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.
It's a wonderful read, Richard. I am dipping into it so there will be more to come from me. Thanks so much!
Great memory Mitchell Wells, I'm sure the group would love to see any photos you may have of this time...make our day!
Anyone remember the name of the bakers on the corner of Hewitt in any of the periods post WWII? Or when it stopped operating as a bakers?
Hello everyone: As for the video of Ernest Marples the transport minister opening the new road crossing, my Mum is seen on that video. Towards the end if you see some people crossing the road towards the Salisbury pub, she is in a white raincoat and halfway across she looks at her watch. This was because the year before she had a heart operation the year before and she told Marples she couldn't get across in time. As far as I know they extended the time by a few seconds.
On Woodlands Park School I attended there from 1951 to 1955 when I went to Tottenham County School. The headmaster was Mr. Podd who parked his Austin 7(?) in the playground. Other teachers were Mr Beresford, or was it Bedford, Mr. Lunny of course, Mr. Rowe who used to smack our bare legs - remember we all wore short trousers, and my favourite Mr. Hobson who rode a Lambretta or a Vesper. I heard that he commited suicide some years later over a woman.
My brother went to South Grove and although I never met them the teachers were Mr. Neill and a teacher whose last name I don't know but his first name was Joe and the kids used to sing "Poor old Joe" to the tune of " Old Black Joe"