The History Of Ashburton Grove

The other day someone left a comment on a blog post of mine asking why some of us call our stadium Ashburton Grove. What the hell is Ashburton Grove anyway? I thought rather than just post a one line response, I’d have a look a little further back.

Most long-time Gooners will know that Ashburton Grove was one of the roads that was built over as part of the new stadium development. But here’s the map of our corner of London at the moment, courtesy of Google. And it is literally a corner, as the stadium is hemmed in on two sides of a triangle by railway lines.4 map 2012

Google actually have the word ‘Emirates’ on their map before the word ‘Stadium’, but I don’t recognise that corporate nonsense (especially now that they’re not even going to be paying for it any more), so I’ve changed that to ‘Arsenal’. Much better. The old stadium no longer exists for Google, but for those unfamiliar with the area Highbury was diagonally north-east of the new ground, between Highbury Hill, Gillespie Road and Avenell Road. The map has a slightly odd position for Arsenal Station, as the only entrance is on Gillespie Road opposite Highbury Hill. They’ve marked the position of the platforms, which is not much use for anyone actually trying to find it.

So what did the Ashburton Grove area look like before Arsenal moved in? To start with, let’s go right back to 1885, the year before Arsenal was founded several miles away in Woolwich. 1 map 1885At that time Holloway and Highbury still had a lot of open spaces, but Ashburton Grove existed and appears to consist of rows of terraced houses. Given the amount of space still around the area I suspect Ashburton Grove was fairly new at that time. I’ve marked the position of the new stadium with a red dot. The future positions of Arsenal tube station and the Highbury ground are marked in green and blue respectively, and the yellow dot is the site of the Tollington Pub, beloved of many Gooners on matchdays and Akhil Vyas pretty much every day. Tollington was actually a settlement in the area around 1,000 years ago, so has a long history, of which there is more here, should you be interested. The other thing to note is that there was only one railway line at this time – the Ashburton Grove area was easily accessible from the Highbury side to the east.

Next is a map from Arsenal’s first great period, the 1930s.2 map 1930s As you can see, ‘The Arsenal Football Ground’ is proudly displayed. There’s not enough detail to make the ground layout particularly clear, but the mapmakers appear to have marked the East and West Stands in pink, with the rest of the area occupied by the pitch, Clock End and North Bank (Laundry End in those days) in green. This was long before the days of any seats at the ends, or course, and the map may have been drawn when the terraces were still just banks of earth without concrete steps or any covering (and covering applied only to the Laundry End until the 1990s). The London College of Divinity, from whom Arsenal bought the land for the ground, is immediately to the south. Arsenal station is once again marked in an odd place. Interestingly (to me), the blue boundary lines showing London postcodes indicate that the Ashburton Grove area is actually in N7 rather than Highbury’s N5, though the Post Office have let the club keep the N5 code since the move.

The other thing to note is that most of the area now occupied by the stadium and its surroundings is still largely blank. The second railway that comes from Moorgate up to Drayton Park and Finsbury Park is now there, and had been since 1904. The line south of Drayton Park station is (and always has been) in a tunnel, and emerges to join the surface lines at Finsbury Park. At Drayton Park the line is below surface level in a cutting.

I imagine that the site of Drayton Park station and the surface line from there to Finsbury Park was chosen precisely because it was empty. That ultimately did Arsenal a favour, because by cutting off a triangle of land between the lines it made it undesirable for housing or other social uses, given the difficulty of access. In the 1930s it was probably still wasteland of the kind that flanked many railways back in the days when the UK population was half its current size and there was no shortage of space. The fact there is a line marking off the white space seems to suggest that it was railway land, similar to some of the land near Finsbury Park. Queensland Road was a dead end, though there does appear to be a footpath under the railway at the end of it.

Moving on to 1995, and a map from the London A-Z of the time – an essential tool for cabbies, tourists and indeed all Londoners before the invention of the smartphone. 3 1995 mapHighbury stadium is marked as Arsenal Football Club, with a reasonably accurate shape for the time. Arsenal tube station is for once marked where you would actually locate it, and the site of the new stadium is marked (by me) with a red dot. As you can see, the roads around Ashburton Grove have expanded a bit, though they tail off into nothingness. By this time I think houses on Ashburton Grove were long gone and had been replaced by light industrial units and municipal facilities (ie a dump). I remember walking along Drayton Park (road) and there being a huge fence all the way along, so you couldn’t even see the railway never mind what was on the other side. The away supporters’ coaches used to be parked there in convoy. It’s all much smarter now. Personally I never had a need to go into the Ashburton / Queensland Road area, so I can’t give first hand descriptions of what it all looked like before Arsenal brought the bulldozers in.

And so back up to date. This is the satellite picture on Google now. 5 satellite 2012

Queensland Road still exists, as does Emily Place, though it’s shorter than it was. Queensland Place and Albany Road have disappeared under concrete along with Ashburton Grove, so I guess we could have called the new stadium after one of those two. However, at the time of building the club always referred to ‘the Ashburton Grove site’, so those of us who aren’t sold on the idea of calling it after an airline just took the name on. Ashburton Grove is certainly not the best stadium name in the world, but it’s better than taking virtually no money and still giving the name to a sponsor almost indefinitely. Well done Arsenal commercial department.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


135 thoughts on “The History Of Ashburton Grove

  1. there was a waste station in there, can remember when I was living in Islington in the mid 90’s dumping a load of housing waste etc when l had my place renovated.. whats the history of Queensland Rd btw, how did that get it’s name?

  2. You cant have your cake and eat it too.

    In this post you call the stadium name “corporate nonsense”, then in the same breath – and in previous blog entries – you berate the club for not taking enough corporate money. You think these corporations are charities – much like the mythical foreign billionaire who will pay up a billion plus pounds for Arsenal, then hand it over to the fans and let them make all the decisions? 🙂

      • It’s not “nothing” – there was a package deal.

        I understand you may not like the price but on the other hand these people arent business idiots – they managed to put togeter enough money to control the football club ie more than all the fans who are backseat driving It’s not as easy as it looks.

        I happen to think some of them are overpaid eg Gasdiz, but that does not mean there was a queue of sponsors waiting to hand the club more money than Emirates was. I actually doubt that very much. Arsenal fans have a somewhat distorted view of the club’s real standing in the scheme of things, particulary after Mssr Wenger’s half decade of overaceivements after 1998. Personally if I had the money to buy a football club, I’d still think that the Liverpool brand has far more global equity. And Man Utd’s in completely another universe. If you’re expecting the same deals as Man U, then come down to earth please.

  3. Phil, are we the only fans incensed that dopey Ivan threw in for free the Emirates name on the Arsenal stadium? (for me it will always be that!) The advertising value must come to, at the very least, £5m a year. But the clueless one insisted that it had no commercial value because Emirates already had their name on it. The truth is that he virtually had a captive customer: the very last thing Emirates Airline would want to see is their name replaced by – let’s say -Virgin Airways. The guy is not a business-man nor a negotiator; he’s a fixer and a spin merchant, a paid lackey of business tycoons like Stanley. But what does it say about Stanley, to employ such a hopeless case as his No 1 over here?

    • I am amazed by it. If it’s worth nothing, as Ivan claims, then take it back. If it’s worth something as part of the new overall deal, then tell us how much of the deal. That seems pretty simple to me.

  4. In 1896 there was a Mission Hall at the end of Albany Place, an “Electric Light Station” where Herbert Chapman now stands and a coal depot where the museum is. A Refuse Destructor was installed sometime between 1920 and 1936.

    By 1954 the Electric Light Station had been replaced by a vehicle repair works and a timber yard appeared in the south-western corner.

    When the location of the new ground was announced I didn’t have a clue where they were talking about even though I had driven along Drayton Park on an almost daily basis for years. All I knew was that there was a bloody great brick wall and, on the other side of which I knew not was there,

    • Sorry, I’m not sure now – just searched on the PC I’m on and I can’t find it, so it must be on my old one. If I remember I’ll look next time I fire it up.

      • Hi phil your maps show what an important railway “triangle” Ashburton Grove/Highbury Vale &Clarence Yard was, goods trains were marshalled @ Ferme Park(harringay) & then forwarded thru the triangle to east London/the docks, on the eastern bank of the thames& temple mills& barking(sorting yards), along with passenger trains to Broad Street,(rush hours incl up to sat noon before the 38hr wk)reversal @ Dalston Junc would allow access to the West London lines/ the west coast mainline(Euston) @Willesden,the western region @Acton(Paddington) &Midland lines(St .pancras) also who remembers the Birch Bros double deck buses alongside St.Pancras station to Rushden/Hitchen thru Barnet Hill&past the church where the 609 trolleybuses turned round to go back to Moorgate via the Holloway Rd &Highbury Cnr (no roundabout then,) @ various points there were other cross London railway lines from the area, but out of the scope of ourbeloved “grove” all good rgds jj

  5. I’m sitting with my Dad talking about old times, who tells me how football has come home. He grew up in a 4 storey Victorian house on Ashburton Grove, with over a 100ft garden and only a stones throw away from his nan who lived around the corner on Queensland road, of which at the end was a square, known only to them as the land, notorious for gangs thieves and trouble. I’m sure many people we’re unhappy with recent compulsory purchase made by Arsenal to complete the move from highbury, but back during his childhood, his dad, my grandad, was forced to sell their home for just £5,000. I’m sure that was a lot of money back then but, the sale was forced, and at much less than the properties true value, a property that today could no doubt be worth over £1m regardless of Arsenals move. As kids me and my brothers took over the family season tickets in the upper west stand at highbury, where I recall sitting on the steps of Avenell road with John Hollins, highbury was to me the home of Arsenal, but to my family, the new stadium has brought football home.

    • Hi Cole S Smith – I think your Dad is somewhat confused as there were no 4 storey houses in Ashburton Grove! They were all small terraced houses with just a first floor. I know as I lived in Ashburton Grove. There were larger houses the other side of the railway in Harvest Road.

      • Hi Christine, I very much doubt that my father was mistaken, what’s more likely is that I have confused his stories of living at Ashburton grove with his move to Elthorne Road. One of those properties was a 4 storey victorian house. All I know is that he grew up in Ashburton Grove which is now home to Arsenal. One of the houses was compulsory purchased for around £3000. However if you lived in the area you may remember my grandad Tom Smith – he had the sweet shop on Holloway road and was famous for his lemon Bon-Bon lollies! Tom & Mary Smith (my grandparents)

      • Hi Christine

        You are right about the grove, there were no 4 storey houses , I lived there from 1940 until 1965, and only
        moved because the council were going to pull them down and wanted to rehouse everyone into flats, a situation which most people accepted including my parents, the girl who I married also lived in the grove, but we decided we did not fancy a flat so we moved to Essex. I would love to hear from you and find out when you lived there.

      • You’re right, there Christine, although I seem to recall that there was one larger house near the dump, on the same side as the railway. I used to live at 16 Ashburton Grove and remember you well. (My name is Martin Smith) My best friends were Keith West and Kelvin Stockwell.

  6. My grandparents lived in Queens Square, as the end of Queensland Road was called. He was a wire worker, on piece work, and she was a charwoman. They and their 6 children lived in 2 rooms. These were the very worst of slums for those days, considered ‘vicious and semi criminal’, though everyone seems to have an occupation: box carter, coalman etc. Many people were employed by the coal depot on Hornsey Road, where the university is now. I remember the area in the 60s. Filthy from all the coal dust and very smelly from the rubbish dump on Ashburton Grove. In the summer it was actually quite hard to breathe sometimes. Lots of the buildings were demolished in the slum clearances of 1971 and the occupants moved to the (then) new housing estates around Westbourne Road and Cornelia St. Queensland Road and its offshoots Victoria Place and Albert Place were named after Queen Victoria so may have been built around the mid 19th century. They must have been slums from their early days.

    • Hi Sharon are you related to the O’Connors of Benwell Road? There used to be a lady called O’Connor who lived in Benwell Road who had a hairdressing salon in her front room.

      • Hi Christine. No, O’Connor is my married name. My family who lived in Queensland Road (and Benwell Road too) had the surname Francis. There was my grandad Albert, my nan Maud (nee Jeffries) and their children David, Dorothy (Dolly), Eileen, Michael, Ernest and Alfie. Earlier generations had pretty much the same names and also lived there. My dad’s family lived in Rollit House and were Kellys. Fascinating to read your posts. That’s how it was for us until we were slum cleared out of Hornsey Road (the bit where the university is now). There were no cars there either! We moved in 1971.

  7. I was born at number 10 Ashburton Grove and lived there till they pulled the houses down in 1966 to build factories. There were about 70 odd houses in the street with 2 corner shops at the Hornsey Road end. At the far end was the coal yard and the ‘dustcart depot’ which in the evening were locked up and as there were very few cars parked in the street our parents were quite happy for us children to play out in the street. My garden backed on to the railway and I can remember the steam trains chugging past. Although the houses were old and had no bathrooms or inside toilets people liked living there as it was a little community where everyone knew each other. I have happy memories of growing up down Ashburton Grove!

    • hi Christine, yes a nice street to grow up in safe!,I seem to remember you, but you were very young,the name steve rings a bell your dad or brother maybe?I think your dad drove for British Road Services in the ’50’s big red trucks he let us play on the flat back of his truck, nice man, your mum quite &reserved nice lady, so many nice families, here goes from memory could be wrong!#1 cato nice man bit unhinged but could talk about things to come!#2 clarks#3reeds #5?cooks#8furr bros #10 you know who!#21 pollards #23longs#24 pollards#25 me!#26crofts/smiths#33 coxs #34bryants#38 greys/#39 coles#40 greens(is that you walter(wally)green/#41dews#42anthonys and many more to note, maybe in the future(must be fed up by now} come on ashburton grove, run with the ball,thank you northbank1969 rgds John Jackson Sydney Australia

      • Wow John, good memory! Do you (or Christine) remember anyone who lived in the three blocks just across Hornsey Rd, opposite Rollit House/Shelboirne School? They were called Holloway House, Highbury House, Drayton House and Ingram House and were on the left of Horney Rd coming from Holloway Rd, before the railway bridge. I suppose they would be called tenements, they each had one big internal staircase with the flats coming off, no bathrooms and a kind of yard between the front of Highbury House and the back of Ingram House. They all backed into the railway or coal depot. I seem to remember a Peggy Jackson, the Attwoods, the Cranes, the Dunlops and the Dudleys but my memory is not as good as yours. I’ve had no contact with anyone there since They were slum cleared in 1970. My grandparents, John and Maud Francis lived at 89 Queensland Rd. Do you remember the Favourite pub?

      • Hi John. I like your memories of Ashburton Grove and playing on my Dad’s lorry……he did drive for BRS!. Steve is my older brother, he was born in 1950. It was lovely what you said about my Mum. Sadly my Mum died the year after we moved from Ashburton Grove, she was only 43. My Nan and Grandad Butler lived in our house with us but they both died in the early 1960’s.
        The Cato family lived at #1, they had a son George. The Fosbrooks at #6 (Joe,Queenie and Raymond) The Furr family, who were coal men, lived next to me at #9, The Boddy family lived at 19 or 20 but one of the daughters lived at #12 when she got married. The Wests lived at #13. The Smiths at #16. At 18 were The Howard family and my Great Uncle Fred Butler had a room(s) there.
        Opposite us were The Bull family at #54….there were a lot of them! I also remember the following families…Stockwell, Cook, Neighbour, Shepherd (was Mudge), McMullen, Keneally, Bland. Bussey.
        I was only 12 when we moved from Ashburton Grove but I have lots of happy memories from my time living there.

      • Hi John – my father in law Joe Cole lived in Ashburton Grove and the family would like to get in touch with you as you are related to them

    • Hi Christine i have just seen this site as i was reading about the new stadium with my son, we lived at 46 Ashbuton grove myself and a lot of my brothers and sisters were born in the house. i think we were one of the last to leave and moved to Drakely court next to the old ground in 68 and by this time the side by the railway had now been pulled down, not sure if you remember that is was a cobble stone road with no 4 story house just one floor with an outside loo and tin bath on wall real Victorian. I am a Douglas you may know us

    • Hi Christine you’ve been quite?, had a light bulb moment in the in the sleepless hours before midnite&dawn, Susan Holland@62?remember walking up the grove with my blue suede Cuban heel boots(bought them down the “lane” one Sun morning loved them think I slept in them ha!) & a copy of the Beatles first album on UK Parlophone (fetches US$2000 now)under my arm &she wanted me to come home with her to play it never thought(dope) nice but bit younger than me still……memories are made of this jj(ps never saw your dad outside without his flat cap)

      • Hi guys

        Been reading your posts with interest as I was born at 46 along with most of my brothers and sisters and was one of the last to leave in early 68.we moved to Albert park so basically lived most of life around or associated with Arsenal stadiums. It weird now to walk the area and realise all housesorts would be under the stadium as Ashburton Grove is actually a car park now

  8. I hope this threads still ‘on the go’! Sharon O’Connor you’re the only one to mention Ashburton Grove rubbish processing plant and tip. It was a huge site, we railwaymen knew it as ‘The Vestry’, and indeed smelly, I several times shunted the railway wagons which took the muck away from Ashburton Grove to a tip round Cole Green, Hatfield way in the 1960s. This is the reason why I’ve looked for Ashburton Grove, I’m writing my railway diesel loco memories ! And do you now live in Welwyn Garden City ? And did I work with you there in about 2000 ? If you see this you could reply on Norman of Hitchin

    • Hi norman, yes, hard to find mention of the “grove” in railway mags/books, an article in British Railways Illustrated featured the Finsbury Park area, overlapping to the grove & creep(pics) , I can remember pre early diesel haulage of the Pullmans, austeritys,n2’s,V2’s&once a B16!diesel type 1 E/E&BTH type 1 (sometimes dbl headed) &even a “baby”deltic, never did see a Brush 2, but maybe it happened,tell me was the Highbury Vale shunt,for the railway train crew, the bludge of the century?, never saw it move in all those years! Only once saw the LT stock transfer from Drayton Park with a B.T.H, a very long journey for that L.T. stock to works rgds jj

  9. Hi Norman, no that’s not me sorry. I’ve never lived or worked in Welwyn Garden City. I know the rubbish dump as I lived near it. We did back on to the railway though which was also pretty smelly in those days! Probably because they were shunting the rubbish – I hadn’t thought of that. Good luck with the memoir. You may find information at the Islington Local Studies library

  10. Hi I lived with my parents bill,dolly& brother billy(all deceased)@25 Ashburton Grove,my uncle George Cole lived opposite@39 there were 72 houses in the Grove in total,george was a coalman working for J R Range in the coal depot, range had a brother who had a house painting business in old stables in the corner next to the coal yard entrance,British Railways had a district workshop repairing mainly the scammell 3wheelers,behind the ashburton”pullman”refuse trucks sidings the rubbish was sorted @”the vestry” and can remember big AEC trucks with drawbar trailer from a company I think called “electron”taking all the tins away out of the grove,Islington wasn’t the only council to tip there others included Stoke Newington&Hackney Councils and very rarely even Finsbury Council,My father was a motor mechanic with the council in Lofting Road but often came to the vestry to repair the refuse tracks allowing me a ride thru the vestry & quite big too, the entrance was in off Queensland Rd and Exit via the grove separate to the coal yard,For the railway fans our house backed on to the railway lines the nearest being the Holloway(creep)locals called it the ramp(and sheltered in the arches in the war years) before my time.And I still like my railways/buses &trucks(British) after all these years.

    • John Jackson

      What period are you talking about? With the coal yard? I lived not far from Lofting Road, just off Roman Way until the slum clearance in the early seventies. My neighbours were Alice and George Jackson who lived in Sonning St, downstairs from us, are you related?

      • Hi Northbank, I lived in the “grove”from 1947-1967?the slum clearance occurred about then, the coal yard there in all of that period, with coal merchants j.r range/turners &furr bros who lived in the grove, over in Highbury Vale coal yard it was lebons&J.E Harvey(mike reid the comedian trounced for Harvey before success!,my grandmother Maud Jackson lived in a basement in sonning street!with her daughters family the “bannisters” they”immigrated”as a family to Hampden Park (Eastbourne) with the company john bannister worked for, The British Aerated Water Co or such like,the number of the house now escapes me after this many years,my father, Bill whilst working for the IBC drove &repaired the funeral directors cars (bragg)on Mackenzie Rd for extra money, which we sorely needed,so sorry not the same “Jackson’s” rgds john jackson

      • Hi John

        The coal yard must have shut down because I worked on that site 1972/74 when it was a scrap metal yard. After the slum clearance there were modern offices build opposite the council rubbish tip. Thanks for your reply, shame it wasn’t the same ‘Jacksons’ but if your grandmother lived in Sonning St then perhaps there was a connection.

      • I was born in Ashburton Grove in 1954 and the coalyard was there when I was growing up. As kids we could play out in the road because the coalyard, the dustcart depot and the other yard down the end were closed also there were not many cars about in those days.
        We moved out in 1966 when the houses were being pulled down. As far as I can remember the coalyard was still going then.

    • hi Sharon, not sure how that came about, but should have read Finsbury PARK racing pigeon club, they weren’t building an ark for the birds!,yes only thinking couple days back how lucky we all are for “angry” allowing us to ramble on about old times in the grove&area, all ashburton grove history in way I suppose, you have to be careful what you wish for, but thank you again “angry” for making this possible.jj

    • JOHN, I am a long lost cousin of yours. My gran lived at 25, my name is Terry Cole, my father. Joe grew up there. I remember your parents and uncle George @39. My Dad died in 1974 and I
      scattered his ashes on the grassy area under the north bank, after contacting Ken Friar.

      We have visited the special commemorative area at Highbury since

      Terry Cole

    • My father in law Joe Cole was born in 1915 in Ashburton Grove (number 25 I am reliably informed) and of course he was a life long fan of the Gunners. He died in 1974 and his ashes were scattered over the Highbury stadium. where there is now a garden of remembrance. When the Emirates stadium was built we all said it was like he was going home. I was wondering if you know where the site of Ashburton Grove is in relation to the new stadium. Also we think you may be a relative of my husband’s family. Would love to hear from you.

      • Hi Carol&Terry yes your father-in-laws mother passed in 1947 the year I was born,my mum was dolly(the baby) and the brothers were George, Bert &Joe with an older sister called “lal”?and a step sister called Ivy, mum nursed her mother who had bad abcessed legs& jack their stepfather, a nice gentleman, who passed around ’52 and worked @ stewarts wood yard in Drayton Park next to the UnderGround station entrance who like other men withered away once work retired him like so many of his generation born to work? Joe’s father passed in the mid 30’s causing great financial hardship for the family, as the only breadwinner in the household.George was a coal man& Bert worked for Pitchers Joinery who had a yard half way up the ” grove”, Joe would visit mum sometimes, from memory a big man, but kind &gentle, to us at least, I think and can remember the name Terry and his mum was Mary?long time ago forgive me, living in Stamford Hill I visited once, his employment not known to me, last time I would have seen him maybe ’65/66 before the mass demolition occurred, we were not the last families out, but near the end. So where was the house you ask? when I went back to visit old stomping grounds in 2014, nothing left but memories for me, when standing in Hornsey Rd looking at the ticket office &turnstiles the “grove” was on the left up against the railway, but around the 25 terraced houses down along the railway, not much help unless you went inside, I suppose, which I never did,So sorry to say I was never much of a soccer fan “cause god programmed me for music” But bet joe @ peace there, nice. rgds rockin john.(ps sorry for delay in responding I only view the page around every six weeks thanks again phil!(angry)

      • hi carol&terry phil asked could you have my email address which I agreed to, are you in possession of it?I have found a photo of Your dad &you wartime?with your names on the back in pencil in my late mothers belongings, I think it nice that you should have it, somehow,someway I will post if address supplied.Rgd john jackson

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  12. hi Sharon quick reply, thanks for the response, well the school opp.ashburton grove was the willam foster which I attended up to 11yrs old(maybe changed its name later?there was a shelbourne school near tollington rd, that my brother billy attended but that was a secondary school, I don’t think a primary,that road was I believe called little hornsey rd “attwood” rings a bell, I must admit I know the tenements, sadly pretty rundown even then, not that we lived on “sunset strip”The only person I knew & went to school with who lived somewhere along there, was a Patrick Pink, bit younger than me, but a really polite guy, he ended up working for Joe Meek (of telstars/Heinz(not baked beans) fame around in Holloway Rd in joe’s recording studio, my mum packed model airplane parts @ 308 Holloway rd above the model shop(Nicholls),&knew of joe, think Patrick can be googled because of his portrayal in a film of joe meeks life which he disclaimed, joe killed& a person and himself (look it up) landlady I think.I carried coal sacks(full)! many times into those buildings but never knew the names till you stated them, seem to remember some more higher modern(postwar) flats behind the north London poly&rear doors of the cinema in Holloway Rd, no lifts & three floors(shucks) 6flights and delivered to little hornsey street&eden grove too, yes I remember the” favourite”was that the pub in queensland rd? or the pub on the corner of Albany Place? where the pigeon fanciers came with their birds on a Friday night, think they were called the Finsbury ark pigeon club?.

    • HI, thanks for the reply. Yes it was called the William Forster School but changed its name to Shelburne in 1961 (I just looked it up) and it was part of the other Shelburne you mentioned. Yes, they were pretty rough those blocks. We lived on the top floor (lots of stairs), a tiny tiny kitchen and a tin bath! Amazing to think they lasted to 1970. If you can remember anything else about them I would love to hear it. The post-war flats you mentioned were Rollit House and (I think) Branston House, both now gone. Eden Grove is where I went to school! I know the Joe Meeks story as my aunt lived above a laundrette a door or so down from where he lived, I don’t remember the number. I remember the model shop though. Also remember Winner’s toy shop but that wasn’t on Holloway Road I don’t think.
      Sorry, angyofislington, we have taken your thread way off topic! But it’s so nice to have someone to chat to about life before the Emirates.

      • I remember the Favourite as being on a corner but that’s all, I couldn’t tell you the address. It was a very rough pub, a lot of fighting and it was an Irish pub as my family drank there.

  13. hi Sharon think the last reply went blk hole, try again, The pub in Albany place bit more upmarket than that, I fell over in front of the off licence of the pub in queensland rd some strange tiles in the area in front of it,on my xmas loan club bought “jacko”roller skates, damaging badly chin&face, a kindly barmaid who I fell in love with straight away. I was 7!,took me home to 25 only to be berated by dolly(mum) for bringing home? a barmaid to the front door, because what would the neighbours think ,bill(dad) being a non-drinker,”but mum I’m bleeding”to no avail,these were the days you reddened/or whitened the house steps out of fear of being talked about if you didn’t, you couldn’t make this up ha jj

    • The pub in Albany Place was “The Queens”
      My Mum and Dad were drinking in there one Friday (in the 1960’s) when there was a shooting in there.
      Think it made the front page of The Daily Mirror!

  14. Hi Sharon or Phil, think the personal slant is maybe losing the thread a little about the grove &surrounding area,the “grove”was owned by a company called “the harvest estates”owning, I assume the grove &harvest rd, next on the right underneath the arches or others?( a possible song title?) we were always told as kids to stay on the rh side under the arches?there was a toilet block on the other side under the arches?harvest rd had hedges around the airey in front of the downstairs window and were much nicer abodes both in and out,went out with a girl who lived there who went to grammer school not for long! not intrested in a bit of rough?the rents for the grove were paid to a small office in hornsey rd sub letting of upstairs or downstairs (could be a title for a show?) common ,usually to newly married sons or daughters, accommodation hard to find in the ’50’s, plus families didn’t stray far from parents and difficult,( if available to move to a “new garden city”town,) the norm was rent paid to the rent book owner,a couple of tradesmen would come round with a two handle, two wheeled barrow, to do the odd job, broken locks,smashed windows etc, me &bruv broke a few windows only to disappear & plead ignorance to the event, most house front doors left open or key on a piece of string in the letter box, a different age folks, maybe not much to steal?,the only time window sills or doors would have been painted or front doors varnished in my time would have been around ’52/53, just about coronation time, why?talking of that we had a street party in’53, god bless ’em we all got a tin of biscuits and also a tin of coloured pencils (Queen on the front) with a trip by London Transport “RT” double deckers to Wembley ice rink for a panto, think their must have been 3/4 buses filled with the Albany place kids and a few ring ins, from the so called poorer queensland rd area folks, not that we were upmarket in the “grove,”mention of the airey this was the space in front of the downstairs “parlour”room window that had metal railings around it, think I saw a picture once showing them, all taken in the metal drive of the second world war along with most families pots,pans&skillets if able to spare I suppose, also I did know a family in Eden Grove named the everetts 2 brothers who were in to mischief a lot, with an older sister,and living in an incredible double storey old house behind walls with a fountain(disused)& a nice garden, in fact a true early century “eden grove”style Villa? how did it survive that long into the late ’50’s? rgds jj(PS ashburton/their was a lord ashburton in devon who had an intrest in property in North London, hence the possible name,& link, I was once asked in Australia why the ground was named after what sounded like a French Prostitute, never even mentioned I lived in the street! to hard, you couldn’t make it up could you, ha)

    • Hi John, I have just seen your previous reply and had to say ‘Jacko roller skates’! Lucky you. My cousins had them (they always had the cool presents: Chopper, Chipper or Tomahawk bikes one year) and I used to borrow them. I can almost feel that sensation when you took them off after skating round all day! It felt like your feet were still skating!

      Back to your post of today: definitely sons/daughters got preference when places came up to rent. I remember uncles or aunts going to the rent man when they were going to get married to see what was available, That’s how working-class communities stayed together and while it was undoubtedly unfair to others trying to move into an area it did make for stable communities.

      My school was in Eden Grove but I don’t remember the house you mention – I remember a depot for a removals firm on the right hand side as you came up from Holloway Road but I can’t remember its name. Plus a wholesale bakers on the left hand side which I think may have made their own honey as they always had lots of bees around.

      I wonder if the reason for you being told to stay on the right hand side of the arches on Hornsey Road is because of the toilet block you also mention? We lived on the same side of Hornsey Road but the part leading off from Holloway Road, before it turned left to this bit. The boys were told not to use the toilets and we were told to run past as it was a notorious ‘cottaging’ place. It is mentioned in Joe Orton’s biography as being one of his favourite cruising spots. The poor men who used it must have been desperate because it was a horrible dirty smelly spot, damp from being under the bridge and very run down.

      • Hi Sharon the removal company was JELKS they had a few trucks with trailers and were painted canary yellow with blk writing & had a showroom selling upmarket furniture(to us anyway) on the Holloway Rd, if I ever saw them it was @ an upmarket removal somewhere like highgate village, canonbury or suchlike and of course delivering the furniture they sold, Jones Bros had much the same set up removals, trucks @the back of their holloway store cnr of tollington rd,,wasn’t there a garage on the corner of hornsey st?,Also across the road opposite jelks was a butchers shop & florist amongst others.the florist named grays, often being visited by the local “jack the lads” a frequent visitor was the actor Arthur Mullard of “punch up the throat”fame,I once knew his Son John here in Sydney,what an intresting comment on the baker! I don’t remember them, but I think I mentioned a company making snooker/billard tables & or snooker/billard balls,eden grove was the site of the first electricity station in islington, I remember it up the top near a catholic school or premises(nuns)?also up on the railway side an entrance to a railway yard sidings that was once used for the refilling of the gas bottles on the carriages for lighting, that would be pre 2nd world war I suppose,Also I always thought &called your road “little”hornsy rd” I saw this once on an old ordnance survey map,Hornsey Rd proper starting with the joining of Benwel lRd @the entrance of the now stadium? the toilets, um yes, you are spot on I think,When I look back, that side always seemed darker, no street lights at your end?& a lot wetter, water dripping off the railway tracks above,we were also told to run through that side, seem to remember that was a “dare”when playing run-outs from the grove with other kids,cottaging that’s new to me as a description then &now! rgds jj

      • Hi Sharon just noticed the”o’connor” in your surname, just remembered I went to school @William Forster with a Danny O’Connor, bit older than me, think he lived in Benwell Rd?Also you & Christine have good memories, but can you remember the fantastic bus services/routes? in our times think I can remember the trams first 33&35 gone by 1952/trolleybuses 609(209?)/611(271)&679(279) along with the 43&172(tram replacement) and we had the tube every 90sec &62 seconds peak hour, did we take it all for granted in the days before mass car ownership?, it didn’t take much of a wait to go to Kings Cross/Angel/ Finsbury Park/Manor House/Highgate Village or other Exotic destinations for a 10yr old, to think not more than a couple of minutes before a big red bus came along!no waiting then memories Rgds jj

    • Hi john, can remember a bit for you, on the corner of Tollington Rd opp.john lewis stood “beales”upmarket tearooms with wedding reception rooms above?alongside was the Green Line bus stop for the only bus that went down tollington rd at that time, which was 2 way, the route that stopped there was the 715 Guildford to Hertford a mighty long journey in those days for the driver&conductor, always single deck RF buses in my time, it did go to double deckers in the same livery mid sixties?There was a guy in the road near john lewis who operated coaches his name was Costa &traded under the name of Gatehouse Coaches for private hire and school contract hire on their sports days,I think the name changed to Whitehall Coaches or some such and the colour scheme changed to Pink&Grey how he was allowed to park so many coaches in the road amazed me even in those times of lighter traffic!the road continued past the Citizen Rd turn on the right which was part of the Harvest Estates,round a very narrow bend with the entrance to Clarence Yard (British Railways) marshalling yard, the yard was partly cleared in the 60’s to make way for the diesel locomotive depot, replacing Kings Cross &Hornsey motive power depots in the area, also their was a coal merchant there, Ushers I think, with an office for order coal to be delivered, they had another office in the street off the entrance to Finsbury Park Station,It was strange, Citizen Road had tarmac with gravel road surface along with Harvest Rd,Jackson &Albany Pl, always looked better, while we In the “grove”&queensland rd area all had cobbles, dangerous in the wet! opposite Harvest was Jackson with a Doctors rooms on the corner (my mum cleaned the rooms) this became a tyre shop in the 60’s the other cnr had Tadgells (building materials) one grey Fordson truck to deliver sand, cement, &nails? I suppose, harvest rd a dead end, just like the Grove with maybe the Clarence railway yard over the end wall?I remember when Hornsey Rd was tarmaced and the pulled up the tar /wood blocks as fast as they stacked the blocks in the day, come nightfall we would “borrow” them and use at home or resell, not many left come next morning, anything for a quid,jjPS Sharon I forgot the Star Brush Company in Eden Grove who employed quite a few women.

    • My Mum’s cousin Nelly Parsons lived in Harvest Road with her husband..Stan?
      They had children Robert,Lee, Andrea (Andi) and Gaynor.
      My Dad’s cousin also lived there Teddy Devaney known as “Oxo”
      I also had a school friend, Jackie Burke who lived in Harvest Road.
      Youngs the butchers use to garage their lorries there too. Was my friend Carol’s family

    • My friend, Carol Young, her family garaged their meat lorries in Harvest Road.
      My Mum’s cousin Nelly Parsons, her husband and children Robert,Lee,Andrea (Andi) and Gaynor lived in Harvest Road.
      My Dad’s cousin, Teddy Devaney (known as Oxo) also lived in Harvest Road…..think he had twins.
      Jackie Burke, a school friend of mine, lived in Harvest Road as well.

  15. Hi Mr Jackson you have certainly brought back some memory’s ,I was employed at jones brothers when the food shop was there I lived the other end of filling ton road do you remember the globe hotel pub.,?I did a paper round all round rolling on road ,Pakeman street,kinlock place,harvist road I could go on forever but give somebody else a turn .bye for now

    • hi john, thanks for the reply the globe where was that,tell me about it? was that your watering hole?my pals by my drinking age(or thereabouts) were all in Stepney/Bethnal Green/Whitechapel or Wood Green/Tottenham areas pub &clubs ,remember going into David Jones to buy a PYE black box portable record player, only to be asked to leave, did we really look that bad?had record player custom made @ a Drayton Park electrical shop opp,Star Records&the pie &licker shop(I usta deliver coal there)cnr of Liverpool Rd, Took the invoice back to David Jones to show the salesperson, just to prove I had the dosh to be there in the first place before,Pride I suppose…..Rgds jj

  16. Memories of Ashburton Grove…….My Mum and Dad used The Favourite pub in Queensland Road. It was run by Toby & Lou.
    They used to organise coach trips to the hop fields in Kent and at Christmas trips for children…I remember going to a circus.
    After Toby and Lou left The Favourite my Mum and Dad used to drink in The Queens in Albany Place. They were in there one Friday night when there was a shooting. This was in the early 1960’s.
    I remember Coleman’s the sweet shop on the corner of Queensland Road and also the Post Office sorting office. We sometimes would go in the entrance and play on the sacks of mail till one of the post men would come out and tell us to ” sling your hook!”.

    • Hi Christine, your good @ jogging my memory, yes colemans sweet shop/tobacconist, strange by-laws in them days, he wasn’t allowed to sell vinegar or blocks of ice cream (unless wrapped up in newspaper!) on sundays, so as not to be seen?think his wife worked there to,opp.was a fish &chip shop, the crossing with blesha lights flashing there to, I think, on the corner were 2 grocers shops post office side we called them nicky knacks(was it webster? had a long street level store room that abated up with the last house in the grove(71)?on the other cnr stood Davies’s another husband &wife team, surprise they were welsh! he with a strong welsh accent, they had a yard behind high gates next to the catos(1)that had in the early pre 2nd w/war years held cows for milking,Now this is going back, next to the council exit gates was a wall behind which was the garden of #37 the slaters, an irish husband &wife a big man with a short fuse, the yard once held bikes for rent!(we did throw things in his yard so I suppose the short fuse understandable) ha!,but in front of the wall were 5 or 6 bins for food rubbish called pig bins cause out to Tottenham (they built farm estate on the land) they went to feed, you guessed it, Pigs,Gosh they stank in the summer and were emptied weekly by the council. bye jj

      • John I can still smell those bins! And the ‘bone’ lorry that used to go down Hornsey Road which I was told was going to make soap and I couldn’t believe that something as nice as soap could come from that foul smelling truck. You could smell it for ages after it had gone by. I’m still not sure if my mum was having me on about the soap!

  17. John my O’Connor in-laws come from County Clare, my maiden name was Kelly so not related to your school friend.
    I certainly remember the 172, the least punctual bus in history. My dad used to get it to go to work at Mount Pleasant and really it would have been quicker to walk some days. Do you remember Red Bus Rovers? A group of us kids used to get a ticket and ride the buses all day long. We did bizarre things like ‘we’ll get on the next bus that comes along and ride for 20 stops then get off, cross two roads and get on the next but one bus for 10 stops etc etc. And end up goodness knows where but always make it home eventually. Strangely we sometimes met other kids doing the same thing.

    • hi Sharon your dad must have been unlucky with the “172”think every 20 mins you could set your clock by it they were “norwood”( crews &wanted to get home!mt pleasant, he must have been a postie?RED ROVERS yes well, 2/6 mum scraped up the money somehow once every summer holiday for me, bless her,went everywhere on my own Bexleyheath, Carshalton, Edgware, Kingston, Croydon, St Albans!best half crowns, worth every penny, tried it on the tube thrown off!,Also got brave & caught the “251” from wood green(on the buses)to southend 2/6 child return! & the Reading bus from Victoria coach station, same cost also for a child,the bone truck think I remember it picking up from butchers and maybe a slaughter house near York Rd, most bones from “our”area went to East London “yardleys”in Carpenders rd Stratford, strange smelling road perfume/offal/ gelatin etc all boiling away, went that way with my Uncle George to pick up sacks of coke @ bromley-by-bow or beckton gasworks to deliver to convents or schools rgd jj

      • I must be a bit younger than you as my red bus rover was 15p. I used to buy it myself from money I made running errands for people. As you say, worth every penny for a whole day’s adventuring.
        Maybe I got the wrong bus then but I definitely remember my dad waiting a long time for buses. Funnily enough I live in Dulwich in south London now but don’t remember seeing a 172. Thanks for your memories as always and thank you angryofislington for continuing to host our non-gooner memories!

      • Hi John.

        I was both gobsmacked and delighted to read your article of 5th November, because my grandad was the “big man with the short fuse” at no.37! He came over from Ireland with his wife Mary and their son (my father) Eamon (unsurprisingly known as ‘Paddy’) in the thirties. His actual surname was, like mine, Salter (not Slater). I can only recall my grandad vaguely as he died in his eighties, in 1965, and I was only five years old at the time. That would have been the last time I went to Ashburton Grove as my grandmother passed away in the late fifties, and the rest of the family were living in Essex. The only clear recollection I have of Ashburton Grove was of everything being dusty and grimy, and seeing around 20 dustcarts in the space of an hour, whereas I was used to seeing just the one each week! Many thanks to you, and all the other contributors to this thread, for providing so much interesting information.

      • Hi Sharon well 15p for a Red Rover(child) would be about right 2s/6d pre-decimal, they went to 25p(5/-)So you went transpontine?(across the river thames) Dulwich, only got there once,but found the village area with some villas quite nice and peaceful for a London suburb in the late ’50’s&early ’60’s you may tell me different now! rgds jj(there was a green rover for the country area, but not valid on Green line coaches, trust me Sharon, I would have tried it but for money &distance.)

      • No John. Dulwich looks exactly the same as it did then. Even better probably. Have a look in google earth, you will recognise it I’m sure. It’s a little oasis here. We are very lucky.

      • Hi Phil/Sharon/Christine/Northbank/the 2 johns, the coles,& others who helped keep the memory of the “real”grove alive after all this time, maybe a bit of a rose tinted glasses view, but we lived it &survived,Merry Xmas & Happy New year to you all from down under and thank you all again so much rgds jj

      • Hi Sharon just turned up a photo of a London bus, apart from the top deck waistrail adverts of the usual “typhoo tea” “Ilford films” or “premium bonds”,its dated June ’67, & shows red rovers 6/-(child 3/-) inflation &Harold Wilson I suppose/available Sat/Sun&Pub.Hols, where did we buy them?Apart from cooleys the pawnshop/the polish dentist(female) who kept me in toothache for more than18 months, ended up @ the royal dental hospital in grays inn road for emergency removal of the tooth, there was an East German importer of motorcycles, all in the shops before the railway arches In Holloway Rd, rumour has it they were a front for spies!, after east berlin, Holloway Rd would appear upmarket! Rgdsjj(PS Sharon I was going to send you on a recca of the area but your in Dulwich ha! )

      • Happy New Year every one! John, I was wondering where we bought the Red Bus Rovers – could it have been on the bus itself? Or at a newsagents? I remember the dentist in the parade of shops before the arches! I had to have a tooth out there when I was five years old. I’ve never forgotten that big black mask coming down to send me to sleep -was that laughing gas?.Then when I came round, my mum was slapping me and the dentist was trying to stop her. Turned out I was talking or shouting in response to the gas wearing off and my mum thought I was giving the dentist ‘lip’!

        I remember an ironmonger as wall as Coley the pawnshop. The flats above those shops were called Manhattan Mansions, such a glamourous name for flats opposite Holloway Road tube station!

    • Hi Sharon me thinks “red rover”tickets purchased @Holloway Rd tube station booking office, seem to remember getting on the bus with ticket already,also do you remember two old big timber doors next to the tube station before the arches, behind which were the stairs to the old GNR railway station high above, closed circa 1914 killed off by the tube &trams,&the café north bound, just under the railway arches serving all the northbound lorries so many, even parked under the arches,Oh yeah if your maiden name Kelly does the name Paul mean anything to you? I remembered I went to primary with him, bit older than me I think well it is 60years ago! Rgd jj

      • Hi John, I do remember those doors, there are some photos of them here:
        The flats we lived in ran right up to the railway (roughly where the cars are parked in the last photo on that website) and were slum cleared in 1971 – not before time. As you yourself have noted in this thread, even in a poor, run down area those flats were bad. I would love to know more about them but there doesn’t seem to be any info online or at Islington archives. I don’t even have any photos of my own.
        Paul Kelly – I had an uncle Paul but as my family came over from Ireland I don’t think it can be the same person who was at school with you. Did you go to William Forster? We all went to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Eden Grove.

  18. hi john well the web keeps weaving, your grandad always wore a trilby? hat& waistcoat,your nan able to voice her opinion to us for being naughty just like your granpa,but kept theirselves to theirselves.yes I’m sorry a typo error, always knew them as “salter”, can’t really remember your dad much, but the name rings a bell, maybe he wasn’t home much there?next door was an irish family called Gray or Grey(#38),with three boys, a large gap after the first two boys, before the third, we called him “noddy” as soon as any front door in the lower half of the grove opened he would peer in,the mother in my time always wore black ,a very long period of mourning I suppose,for some family member.rgds jj

    • Hi John.

      Thank you for your reply. I do have a few photos of my grandad wearing a trilby and waistcoat.
      Did your uncle George Cole happen to have a wife by the name of Dolly, and/or a daughter called Sylvia, or am I barking up the wrong tree here?
      I have found a couple of notes, but am unsure who made them, nor what period they are referring to, about the grove and its residents, which I will summarise as they may be of interest and/or fill in a few blanks. Starting at the end of the grove, with the coal merchants J. R. Range and Turner, as well as the weighbridge behind you, the first house on the right was no.36, then 35 (Anthony) 34 (Bryant) 33 (Cox) 32 and 29 (both Watson) 28 (Swain) 27 (Jarvis) 26 (Croft) 25 (your family of course) 24 (Pollard) 23 (Long) 21 (Pollard again) 20 (Body) then Caunt, Ward, Howard, Partridge, White, Ernie and Bert Furr, Clements, Fisher, before Reed, Acen and Cato at numbers 3,2,& 1 respectively. On the left side we start with my grandparents at 37, then 38 (Grey) 39 (Cole) 40 (Green) 41 (Dew) 42 (Anthony) then Lechley, Smith, Clarke, Wilson, Cook (at no.50) Faulkener, Smith, Everett, Bull and Bussey before the yard, which is referred to as ‘Pitchers Donkey Yard’. Then it is Cook, Dove, West, Clarke, Shirley Keneally, Page, Hackett and finally another Cook. On the corner is a dairy with a Post Office behind it, while next to the Cato family is Davies’ Dairy. Across Hornsey Road there was ‘Flocky’s Yard, while across Benwell Road was Jack Blinders, a cafe, Maud Fisher’s Fruit and Veg, the Orange cafe and Phil’s Fish and Chips. After Albany Place, with the Albany Mission at the end, was the Queens Arms on the corner, with Cyril Coleman on the corner of Queensland Road and ‘the Favourite’ pub a little further down. I hope that the foregoing is of interest and maybe jogs some more memories.
      Reference is also made to a photo of your brother Billy, with neighbours Tony Long, Terry Bull, Margaret West and one of the Busseys, not that I can locate it at the moment though!

      Best wishes, John.

      • hi John well if I gobsmacked you by my contribution my head has been done in by yours!fantastic all your memories or diaries maybe or you may have inherited a “tally mans” book of the grove ha!,Yep George(uncle)married to Doris sometimes called Dol(don’t ask) sister of nell pollard @24 downstairs, related to the pollards @21/my mum was George’s sister Dolly(Dorothy), Correct Sylvia,she attended Barnsbury Girls school, grammer I think,Next door#40 the greens with wally( who I think may have graced these pages)&valerie sadly who passed, we got on very well once we were teens,being in my primary school class aswell, going out with Richard Bull@#54/ #41 the dews, Derek/Valerie&Heather, Mr Dew always knew it was time to get up when my dad (after ’58) started his car @5.40am weekdays to drive to work!#42 the Anthonys I believe the only phone in the street, Mr Anthony had a business repairing taxi cabs near Upper Tollington Way,with daughters Rita/Maureen/Bev&my pal Raymond who with brian reed @#3 joined the T/A, they wanted me to join went a couple of times, but just like th eCubs in Albany Place as soon as I needed to buy the uniform mum&dad requested my prompt exit.So much to think about john &I will be back to you, One funny story Bev Anthony came to Dolly &my sister-in-law’s Yvonnes rescue one winter weekday night, Bev being a hairdresser knew what to do after mums hair turned Green!after the application of a twink or toni hair colour/perm.Rgds jj

      • Bert and Ernie Furr lived at number 9 next to us the Hill family at number 10
        I was born in Ashburton Grove and lived there till the houses were demolished in 1966.
        I have an older brother Stephen Hill (b 1950)

      • We lived at number 10. Our family name was Hill. My Nan & Grandad Butler lived with us too. We were next door to the Furr family (they were coalmen) at number 9.
        We were opposite the Bull family, think they lived at 54?

  19. Hi John.

    Thanks for the response. It is good to read your fascinating recollections of ‘the grove’, and I look forward to seeing some more. It seems unthinkable that back then there was probably only one house with a telephone, compared to today when everyone over the age of five appears to have a mobile! All of the information in my article was from just two pieces of paper of my fathers that I found some years ago. One listed the residents and some house numbers, but did not indicate what road they referred to. The other was of the immediate area. I eventually put two and two together. It was only by reading the articles in this thread that I realised that ‘the favourite’ was actually the name of a pub. I originally just assumed it was my old mans favourite boozer in the day!

    Best wishes and a Happy New Year to you and all of the other contributors, and especially to Phil (Angry) for keeping this thread open and active. I would wager that he would never have guessed just how many people who either lived in or have a connection to Ashburton Grove would have responded to his original article.

    • John Salter thanks for posting all the info from your dad’s papers, it’s so fascinating to see names I haven’t heard for many years. John Jackson thanks for all your memories too, they are phenomenally detailed! And Phil (angryofislington), I would like to echo John’s thanks to you for putting up with us!

      • Hi Sharon found it! a picture of your beloved &mis- named “manhattan”mansions, some windows have flower boxes!its in a book called “Trolleybuses in Inner “North London” a pictorial survey by L.T.P.S. not cheap @16pnds but lots of area/street life relevant to the times we seek, photos incl Highbury cnr/Nags Head /Archway/Suicide Bridge etc you get the picture, even Jones Bros john!(which I keep calling David Jones we have in Sydney & a Grace Bros both Departmental Stores.Bye jj(ps your picture on pg103, shows the shoe shop (same day service)a barber shop(with cig machine outside no not that one)the dentist? &the east german motorcycle/engine importer and yes a “611” trolleybus Moorgate bound via New North Rd).

    • Hi folks #35 Valerie Anthony poss.relation to#42?who lived @#36?was it joe ranges’s(j.r range) brother the house painter/wallpaperer, he sub let or owned the yard/stable(old) buildings next door where he parked his “singer”car,to some young lads from Cyprus (Greek/Turkish)?who repaired crashed cars,they offered to take some of the “grove” kids to see the lights @Southend a big deal for us,but my parents said thanks but no thanks,Mr Douglas#46 the name yes, but facesI cant place.Terry Smith went out with a very attractive short dark haired girl(never noticed)which he married &had a family living upstairs@#46 he was a Bus Driver or Conductor?,jumping to the house nxt door to Pitchers joinery,shopfitters&sawmill (did it really stable donkeys years ago)? laneway they had a Black Dennis truck, not many blk trucks in them days,was #56, must have been right across the road from you Christine&the catos@#1had a daughter called Georgina, now this man bought the only new car in the grove & possibly the area, I don’t wonder,would have been around ’53/54, a Ford Popular (sit up&beg)look that up, available in any colour you wanted as long as it was either Black,Fawn or Eau-de-nil(green)the latter is what he bought @350pnds!now that was a lot of money then, maybe he robbed a Bank!Even the spivs(who did rob banks) only bought 2nd hand bigger cars.Sharon can remember a 24hr shoe repairer then(no he closed @5pm) next to the bus stop in Holloway Rd opp. the tube & a Hardware shop, I stood in the Hardware shop porch one rainy winter night, watching the trucks go Northbound on the Holloway Rd(yeah I know should have got a life)Only to see Highbury bound an old pre war American Car, Black with Running boards &spare wheel on the front wing, dragging a Cigarette machine with chains,attached behind it!Sadly I knew of the driver& his assitant.Bye jj

    • Hi all some more thoughts on living in the “grove” our house#25 was @the crest of Holloway railway bank on the up side(towards Kings X)and my(our)bedroom in line with the top of the arches which ran from Hornsey Rd down to the yard @the bottom of the grove. I had a pal who as a 2nd man on a diesel shunter would sound his horn on climbing up the ramp, stop & ask me what our w/end plans were going to be much to the amazement & amusement of family & neighbours!, most nights from 9pm onwards the departing O/night sleepers to Scotland (Aberdeen/Edinburgh/Perth & I think then Fort William) would line up top to tail awaiting acceptance to the Cross in the winter steam heated, even with the Diesels in the ’60’s, many winter nights I fell asleep listening to the sounds of the locomotives heating these trains,on very quite still nights Steam locomotives could be heard leaving the Copenhagen Tunnels to start the climb of Holloway Bank thru Finsbury Park &on to the Northern Heights & sometimes with the wind in the right direction you could hear the Speedway bikes @Harringay Stadium (2 4 6 8 who do we appreciate the Harringay R.a.c.e.r,s…)& Church Bells could be heard early on Sundays but I never found out where they tolled from any suggestions?More for Les Pollard the late betty (pollard) married Cliff a pigeon fancier/racer introduced to betty by my Uncle George,you may be aware of this fact already. bye jj

    • Hi john, talking of George &Doris(39), jogged my memory, think they were the only family to have Lemonade/Ginger Beer&Dandelion &Burdock!(we called it kids beer)delivered by a company called King Neptune(soft drinks) who got bought out by Corona, in the grove and who still did door to door deliveries, Bill &Dolly did buy for us for about 5mins& that went the way of uniforms or pocket money, history, also who else delivered?, Prices Bakers delivered Wonderloaf (that wasn’t) on a horse drawn van(Blue&White)&Hovis, then an un-cut loaf, a Sunday teatime treat, eaten with butter &little else! Pink or Blue paraffin del fri nights only, yeah, pay day cash only, no tick, gave the “coalies”a run for their money& they wondered why most Londoners of our ilk&age group had sinus or chest complaints(the fumes were b.a.d….)Milk also, delivered, Gold Seal, which still wasn’t as good as most other daires silver top!Around Sunday lunchtime a guy, with a push cart, market style, with a white sheet spread with wares on top, would come down the “grove” selling seafood, winkles cockles,welks&prawns &possibly jellied eels in a container, all open to the elements uncooled!he then proceeded to the “favourite” or “queens”(maybe both)pubs to his pitch outside one or the other.Bye jj

  20. Hi John so your dads notes, the “area” also, please relate them if possible,couldn’t have been on his Christmas Card list we never got one! ha,maybe just your dad in a reflective mood, how good for all of us 50yrs on, now #35 had a daughter Val? always liked her not returned,#34 bryants the mum suffered physically&mentally from the WW2 bombing of the area ,the boys were John&Micheal,john the eldest bought my 1950 Austin A40, goin ok but blew it up near Shap on the way to Scotland?#33 cox Jeannie the mum + many kids & all good like their mum&dad Ron the dad drove for Lebus furniture of Tottenham Hale with a big truck to match which he let us frolic in the back on the furniture wrappers ,but sadly perhaps the most under privileged family in the grove & that’s saying something,Above#26 lived the Smiths daughter of the Crofts,Mr Croft spent the whole day in &day out breaking wooden boxes up we called him” The Coffin Maker” Mr Smith a Ticket Collector @ Harringay(correct spelling) West station on the St.Pancras to Barking line& Charlie like me crazy about railways & became a fireman @ Kentish Town MPD, once give me a steam train Footplate ride to Upper Holloway Station from St.Pancras, dream come true, thanks Charlie ,left to work with his uncle@#22 for London Electricity Board married Dot?from upstairs #68or#69?which sadly reminds me of the only Suicide in the grove that I’m aware of the family lived @#71 Stockwell, the father who worked @Holloway Bus Garage took his own life @Christmas time leaving his wife and a boy paul, &girl name unremembered, over some financial problems that had occurred, to see them most days & to be so ill prepared @ that age to express your sorrow for them was hard & to think every Christmas, that hung over them.Rgds jj

  21. Hello everyone,

    I’m not a Gunner, but I came here to find out why you call it Ashburton Grove or just ‘The Grove’ and have really enjoyed reading all you reminiscences! I wanted to say that there is a lot of information on this thread that would be of interest to the local history departments of libraries in that area (Highbury? Islington?) and Arsenal FC’s own historians, so maybe one of you would consider at least forwarding them a link to this thread. Or those of you who are writing books – make sure you send them a copy.

    I have a passing interest in the history of my team and football club histories in general, so wanted to find out a bit more about yours. I’m a Hammer BTW – thanks to my late Dad, although I was born and brought up in Nottingham and rarely get to games. And I don’t go in for any of this hating other clubs bullshit, even when it’s called ‘banter’ – not even Millwall! Rivalries are great, but we all love the same game and I really hope that Wenger isn’t forced out, because he’s been great for your club and for the game in this country.


    • Hi Ken, how nice of you to comment on our little trips down memory lane! It has been lovely sharing memories on here, especially with people who have such good recall (I’m looking at you John Jackson!). A really good suggestion of yours to make local archivists aware of this thread so I will do that today. I agree about the football too, and though I do feel that the Professor’s time has now come, I hope he is treated respectfully because, as you say, he has done a lot for the club and English football.

      • Hi Sharon here goes #45 the lechleys, remember a son ray,bert had I think had the only motorbike&sidecar in the Grove many owners progressed?on to reliant 3 wheelers(no rev.gear)a’la del boys “yellow peril”which you could drive on a motorbike licence, just had to make sure you could turn around in a road!,Now a good one #46The clark(e)’s mum &dad, she a typical mum, the dad short balding &very unassuming but….the two boys Alan the elder had a late ’40’s MG tc wire wheels/spare on the back &fold down canvas hood,Red ,they usually were,but David, the BBC should really have grabbed him, the first loonie I ever met, he once put blue dye in the Teapot & waited for dad to have his hard earned cuppa after a days work poured by mum!,he once removed the outside Back door in the depths of winter &hiding said door at the top of their garden out of sight, feigning shock along with his long suffering parents to the loss,ok couple of general observations of my childhood & possibly others to when memories are jogged. Women in pairs always walked arm in arm Never ever saw a Man&Women holding hands?Stokers&Fireman on the steam engines never wore gloves for fear of being called a Pansy,Men always wore shirt&tie to the Football Game(& macs carried in summer)You always in the Grove called older women Aunt or Mrs,& were never allowed to have a whole MARS bar to eat by yourself, that would have been Greedy&Selfish(shades of rationing)Still working on the logistics of the photo Sharon will try &find somebody to help me.Bye all JJ

      • Hi Sharon just reviewing a few of my past post a few typos crept in the 172 bus went to Forest Hill,and the crews were from Stockwell Garage,Norwood shut with the end of trams, so the crews were still in a hurry to get home!why does the 172 give me such great memories well North Londoners happy to be transpontine(crossing the Thames) but South Londoners didn’t seem to venture to us very often, sure was my gateway to the south direct (9yrs &up)couldn’t do that now @ that age,& the only one for us Holloway Roader’s,Also may have got my Citizen Rd’s&Harvest Rd’s (was it really spelt Harvist?)transposed,Do you remember(anybody) the Bomb Site in front of the Diesel Locomotive Depot in Isledon Rd the basements left only, filled with dank water&stinking a veritable adventure playground for usI think the council built a childrens playground there with good viewing for the railway minded adults or children,The first or second house along on the same side towards Finsbury Park housed a family called the Hudsons rumoured to have over 18 children!from the same parents, bet they didn’t have TV black&white or colour! My brother & I watched in amazement as spuds by the bag, milk by the crate,& trays of loaves were left on their doorsteps, My brother was buying a chocolate “mikki” drink from the United Diaries milkman outside the hudsons, with me eating a dry roll back to the Horse, when it bit my back! trying to get @my roll, I hollered&cried, the milkman dropped his pintas all over the pavement &bruv got his 6d “mikka” for free!.Bye jj

      • Hi John, Yes it is called Harvist, it’s named after a brewer called Ernest Harvist who left the land to the Brewers’ Company. I have learnt this from a fascinating article about the Harvist Estate which says that it was really expensive to build because the high rise blocks needed such complex and expensive foundations to enable them to sit (actually float) on London clay. The whole estate was only an increase of 187 homes on what was there before. It makes you wonder why they didn’t just refurb. what they had as the article shows the London bomb map for the area and the damage to the housing is ‘generally repairable’ (the colours are difficult to see in the article but I have copies of the original maps). The article talks of the problems the flats have had with damp, cold etc, all stemming from the construction of the blocks (and the low rise we were moved to when we slum cleared from ‘little’ Hornsey Rd had the same problems). The article goes up to 1990 but I have just checked and the cladding used to solve some of the damp and cold problems is not the same as that used at Grenfell so that’s something. I don’t remember the bomb sites in Isledon Rd but I do remember the ones around Westbourne Rd and Sheringham Rd. I found them quite scary!

        Some of you might be interested in a book called ‘Campbell Bunk’ by Jerry White. It’s about a street off Seven Sisters called Campbell Rd (aka ‘the worst street in North London) which was slum cleared in the 50s.

  22. Hi All

    Just came across this site as I have started to look into family history.

    My Dad was Bert Pollard (mother Nellie at number 24). He had a brother Robert (Bob) and sister Betty all now sadly passed away.

    I can remember when at my Grans I would always go across and see Uncle George and Aunt Doll. From memory George was a keen pigeon keeper / racer. I last saw Sylvie, their daughter, a couple of years ago at Betty’s funeral at Frinton on Sea, Essex.

    Can remember walking to Ashburton Grove for a regular Sunday afternoon visit and playing football down by the coal yard.

    Seems strange to now be an Arsenal season ticket holder sitting on what once was the street where my relatives lived!



    • hi les, nell was always Aunt Nell to me but remember bobby her son nells husband must have past early in the ’50’s bobby was a motor mechanic for J.R.Ward the meat carriers in upper hornsey rd direction,spent many of his lunch hour inside the big trucks he bought home,nell cooked him a dinner every week day,she a big woodbine/weights cigarette smoker, but bobby always smoked Capstan pink!or Gold flake impossible not to cough on the first drag!A very strong fag,Can’t place you les maybe our paths never crossed,rgd jj

  23. Following Ken’s advice I sent a link to this discussion to the local history dept at Islington Council and also to the Islington History Society, who replied:

    Thank you Sharon, delighted to share with our members.
    All good wishes,

    Andy Gardner
    Chairman, Islington Archaeology and History Society
    Heritage and Outreach Worker, Union Chapel, Islington

    I couldn’t find an email address for you Phil, to include you in the correspondence but I was sure you wouldn’t mind me linking to your site.

    • hi, gosh how clever of you Sharon!yes just like I mentioned to john(salter) I suppose in its own strange way its about REAL history, even down to my own thoughts about the micro/macro part of the “grove” our world @ the time, I think I can remember(luckly) a lot of the “bottom”half of the grove but not much of the top half,just bits &pieces and that’s just one street in N7.bye jj

    • Hi Sharon, Fonthill rd was /is a continuation of Isledon Rd,after crossing over Seven Sisters Rd &yes, a very rough area, Campbell Rd or Street on the left opposite Wells Terrace, which was behind Finsbury Park Station, it had a railway goods yard for coal etc &the mac fisheries warehouse,along with all the single deck buses that went to Muswell Hill&Alley Palley,My parents always said it was bad, but so was a lot of our area!Where to start,the worst, maybe? thought it was called Camberwell BUNK,but that may have been a childs interpretation of it (mine!)Also did you per chance go on any outings/camps from William Forster School?&can remember a few teachers names for you Ridgeway/Perkins/Dragan?/Tame&Seager.Bye jj

      • John your memory is astounding. It was called Campbell Bunk, that was its nickname. There’s a very good book about it by Jerry White called Campbell Bunk the worst street in London that I’m sure you would enjoy. To my shame the book actually mentions some of my ancestors who lived in the Bunk before moving to little Hornsey Rd. I didn’t go to William Forster school I went to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Eden Grove.

  24. does any1 on here remember the the drayton park hotel pub back in the 1950’s. A lady called babs & her husband owned the drayton park hotel does any1 know the owners babs last name at all.Its the pub near arsenal football stadium

    • Hello Lee –
      yes I remember the Drayton Park Hotel (Pub) very well. It was my parents local and me and my sisters spent many Saturday nights waiting outside for it to close. It eventually became my local meeting place for my friends and fellow workers at the Ink Factory (previously in Gillespie Rd. where I worked for 26 years (Formerly the Express Dairy further down Drayton Park.
      As far as I can remember the pub was run by the Drake Family, old man Drake passed the pub onto his son and daughter Ted Drake and Babs (Barbara).
      Hopefully this information is helpful

      Fred Polley (78 years young an old Islingtonian)

      • hi Frederick, so glad to hear frm u. Thx 4 ur information. Ted drake & babs r actually part of my family. Would u recall a lady called Beatrice Florence mercer at all, she had a daughter called Josephine. Beatrice was always at the drayton pub, while Josephine waited outside after school 4 her mum Beatrice. Beatrice is my husbands grandmother. Josephine is my husbands mother & related 2 ted drake & babs family through Beatrice. Anymore information would b grt as we r tryin 2 find family in the family tree.

  25. I came across this post by chance. The coal merchant in Ashburton Grove was C.S.Turner which my dad Ted Bean purchased around 1969. He had the Ministry contract for the Railways, hospitals etc, all the coal had to be bought in by rail which Ashburton Grove had. We had to move out around 1975 to Finchley Road, Hampstead that had the same railway facilities, until the big complex was built on that land and we were moved on again around 1992. We sold in 1995. The good old days..

    • hi sue intresting, ok from memory turners had 2 Bedford petrol n/cntrl trucks(seem to remember a truck before these) whats special about that you ask, well Mr Turner bought them new! apart from the major coal suppliers nobody would think of buying new for that kind of job one @least signwritten on the doors/back? red bonnet/wheels with all dark blue cab /body, never knew about contracts he held, we would meet them on their rounds/they had theirs we (uncle George)had ours,they were one of the few to have driver&2 trouncers(we took on a third who was dumb(without speech)who was Charlie Watts of the rolling stones cousin, although I knew Charlie&Bill Wyman to nod to, I never bought this fact up) & never had I ever seen any other coal trucks so overloaded in London than theirs(turners) on Saturdays,they always stopped top of the Grove for breakfast(one of two cafes)before the long round, on this intensive work they were well lack lustre(trucks not men, in a few years,their “coal patch”bit further in the yard than range’s coal sidings,So what do you in the months with no”R”in them with coalmen, holidays? or sweep/wash the timber floor,lay a tarp & off to Idris(eyes dry)&jubbly (lovely jubbly lovely jubbly orange drink & deliver them to shops/pubs from a bottler/distributor back of Camden Town/Kentish Town? who was there? well Turners boys just like us!Finchley Road British Railways yard, that old midland railway yard had connections to the Metropolitan Line(little used post-war) one of the few With John Hudson (coal merchants/oil& lighterage)&their truck we went their to p/up two old horse drawn carts &take them to Dagenham Dock,did the same @Carlotta street old francis coal carts the company John Hudson bought out,ok hope I haven’t rambled to far away from the grove folks.Bye All jj

      • OMG I so wish my dad was alive he would have been able to go into the ins and outs, as my grandad another Ted Bean worked in the Finchley Road yard for charringtons on the horses a very long time ago. Yes I still have a lot of photos as we kept the names of each coal company we bought out and our livery was red/black/white, lorries were my dads world, he had so much knowledge, we had great respect for the owners, Charlie Turner my dad got on with.. I loved our days in Ashburton Grove and indeed too Finchley Road. We were hauliers during the summer months and bought a granite merchant in Finchley Road, but that was another life, would not change one bit of my memories. Great hearing from you. Sue (Bean)

  26. My great grandparents, Joe and Nancy Pearce lived in Queensland road as did my grandparents, Alf and Lou Smythe. my mum was their daughter June who also had a sister Ann. I grew up on stories of life ‘down the land’. My dad would tell stories of how he would hold me as a baby late at night when I was restless and watch the railwaymen carrying their lamps down on the railway below.

  27. Hi Phil from NZ – and hey, I am NOT a rugby fan. Give me the beautiful game any day of the week.
    Great blog, maps and all, on Ashburton Grove. My father was born & bred in Islington and an Arsenal supporter as a boy. His grandfather 1856-1934 was living at No 20 Ashburton Grove in 1881 and at 89 Gillespie Road when he died in 1934. Took a long time to find this guy; four marriages, three of them bigamous, and a change of surname. I reckon he was probably an Arsenal Fan but he was definitely an A***hole the way he treated women.

    • Hi Phil, great story! Welcome aboard. Maybe your great grandfather was an Arsenal fan but they didn’t move to Highbury until 1913. He may have been a railway worker when he lived in Queensland Road, as many of the ancestors of people in this thread (mine included) were.

      • Hi Sharon, I’m Michele, I was addressing Phil.
        My gr grf was a Brewer’s Drayman and was probably fond of a drink. Apparently there was ample opportunity after deliveries. He did work later on as a railway porter. It was his daughter in law’s family that were the railway workers. Thanks for the welcome.

      • Apologies Michele, that’s what happens when I answer things on my phone!
        My family were carter, and carted railway stuff and all sorts so probably beer also. He lived in Queensland Rd, Benwell Rd and Hornsey Rd.

      • Hi Sharon happy new year to you&phil +others, been reading a few of my posts & some get lost in transmission the odd word/letter trust me I read them before transmission but…….can’t blame phil & I’m passable in grammer but…..treat it like a quiz or lookin outside the box, its the thought that counts I suppose, take care Holloway Roaders all the best Rgds jj

    • Hi Christine, the only way I have found is by posting a link to another webpage. Phil, the owner, may be able to help more.

      • Hi Sharon,Christine,John Salter,Phil (for allowing us to ramble about the past)&others for keeping the old “grove” &close are alive, don’t think phil you would have opened such a time portal for us all!,A Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year to you all from Sydney Aust.currently 38degs!.next year more on the coal yard opp.the entrance to the stadium “flockie’s” truck buying &selling& a pal who lived in the yard, yep Sharon there was house in the yard!Take care & thank you all again Best rgds jj

      • Merry Christmas to you too John! You have prompted me to read this thread again and I agree, it’s so great to keep the Grove alive. I wish more photos had survived of the area. I look forward to hearing more from your amazing memory next year. Thanks again to Phil and good health to all.

    • I don’t think so for commenters. What is it you want to post? If it’s something of interest and not available elsewhere on the web then you could email it to me and I can add it.

      • Hi Phil I would like to post photos of old Ashburton Grove
        What is your email address?

  28. Hi all not to mentions of Albany PLACE narrow entrance cul-de-sac between P.O.rear entrance &the Queens? Pub with tarmacked blonde gravel road surface, the houses(cottages)?I think were tythe(charitable)in connection with the Mission Hall @the base of the place after all it was between the Grove& Qld Road, A nice gentleman the Mission benefactor? well suited with a gold fob in his waistcoat & military style silver moustache, would dispense 6d pieces to the kids from the area, none living to my knowledge in the place itself, how did they know to arrive @ the right time?He arrived driven in his upmarket black car, a Humber Snipe Pullman, I think, more associated with Funerals!ha,His name was Lancelot who we named Sir straight away, he was the owner or @very least a principle of Smiths Instruments Co. with a Factory on the North Circular Road near Staples Cnr making instruments for Cars/motor bikes/Trucks etc incl Radios for the same(not radios motorbikes!).Also the path phil, you mention @ the top of Queensland Rd was it really there in the early years before the Stadium, if so where did it emerge in Drayton Pk? & can anybody remember walking it?bye all jj

  29. Congratulations Ashburton. A regular visitor.
    My mother Rose Tether lived in Queensland Road and my father Willy Howard was the grandson of The African Blondin an eighteenth century tightrope walker. Willy’s family were all local street traders in the Holloway area. I lived in Elfort Road adjacent to Drayton Park, my connection to Ashburton is being in the same class as Maureen Anthony at Shelburne Road 1a,2a,3a,4a (1951-1955) I have class photographs if anyone is interested. My wife’s father, a dustman from Hackney used to drive his lorry to the depot like many others. Jack and his wife Barbara Lee also from Elfort Road, made small wooden jewel boxes in Benwall Road, just a few yards from Ashburton, I used to pass their shop every school day with Fred Lee and George Duggan

    Best wishes Ron Howard

    • Hi Ron, Express Dairy cnr of Drayton Park&Aubert Park thelatter being a very steep hill with quite modern ,& some nice early century houses bit like Canonbury’s houses,my dad Bill would take me up that very steep hill, road testing the repaired Dennis dust carts. we always made it phew!He did the same somewhere up Hornsey Rise way, another very steep hill! Back to the Dairy a very modern I now think art -deco style building,A High sided grey Bedford tipper truck parked under to take rubbish away never saw it move, me & bruv billy tried to work out how to get”samples”from loading dock difficult…These cakes/pastries went out all over London did they have shops like the ABC or Lyons,Also no ne mentioning Western Laundry(Housewives Choice) also big in Fulham I think,a very large employer in the area in the late 40’s&50’s,they had a big narrow garage in Benwell Rd, down an alley behind the back of the school,also nearly opposite another alley leading to an Ink factory(stephens)?One for Sharon &John Salter,my brother 7yrs my senior, when in Albany Place took great pleasure in throwing me against the mudguards to bounce off of the Post Office vans, they had Rubber Wings, like the telephone vans also,Until upon contact I (we)broke a headlamp…..sigh Rgds jj

      • Thanks for the reply John, took me back some seventy years.

        As children we used the Express dairy A.K.A. Exie shutters for goals with loud leather ball thumps against the steel frames that rattled every time. Sometimes we had to stop to let the occasional car through or could it have been a repaired dust cart . Across Drayton Park the large main gates to the Harvey coal heaps were only open in the day but on Summer evenings looking towards the shunting yard between Drayton Park and Ashburton you could watch the sunsets behind the main LNER railway lines, to a young dreamer like myself, beautiful. Opposite the Aubert Park houses that you mentioned stood the Highbury Baptist church when in the late 1940’s the church wall was toppled by the many arsenal supporters who were lining up for the next FA Cup round tickets. I was not to blame, honest.
        Continuing the laundry theme we stood at the Arsenal clock end for many years where at the opposite end in what was later called the North Bank, a bleak iron structure called the Laundry End obscured the Mayfield Laundry in Gillespie Road. On the opposite side of the laundry stood Stephens Inks a few yards from the spot where Arsenal programmes were sold in the front garden of a corner house.

        I have a Shelburne Road photograph of the Spithead Review outing to the Solent in 1953 celebrating the Coronation. Mr Smeaton was the leader, that is the leader of the group and not the Review. If anyone
        would like a copy please advise.
        Best wishes Ron H

    • Hi Ron being a dreamer, how poetic, trust me the grass wasn’t any greener in the grove,spent my time dreaming of another sunset anywhere else, after studying the side destination boards affixed to the sides of railway coaches @Kings X/St.Pancras/Euston&Marylebone the ole man always called me the “Wanderer”, before Dion’s Hit of the same name ha,but the memory bank kicked in with that”wall”in Drayton Park how many bricks,how long to build?/must have been one of the longest(brick walls) I ever saw in London & I travelled a lot in the metropolis,& when a home game played with a North of England team maybe 60-80 coaches parked tail to wall Yorkshire Traction/Ribble//Midland Red/Hebble/Lancashire United/North Western+many others depending on where the teams orginated from,Also right on the end of Drayton Pk @the bend of Gillespie Rd was a coffee shop “hole in the wall” J.E Harveys &Lebons coal men used it,the son “Rocco”had every teenagers(& a few grown men) dream by owning a BSA Gold Star 500cc m/bike replete with alloy slab tank a real Clubmens racing dream on wheels whose only outing was blasting up down the “Park”with Rocco& cheese cutter hat(no helmet)while we watched in awe,would be ’56ish+rgds jj

      • Hello John. Coaches in Drayton Park, a master class in parking space, how did they get out after the match? With cars parked on either side, Elfort Road was a favourite parking place and on a good day “can I mind your car mister” paid a healthy return. My early days were similar to yours with my Dad always saying “liven up” I think we were slightly before our time, they must have found it rather strange. Just another brick in the Drayton Park wall, there must be a photograph in the Islington archives. I used to pass Rocco’s cafe’ next to the Drayton Arms on my way to school that must have been before the move to the corner of Gillespie. Rocco Jnr. turned it into a motor bike display after his dad quit the cafe’, just like yourself my imagination ran riot knowing that my early wage packet would not be enough. Mrs Smith and her daughter Sophie had a sweet shop where the road bends, was this where The hole in the Wall was ? or did it replace the premises of Chris the barber brother of Pat Rice?

        Best wishes
        Ron H

  30. Hi Ron, I would be interested in your photograph, thank you. I don’t think you can add images on here so not sure what would be best – perhaps I should give you my email address? Or do you know a way to post it?

    John J – I can still smell that wonderful Western Laundry! It’s a restaurant now called…. Westerns Laundry.

    • Hello Sharon, I have sent my address to the Ashburton Web in hope that it is redirected to yourself however, if I do not receive an answer you could visit my Website Cut and paste the Email address and on receipt I will transfer the message to my personal Email address. In addition to the Spithead outing photograph I will include a 1953 photograph of my 1953 class, you may find a familiar name or two.

      Best wishes Ron H

      • Hi Ron the “hole in the wall”coffee shop as they were called, was right on the bend of the “park”&Gillespie Rd, I assumed rightly or wrongly that rocco had a connection with this particular café, his bike often parked near it,but do remember the another café in Drayton Park, the colour/name “orange” springing to mind?this was 60+yrs ago! AS a matter of intrest the Tube Station changed its name to Arsenal around the early ’30’s,I think my brother Billy was in Maureen Anthony’s class along with his close pal Jimmy Mitchell who drove a two-tone grey/red Austin A105(a very nice& powerful) car in latter years,& worked with my father @the Lofting Rd,Seem to remember a running battle between Bruv &”Smeaton” he often mentioning that particular individual,along with various visits to the school by our Mother Dolly @ the schools requests!Also wasn’t there a Recording Studio that recorded the Stones first break-neck demos amongst others, near that bend in the road?Sharon a restaurant! really what else was in that Building &when did the change occur?I suppose cheap HP was the death kneel when washing machines came on stream, Goodbye Bagwash….Bye jj

  31. Pingback: Arsenal FC v Newcastle United på Highbury i London … | abandowest

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