Walking back up the hill from getting some milk this morning, I thought I'd call on Carole (who gave me the Hewitt Road Coronation Party photo
) and see if she knew any more about the history of the Old Ale. I thought I'd only be a couple of minutes. What a misjudgement. She couldn't remember. so we called on George over the road. He couldn't recall either, so he called his wife Edna. And there we stood he four of us, them talking me listening to snippets of Harringay gone. They all moved in to Hewitt Road just after the war and so have been witnesses to more than half of Harringay's urban history. But apparently they're not all Hewitt Road has to offer. There's also Ray, Ron and Val and for all I know that's just for starters.
I threatened/promised that I'd come and visit them again to capture their memories. Reflecting on it since, I realised that I must return. Once these guys are gone, a whole rich seem of local history goes with them. And this is just one small patch of one road - what rich seems await us throughout Harringay.
Little snippets from today -
- Apparently Lakes has been Lakes for decades. Before it was a social club, it was Lakes, the well respected men’s' outfitters.
- Where the Turkish barbers is today, by the railway bridge near Sainsbury’s, was in years past a pet shop with a famed parrot who used to greet customers selecting from a choice range of welcomes.
- At the bottom of Hewitt Road, on one corner was a long established bakery (which explains the old Hovis advert still visible on the back of the building today); on the other corner was Seckers, the jewellery store. Just up the road on the corner of Allison was a sweet shop. Elsewhere there was a shop that sold only eggs.
- Then I heard about Edna's father and grandfather who were money lenders and lived in Finsbury Park. Edna remembers her mother used to sit out in the front garden with a table, chair and a big bag of money.
Yes, I must go back.
Does anyone else have any neighbours who've lived here for many years?