Sunday, 26 August 2012

Arsenal DNA

'Are you extra busy this afternoon?'
'No, why?'
'I'm on a bus to London. Do you want to see the Arsenal under-21s?' 

So we went and were surrounded by dads taking the kids out for the afternoon. It was sweet. It was also cheap - £4 for adults and £2 for children. 

Photo tricksed up with ToonCamera to anonymise faces.
I have a thing about privacy.

There were just short of six thousand on the Arsenal side and about a hundred Blackburn fans, who fascinated me. Had they travelled down for the match or were they expats on a nostalgia visit? Was this a Lancashire Bar/Bat Mitzvah in which London-born children learnt about Northernness? 

The Arsenal lot cheered every time one of theirs did anything (though the loudest cheer was when Fulham scored against Man United) and booed when the Blackburn players were announced. Perhaps they shouldn't have booed, but I doubt the players minded. It felt almost affectionate, like a collective 'you're a proper footballer now'.

Chicken nuggets as praised by the Secret Footballer 

I'm not even going to pretend to do a match report. There's one here. Arsenal beat Blackburn 3-0.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Oyez! Oyez!

271-3 Hornsey Road (the old Jubilee Hall where Snook Machines were made) had been vexing me for months.
271-3 Hornsey Road
This is why:

I couldn't explain that town crier sign.

Then the clouds broke (i.e. some scaffolding came down) and revealed another sign done in the same style and colours:

'Town Crier' is a play on 'T. C. Timber'. Don't suppose anyone remembers them?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

There are wall thieves about

London's full of ghost signs: 'Nightly Bile Beans keep you Healthy, Bright-Eyed and Slim', 'Fine Old Pour Port from 3' a Bottle' and other missives from a past fascinated by pianos and digestive ailments, more Murder Must Advertise than Mad Men.

Anyway, on the Hornsey Road/Spears Road corner there's a newish sign that takes you to a stranger place:

'PUBLIC NOTICE: The wall within the red markings belongs soley to the owner of 510b Hornsey Road LONDON N19 3QW'

I don't understand. Why would there be a dispute over who owned a wall? Why would you want to announce your ownership through a laminated sheet of A4? Why would you leave the sign up for years?  

Was the sign meant to stop change? If so it failed. The wall now looks like this:

Was that done with the wall-owner's consent? If not, is the A4 sign up there as a warning? A sort of 'Thus far shall you come, but no farther'? 

Oh well. At least I can now explain the town crier sign, but that's for another post. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

'Ice-cream men and hot chestnuts'

Hornsey Road as described in 1890s Booth notes:

Worse handwriting than mine. Almost.

'Then into Hornsey Road which is a street of small shops, giving credit and so bring business with the surrounding neighbourhood over the heads of the cheaper and better shops in Seven Sisters Road and Holloway Road. Out of it on the east side is Pine Grove and Gladstone Street, two storied, purple to light blue. Pine Grove is chiefly stables and shop stores. Further south is Roads Street, a small Italian colony, ice-cream men and hot chestnuts. No trouble to police, "great respecters of the law" said Dyball. Houses built 1870.'

I wonder how the Hornsey Road felt after Sicily or Naples. Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com'รจ bisogna che tutto cambi.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Puss in Tollington

This is Puss:


Puss padded into the Tollington a couple of years ago. 

The landlady let him stay because thought a mouser might be useful.

Match day

Puss finessed his 'occasional mouser' role into a permanent position.

Your round

Now he runs the place. Go say hi.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Looking less like Detroit every day

I found this architect's proposal the other day:  ' Hornsey Road: A mixed-use development for the owners of a light industrial building in North London, this proposal retains the existing commercial uses to provide a platform for eighteen new apartments, arranged around an open rooftop courtyard.'

It came with pictures. They weren't informative. Look! There's a person about to climb some stairs. Plus, shrubs. Shrubs are important.*

aubert park

I think the building it'll replace is this:

'Steam Joinery Works'

Maps from 1873 to at least the 1950s show a 'Steam Joinery Works' there. What, exactly, is a steam joinery?

Yeah, it's been abandoned for a while.

I wonder how playing in the shadow of that will shape the local kids.  Will they find post-apocalyse sci fi comforting, or wrap themselves in florals and worry about slugs, or dream about Detroit?

I like derelict buildings, hell I like Detroit, but I guess that's a privileged perspective. If I'd grown up around them maybe they'd seem depressing rather than romantic.

New in foreground, old in background

Anyway, if you go for a walk north of Fairbridge Road you can witness an area changing fast from post-industrial ramshackle to shiny and new. 

Many thanks to Ali at for showing me the maps, and to @Mizhenka for suggesting Fairbridge Road.

*See the stymied plan to turn the Shaftesbury into flats.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Self-referential Hornsey Road.

The Hua Run chinese supermarket on the Hornsey Road/Seven Sisters corner

I wrote about it here.

sells this (not bad btw) chilli oil,

Sorry picture is blurred.

which is made by Tak Kee Trading in the bright bright bright building at 222 Hornsey Road (opposite the Eaglet)

Tak Kee Trading

making this is a Hornsey Road blog about buying something made on the Hornsey Road from a shop on the Hornsey Road.

It's like a North London ouroboros. This pleases me because it means I can use the word 'ouroboros', which I learnt last week. I like new words. #stillintouchwithinnernineyearoldgeek

File:Serpiente alquimica.jpg
Ouroboros drawn by Theodoros Pelecanos in 1478. Wiki commons

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The disinheritance at Grange Lodge

Suppose you were a vindictive bastard (mean enough to prosecute a maid for stealing spoons) and resented your son-in-law, how would you use your will?

You could draw inspiration from John Knaggs, apothecary & surgeon of Grange Lodge, Hornsey Road. 

Knaggs died in 1877 and  left his daughter Ann Cook £10  'notwithstanding that her husband owes me many hundreds of pounds'. I can't find out the story behind that, but there are reasons to doubt Knagg's judgement.

He left nearly all his estate to his only son, Walter, who had been kicked out of Jamaica for falsely accusing the colony's Receiver General of embezzlement, and who'd wind up peddling schemes for tea plantations in Penang.

Ann Cook and her husband George, meanwhile,  went  New Zealand where he became a judge. Their daughter (named Clara after another of Knagg's children) married Frederick Revans Chapman, New Zealand's first homegrown supreme court judge.

Here he is: 
Found here.

The will, as is the way of these things, survived all of them. 

Oh - anyone know where 'Grange Lodge' is/was exactly?