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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Wood Green TfL substation, (Image: Google Maps)

In the early 1930s, as part of the Piccadilly Line extension, numbers 216 - 230 High Road in Wood Green were demolished to make way for a London Transport electricity substation to feed electricity into the tube line.

Before the 1930s, numbers 216 to 230 were shop-houses continuing the terrace that still stands today.

226-230 High Street, c1929. I assume from, the notice in Domestic Bazaar that this was shortly before demolition. (See next image showing that they were still trading in 1929).

Here is the Kelly Directories listing for 1929.

The substation, built across the sites of 216 - 226, was designed by renowned tube architect, Charles Holden. When it was built its equipment was of the most technically advanced type.

Control room in Wood Green substation, 1932 (Images : Transport for London)

HRH The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) posing in front of some machinery at Wood Green substation, 1933

I'm not completely clear on the current status of the building. Some of the original equipment is now on display in the London Transport Museum. I do not know how much of the original equipment, if anything, remains inside.  Apparently, the building is still in use as a traction substation serving the section of the line between Wood Green and Arnos Grove.

In fact, any information about the building is hard to come by. It's not labelled on any map (something I've just tried to rectify by adding it to to Open Street & Google Maps: though I think without success. I was hindered in OSM by being unable to allocate a category and Google just wouldn't let me save it as a new place). Neither can you find anything on the internet, bar a mention in a 2013 book about lost power stations. So it's all a bit of a mystery.

The tube station is a Grade II listed building. But the substation isn't referred to at any point in the listing. So I assume that it's not included. This most likely means that, for better or worse it's unprotected. 

Does anyone know anthing about its history or current/future use?

Late Edit (14 Nov 2021)

Just happened to notice this photo of a Bovril display in Farrants at number 226, c1905.

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That’s a superb image, thank you. I’d forgotten about the mapping timeline button.

Time plays tricks, however, I seem to remember a steel door with a small brick porch attached somewhere to the building. It’s where we sheltered from the rain and smoked a shared cigarette!

And perhaps of interest - beautiful electrical engineering.

Control panel indicator; Manor House sub-station control panel from Wood Green control room, 1938


Thanks, Roy. I see that the page you linked to says,

By linking the operation of several sub-stations to a central control room, one person could manage the distribution of electricity over a greater area.

Fascinating example of street vandalism wouldn't you say? 

I was hoping a friend of mine would have some memory of it having worked for LT in the early 70s, but sadly not. He does though remember the redundant signal-cabin at WG.

New image added at foot of original post. 

An ebay card just now shows further up Jolly Butchers than usual images, presumably this one showing the pre sub-station terrace.

The colouring artist was obviously not local, to my knowledge St Michael's has never had a copper tower or terracotta facia.

Manor House sub-station and the control panel now in the LT Museum are discussed in series 2 episode 9 of the wonderful, 'Secrets of the London Underground' .https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/secrets-of-the-london-underground...

Thanks, Richard. Here’s a shot of some of the Manor House equipment.



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