Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Allotment Saviour

St Saviour's on Hanley Road is a striking church with a lot of wasted space around it. 

This is the first step to fixing that: 

Bags of soil in front of the church

being turned into mini allotments for Tollington residents.

What happens next no-one quite knows. I spoke to a helpful man (I've forgotten his name - bad me) who was setting up the wooden frames and who thought there might be a plan to turn the much bigger space behind the church either into allotments or into a children's play area.

There's a lot of play areas round here (off the top of my head Wray Crescent, Fibsbury Park, the Andover Estate, Landseer Road, Cornwallis Adventure Playground all have one or more) so I'd vote for allotments even though plants keel over and die as soon as they see me.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

On being right.

As you'll know if you've asked me for directions I can be all kinds of wrong (ill-advised, misguided, ill-informed, wrong in detail, wrong in general, wrong in principle, wrong in practice) but every now and then I'm right.  For example, I'm right in thinking that the Andover estate's street-level garages are a lousy use of space. They're ugly, make the streets fell less safe, and attract fly-tippers.

So this made me happy:

Wesley Close.

Garages on the left, garages turned ino flats on the right. 


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Mayton Street music

Mosaiclawns, in comments, reminded me that the music at the Mayton Street. festival was a damn sight better than it ought to be at a street festival. See below for proof.

Exhibit A

The City Shanty Band with 'Haul Away, Holloway Road'

Exhibit B
Kasaï Masaï with 'Hakuna Matata'

Any more recordings out there? I'd love to see one of the Brass Volcanoes playing Mayton Street.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Mayton Street on the first of June.

This wasn't a street festival of the Charles-and-Diana small (and big) C conservative variety. It was more like a cross between a family friendly take on Duckie and an Occupy with cake instead of tents. 

So there was a save the NHS stall, a wearable end of the pier, a surreal tea party and lots of other stuff that made more sense if you were there. 

They kept one, key, traditional element. The Stroud Green and Gothic Valley WIs brought cake:

and more cake:

It was good cake.

(This is only slightly off Hornsey Road. Mayton Street is the first right after Seven Sisters heading south.)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A Caution to Mothers

I've been reading through old Islington Gazettes in the British Newspaper Archive and this story stood out for its thorough-going wrong-headedness. Note the bolded sections.

'Dr Lankester held an inquiry on Wednesday at the Hanley Arms, Hornsey Road, concerning the death of Susan Elizabeth Wyatt, aged thirty years, who committed suicide by cutting her throat.

The old Hanley Arms, now a mosque.

Alfred Wyatt of 4 Westmoreland Terrace, Hornsey Road, husband of deceased, said he was an omnnibus conductor. 

Deceased had had three children. Witness went to bed on Saturday night about eleven o'clock and deceased complained of depression of spirits. 

She had been in the habit of drinking, but she did not seem under the influence of drink on that night. She had a strange way and seemed to do things mechanically. 

At three o'clock on Sunday morning he was awoken by deceased getting out of bed. He told her it was to early to get up, and told her to see what time it was. She looked at the clock and told him and he then asked her to go to bed again. She got into bed and he fell asleep. 

When he woke at eight o'clock she was not in bed and he got up and went downstairs to the kitchen, where he discovered deceased with her throat cut. 

Witness called for assistance. Deceased had lately been fretting about the illness of her child and thought she should not be able to bring it up.

Dr R. Fouracres said he knew deceased and had attended her in her last confinement a year and eight months ago. He might remark that she suckled her child up to her death, and this would tend to produce insanity in womenIt was a frequent cause.

He was called to deceased after death and found a large wound in her throat, which had divided the windpipe theere were some smaller wounds on the throat and some wounds alson on the breast wheich seemed to show an attempt to stab herself. The wounds were such as could only be inflicted by herself. 

Evidence having been given to show that Wyatt and his wife live harmoniously.

The coroner pointed out to the jury the evidence as to the suckling of the child. he thought it could not be too generally known, as a caution to mothersthat insanity was often produced by suckling a child so old

The jury returned a verdict of 'suicide while of unsound mind'.

Islington Gazette - Friday 24 November 1871

Context: Formula isn't poison. Babies fed on it (including me - preens) grow up fine. In the 1870s, however, the alternative to breastmilk was pap and the water round here was a petri dish of horribleness.

More context: That coroner, who comes across here as such a fool, was Dr Edwin Lankester. He helped rid London of cholera, and generally did more for humanity than I or you ever will.

I think the moral of the story is that however hard you try and however smart you are, there will be times when you make a complete ass of yourself.