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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Following my consideration on the origins of West Green's Black Boy name back in the summer, Haringey Council has decided to rename Black Boy Lane in West Green.

The Council have called the exercise  a 'renaming consultation', but the online questionnaire offers only the ability to choose from a shortlist of two new names. So it appears that the decision to rename has already been taken with only the choice of name left to be decided.

They have issued the following press release.

The council has launched a renaming consultation with residents and businesses located on Black Boy Lane, as part of the wider Review on Monuments, Buildings, Place and Street Names in Haringey – which was launched on 12 June 2020, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The council believes that the names of our monuments, buildings, places and streets must reflect the values and diversity that we are so proud of in the borough. One of the street names that has been identified as not being reflective of this is Black Boy Lane.

Meanings change over time, and the term “Black Boy” is now most commonly used as a derogatory name for African heritage men.

As part of the consultation, the council is asking residents to consider new alternative names that celebrate some of the borough’s most notable influencers, and truly reflect the borough’s rich heritage.

The two names that have been shortlisted for residents to consider are, ‘Jocelyn Barrow Lane’ and ‘La Rose Lane’. The consultation will launch today, Monday 28 September and will run for a period of 4 weeks to Monday 26 October 2020.

Letters will be arriving on Black Boy Lane residents' doorsteps this week, who can respond to the consultation using one of the following methods:

If Haringey residents have concerns or queries about place, street or building names in the borough, please get in touch. Send your views to Leader@haringey.gov.uk.


Dame Jocelyn Anita Barrow (15 April 1929 – 9 April 2020) was a Barbadian/Trinidadian British educator, community activist and politician, who was the Director for UK Development at Focus Consultancy Ltd. She was the first Black woman to be a governor of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was founder and Deputy Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Council.

John La Rose was a publisher, poet and essayist. He founded the Caribbean Artists’ Movement and publishing company New Beacon Books which has a bookshop in Stroud Green. In 1975, he co-founded the Black Parents Movement from the core of the parents involved in the George Padmore Supplementary School incident in which a young Black schoolboy was beaten up by the police outside his school in Haringey.

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Tags for Forum Posts: blackboy lane name change, review on monuments, building place and street names

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The Thought Police are out again.

congrats again Haringey Council for continuing to spend our money wisely.

I expressed a point of view some weeks ago on this thread which is a bit different to those expressed. Does that make me the thought police? 

To be honest, what I've read of the thread makes me feel very uncomfortable to be expressing a positive view about the name change.  

About time! I've thought for years, even as a child, that the name was offensive!

Yes telling a visiting friend to get off at the Black Boy Lane bus stop always raised questions, I'm very glad to see it change.


I am interested as to your ethnic origin and whether you actually live on Black Boy Lane and will be subject to the disruption and costs associated with this change.

You are perfectly at liberty to keep such information private, but this would be very illuminating.

As someone who has never smoked since I was in my early teens, I have often seen an irony that the most adamant of anti smoking sentiment has been from people who are ex-smokers.

How should Haringey recognise and honour the borough's famous citizens or those who have lived or worked here, who made a substantial contribution to the community? That should be a question for all of us.

But perhaps, in this case, asked in particular to members of  Haringey's black communities. Maybe as well, considering how the individuals themselves might have wished their memory and work to be remembered and perhaps inspire people in the future. Since that appears to be the main intention.

Both John La Rose and Jocelyn Barrow were substantial figures. Are street nameplates enough? 

▀ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/25/dame-jocelyn-barrow-o...

My recollection (from several years back) is that changing a streetname was a legal process which takes time and may be very costly. Residents & traders may need to be compensated. Fees need to be paid - I think to the Land Registry for example. At least in the past, the process required agreement by the residents. Not simply an option of two preselected new names.

Logically, I assume Wightman Road will be next?

Barrow-wights murder indiscriminately.

Westenesse Avenue?

Given the context I'm not sure it's wise to name it after an island of colonising people whose power originated in their genetic superiority, even if that superiority came from breeding with other races.

When streets are renamed, on changing the street signs it is customary to put (Formerly ________) underneath, I wonder if LBH will be doing this?.

This is my street. And I hate the whole thing. It feels like an PR exercise in value signaling. I understand it’s a name that doesn’t sound super woke but I haven’t met anyone on my street that is hurt by living there. Granted I don’t know everybody but I can guarantee that most people would rather stick with a street name a bit off by nowadays society than having to redo all important paperwork pertaining to their deeds, ID papers, visa or residency if applicable - even being able to order online, if the drop down menus are not up to date - I mean it’s going to be shite.

The origins of the name are hazy, chimney sweep or black horse or some old king? Or something else, no one knows. Again I totally got the ‘feeling’ behind the idea of renaming it but it feels like no one thought of people on the street. If it must be changed for a BAME exercise in inclusion, so be it, looks like the 2 people selected to have my road named after are worthy but I am not happy we residents were just never asked if we were ok with the change of name, just offered a choice between 2 names. 

And without getting toooooo into it, I work in local education and I feel the council putting time / energy / resources in renaming a street would be better redirected in ensuring our real live young kids have a better starting chance, not in name only. 



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