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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

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Tags (All lower case. Use " " for multiple word tags): cleary garden, crouch end hill, telephone house
Albums: Historical Images of Crouch End | 2 of 2

Comment by Lydia Walter on August 25, 2023 at 3:22

Does anyone know what the building is on the right hand side?

Comment by Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 9:42

That’s the the GPO building. See here.

Comment by Lydia Walter on August 25, 2023 at 11:28
Thanks Hugh.
So I'm thinking it would have been located in the block where the current Marks and Spencer food shop is...
It looks SO rural. Sadly I cannot remember it.
Comment by Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 11:37

It wasn't demolished. It was heavily updated with a bit added on to the south end of the block set on Crouch End Hill and another bit added on the the curved building set at a perpendicular to the first block. You can see this in the overlay below.

And in the birdseye view below, looking south, you can see that in the foreground the old exchange building remains, unaltered. BTW I've been in that flat on the top floor, at the end of the curved building - spectacular.

Below is the site in 1946 (RAF (©Historic England). (Click and click again to zoom).

Finally, the next photo shows to old phone exchange where the electricity showroom was subsequently built in front of the town hall. (Photo by Aerofilms, 1938. © Historic England)

Comment by Lydia Walter on August 25, 2023 at 11:51

Thank you for overlay and extra photo. 

I clearly need to visit Crouch End for a good walk around as I still can’t place it. 

Flat looks like it could be impressive. 

Comment by Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 12:07

What look like allotments in the 1946 aerial view of were formerly the gardens of feather and fur merchant, Samuel Sugden's  Oakfield Villa

Comment by Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 12:09

M&S is in the street level of the former Exchange/Telephone House building running along Crouch End Hill. 

Comment by Trumper on August 25, 2023 at 12:37

Many thanks for posting this Hugh.

The garden on the right side of Crouch End Hill, just up from Telephone House, was called Cleary Garden (I think named after an early Hornsey Borough Councillor).

The Parks Department had a terrific reputation and Hornsey was sometimes referred to as the Green Borough. The tradition of valuing lots of trees goes back to when the old parish was being sold of in lots and developed. Local politicians and engineers insisted on wide streets and lined them with trees.

During the war, bombsites (and Hornsey had more than its fair share!) were quickly cleared and landscaped – for a few years, the site on which Hornsey Library now stands was a small but hugely valued park.

It is hard to see but, looking carefully at the far end Cleary Garden, and you will see a circular, raised planted flower bed. This sort of civic ornamentation was (and is) common in seaside towns and was a way of demonstrating the skills of the gardeners as well an expression of civic pride.

Different varieties and colours of flowers were used to create an image of, say, the borough coat of arms or even a sun dial! The plants were grown locally at the borough nursery.

There is a very active gardening group in the Crouch End U3a and trying to revive the practice would make a fantastic project!

Comment by Richard Woods on August 25, 2023 at 13:17

First time I have seen the 1960 image and that of course is how it was pretty much the last time I was there. I was on the HJ at the time of the image, married in 1964 and went off the Huntingdon. The Telephone building was pretty important but mostly full of the Strowger exchange gear that manually did what 'Doris' the operator(s) had done before. Late in the 80s I visited a similar building in Colchester and was ushered into a small room about 12 ft by 12ft - "And this is where we shall put the entire exchange after we computerise it," Bob Russell, BT Public Relation man announced!

We were impressed but I felt forced to slightly cap his story. "Ah well, Bob the kit filling the buildings next door was designed by a man called Strowger. When I first walked into the  offices of the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich in 1978 I met the chief reporter."

"I am Roy Strowger," he said, "And my grandfather invented the telephone exchange..."

Comment by Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 13:31

Trumper, the Haringey Park garden is shown in Fig. 15 here. I think the flower display in Cleary Garden must have been a changing one. See Fig. 9, here

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