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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Turnpike Lane / Wightman Road Junction c1900

Believe it or not, this is the stretch of Turnpike Lane between the railway bridge and the junction with Wightman Road.

It's so very changed that it's hard to believe I have the location right. In the comments below I've added an assembled collage of magnified portions of the image. On the right you can see a pub called the Unwin Arms. Below that, I've also added a photo from English Heritage with a verified picture of the Unwin Arms at 163 Turnpike Lane, on the corner of Haringey Grove. As you can see, it is unmistakably the same pub as the one in the main picture.

The first few houses in the distance were on the corner of Turnpike Lane and Hornsey Park Road. They were destroyed when the "Wood Green Bypass" was created; the taller ones just beyond them still stand today and are the ones you see as your approach the traffic lights along Wightman Road.

On the left is Salmon's artists supply shop - imagine that in Harringay today!

Just beyond the Unwin Pub was Harringay's fifth cinema.

You can see how much narrower Turnpike Lane was in this photo. It stayed the same until the 1970s when all the buildings on the right were demolished and the blocks of Council flats built, including Dylan Thomas House.

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Comment by Hugh on November 21, 2014 at 12:33

Below is a collage of bits the image above at a higher magnification (beggars can't be chosers!). Click the picture to see it as large as possible.

Below is the Unwin Arms at 163 Turnpike Lane:

Comment by John D on November 22, 2014 at 5:48

Wouldn't have recognised it.

I wonder why everyone is looking at the camera, even the chap up the ladder on the right ?

 Surely a photographer wasn't so unusual in 1905 that everybody would have stopped to stare ?

They all look carefully posed, but why ?

Comment by Hugh on November 22, 2014 at 11:20

I wouldn't have recognised it either, had it not be clearly marked. Even then without the confirmation of location provided by the English Heritage photograph, it bears so little in common with the scene today I wouldn't have accepted that it was Turnpike Lane N8.

It's my impression that lots of the street post cards of this era tend to have people looking at the camera. Whilst photography wasn't new by this time, I think it was popularised during this period. Whilst only the rich owned a camera themselves, a new breed of mobile commercial photographer was born. Nevertheless a man with a camera and tripod set up in the street was still a fairly rare sight.

Comment by SarahC on November 22, 2014 at 13:23

So was this all destroyed by the road changes or had it gone anyway? It's so much of a wasteland round there that I'd assumed it had been old industrial space.

Comment by John D on November 22, 2014 at 13:28

Maybe the photographer told them all that if they posed nicely they would be on a postcard that they could send to their aunties ?

Comment by SarahC on November 22, 2014 at 13:56

I think a photographer standing in the middle of the road would attract attention today! These – even later and only a few miles away, though a different demographic – show the same kind of thing.

Comment by Hugh on November 22, 2014 at 14:09

Sarah, the seventies was the era that saw the wholesale redevelopment of Wood Green with the building of the Shopping City. I guess the flattening of this part of Turnpike Lane to make way for a new road scheme seems like small fry. Having said that, I suspect that the building that projects out into the road from the left of the picture was demolished in the thirties. I remember that just about where that stood, there used to be a 1930s block of flats up till around the end of the last century. Opposite were two 1970s tower blocks that came down around the same time. I don't believe that the stretch along Turnpike Lane was ever industrial.

Comment by StephenBln on November 22, 2014 at 14:09

@SarahC  I do vaguely remember the road changes being carried out, which I think happened in 1970. Buildings were demolished, but I think those in the photograph (on the left) had been lost previously to later development.

Seen with hindsight, it seems a pity. But at the time, it certainly was considered an improvement.

Comment by Dick Harris on November 28, 2014 at 10:18

I notice that between the taking of the two photos, the brewer's name changed from Watney & Co to Watney Combe & Reid.  According to Wikipedia, Watney merged with both Combe and Reid in 1898.

Comment by Hugh on November 28, 2014 at 12:15

Well spotted, Dick. I wonder how quickly they would have repainted the signage on all their pubs? It makes me wonder if my c1900 date is in fact more accurate than the 1905 date stamped beneath the photo.

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