Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

We live in Wellfield Avenue, Muswell Hill, and most afternoons we are alarmed by what sound like massive explosions. Visitors to our house are as astonished as we are but we can never tell them what the noises are because we don't know. We used to think there must be civil engineering works going on underground, perhaps connected to Ally Pally or Crossrail but those guesses proved wrong. Then we thought they might be ground movement, but the Geological Survey knew of nothing. Our current assumption is that it's a localised meteorological phenomenon, like thunder, caused by air parting and then coming together again on either side of the Muswell Hill hill, as it were, but the Met Office says it knows of no such phenomenon. What is oddest of all is that Haringey has never heard it, or of it, and nor have most of our neighbours, although it is very evident in our northe-east facing garden and in the rooms that back onto the garden. Typically it happens once a day, but we have heard it three and even four times - always in the afternoons and early evenings, but never in the mornings or at night. Is anyone else familiar with this strange and rather scary bang, and can anyone explain it?

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No, no connection.

Our current assumption is that it's a localised meteorological phenomenon, like thunder, caused by Claire farting and then coming together again on either side of the Muswell Hill hill, 

You were right all along, Stephen. Don't mind the Met or the Met Office or indeed Haringey spokespersons pooh poohing your theory. They're just embarrassed.

You bring a fine choice of words to the discussion. I met Claire Farting once, when she worked for Continuity at the BBC.

We once had a gas boiler that made the noises that you describe - erratic massive explosions.  Very loud in the near vicinity, but probably not travelling more than a couple of houses away.

In our case, the pilot light was set too low after a service, which allowed a large amount of gas to build up before it all exploded when the boiler 'fired up'.  We were lucky that we found the problem before serious damage occurred.

Could this explosion be coming from your boiler, or a neighbour's that is located on that side of your house?  The boiler could be on a timer which accounts for it happening at the same time of day....(perhaps it only lights up explosively when the boiler is starting up from cold, but when warmed, the boiler can light without drama).

Interesting notion but, No, it's got nothing to do with the boiler. We hear the sound over the roofs of the houses that back onto ours, and it seems to be coming from further away than that (but not much), and higher up. And the timing of the explosions isn't exactly the same: there's wide variation, but there's a propensity for the sounds to occur after midday. Apart from anything else, we've relocated our boiler in the last year and the phenomenon remains the same. Thanks for the thought, though.

Near to you is Muswell Mews, which services the shops on Muswell Hill Broadway. Google Streetview shows several large commercial wheeled waste containers. Potential for reverberations when waste is dumped in them - and the time of day would fit such activity?

Interesting idea. It's hard to know where the sound is coming from, because reverberations and echoes disguise original sources, but we're hearing these sounds in exactly the opposite direction from the mews. Besides which, there are two rows of pretty hefty houses between our back garden, where the sound is most evident, and the mews that you mention. (Incidentally, I've never heard the sound while I'm in our front garden.)

There was a similar mystery in Highgate Woods a couple of years ago, but I haven't heard it for quite a while. Some suggestions at the time that people were setting off explosives in disused railway tunnels to scare the bats. Details here:

I thought it was against the law to disturb bats.

It is, the explosions stopped (well I stopped hearing them over Highgate Woods) shortly after. Maybe the bat botherers have moved on to the railway near Muswell Hill. Altough the UFO thing is far more likely given that Ally Pally was built by Aliens:

This is brilliant! I'm on episode 5.

As if all this wasn't spooky enough, there's another discussion on this site about barking trains



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