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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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That sounds like a very fair response to me William.

For the information of StephenBin, homework is always worth doing.

There are over one hundred houses in Black Boy Lane, many are divided into flats and maisonettes. If we consider that each household has three residents of various ages two of which are adults, that means well over three hundred residents as probably an under estimate.

There are also people with registered company addresses, Trustees of charities that have the road registers in various places and there are a number of rented properties, so the house owners are also impacted.

So would StephenBin like to walk up and down Black Boy Lane, count the houses, talk to residents, many of which are from BAME origins and then reconfirm that only 30 or so houses are affected.

There is the knock on impact on the area and history. Everyone who knows Black Boy Lane will never had heard of the new name or know where it is.

Go talk to the David and De Costa families and see what they think.

No I wouldn't. I'd just rename it.

This mans not the smart one

This is unfortunately the attitude of someone who does not have to live with the disruption and does not appear to have verified their information before making comments.

Worse still, they are unwilling to educate themselves with facts.

This is an observation of the situation and not a personal attack.

You obviously didn't read my first posting which said that I thought, that on balance the name should remain. I still think that. Perhaps you were just too busy.

But the ridiculous claims, aggressive and nasty messaging and sometimes snooty responses from most of those affected, made me realise, that supporting them was not the thing for me.

I doubt I am the only one who feels this and I wait to see what the outcome is. A small tip: If you want to acheive anything, pull your socks up, stop snapping at the heels of those who would support you.

To StephenBin:

Your initial post is noted and appreciated.

However, to make the comment with respect to 30 houses was misjudged and opened yourself up to criticism.

To then dismiss the criticism may have also have not helped the situation. 

This is not a case where the will of the majority is being brought into play, it is a situation where for political points scoring a few individuals who are in a position of power are striving to drive through expense and disruption on a group of individuals who feel they are being denied influence in the process.

Strongly support your view.

I've lived just round the corner from this road for ~15 years, and it's always a bit embarrassing when people notice.

Whatever the origin of the name, it no longer serves a good purpose to call it that - today, all the connotations of it are bad. So I'd support changing it, and just the proposal to change it has taught me about two interesting Londoners, so I count that a win already.

Your point is noted, I observe that every negative comment that I have received about the name has been from white middle class individuals. All people of a BAME origin, in particularly residents, have had no problem with the name and do not see why the residents have to experience the disruption of their lives for such a matter.

We have family friends that grew up with my daughter. The children who grew up with my daughter are mixed race and consider themselves as Black. Both the mother and youngest daughter who still live in the house do not see why they have to have this disruption.

If you were subject to such a change and the associated disruption, I am sure that you may think of things differently.

This is not a single building or statue or park, but the personal details of over there hundred people.

I can just picture your embarrassment now. Perhaps you could point out the Charles II connection in future -- assuming the Council do the right thing, leave the name alone and busy themselves with more important work.

Or yours, when the council renames the street, changes the street signs, informs the Royal Mail, who stop delivering post to BBL addresses. Simples.



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