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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): stroud green, world war II harringay
Albums: Historical images of Stroud Green

Comment by Gerry N on May 7, 2013 at 14:03

Interesting in that during WW2 some massive bomb destroyed all the houses pictured, apart from the end 2 houses in the distance. This has to be the north side of Quernmore Rd at the Library end. In the distance, beyond the horse & cart is Oakfield Rd crossing Quernmore. A modern 1960's? terrace of houses, set back further from the road , has replaced the gap caused by the bomb.

Comment by Alexander Smith on September 28, 2013 at 17:01

My grandfather's family lived @ 63 Oakfield Road which is on the corner of Quernmore Road and faces towards the bomb site.

My father was still living there during the blitz. He told me the bomb was a parachute mine which would have been one of a pair the bombers carried – one on each wing. They would have been dropped almost simultaneously to keep the aircraft in trim but I don’t know what happened to the other one.  He said the mine did not explode at first because it became lodged in one of the houses.  This was very fortunate as it gave time for the area to be evacuated and there were no casualties. The fuses on these mines were set to trigger when the mine toppled over after having been gently deposited by its parachute. That way the device’s destructive potential was maximized because, rather than burying itself in soft ground which would contain the blast and direct it upwards (forming a crater), the explosion would move outwards to affect a far larger area.  

My grandparents’ house was badly damaged. My father said it was moved on its foundations and the side wall facing Quernmore road had to be rebuilt. They came home to find the front door lying on the stairs – it had been blown off its hinges; amazingly the beautiful stained glass was still intact and has survived to this day.

After the blast their water supply was cut off and my father told me he was able to climb up and take some from a tank in the remains of one of the houses.

21 Quernmore Road was a house near the centre of the blast and may have been where the mine landed. In the photo I think it must be the one with enormous brick piers at the front with a lady walking by. It was an exceptionally large residence of 14 rooms (not including bathroom or scullery); for comparison, the neighbouring single-fronted properties, though built in similar style, had only 8 or 9. It occupied a commanding position facing down Elyne Road and would have enjoyed an uninterrupted view south towards the City and beyond. Behind were grounds of perhaps a quarter of an acre which have now been turned into allotments. At the time of the 1911 census it was the home of Dr Henry Britten Brackenbury a prominent physician, his family and 2 servants. He was, I would guess, the son of Sir Henry Brackenbury the famous Victorian general.

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