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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 Hugh on August 25, 2023 at 14:07

PS: Trumper, thanks for the introduction to Cleary, He sounds like an interesting fellow.

Born in Islington Cleary was, property developer environmentalist, conservationist and philanthropist who gained the pseudonym 'Flowering Fred' for his philanthropic activity in establishing, maintaining and enhancing over 150 green spaces in inner London.

He was also the author of Beauty and the Borough about Hornsey. (I have a copy and I see from the inside cover that he was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and awarded both the CBE and MBE).

He "was made an honorary fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge where he funded the restoration of the Pepys Library and the Cleary Research Fellowship award (which remains available to Land Economy students studying at the College). In 1981 he was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society in recognition of his services to Gardening in the City of London and elsewhere." (Wikipedia).

In his thirties, before moving to Hampstead, he lived for a period at 9 Waverley Road,* Crouch End, overlooking the Hornsey School of Art and just by the corner of Haselmere Road. It has been claimed that his property company, Haselmere properties was named after the Crouch End Road.

*His next door neighbour at 1 Haselmere Road was Neal Christey, a wealthy wine-merchant born of the Hornsey publican Christeys

Comment by Straw Cat on August 25, 2023 at 17:31

I've heard it claimed that the curved shape of the building was (like River Park House in Wood Green) to accomodate a planned urban motorway cutting through CE. But looking at the dates this seems at least in N8's case, an urban myth.

Comment by Hugh on August 26, 2023 at 1:44

I came across this picture of the site of the Cleary Garden on Crouch End Hill, taken c1949. The house on the far right is 1 Christchurch Road, since demolished and replaced with a 20th century building. Planning records suggest that although this first got approval in 1961, a further application in 1973 is the one that was actioned. The tower of the town hall is visible in the background….

…and on the opposite side of the road, screening the bomb site at the end of Crescent Road, was this forest of hoardings.

Comment by Trumper on August 26, 2023 at 14:22

Straw Cat is close, but no goldfish!

Yes, the south side of the main block of what was Telephone House is curved but was designed like that in anticipation of a traffic scheme to relive heavy traffic coming into CE form Crouch Hill. The idea was to get vehicles to left into this relief road (parallel to Christchurch) then right onto Crouch End Hill. I think that there is a scale model illustrating the scheme in Bruce Castle.

Comment by Hugh on August 26, 2023 at 17:59

Interesting. Given that Telephone House was opened in 1953, it would probably have been designed in the 1940s, or even prewar. I know that traffic on Crouch End Hill had been occupying Middlesex County Council, as I've explained here after Fig. 7. That all happened in the 1930s, but I wasn't aware of any proposed Crouch Hill-Crouch End Hill link Road.

I can't quite see where it would have gone. Since the new telephone exchange which was planned from the early thirties would have sat on the only possible route for it to the north, the only location would have been the gardens of the houses on the north side of Christchurch. Do you know if it was a proposal that was never taken up or an approved plan?

It sounds a bit madcap, but we are talking about council decisions here! I've dropped a note to one of the archivists at Bruce Castle, to see if they have anything.

Comment by Trumper on August 26, 2023 at 18:11

There was a lot of awareness pre-War that traffic was becoming a major issue in London. John Abercrombie's Greater London Plan ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_London_Plan   ) was published in 1944 and probably served as a wake up for all London Boroughs, giving Hornsey (with a reputation as a pretty go ahead outfit) a nudge in the direction of thinking about solutions to localised congestion. 

Comment by Richard Woods on August 27, 2023 at 12:39

The huge growth on car onwnership did not get going until the 1950s as show here. In fact the problem of traffic in central London (and I would guess other cities) dates back to the age of the horse; it was worse than anyone can imagine!

Car ownership in eight European countries per 1000 inhabitants,... | Download Scientific DiagramSelf driving vehicles: a disruption in the making I – IEEE Future Directions

Comment by Alan on August 30, 2023 at 15:52

Thanks for putting flesh on the bones in Hornsey, shame we ever merged into LB Haringey. They couldn't care less about the Boroughs. If anything grows here now, it's probably weeds. I've been trying to get them to remove the roadwork barriers around Hornsey fountain [grade 2 listed] and smarten it up- via Fix-my-Street- but they're might just as well be illiterate.

Comment by Richard Woods on August 31, 2023 at 12:51

We got no choice over the merger! I think they looked at Green Lanes and went OK the one to the right/east and the two to the left/west. But once there was a Greater London Council - now we have elected mayor with way too much power and responsibility and a daft little Assembly which does not care at all. And the huge London Boroughs are just ridiculously large and under funded. 

Comment by Geraldine on September 1, 2023 at 7:12

We had a school outing to the telephone exchange some time in the 1950s.

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