Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

A few years back I found out that back in the Thirties Harringay manufactured the world's largest piano and that some years later the UK's first colour cartoon films were made here.

More recently (and topically given recent announcements) I've learned that Ashfield Road based Frederick Sage and Company refurbished the House of Commons after the Second World War. 

Prior to the war, the shop-fitting firm that had kitted out Selfridges had several premises in London and had even expanded to Paris, Berlin and Buenos Aires. During the war however, their Harlesden factory was destroyed and their other premises requisitioned for aircraft manufacture. 

After the war they acquired premises on Ashfield Road in Harringay and focussed their operations there. On nearby Overbury Road they acquired a second factory for metalwork.

With their manufacturing base once again secure, Sage set out to re-establish their pre-war stature. It can't have hurt, therefore, when they won the contract to refit a large part of the House of Commons. The plan below is the principal floor plan from the original drawing done by the architects who designed the refurb. It has been coloured to show the extent of the work carried out by Sage on this floor. Whilst Sage's work didn't include the actual chamber, it did cover a large percentage of the rest of the building.

It included, for example, making the carved double door hung in the Churchill Arch leading from the Commons Lobby to the Bar of the House. This is the one you see Black Rod bashing during the opening of Parliament.

Here's Black Rod Having the Harringay door slammed in his face:

So, next time you go by Parliament or watch Black Rod hammering away on the News, lie back and think of Harringay.

Image 1: Ordnance Survey.  Images 2 & 3: The House Of Sage 1860-1960 By Deryck Abel. Image 4: BBC via YouTube

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Dan Cruikshank would love this, good research Hugh.



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