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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Lookingh across Maynards (extreme foreground), Challen/British Woodcraft Piano Works on Hermitage Road, (centre) and the edge of Harringay Stadium in the top right.

©Britain from the Air (image EPW044027)

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Comment by Alan Stanton on August 4, 2021 at 18:44

Any idea how many were factories and how many warehouses?

Comment by Hugh on August 4, 2021 at 20:38

The residents coined the name. Take it up with them. But, yes, if you were to accurately name it by reference to its former use, it would be Harringay Factory District. 

Comment by Richard Ross on August 6, 2021 at 8:56

Language is political and the use of the name 'Harringay Warehouse District' obscures the fact that there used to be factories in the area - yes, Britain used to make things! I'm a resident and had so say in the renaming of the area. Maybe it was done by those who own the buildings and by coining a 'trendy' name could make more money out of rents and development.

Comment by Hugh on August 6, 2021 at 9:38

Few of us get a say in naming our neighbourhoods, other than stopping silly renaming efforts.

i never got the impression that the name was top-down. It has all the hallmarks of a bottom-up thing. As I understand it, the name began to develop as “Manor House Warehouses” because most of the residents arrived by tube and they named it after the last wayfinding device on their journey. As people got to know the area, Manor

Till very recently, some of the earliest residents still lived there. I think Ellis Gardiner, (the guy with a dog who lives/used to live down the side of the Ex-Fed, just north of New River Studios), was around from the early days. He’ll have a version of the story worth listening to. If Alay Paun or Ingo Pless are still around, they’ll have a version too.

As I said above, whilst factory would be more accurate than warehouse, at least the name accurately reflects the feel of an industrial past.

As I’ve explained in my short history today, much of the land used to be part of the Hermitage Estate, named after the old house. As some of the non-warehouse residents in that part of Harringay don’t like the industrial twang to the warehouse name, I sometimes refer to that part of Harringay as Hermitage and the Warehouse district (choosing the latter term over ‘factory’ because it’s currency makes it more readily understandable than the more accurate term). 

Comment by Don on August 6, 2021 at 11:42

Estate agents often have a lot to answer for, too, trying to make places sound more up-market. Thankfully, I think “Harringay Heights” failed to stick, just as “Midtown” didn’t get any traction as an attempt to rename the Holborn area (though the ‘Midtown Business Improvement District’ lingers on).

Comment by JJ B on August 6, 2021 at 12:53

Can anyone explain if the slopes at the top of the 1934 photo are naturally occuring or if they are the result of dumping of some kind?

Comment by Hugh on August 6, 2021 at 13:03

Great question, JJB. I have some knowledge about this, but not 100%.

I’m pretty sure that they’re at least in part the result of dumping. There was well-documented a decade-long struggle between Tottenham District Council and St Ann’s Hospital on the one hand and Stoke Newington on the other. Stoke Newington was using the Stadium site to dump their municipal rubbish, right next to the St Ann’s recreation ground (for location, see the history piece I added today).

So, some of the slopes is Stokie’s rubbish, but it was also used as a dumping ground when they dug the Piccadilly Line extension and some is also probably from the potteries and from excavation when they built the Stadium. 

Comment by JJ B on August 6, 2021 at 13:26

Very interesting.

So we have "hills" in the sarf of the borough ;-).


Comment by Hugh on August 6, 2021 at 14:50

As I wrote in one of my Harringay Wikipedia articles back in 2008, those hills are now known as Stadium Slopes and until recently were registered as a local site of scientific interest. 

Comment by Liz on August 6, 2021 at 15:10

They are ecologically of a lot of interest as I wrote about here but abuse of them and blocked access to them by the current owners mean that they are unlikely to be nurtured as a green space for now despite the best efforts of local residents who would like to rescue them and create a natural space for the community there. 

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