Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The following was contributed by Mitchell Wells (now a resident of Glasgow):


Memories of living in Harringay from 1962 to 1965 and then regularly visiting up until 1980

In 1962 at the age of two , my parents and I moved into a flat above my (maternal) grandparents' shop Genia at 513 Green Lanes. They opened the shop some time in the 1940s, selling children’s clothes and women’s lingerie. It was one of those older style of shops where the entrance door wasn’t flush with the front window but set a bit further back along a short corridor. We could enter our flat through the shop but generally we entered via the alley off Warham Road and then the back door. My mum used to help out in the shop on Saturdays up until my grandparents sold up in 1980. That was when Nationwide bought it and turned into one of their branches.

Although memories are generally not so good from the first five years of a life, I have a few quite clear ones from then, mainly of the shops.

Right opposite our front window was a big greengrocer's shop (where the Suffolk Punch was in recent years) where we used to buy our fruit and veg (although a quick look on Google Earth shows that to be Winkworth's estate agent now).  Another shop we used to get our food from was the Home and Colonial store between Warham and Pemberton Roads (I think). It was very old fashioned in there even in those days. I remember the lovely smell of coffee and they sold biscuits by weight, a bit like pick’n’mix it was. There was also a general food shop called Newman’s a few doors away from the H&C, that we used to go in a lot. Further along (northwards) opoosite the Salisbury pub and the cinema/bingo hall  was where we got our sweets every Saturday,  a shop called Maynard’s.

The post office then was only half the size it is now. There was a shop between Genia and the post office then , which sold suitcases, trunks and bags. At some time after we left the PO must have taken over that shop to extend theirs.

Further along towards the stadium on our side there was a shop which sold stationery items, pens, paper, envelopes etc which I thought was strange because the name on the front of the shop said “(something or other)…Library” , my thinking was that a library was where you borrowed books rather than an actual shop.

We used to go the Finsbury Park alot, mainly to watch the trains from the two-tiered trainspotters' observation platform which was next to the footbridge over to Oxford Road on the other side of the railway. We’d see steam trains going by, and where the line branched off to Highgate we could see the occasional Underground train being shunted up to the Underground depot at Highgate. Passenger services along that line had ended in 1954 but it was still used for Underground trains. I think the track was taken up in 1971. In the late 70s it became the Parkland Walk. You could also hire rowing boats on the lake in the park.

I started primary school in September 1965. My memory of it was that it was called Black Boy Lane School, but I can’t find any reference to it on the internet, although there is a school along Black Boy Lane called Chestnut's Primary School so it could have been that.

We moved at the end of 1965 to Palmer's Green, although  I still visited my grandparents in the shop regularly up until it closed.

Another memory I have is of when I bought my first record in 1967. It was “Hello Goodbye” by The Beatles and I bought it , having saved three weeks pocket money (7/6), from a little record shop on Green Lanes near the railway bridge at the Stadium station. I say little because it was. It was one of those single shop premises split into two half-sized shops. The other shop was a barber. I looked on Google Earth and it’s still a split-shop- the Master Locksmith and Gold Bar jewellers.

In 1977 I left school and my first job that summer for a few months was in Wightman Road (near Atterbury Road) at a fancy goods wholesalers called Suman Bros, long since gone I think.

One final thing I can remember is that on Duckett's Common at the corner of Willoughby Road and Turnpike Lane there was a kiosk selling snacks and drinks.  We used to get a fizzy drink from there called Zing. It was demolished by the late 60s.

I think that’s  most of what I can remember from my younger days. I’ve got some photos of me from that period, but unfortunately none of Green Lanes and the shops. There’s quite a few of me at the back of the shop on my tricycle in the alleyway off Warham Road and in Warham Road itself and also some of me in Finsbury Park.

I saw that video of the transport minister visiting in 1963 for the new road crossing. It nearly pans up as far as Genia but not quite. Although I did get to see the sweet shop Maynard's. As it was a day in 1963 I was most probably just 200 yards away in the flat above the shop drinking milk from a bottle.

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Replies to This Discussion

Mr Healy had what is now the Gold Bar jewellers - he repaired jewellery and watches and sold new and second hand jewellery. He was a very pleasant man.

The shop next to the old post office was Mortimers who sold luggage, handbags, satchels etc. Genia was a wonderful old-fashioned shop with sparkling haberdashery cabinets, I bought a few Warners bras in there. Berrys piano shop also sold records and there was a tiny record shop opposite, just along from Mattison Road.

Hill and Nower shoe shop opposite The Salisbury, as well as Curtess, Lilly and Skinner and Samana who sold THE most lovely shoes.

My familial connection to Harringay goes back to the late 30s, I lived there from birth in 1955 to 1976 and I still think of it often, my friends, neighbours.

Oh yes Christine..........Mortimers shop, wonderful smell of real leather permeated the premises.  And also carried out shoe repairs in there, craftsmen.      And Berry's music shop, local musicians used to gather in there on Saturdays and the more proficient would be showing off their guitar skills and the like.  I bought my drum kit (on HP) from there, probably 64 time, convinced I was going to make the big time.  Richard Hudson, a decent drummer, worked there.  He went on to join The Strawbs as drummer for a few years before forming the Hudson Ford band.  My memories in Harringay span 49 - 70.  Still considered as "home" to me !

There was a young man called Paul who worked in Berry’s, mostly on the record counter…he would always give me a ‘discount’ on  however many singles I bought. He was also the DJ at Tottenham Royal on Friday nights. The ‘half’ record shop opposite was where I would go to order albums that Berry’s didn’t have.

Does anyone remember the tiny Tesco that was near to Kirwins at the Salisbury end of Grand Parade? It was a single shop with shelving on all walls and a island in the middle. I had to go there with Mum on Fridays to stock up - no trolleys just those awkward metal baskets. Mum bought meat from Reeves opposite the Salisbury on St Ann’s Road, and fruit and veg from Bill Wheeler’s open fronted shop. He and his wife were always bickering, and his Dad was always in The Salisbury…he had a very florid face.  

My job on Saturday mornings was to collect the meat order, queue with all the old ladies (and get ignored) for the vegetables, then collect all my comics from the paper shop on St Ann’s Road across from Warwick Gardens.

Re mini Tesco. Green Shield Stamps were valued. Mum allowed us to lick and stick them in the folded card.

A precursor to the more successful loyalty card today.

Another shop started giving Pink stamps in response but we know how that went.

Speaking of loyalty card and earlier systems....at the bottom of Pemberton Road two corner shops: Threshers Wine store ( an early photograph on this site shows a different wine Merchant's at the site in 1905!) and, the Co-op greengrocer on the other side ( towards Hahn's, the strange stationery shop, Greenaway's etc).

Loyalty card! A handwritten ticket with carbon copy which was kept. My number?

003874 thank you.

Around the corner was the main Co-op shop.

Not quite Thresher. It was Tylers till at least the War.

Thresher's didn't get a foothold in Harringay until the late 1930s when it took over the store at 7 Wightman Road. In the 60s, it also took on 407 Green Lanes at the bottom of Burgoyne, and sold 7 Wightman soon after. In about 1970, it acquired 489 Green Lanes at the bottom of Pemberton and ran both Green Lanes shops for about a decade before selling 407. I'm not sure when it stopped trading at it's final Harringay store. 

..It was obviously A N Other Wine Merchants and subsequently Threshers.during my Harringay years, late 50s to 70s.

The photo from c1905 was another wine merchant. 

That's why I remember the picture...it seemed odd that the same premises was occupied by the same trade , different company, 50 years apart.

The 1960s occupants, also wine merchants gave us "returns" even if the bottles were old Guinness or beers and the returners were just 8 years old.

By the 70s the did less return and more purchase.

Williams brothers gave there own diviy tokens then stamps 

Hello:  I lived at 5a Grand Parade with my Mum, Dad and brother.  We were there from 1951 to 1979.  My Uncle Sam was the manager there and lived above the store and when he moved to Stoke Newington to open his own store he recommended that my Dad live there.  My Dad was a grocer but he didn't work there.  He always said that Mr. Cohen was a bit of a shyster.

Oh yes Christine...........Wheelers veg shop !  Top of our road, Harringay Road.  My older brother had Saturday/school holidays job there and he never forgot his allocated job of cooking the beetroot out in back yard.                                                                                       And did you know of old Vera's jumble shop next to Wheeler's on Harringay Road.  It was a scruffy old tip of all sorts.  Single storey flat roof shop. Vera resided in house at rear.  Poor old Vera suffered bouts of mania of some sort (we called her mad in those days) and it was quite a regular occurrence for her to climb out of her front window onto shop roof screaming and hollering at all times of the day.  Poor old girl, don't know what became of her.  This was back in the 50's, maybe into early 60's.  I can't recall a butcher shop in that row but the fish and chip shop at far end and the confection kiosk I do remember.  You've got a good recall Christine !

Thank you to Jaqueline M for emailimg in the following:

Our family moved to Warham Road in 1960 when I was 3. Previous to that Hermitage Road. I have very happy memories of Harringay.

Early to mid 60s was a lot of elderly gentlemen bowing and lifting their trillbies to us young ladies along the paths, women polishing their front steps every Saturday morning with red cardinal polish.

Gentlemen named mostly Arthur's, Reginalds and Fred', winding up their now vintage cars to start in the mornings.

I remember a few door to the left of the post office a couple of Jewish ladies had a dress shop. I remember Newman's, the lovely shop that sold baskets of dried fruit and pulses etc. The gentlemen wore brown shop coats. It would be so trendy. I remember the beautiful egg shop run by a lovely polish lady who was straight out of Hans Christian Anderson. Could you iimagine an egg shop today. There was Arthur who was the butcher who was always joking and gave us lollipops. On the corner of Pemberton was the coop, green shield stamps. Close to the Salisbury was Tesco, a tiny little grocery store. There was Bartons bakery on the corner of Salisbury Road opposite Warham Road post office. My mother would send us for split tin loaf.

I went to St.Mary's private catholic convent at the bottom of st. Ann's Road. It was a beautiful school, beautiful Victorian building. Gorgeous homecooked dinners cooked by the nuns, beautiful gardens, a great education apart from one very nasty nun called sister benizia??????

Very happy memories overall. Living in Calway, west coast Ireland since 87. Happy, but London memories are very special.

Hello Jacqueline,

what years were you at St Mary’s? I was there from January 1960 to the very last Prep 4 on 1st July 1966 when the old school closed fit the new building in Hermitage Road to open the new school in Hermitage Road.

Wonderful school, wonderful education and happy memories. I went in to St Angela’s Grammar in Earlham Grove Wood Green. Lack lustre and inadequate place.

I visited St Mary’s last year with two friends. The school buildings have been transformed into accommodation and it’s a thriving Sufi Muslim community centre. The nuns live in Suffolk Road. When you think the land ran from st Ann’s Road to the railways lines and from Hermitage Road to Suffolk Road. Orchards, cemetery, convent garden, toddlers nursery, church-size chapel plus side chapel, nuns’ accommodation, playgrounds etc.

I was in the choir that sang the last benediction in the main chapel in 1/7/66 and I have been grateful all my life for the sacrifices my parents made to send me there and the wonderful education I received.




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