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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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In no other aspect of life do we indulge the ignorant and say well if you think this, regardless of the facts, then we'll pretend you are right so you're not upset. Why should we do it here?

I tend to agree. Facts and evidence should trump (no pun intended) ignorance and emotions. 

"More people knew the nickname ‘black boy’, and that it conveyed (a pro-monarchy hostelry) than knew what Charles looked like."

But wait, wasn't it customary for people to carry around royal portraits in their pockets? A sort of 1690 smartphone? So even if people couldn't read the name they could check at a glance what Charlie#2 (and his relatives) looked like.)

Even if the name used was Carol. And he had some foreign frond sprouting from his head.

Though this is not unusual. Seems that it often happens now in Australia. At least according to Michael Leunig.

It’s a fair cop Alan, i admit i got carried away saying ordinary people might not recognise The Kong.  It WAS, an assumption. this bit and this not only.

So Charlie weren't no darlin', no darlin', no darlin'?

Time to re-learn more accurate histories of slavery - beyond unscrewing some street nameplates?

A profound lack of ambition is a badge of the current Council ruling regime. Symbols sure; practical plans, no.


We NEED scare resources to be used to repair the rotten environment in east Haringey.

The entire (or most of it) British society profited from slavery and it is still doing so today. Qwe need far morea cdeptance of that than just symbolic removal of names and statues.

There are many, many just rotten pavements and a terrible public realm everywhere. There is a lot of ongoing unauthorised damage to the historic architecture every single day in Tottenham.

We have a tremendous problem with fly tipping and waste and public gardens that are negelcted.

The monies spent on the name rechange could pay the salaries of two dedicated officers (or more?) to walk the pavements and engage and engage and engage again,  with stakeholders becausee the current system is NOT working.

Already the very recent (2019/20) restoration works in North Tottenham conservation area, financed with external garnts, are being undone by unsympathetic alterations.

Bruce Gro e nad West Green Road both also receivd intervention monies since i moved here 10 years ago. Yet most of these improvements are now gone too!

So OUR money keeps being spent on improvement but then is reversed by "the system".

You report to the council and try and engege with them that they need to enforce, go out and convince stakeholders to change their mindset. They say they have don't have the resources to do so.

To then spend all that money and Haringey officers' time and energy on a contentious name change is=


Hi JJ B,

I couldn't agree more with you. Out of interest, could you enlarge a little on this comment from your post?

Already the very recent (2019/20) restoration works in North Tottenham conservation area, financed with external garnts, are being undone by unsympathetic alterations.

There are already quite a few satellite antennae appearing on recently restored facades in North Tottenham. These are not allowed on facades on on the High Rd in conservation areas. It is one of the aspects of visual clutter taht the scheme was meant to resolve.

Unfortunately I don't have photos.

We recently lost one of most iconic shop fronts to an insensitive shop operator moving in. This happens again and again and again in Tottenham. See last photo on here. Then look it up on Streetview


So investment is being undertaken. It is just that we seem to be treading water or even regressing.

See Haringey policy DM3 Public Realm

thanks JJ B. Which is the historic shopfront you are referring to? It's not clear to me from the Flickr link you sent.

Look up 655 High Road N17 in Streetview and see what it looked like. There is a pix of the "new version" on my Flickr.....;-((

This thread seems to have been turned into a vehicle for a bunch of people to tell each other how clever they are and how ignorant others are, including published historians like the curator of Bruce Castle Museum, if they don’t agree with their view.



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