I was looking at the great National Library of Scotland web site where you can look at old maps, and I spotted this amazing aerial photo of Finsbury Park from June 1949, showing large areas of the park covered by allotments:
- presumably this started during WW2 and maybe ended sometime in the 1950s?
Good spot. I have a photo of allotments along the west side of the railway between Harringay and Hornsey, but I wasn’t aware of them having been in the park.
Oo, can you post it here? An old next door neighbour on Uplands had told us about them, but she didn't have any records.
Wow - loads of them! Thanks Hugh.
There is a sign in the park that talks about the history and mentions the allotments. It says that the main ring road was used for parking tanks in the war, the park was turned over to allotments, and the running track was used for AA guns. I would love to hear more about the war history of the park!
The AA gun only shot down one aircraft. it was during the day and it was really by chance. The gun crew were on a drill, the aircraft came over machine gunning the area. One of the gunners quickly put a live shell into the breech from the ready use locker, fired at almost point blank range and the shell passed through the front of the aircraft injuring the crew. it subsequently crashed on Hackney Marshes! Sadly rather than getting medals, the gun crew were 'Disciplined' for firing with out permission and given a dressing down because "They should have left it to the RAF!" They were ordered off to the marsh "To clear up the damn mess they made!
You couldn't make it up!
The BBC Peoples War is a great resource for stories. Nothing to add to your quest but this story had a twist https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/27/a2747027.shtml
Just spotted that there is also a lower resolution shot from May 1950:
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