I was recently googling Wood Green, the place I grew up in starting in 1940. I am a really old fart, 79 years old this month.
I first found all kinds of reminiscences of the Wood Green Jazz Club at the Fishmongers Arms by the junction of High Road and Bounds Green Rd., gloriously nostalgic of my misspent early teens. This included a story by one of my classmates from Glendale Grammar School (now defunct). Then I found photos of the streets of my youth, with things like horse troughs which in some cases are still there. I grew up in a rented house on Clarence Rd. and my father grew up on Nightingale Rd. We shopped for daily needs on Finsbury Rd and Middleton Rd.
As a youth, which in those days meant anyone from about 7 years and up, I wandered freely and safely to places like Broomfield Park, Alexandra Palace and of course Wood Green High Road and any of its shops. We went to Saturday Morning Flics at the Gaumont (across from Wood Green underground station) and then walked to Turnpike Lane to buy superhero comics or to the library directly across from the underground station.
By the age of 10 we would use the underground to go to places like South Kensington for the Natural History and Science Museums or to Cockfosters to play in Hadley Woods. Nobody thought we needed an adult for such simple activities, and the underground was so close anyway, with stations at Bounds Green, Wood Green and Turnpike Lane.
The nostalgia I indulged in online was so enjoyable. Then I found this website and it had 28 pages of mostly negative comments on Wood Green High Road.
Is Wood Green really so horrific now? It sounds awful. A kid peeing in a store and the mother does nothing? Forget the possible medical problems, it's not about the child it's about the response of the parent in a decent society. This is supposed to be civilization, where we have regard for the sensibilities and experiences of others. Yet some have responded as though the complainants are remiss! I can't imagine such a disgraceful response when Wood Green was my idyllic and joyful environment.
I left the UK in 1993 and since then have lived in the USA in New Hampshire, Maryland and now Pennsylvania. President Trump notwithstanding, I find that society here is decent, respectful and friendly. I love going into town, people on the sidewalks smile at me (I don't think it's just because I'm such an old codger), motorists stop to wave me across the road (not just to make it easier to run me down) (I'm sure) (Really!).
I want to take my wife to England to show her where I grew up. Please tell me Wood Green isn't the grungy, unfriendly, aggressive and generally unpleasant place some of these posts suggest.
Beautiful reply, Alan, many thanks. It reminded me that I played cricket in the middle of the road. I will follow up your references.
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