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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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There is another question for me. My family are relatively recent arrivals (2nd generation). Do I have a right to demand that English people change their heritage to suit my preferences? I know what would happen if a bunch of English people moved to Trinidad and started asking for street names to be changed. It would be like your house guest demanding you repaint your spare bedroom walls a different colour.


I am no generation, settled status foreigner who has lost their citizenship rights. I still "demand". Been here for 26 years!!!

But I must say that as I am the subject of no monarch as both my citizenships are for republics.

Indeed Devon, or what would happen if one C. Columbus got there first and changed Iere's name to Trinidad or tried to call its neighbour Tabaca ?  I think you might want to kick him out of The Port of Spain. Oh wait ....  Devon Lane in Port of Spain has a certain ring to it.

We have Columbus Bay (coloniser) down next to Icacos (amerindian name for local plum like fruit).

Also Columbus Square is at the end of Independence (previously Marine) Square and has Brian Lara Promenade running through it.

Victoria Square is in the centre of town. As is Lord Harris square. Many street names reflect the colonila past. A few have been changed  - Queen Penny Comissiong street (a beauty queen!)

Queen's Park Savannah occupies a large part of the north of the city. Queen's Royal College is located on the west side of this large urban park. There 's an anglican cathedral and a catholic one. Many, many (masjids)mosques and hindu mandirs and temples along  with every other domination in between.

The place names in this twin-island, Caribbean republic reflectthe rich and very diverse heritage of all of the constituent parts of the population of 1.3 million ++ citizens.

The most recent incomers are thousands of refugees fleeing the extremely harsh economic conditions and political tyranny of the Chavista-Maduro regime in Venezuela which lies only 12 km to the west.

But who does the place really "belong to"? Everyone and no one.

Hugh, is this now officially the longest running HOL thread of all time?

Yes, far and away, and it has been for some time. (Though one wonders if its getting to the end of its natural life). 

"... how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?

[Winston] tried to remember in what year he had first heard mention of [a Dear Leader]. He thought it must have been at some time in the [noughties], but it was impossible to be certain.

In the Party histories, of course, [a Dear Leader]  figured as the leader and guardian of the [Council] since its very earliest days.

[Their achievements] had been gradually pushed backwards in time until already they extended into the fabulous world of the [last century]. There was no knowing how much of this legend was true and how much invented. Winston could not even remember at what date the [Strong Leader and cabinet] model ... ] had come into existence.”

I very much hope the Council will put George Orwell back on the 'fiction' shelves. And that the "natural" outcome of the Statutory Consultation will be based on the usual rules. And ignore the disgraceful attempt to invite 2500 Labour Party members to press their thumb on the weighing scales.

Given that the predetermined consultation is a favourite trick of Haringey there are other examples. This one is current for a petanque court in Priory Park.

It follows exactly the same pattern as the Black Boy Lane initial consultation:

Haringey Statement : We are going to do this

Haringey Question : shall we do it like this  option A, or like this option B.

The Friends of Priory Park have skipped any subtleties and gone straight for the threat of judicial review. If they are correct about the precedents I think the same would apply to  the BBL process.

The Friends of Priory Park have a website

Some people have got a lot of time on their hands I see

The Council, you mean?

Oh come one.  This is a matter of such unimportance the survey was probably put together by a junior member of staff.  A simple phone call to whoever heads up parks and open spaces (who the Friends groups meet on a regular basis) asking for “neutral” to be changed to “Other location, please specify below” surely would have sufficed.

A judicial review risks the losing side many thousands in costs.  A pétanque court a couple of thousand.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Haringey just drops the idea.

Its a petanque piste. Not a court.



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