Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Crouch Hill: Hornsey's first YMCA 1905

This image shows the section of Crouch Hill directly south of the junction with Haringey Park. The middle of the three shops shown, 128 Crouch Hill, was run as the Crouch End and Hornsey YMCA from when it first opened on April 25 1903 to December 1907. After spending a few months in rooms at Bruton's Haberdashers at 8 Broadway (now the site of Barclays Bank), in May 1908, the organisation moved to Manor House on Hornsey High Street, the freehold of which it had recently acquired. The property still stands as 71 High Street. In September 1909, a building the organisation had constructed behind the house was opened. Named Parkinson Hall, it had a large hall on the ground floor capable of holding 400 people. On the first floor was a gym.

In 1919, the Ferme Park Baptist Church acquired the freehold of the site of the current building in Tottenham Lane. They immediately gave it to the Hornsey YMCA for fourteen years for the erection of a "Red Triangle Hut" hut.* The offer came with an additional opportunity. The organisation was told that if during that time a permanent building was erected, the land would be conveyed to them free of charge. Although a dismantled wartime hut was acquired and transported to the Tottenham Lane site, it was never assembled, apparently due to the planning of a permanent building.

The Manor House building was closed in January 1921 and put up for sale. Apparently, the decision was taken when the organisation believed that they would have a new building within months. As things turned out, delays to building meant that the Hornsey YMCA was homeless until the new building on Tottenham Lane opened on May 10, 1929.

After the death of Alfred B. Cloutman, the first president of the Hornsey & Crouch End organisation from 1929 to 1933, a memorial building was proposed to house a boys club. Built on land adjacent to the YMCA on Elmfield Avenue, it was opened on June 15, 1935. It is still standing today and is the only building that survives largely in its original 'moderne' style. It is now leased and run as a private gym.

In the war the building sustained some bomb damage whilst neighbouring houses and the cinema opposite were completely destroyed.

Memorial stone on the one-time YMCA boys club on Elmfield Avenue

By 1952, the Hornsey Organisation had acquired the land left vacant by the destruction of Roseberry Terrace, directly to the south of the building. In October 1957 work commenced to build an extension on the land. Two years later the new building was opened.

*Red triangle huts had their roots in the First World War. From June 1915, hundreds of the prefabricated wooden huts were erected close to the Front. They served refreshments and provided space for correspondence and games as well as concerts, lectures and religious services. Huts were also established in prisoner of war camps to provide similar facilities. After war, the idea was taken up initially to support demobbed soldiers and subsequently as a cheap way to extend the YMCA'a outreach. Many of the hits survive to this day in villages and towns around the country.

Views: 107

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

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Harringay online to add comments!

Join Harringay online


© 2024   Created by Hugh.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service