A few days back, I posted the following on a forum posting:
Earlier today, I popped by Adam Coffman's house in Fairfax Road. Whilst we were chatting outside his house, an older chap poked his head round the fence and pointing at the 1960s flats now filling the gap in the Victorian terraces where a doodlebug hit in 1944, "There y'are", he said, "Used to be number 105 there. I was born there in 1940. I was a war baby. It got 'it by a V1. I was only young but I remember it like yesterday. It wasn't the noise or the fire. It was the pressure I remember most. Tremendous force, it was like nothing I felt since. My dad used to be a French polisher. I think my brother was 'ome. He did the radars on HMS Hood. He was one of the few survivors.............."
And so this rich seam of local history poured out unabated (and unabateable). David (David Richard Norman, to do him justice) later lived in Umfreville Road, where in the 1980's he helped to get Railway Fields established and chose its name. Apparently it was nearly called Green Lanes Park!
I've given him my number and he's promised to get in touch and share his memories on 'tape'. He's also promised that he'll post a copy of a long letter he wrote to the Journal back in 1980 about his experiences in WWII Harringay.
Today, David dropped off his written memories and some photocopied photos. I have digitised them and am attaching a pdf.
It's strange; the pages carried a very strong odour of stale tobacco and I somehow had the feeling of smelling a bygone age as I scanned them.