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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The old bandstand was just about slap-bang in the middle of the tennis court that now stand towards the south of the park.

Political meetings of any sort had been banned in the park under the Metropolitan Board of Works, but after the London County Council took over in 1889, the policy changed and the bandstand was used as the venue for meetings by all sorts of groups including the suffragettes. Eventually meetings grew so large that the designated site moved further north to near the Oxford Road entrance.

If you think that placing the bandstand close to the railway was an odd choice, you would have been in good company at the start of the last century.  Matters got even worse after 1900, when the London County Council released land adjacent to the park to enable an increase of rail traffic. This apparently rendered the bandstand all but unusable for music. 

Islington Gazette, 2nd August 1905

As a result of pressure from the press and local people, the bandstand was opened closer to the lake in time for the Spring of 1907.*

It's not clear if the photo above is of the first or second bandstand. It looks very similar to the second one, shown in the photo below and the postcard was date stamped in 1916. However, it could also be the first, pictured an old Edwardian postcard that had hung around in the sender's bureau for a few years. The position of the small building in the background would fit with a public lavatory shown on the 1890s map. No building shows on the later map to correspond with it.

The new bandstand c1909

* Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald - Friday 17 May 1907

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Tags (All lower case. Use " " for multiple word tags): finsbury park bandstand
Albums: Historical Images of Harringay's Finsbury Park

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