Road was a shop selling cooked meats.  We usually bought some Polony sausage (special treat!) which was sliced off from one hanging in the window.There were many more shops including J.Sainsbury who had two adjacent shops.  Just before arriving at the Wellington was a toy shop (best shop in the road!) where my first train set was bought - an OO gauge Rovex.

Other names and shops come to mind although, after 60+ years I can't locate them - "David Grieg, Provisions Merchant", "Home & Colonial Stores", butchers with skinned rabbits, plucked chickens and the odd animal carcase hanging outside.  Greengrocers where potatoes were tipped straight into your shopping bag with things like lettuces just having a sheet of newspaper wrapped round them.  The price of everything was calculated and added up in the head (in £sd of course) as you were served. For example - three pounds of potatoes at ..., one cabbage, one pound of carrots at .., three parsnips and half a pound of tomatoes at .. that will be ... thank you! - no need for pocket calculators even if they had been invented!

Tags for Forum Posts: harringay alumni memories, harringay memories, stephen holliday's childhood memories, wood green history

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Just Googled it and you are correct, it was in Hampden Road, on the corner of the alleyway, thanks for that. It was a bit like "open all hours" and I had a delivery bike like Granville!!
Can I ask what page you confirmed the location on?

I was at North Harringay from 1948 to 1954 so we only overlapped. Garrisons was a key part of my life - I made model aeroplanes - free flight, rubber and powered - and they virtually all came from Garrison. along with loads of balsa; happy days! Flew them on Ducketts, Broomfields and at Fairlop, over Loughton way. I also bought my second bike there on the new Never Never - paid a quid down for a Raleigh Lenton and 2s 6d a week from my paper round.

I belonged to a model boat club, with a mate who live in Courcy Road. His Father ran the club and one of their bedrooms was a fully fitted out workshop complete with a lathe - all you could smell in the house was cutting oil - can't imagine that today!! The Club used to meet on a Sunday once a month on the boating lake at the top of Jolly Butchers Hill - I think it was Woodside Park. I've still got some black & white photos of some of the model boats some of the guys built, they were terrific. That's why I spent so much time in Garrisons, plus buying various bits to make the bike look better than it was!!

Is that Woodside Park in Finchley?

Woodside Park is in Wood Green, Just before Wolves Lane. When I lived in Progress way 12 years ago the boating lake was still used for competitions. Wonder if it's still there?

Well I never knew it was called Woodside Park! Used it a few times as a kid in the 50s and thought it was White Hart Lane Rec! Google satellite suggests the pond is dried out?

It used to be dried out but filled for boating events. I would take my then toddler to watch. I do hope it's still used. Back then it was still Harringey's official model boat lake.

I grew up in Wood Green and that bit of parkland was always referred to as the White Hart Lane Rec too. I remember the boating lake being used on many occasions in the 50's and 60's. I always thought Woodside Park was the stretch of park in the vicinity of the old Wood Green Town Hall that went all the way to the High Road (not south to White hart Lane/Wolves Lane.)

David Greig is mentioned in this list of shops in West Green Road in 1956 I just came across.

http://tottenham-summerhillroad.com/myalls_shoe_shop.htm

I always enjoy the local memories posts, though I've only been here since 2006.

I've really enjoyed this discussion about Wood Green High Road. I've lived here about 20 years and there's been plenty of changes in that time. I'm making a short film about Wood Green shopping now and am looking for people to talk to for my research. I'm particularly interested in memories about clothes shopping. I'd love to hear  from anyone who would be prepared to discuss this with me.

Hi - This from the 50s and the arrival of teen fashion. A shop called Lou Grant, top end of Wood Green High Road. We bought all our jeans from there. Mostly Lee Cooper or Lee Weston - even then Levis were a bit dear!. Mostly straight so we had them pegged - usually 14inches but 12 was not unknown. T-shirts were in and bright acid colours along with 'bobby sox' - even us guys would match up bright yellow or lime socks with ditto T-shirt. Pink was definitely outre - this was norf Lunnon! Shirts were rather cheap but bright single colours  Jackets tended to be tunic length rather than bomber and usually denim of some sort.

Flaash gear mostl;y came from Italy - I recall a very natty pair of well-cut trousers in silver grey with a slightly darker stripe; waister pockets and no turn ups. I skidded over trying to catch up with a girl and ripped the knee! Invisibly repaired at mucho cash per inch!

Casual footwear was baseball boots as we called them - ankle-length tennis shoes really - Dunlop, Slazenger, Max Fort. Shades of blue or black with laces to match the socks - so positively fluorescent yellows and greens.

I remember managing to get some light blue jeans, a very very briight yellow T-short and socks and a light blue denim bomber jacket - very snazz!

Also a drape length jacket in soft silver grey with a silver fleck in it - my girl friend (now wife) hated it!

But if a suit was needed it was either 50s off the peg at "John Collier, John Collier, the window to watch" (tra la) or made to measure (very A sir aren't we? How tight in the crotch sir? (fumble fumble)) at Montague Burton.

Good luck with the project.

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