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.
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, but as they’re underground that’s 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. At that time Holloway and Highbury still had a lot of open spaces, but Ashburton Grove existed and consisted 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. 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. 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 (as the colour for buildings), 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 even 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, land was much cheaper 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. Highbury 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.
Arsenal station has wandered off into the trees again and the old stadium has become flats. 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.
299 thoughts on “The History Of Ashburton Grove”
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?
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? 🙂
The nonsense is that they are giving the name away for nothing.
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.
Give me a breakdown of the package then.
The deals with Emirates are public information. Look them up yourself.
If you don’t know just say ‘I don’t know’.
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.
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,
Where did you get the 1885 map from?
It appears to be different (and better) than the one here
I’m researching family history in the area
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/s.w.london(Feltham) 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
That would be much appreciated – and thank you for looking.
Hi Bugbear, I’ve done a little search and found http://www.maps-of-london.com/map-highbury.htm I hope that is what you are looking for. Good luck with your research.
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.
I bet your Dad enjoys going to the emirates, great story about football coming 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)
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.
I was employed at the rubbish tip at ashburton grove when it was run by the greater London council back in the 60s
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.
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.
Thanks for your comment – interesting stuff.
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.
Hi Christine hill I lived further down in tollington road n7 I was employed at the GLC rubbish tip at ashburton grove in the 1960s
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.
My grandad was the “Cole”
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)
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
Knew you when you lived in Ashburton Grove. Many fond memories of those times when we were at William Forster School. Remember going back with you one lunch time to hear the very first SP records I had ever seen. You had a dansette record player if I’m right and played Elvis’ ‘Jail House Rock’ and ‘Just want to be your Teddy Bear’. I had never heard a record before! You and I both became keen cyclists. I have the feeling that you had a ‘Hetchings’ with the curly back forks, while I had a ‘Macleans’. I also knew Richard Bull and his family over the road from you. I can recall ‘keeping dog’ for the guys who played dice in the street outside of the ‘Favourite’ public house. Street gambling was illegal then. I might have been 7 or 8 years old and if the Black Mariah was coming down Benwell road I had to give a shout. When it happened, you’ve never seen such a scattering coins up in the air, hobnail boots running down Queensland road and disappearing into any convenient door. As a street urchin can well remember scaling the walls into the wasteland lying behind and between Ashburton Grove and Drayton Park and rummaging amongst the rolling stock and goods wagons laid up – it was a kind of railway marshalling yard. I lived almost adjacent to the old Highbury ground and can remember having to come out to defend the property when massive crowds descended on the streets. Those days were very difficult for many, many people but there was a tremendous camraderie and community which hardly exists now. I understand that your in Australia these days so best wishes to you!
You should read this from my blog… shows you what it was like in the 70’s
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
Here’s an aerial photo from 1929
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.
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
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
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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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.
No problem 😀
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!
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
Does anybody remember Tollington road and harvest road back in the 50s and 60s?
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.
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
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!
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”(s.e.london) 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!
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: http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/Holloway_Caledonian_Road.html
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.
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
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?
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).
Haha not beloved John but would like to see your picture if you are able to put it up on this thread?
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
No problem Sharon, you guys carry on as long as you like 😀
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.
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.
Saw your reply after I wrote mine! Your surname immediately rang a bell and I’m sure I remember a Mr and Mrs Polley being customers in our shop. Trying hard to remember more about them.
Thanku for that info Fred while U were sitting outside waiting on Saturday nights U didn’t by chance know a younger girl called Josephine waiting outside for her mother Beatrice Mercer did U . Beatrice was close Babs (Barbara) Beatrice is also my husband’s grandmother if U know anything I’d love to hear abt it as we r trying 2 track down family tree thanku .
Only just found this website! You are talking about Babs and Fred Constable who ran the pub with her brother Ted Drake (think he was the owner actually). Used to go in there a lot with my parents who had the newsagent, tobacconist and sweet shop a few doors along from the pub.
Thanku Stella i hve taken Ur info on board if U remember anything else like a lady called Beatrice or her daughter Josephine would be appreciated. I do know Beatrice luved her alcohol & was always there at Drayton park
Sorry, Lee, can’t help you on that.
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, although.um) 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)
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.
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
Is there any way of posting photos on here?
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?
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
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?
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 http://www.theafricanblondin.com. 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 I.B.C.in 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
Hi Sharon, did we try & leave the grove? yes!Bill found work in Crawley New Town, new house,dolly part time in chocolate factory, mornings & a cig.factory afternoons!so fed up with painting lead soliders &piece work@ Westerns Laundry & poor council wages,Me &bruv Billy couldn’t believe our luck, could almost smell the “briny”@ brighton already so near, even if it did have pebble beaches!But to no avail Dolly wanted to stay in the “grove”& the house where she was born along with her brothers&sisters since the turn of the century, nearly exchanged London Transport red buses for green &Southdown’s green&cream sigh… jj
Hi Sharon,anyone famous in the close area? I knew of one!(went to School with others @ Barnsbury Boys School on Camden Rd) my Uncle Bert ,apart from telling us tales of his navy days WW2,think he sunk all the U-Boats,a’la the uncle in Fools &Horses,worked @ Pitchers Sawmill,said there was a guy who sang all day, apart from the fact he thought him Tonedeaf &Flat whilst singing, asked if he was in a Group?back came the answer “The Thunderbirds” ah john thought, Chris Farlowe, who went on to “Paint it Black”chartwise & became a Nazi memorabilia shop owner along Camden Passage that wasn’t @Camden Town!.bye jj
HI John, I can’t remember anyone famous. One of my teachers at school was married to Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). Lots of people who later got famous through Anna Scher’s. I remember Chris Farlowe’s shop but was there also an army surplus nearby? Maybe on the high pavement? When I was at my primary school (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Eden Grove) there was a fashion to use a military surplus canvas bag for a school bag, I always had a blue air force one. They used to really dig into your should when filled with books!
I just remembered that John Lydon went to my school! Better known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols
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A Highbury recording studio ? My first thought was The Wessex Studio in Highbury New Park but following a little research I uncovered an interesting site, “The 60’s Official Site” under the heading “The Rolling Stones Forever” . Author David Soulsby gave a detailed account of the Stone’s visit to the Highbury recording studios near the outdoor Highbury swimming baths in Highbury Fields. This studio was run by Curley Clayton where someone said to David [The Stones first recorded there]. I have seen this quote on another website so it could be relevant to your theory.
David grew up in North London and spent many hours in Highbury Fields. He also the wrote Somewhere in The Distance , a novel about four friends growing up in the Sixties. I hope he finds the Ashburton web site, he could offer many of his other Islington memories.
I am not sure if Brother Billy was in my Shelburne class but Jimmy Mitchell rang a bell. However if you would like a first year class photograph including Maureen/Ron, visit my Website http://www.theafricanblondin.com. Cut and paste the Email address and on receipt I will transfer the message to my personal Email address and forward a copy.
Hi Ron &Sharon(snuck you in) well there was music from that area near the bend maybe practise rooms? diff. 60’s group sounds,been thinking about another bus route near &dear to our hearts in the area the 14,one of the most intensive if not the most intensive (every 12-14 mins) bus routes in London, Hornsey Rise to Putney,(weekends to Kingston) knew I got there somehow cheep cheep,yes Sharon, I went on the Red Rover!,it came down from Hornsey Rise along Hornsey Rd past the swimming baths/washhouses&bathhouse(no mum not going there for a bath no matter how cheap it is only poor people go there?)past the North London Gas Light &Coke Company with their Dark green articulated Dennis coke delivery trucks,&turned right @ Seven Sisters Rd past the North London Drapery store to Nags Head,but wait, some genius(&he or she was)@55 Broadway of community mind, sent the bus over the Seven Sisters Rd traffic lights in to no-mans land to turn right @ Tollington Rd a boon for @ least some of the important part of Hornsey Rd (to us grove people anyhow). rgd jj
Hello John and Sharon
Did not use 14 but it got me thinking about the buses that I used from Holloway Road and Finsbury Park.
609 Sunday afternoon swimming at the Finchley open air pool. 611 To Highgate Village Hampstead Easter Fair. 679 to the Tottenham Royal in my teens . 236. Hackney Marshes to play football. 19 direct to the West End, Pictures and Arcades. A tram was it a 46 ? to the Embankment via Holborn Kingsway where I fell in the Thames at high tide. Mum lost for words but not actions when her ten year old son had to face the music.
A nostalgic tour of London.
Hi Ron spot on 609(104) to Finchley “lido”, It was a 35(172) tram thru Kingsway to Forest Hill starting @archway tavern,, 679 yep the royal dave clark 5 tues singles night with most of daves family in the audience told lots of older girls there I was 15 looked 18 so….., the 14 was between 4-7mins headwayeven better than I said, unbelievable!& like the 19, I think still around, the 236 had old looking buses(half cab) Leylands&Conductors manned by Leyton crews and went thru Stoke Newington&Hackney to get to the Marshes, I having no football boots was instructed to pick up wastepaper for the duration around the pitches, not that it bothered me much past, caring by then after a couple of seasons, I could watch the goods trains in Temple Mills marshalling yards,before our return by Whitehall Coaches pink& grey coaches to Holloway.Rgds jj
Hi Ron. the tram would have been the 35,Archway,Angel & then thru the Kingsway subway to Norwood via the Embankment,did this myself with Parents a few times,had to be pre’52 when the trams ended, the 35 being one of the last tram replacement routes in London, replaced by the “172” bus, we visited relations in Lambeth Sth.One strange quirk that came to mind was late on Sun nights, I would catch one of the last Piccadilly tube trains home to Holloway Rd, Northbound from Leicester Sq having spent the Evening there or in the area in a “Beat or R&B club”On arriving home &undressing in the Kitchen,! warmest place in the winter & being ultra quite @ 11pm thereabouts(old man up @ 4.30am)you could hear the last? Northbound Underground Train coming&passing under or near to our house, clear as a bell,Not a fact ever mentioned by anyone to my knowledge.Rgds jj
With our buildings being right on the railway on ‘little’ Hornsey Rd the trains would have been louder than any tubes but your comment does vaguely ring a bell John. I think I remember hearing tube trains (I sometimes hear them now when I’m at the theatre). Hornsey Rd must have been a fairly noisy place, with the trains, the rubbish carts and I also remember lying in bed at night, with the sash window open a little, listening to the grownups sitting on the wall outside, drinking and smoking. Now I would find the noise intrusive. Then it seemed quite comforting.
Sharon and John
Reading the your exchanges prompted me to think about my past memories that spring to mind. I was a constant cinema enthusiast with regular visits to the theatres’ in the Islington area. By the age of seven I was a Saturday morning junior at the Highbury Picture Theatre. My other journeys was the Century cinema, my mother insisted on calling the Grand recalling her pre war visits. Continuing the Holloway Road route there was the Savoy, always clean and tidy with a unique aroma of a cleaning product. Over the road at Nags Head stood The Marlborough that looked like an old Music Hall that had seen better days. An architect’s dream. Just two hundred yards away stood The Odeon, with a splendid Art Deco exterior unfortunately hit by a V1 and V2 rocket that demolished the interior. A long walk to the Rink cinema in Stroud Green Road was cold by name and nature, a very draughty place but all forgotten when the film started. Leaving my favourite till last was the Astoria, an excellent venue with shining floors, a fish pond with a Spanish courtyard theme with lights in the ceiling. Having spent the evening in The Astoria I caught the tube to the Arsenal where the train continued it’s shuddering journey to Holloway Road giving some reassurance to sleepy children snug in their beds and the young teenagers home late still reflecting on the age of exciting new and talented music performers.
Ron you write so poetically! I would love to have known the Marlborough as I now know it was designed by the remarkable Frank Matcham and to me the Astoria was the Rainbow. I remember the Odeon (which has sadly been chopped up into 8 screens now) and the Savoy (‘We are the boys and girls well known as, the minors of the ABC and every Saturday we line up, to see the films we like and shout about with glee!’). I remember queuing outside the Savoy more than I remember the films inside but I do remember going to see The Amazing Mr Blunden in the winter and on the way home one of my brothers dared us all to climb over the wall in Madras Place into the dark and closed gardens of Mary Mags and search for Mr Blunden’s gravestone. I frightened myself silly doing that!
Hi Sharon went to Barnsbury Boys with Steven Howe(YES)& 4 guys(The Equals),saw “Rod the Mod” before fame in the Wimpey Bar opposite the Sign that said “Holloway”near M&S,it starting proper city bound, so not all of Nags Head in Holloway,seem to remember the surplus store, the blue RAF knapsacks the girls thought fashionable, colour maybe,not to keen on the Army/RAF grey coats not that much of a fashion pioneer in the area, alongside getting a “smack” from the older ex-servicemen,plus had Bills on Me & Bruv’s bed as a top blanket for to many years to remember, so to bitter a pill to swallow. Bye ha didn’t log out!jj
Hi Ron,Sharon&others?.yep the steam/diesel locos would sit right outside your block,awaiting calling on to the “X”with empty stock from Bounds Green or Wood Green,doing the same @Hornsey Rd Bridge,never sitting on the bridges theirselves, civil engineers decree I suppose due to dead weight,Favourite Cinema, got to be Astoria Finsbury Park with that Water Fountain? &those Spanish Balconys around the “gods”,Worst, Sharon help me, along Holloway Rd towards Drayton Park on the Left we called it the “Bug Hole”found a Rats tail still connected to the rat in a seat, in an aisle, we soon moved! the emergency doors used to allow us to let in pals, although everyone knew by the daylight streaming in what we had done!,Last film we watched Bruv &Me “Reach for the Sky”Kenneth Moore one before that “Genevive” Also who advertised on the Holloway Rd tube station side Railway Bridge, always a yellow background? we looked @ it so many times a teaser, answer next post.Rgds jj
Hi Sharon.Ron& Ashburnems,ok, the Bridge in most of our Childhood days painted with an advertisement for Bryant&Mays matches on @least the “tube”side,changing to Ferodo brake linings on both sides in the late ’50’s/early ’60’s?Not many comments on the dreadful Smogs we endured in the 50’s, after all we lived in “Holloway”& it was just that, lingering for hours, if not days courtesy of British Railways,Remember Mum&I standing outside the Citybound bus stop in Holloway Rd, on a very bad foggy morning, waiting for a bus or trolley to take us to the “High Pavement”@ The Angel to go to Chapel Street Market,when under the Railway Bridge came a #43 with an Inspector in front holding a Flare!we thought better of it & gave up the Shopping Expedition,&retired home to the”grove”& our esso “blue”paraffin heater in the Kitchen along with the fumes.Bye jj
Hello Sharon an John
How I look forward to your Islington memories, thank you for your kind words Sharon. Saturday morning pictures, a lost social tradition it would appear. I must catch up with Mr Blunden on Google but I will think twice about climbing the Madras Place brick wall. What my mother called The Grand and I called the Century was indeed The “Bug Hole”. Re-opened in the mid fifties by a cowboy (Roy Rogers?) who rode a white horse down Holloway Road . I remember that emergency door that opened frequently with the middle iron rod scrapping the concrete making an ear splitting noise. The Rat probably was left from the middle fifties, Islington animal lovers to the end. My guess to the Yellow advertisement was Jelks the removal /furniture store in Holloway Road. The Angel, Chapel Street, London fog and the paraffin heater too many memories to go any further.
Best wishes Ron
Hi Ron, memories, ok days out by coach, cheaper if you had a brood for sure, even if you could get a direct train(sometimes)from Upper Holloway to Soufend-on -Sea or change @ Barking ,so its a coach day trip then?If your lucky, with Orange Coaches/Grey-Green or Empires Best, 2tone blue, small Bedford petrol coaches that “coughed”when full up with trippers when hill climbing,us Hollowayites chose Southend/Westcliff/Canvey Island or @ the most Clacton/Walton-on-Naze or Jaywick Sands, many not choosing to go south, cost or travel time?Seem to remember Orange P/up @ the Flight Garage in Parkhurst Rd& Empires Best up past Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green via a Trolley or Tube,Rgdsjj
Hi all a big part of our lives, the “Vestry” where did the rubbish from Us & Stoke Newington/Finsbury &Hackney go?why via the “Ashburton Pullman” ex Sulphate bogie wgns. a long hard haul via Clarence Yard&the “Park” & the long way rnd to Welwyn Gdn City&Blackbridge Sidings via the then upmarket Suburbs,rumour has it a bottle fell off &hit a commuter(middle class)then @Oakleigh Park Station without fatal outcome.Rgds jj
Hello.My name is Sandra McRobbie(nee Jackson)
I was born at 35 Ashburton Grove,my Grandparents(Anthony) lived there and my Mum and her sister and 3 brothers were all born there.Auntie Rose Uncle Dick(Howard)and their daughters Valerie and Toni lived at No.18.Uncle Ern ,Aunt Nell and their children at No42 have been remembered by others,and I am sad to tell them that Maureen died while on holiday with her Husband and Ray in 2011.
Uncle Ern was chauffeur to Lady O’Donnell,who had his phone installed so that she could call him when she wanted to be driven somewhere.She had a Rolls-Royce,Ithink it was a Silver Shadow.Uncle Ern would sometimes park it in the Grove but we were not allowed to go anywhere near it.
My family,George Lillian my sister Toni and I moved to Caedmon Road,sharing a house with Uncle Alf Aunt Theresa and Brenda.
All the cousins went to Shelbourne Road Infants and then Pakeman street Juniors.
Ihave enjoyed reading all the memories.
Best Wishes Sandra
Hi Sandra the enigma of the phone@#42 cleared up ha,think the Cooks @#50 had a brick wall like #21,always thought a big deal; not that we wanted one only renting.Now here’s a strange “grove”related happening, when most families had moved out &we were by far from the last families,the gardens on the railway side @ least reverted back to nature.wild birds heard &seen, a hedgehog took up home in our outside loo!,& a Badger witnessed moving along the Gardens, I suppose no domestic castor Dogs to hinder their progress.Bye jj
I remember the Coronation Parties.We had a street party with the food provided by the Mums.We also had a fancy-dress parade. I still have the cup and saucer and plate which we were all given
I remember going to an Ice Show in 2 red buses.It was Sonja Henie on Ice.She was a .Norwegian ice skater and film star in the fifties.We also had a party in the playground at School and were given a tin of pencils
I think we also had a party at the Sunday School at The Albany Mission
Does anyone remember?
Hi Sandra Me & bruv billy were entered in the street competition as a coalminer&coalman should have won so we were told, not just by our parents! girl dressed as a fairy with wand won it why?yep Biscuits in a tin Pencils,Cup &Saucer,buses to Wembley Ice Rink they did well considering the times.we lived in…as Sonny Boy Williams sang “don’t start me talkin”hey phil thnks but why do I get logged out so quick & lose everything?my server or yours.?Rgds jj
Must be something your end John, nothing to do with me I don’t think.
I am the Valerie mentioned in the 29/12/2016 entry, but my surname was Howard not Anthony. My Mum’s maiden name was Anthony and we lived upstairs in no 35 – Dad Richard (Dick), Mum Rosina (Rose), sister Antoinette (Toni) and me. Mum’s brother Ernest lived at no 42 with his family – Auntie Nell and my cousins Rita, Maureen, Beverly and Ray. I regularly speak to Beverly and Ray, but Maureen sadly died in 2011. Toni and I both went to Shelburn Infants School, then on to Pakeman Street Juniors, and after we passed the 11+ to Highbury Hill High School, just up the hill from the Arsenal stadium. Dad was a season ticket holder and although Toni and I both now live in North Yorkshire we are still avid Arsenal fans, as are our families. We moved to no 18 in 1955. Toni and I have cast our minds back to the names we remember. I went to the youth club at the Albany Mission with Linda Cox and Sylvia Cole. Other friends were Teddy Ward (no 19) and Johnny Bryant (no 34). Toni remembers Christine Bland, Christine Franklin and Valerie Dew. Other funny things came to mind. Mr Furr, the coalman, supplied Dad with manure for the garden when he delivered coal. Other people who did not have this arrangement rushed out with buckets and shovels when manure was deposited in the street! We remembered bonfire nights with huge fires and potatoes roasting in the embers when the depot at the end of the road had finished for the day; and the shellfish man with hand cart delivering shrimps and winkles on Sunday morning for Sunday tea. We shall always remember those great days of our childhood in Ashburton Grove where everybody knew everybody else and nobody locked their doors. It was just a smashing place to grow up.
I lived at number 10 Ashburton Grove next door to the Furr Family. I was Christine Hill back then. I have an older brother Stephen b 1950. My Great Uncle Fred Butler lived at number 18.
Hi Valerie yep Howard rings a bell, but lots of kids I knew by the mums maiden name, hence Dolly(my mum) always called you Valerie Anthony,mind you you were @42 an awful lot. so pardon the mistake,regards to Ray &Bev bit older than me but always had a crush on Bev! I hope you showed her the Green Hair story from an earlier post, chuckle.Your school was that a Girls Grammer School like Sylvia Coles Barnsbury Girls Grammer School?Bye jj
Hi John I have told Ray about your site and he still remembered you. Highbury Hill was a grammer school but my memory is that Barnsbury was a Central school, this was neither secondry modern or grammer. I hope that is the term that was used for this type of school. You are so right about people using maiden names, our mum certainly did. Do you remember Gladys Pollards wall around her house, and the new paving outside? I remember us kids were always being told that we were not allowed to roller skate on her new paving and I am sorry to say that this made her house ( no 21) a prime target for knock down ginger. I will pass on your regards to Bev and Ray.Bye
Hi Valerie,I hasten to add this isn’t”MY”page before Phil treads on my feet with his size 12 Football Boots!,I’m merely one of others like Sharon,Ron H&John S. who are squatters in Phil’s Manor House,who want to remember the good but hard times in this “street”&area,and truly try & remember as much as I can before its lost by me or others,I will be back to you on Ma Pollards wall,&other observations of her before I ‘m logged out by my server?/Phil last word thanks, as you say” I came I saw but never ever got annoyed”.bye jj
Hi Valerie#21 brick wall/new concrete pavement the only ones in the Grove,How?,who paid?,Gladys the daughter the only woman in the “Grove”licenced to ride a broom stick!Yet wanted errands run @ 1d a go never heard Trams gone/Inflation or Harold Wilson not a memorable pair,Knock down ginger played better with cotton attached to two knockers,@ a time, you never did old people or relatives,unwritten law seem to remember a Male @ #44 getting someone by the throat,we gave it a rest for a week or two.Bye jj
Hi Valerie thnks for clearing up the school ‘status” issue always told cousin Sylvia Cole went to a Grammer ,don’t think I’m mistaken on this fact, remember going to Barnsbury Boys Comp. school myself in the Caledonian Rd/Parkhurst Rd?fork @Nags Head & being told “why was I trying so hard as I was only going to end up in a factory!”sign of the times when most school teachers where middle class &commuted as far as possible from their alloted school as travelling times&fares permitted,no wonder to escape you had to be a Pop Star/Photographer/Crook/Footballer or Immigrate to better yourself.bye jj
I have a photo taken about 1960 from the May Queen celebrations at Albany Mission (Albany Place) and Sylvia Coles is in it.
A fond memory of my fellow Shelburne Road class pupils including Maureen Anthony and her close friend Maureen Jenkins, who helped me to accept my aversion to an unfriendly and limited education system. A class of polite and lovely students, a pleasure to have known them all.
John. With your knowledge of Islington and London transport history you may be interested in a Cockney
Ancestor publication [No. 140 Autumn 2013] article regarding The North London Railway war memorial. It mentions a memorial to the men of the London and Western Railway who gave their lives. In 1921 the memorial was unveiled at Broad Street station. In 1985 was temporary stored in Richmond station until 2011 when it was re-erected at Hoxton. Could be worth a visit to the Cockney Ancestor website.
Best wishes to all Ron
hi Ron thanks for the tip,the 2 stations relevant to our area would I suppose on theN.L.R be Highbury&Islington and Canonbury&Barnsbury,both magnificent stations in the early century killed by the trams,& by the time I knew them sadly part derelict &very rundown,with trains that had manual sliding doors pre-’57,Broad Street an eerie place on a Sunday to an eight yr old,with very little foot traffic or train deparatures &arrivals,A journey from the City would, once past Canonbury on viaduct, show a vast vista of North London usually without to many Council high rise flats!Rgds jj
I’m sure people know this site but it’s a great source for maps of different periods (once you get the hang of it). This is the 1895 sheet for this area:
I’ve found this discussion by googling Ashburton Road as I never new that Arsenal Stadium was built over some older streets – I assumed it was just old railway land.
PS: the sheet for 1939 with a detailed plan of the old stadium area
Thanks Thomas, I didn’t know that website and it’s amazing. I can see myself spending some time wandering round it and it’s going to be so useful for a project I’m working on for a local charity here in south London.
Hi Sharon,couple of sidelines, the abattoir in Market Rd also took care of any animals that died @The London Zoo,be careful what you washed you hair in…..ha/Also until now couldn’t understand why Dolly always “shepherded” me &bruv billy downstairs on the Trolleybuses&Buses the smokers went up!even if we stood for the whole journey to the “high pavement”Angel& return,think London Transport thought long &hard about the internal roof colour.@ least we never suffered the dreadful signs that said “no spitting or spitting causes consumption!as in the provinces.Bye jj
Hi John and thanks for this. As a young girl I didn’t go upstairs on buses either. The smoking wasn’t great but it was the casual sexism that kept us downstairs. But I rarely went on a bus anyway. We walked to the other high pavement, at the Nag’s Head. Even when we moved to Cornelia St and the Angel would have been closer my mum still insisted on going there and also walking via Hornsey Rd even though it would have been quicker to walk along the Caledonian Rd! When we wanted to shop for ourselves we went to the Angel. Have we mentioned the film The London Nobody Knows? It has some lovely scenes at Chapel Market.
* Sorry, didn’t post the link to the 1930s map: [it’s a little tricky at first to navigate the site]
No problem – it is a really cool site. I’ve only recently moved to the area – though only from Stamford Hill – but it’s a great way of getting to understand the history of the area. I loved the comments above from people who lived around Ashburton St. I’m really interested in knowing more about how people lived through all these changes and what they thought about them at the time.
To John Jackson,
Sorry I haven’t replied earlier to yours of the 26th July. I cannot remember (if I ever knew) how Gladys Pollard came to have a brick wall and pristine paving at the front of her house.
I started to think of my Nan, Lizzie (Elizabeth) Anthony at number 35. Nan always enjoyed a little bet. This was before betting shops, but a bookie used to stand at the top of Queensland Road. There used to be lookouts watching in case the police came along. I believe Nan thought that if she had one of her grandchildren with her when she went to place a bet, she would look an innocent little old lady. I must say that her bets were very modest, 6d each way, and then usually only on the big races.
Another thing I remember about Nan was her trips to Chapel Street market. She would always go to the pie and mash shop where they sold live eels. They were in large metal trays on the window ledges outside the shop. When she got these eels home she would put them in the sink and then cut them up to cook. Nan also kept chickens and someone in the Grove used to kill them ready for the oven at Christmas time. Chicken was a real treat in those days, not the common item it is today. There were lots of people of my Nan’s generation living in the Grove and all enjoyed having a chat when they passed one another’s houses going up to the shops on the top corners of the Grove.
Will keep thinking back. Bye for now, Valerie
Hi Valerie N.Yorkshire that must have been a cultural shock did you ever meet Greengrass!,,which got me thinking, now the Kennealys#65 went to Potters Bar,the Jacksons (Bill &Dolly)went to Eight Ash Grn nr Colchester,&I think the Bryants#34 went to the high rise block marooned on the Highbury Cnr roundabout, but what of the so many other families who were so close in that tight knit community&area Sharon went transpontine any others southbound.where did they all go? also as a sideline the Cobbles we all suffered in the Grove &Queensland Rd along with the three Places off there were called “setts”Rgds jj
Good call John, I’d love to know where everyone went. I didn’t go transpontine (as you so poetically put it) until I got married. From Hornsey Road we went to Cornelia Street, to the new estate that replaced those roads between Westbourne Rd and Roman Way. Not as handy for school in Eden Grove and even less handy for Highbury Hill but still fairly local.
Hi Valerie the pie &mash shop in Chapel St mkt was Manzies(sic)& an Italian ice cream shop on a cnr with the best ice-cream(a treat)seem to remember a bookies runner stationed on the cnr of Ashburton &Hornsey Rd alongside Websters (nicky knacks) wall in the Grove, where did that name come from?Our family didn’t drink or bet,we didn’t seem any better off, from those that did!.Me &bruv Billy made up from that drinkwisein later life ha I think,So where did Bev,Raymond.Rita?/&the late Maureen&Husband settle,Bye jj
I have a photo of old Mrs Pollard ( Gladys’s Mum) with my Nan
Hi Valerie, you are a wealth of “local” knowledge, please try &trawl your memory bank like Sharon/Ron&Christine you have so much to offer, please.jj
Continuing the theme of famous people within the Ashburton area I would like to nominate three who have made a significant contribution to the world of music, media and photography. Two of which were my childhood associates. Unfortunately I never met my first nomination Sir George Henry Martin CBE, musician, record producer and composer. Sir George lived in Drayton Park opposite the Westerns Laundry. Visit Wikipedia for an account worthy of such a talent who played an important part in promoting the art of popular music.
Gerry Huxham lived in Witherington Road a short distance from Drayton Park school, he wrote the first episode of Eastenders followed by another seven. He also wrote episodes for The Bill, Eldorado, Crown Court and several other TV programmes. A regular Arsenal fan at the Clock End, I wonder where he met his many London characters in his research for The EastEnders ? yes of course it was, was it?
Kent (Ken) Gavin lived off Aubert Park towards Highbury Barn. Kent was the Daily Mirror Chief sports photographer. His achievements were many including British Press Photographer of the Year, Royal Photographer of the Year and the Royal Photographer of the Decade. I remember Kent as a keen teenage photographer walking upright and purposeful round the red Arsenal pitch perimeter with his heavy camera equipment over his shoulder tightly pressed to his side. His destination was I believe was his favourite position, not far from the corner of the Clock End to an enviable spot inside the West Stand railings a couple of yards from the Pitch.
Three notable famous people from Islington, I am sure there are more.
Best wishes Ron
Sharon and John
https://www.facebook.com/groups/412926078867329/photos/ Visit this website of London photographs, I guarantee that you will see quite a few photographs to your liking. Even Ashburton Grove has a mention with regard to the Arsenal letters outside the ground. Give yourselves plenty of time there are quite a few.
hi ron thanks again for another tip to search,so many famous people you mentioned, but most people’s paths(in the grove or little hornsey rd) would never have crossed those gents paths,your knowledge of the theatres in the Finsbury Park area may help? Astoria(rainbow) saw (Chuck Berry& Stones before all the “mincing” that jagger did)/Empire (saw Eddie Cochran there/Harry Worth/Max Miller(lost me @ that age?And a theatre up cobblestones by a pram shop near the “park”gates?saw the Beatles &Searchers there who blew them(beatles) off the stage, grt harmony like the Beach Boys @ that time &Cilla Black who once asked a young pantomime audience in later years when playin the”goodie”which way to kill the “baddie”only to be told “sing to him”! classic from an under 10yr old, but that’s cockney kids for you…Bye jj
What a witty reply from the young cockney it reminded me of an Arsenal clock end teen-age supporter who used to climb over the perimeter pitch railings at half time to kick an imaginary football into an unattended net. He never missed but kept his fellow supporters amused during the ten minute break. I am a member of the previous generation sadly missing great performers like Eddie Cochran, Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and The Searchers. Mick appeared to concentrate on a visual effect I must agree, perhaps at times overshadowing the other talent playing in the group.
My trips to the Finsbury Park Empire were always rewarded with performers such as Billy Eckstine, Guy Mitchell and a host of various other “Stars” of the time. Enjoying a magical performance by Sarah Vaughn at the Astoria and passing the pram shop to see my cousin Johnny Howard box his way to a win at the Majestic AKA The Rink cinema. Out favourite cinema “The Bughole” once known as The Grand and then The Century was renamed The Essoldo in later years.
Thanks for the London humour stories John
Hi Sharon,Ron& fellow Ashburtonites,another year comes to a close &what better subject that’s near &dear to the “grove” than Dust Carts or Municipal Cleansing Dept. Vehicles,my memory of the early 50s’recalls a darker post office red with gold!leaf scroll,lettering &ringed fleet number with Borough Crest on doors,such was Municipal pride in the Boroughs &Councils of those far off days,but someone deemed we needed cheering up in Islington, around ’54/55 &decided to paint “some”trucks I think about half a dozen in apple green&cream,a sight to behold indeed, but the dirt &grime soon took its toll on this cheerful colour scheme resorting to the red body/ cab& black wheels most of us would remember in our times, thinking about how busy the grove was truck wise with maybe 80-100+ lorry movements mainly up the grove per weekday,Merry Xmas& a happy New Year to all thanks Phil.Rgds jj
whist doing a bit of family research i found that my grandmothers house in 1910 was 38 Ashburton grove.
Plus when working on Hackney Council my brother in the nineties often used the tip at the end of Ashburton grove
Hi Stephen #38 an Irish family(the grays) on the r/h side going down, backing on to the Vestry they lived there thru the 50’s&60’s, 1910 well my mum Dolly born in 1918@25 & she was the youngest apart from a step child born to my step grandfather Jack Hodge so Lal(?)Alf/Joe/George &Albert all born before 1918 @the house, not really sure of any others that far back but as past comments made families “handed down” the houses with out owning them!Rgds jj
Hello Sharon and John
Belated best wishes for 2019 including all contributors to this very enjoyable website. I am left wondering with my thirty years of Holloway ventures I do not recognise any of the many names mentioned. I must have missed them at the Highbury Snooker Hall, the Chris Barber [Traditional Jazz Band] concert at the Islington Town Hall or even standing with the wet Clock End Arsenal supporters who braved the rain and snow.
I was astounded by the 80-100 lorry visits up the Grove. Multiply by two for each lorry exit and the many employees on site. John, as children did you have any chance to play street games in the Grove?
I mentioned the above to an ex dustman when playing at the Walton Bowls Club. He used deposit his cargo and wait for a refill of incinerated waste and travel to a land fill location. He thanked me for reminding him of happy times at the tip and said that Ashburton Grove brought back so many memories that had made his day. I echo his comments regarding the many Grove resident stories
Best wishes to you, John, Phil and to everyone on this forum! The names here are incredibly local: just one or two streets, so it’s not surprising you don’t recognise them. I would have been in the North Bank or the Schoolboys Enclosure, so wouldn’t have seen you in the Clock End but for sure I would have been responding when the Clock End called ‘Schoolboys, Schoolboys, give us a song, Schoolboys, give us a song!’ As regards the number of lorry visits, I’m only surprised that I remember just a few as being really smelly – the ‘bone lorry’ is the only one I remember, the rest must have passed unnoticed.
Hi Ron I lived in Ashburton Grove until the houses were pulled down in 1966 when I was 12. Back in the early 1960’s there wern’t so many cars about and in the evening when the “Dustcart Depot” and the coal yard were shut it made Ashburton Grove a block turning so it was quite safe for us kids to play out in the street.
hi Ron&all.Yes the volume of trucks seems surprising but as mentioned most leaving the grove,all of Islington&Stoke Newington dust carts deposited there.with partial tipping of the fleets of Hackney/Finsbury/St.Pancras with rarer isolated cases of Marleybone&City of London too,the railway vehicle workshop supplied many test movements & Mr flock parking daily up to 8/10 trucks @ the top of the grove comprising after turning round in the coal yard many purchased from the Express Dairy/Northern Daires&Manchester Co-op soc.,but a big traffic movement being the only Public Weighbridge in the area, just outside the entrance to the coal yard gates,so in answer to your question daytime games=Nil but as Christine mentions the evenings kicked on apart from the winter the grove kids wise did really come alive.Byejj
Hello Sharon, Christine and John thank you all for your welcome replies in answer to my street playing enquiry with as usual, further interesting facts. Yes Sharon I remember the banter / singing between opposite ends of the Arsenal stadium. Ironically I watched many matches at the Laundry end (North Bank) end in later years, not a singer I’m afraid. I am sure residents gave “the Bone Lorry” a wide birth Sharon. 1966 was a year to remember, World cup glory plus the London demolition of traditional life in most boroughs. We youngsters in Elfort Road would have been very happy to play in a block turning, not unique but just great. How did you gather all the past transport, logistic and local history John? It is astounding that Ashburton was the only public weighbridge in the area, countless lorries must have used the facility.
Ashburton it appears was a good candidate for youthful enjoyment, a widespread Islington street education that the LCC could not match in preparation for our adult years.
Hi Ron, in retrospect it all came down I suppose to an early fertile mind,without out cash,walking to KIngs Cross,St Pancras,Euston &when funds became available from gifts/part time work,it was spent on travel to Stratford,Fulwell,Chiswick etc & sometimes the Home Counties, Southend/Newbury/ Reading/Aylesbury etc but stayed true to my school observing the Buses/Coaches/Lorries &Railways on those journeys. fares by Buses @half fare were very cheap Southend 2/6d! return while stopping off @ Brentwood&Westcliff to view The Eastern National Fleet&Garages,So never collected stamps,bottles,Beer tops etc just travelled & observed & in later life investigated those times&places through book &visits(keeping the good memories alive?), oh for that extra 2/6d…..sigh Rgds jj
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Just been reading the many interesting posts about Ashburton Grove. My links to the area go back to the beginning of the 20th century. My maternal grandfather, John Sweeney, was born in 42 Ashburton Grove in1900. It was the family home of his mother Emily Powell. He married Ada Jackson in1922. The Jackson’s came from the Liverpool Road area. They then lived in Ingram House, Hornsey Road , throughout the 1920s and 30s. His younger brother, George married Sarah Grant in 1923 and lived in Whistler Street until his death in 1968. Does anybody have any knowledge of these families?
A number of earlier post were about who lived in which house in the street. The electoral registers (throughout the 1920s, 30s.50s and 60s) give a good idea about which adults were living in each house. Hope this helps.
Hi Barrie, welcome to the group! John J will be able to give you information I’m sure but before I head off to work I will say that my grandparents Maud and John Francis lived in Ingram House after they moved from Queensland Road. I do remember Jacksons being mentioned but that’s all. We lived in Holloway House and my aunts lived in Highbury House and Hatton House. I have two photos of the ‘buildings’ as they were called which I can’t post on here but could pass on to you another way perhaps. Neither of them are of Ingram House but I remember it very well and can describe it. John J could describe it even better I’m sure – don’t hold back John, we know it was an absolute dump!
Hi Sharon/Ron &all others, of intrest maybe a web page “Streets with a Story-Islington”, Albany Place along with the Grove &others gets a mention,Lancelot -Smith who indeed was the owner of Smiths Car Instruments as I thought gets quite a long mention, for his 30yr charitable works for us area waifs,Ashburton Grove gets a mention of a L.N.E.R.coal yard in the 30’s, not sure what happened to the next 30yrs!,from another source, this yard was the marshalling yard for coal&goods for the Alexandria Palace,High Barnet&Edgware Branches,Also Ron,back in 56’/57’whilst renovation work was being carried out @ Broad Street, posters were discovered calling the N.L.R. “the open air route from the city” Rgdsjj
Thanks John what an amazing website! I can see I will spend a happy time there but it doesn’t mention Highbury House, Holloway House, Ingram House, Hatton House etc, the ‘mansions’ along Hornsey Road where I grew up. I have never been able to find out much about them.
Hi Sharon. The website was started by an Arsenal fan wondering about the history of Ashburton Grove, where the new Emirates Stadium was built. Little did he know that when he started it he would find so many people that had lovely memories of growing up down “The Grove!” So that’s why other places hardly get a mention.
It is ironic really as I was born at number 10 Ashburton Grove (the home of Arsenal) and went to school at Highbury Hill but I am a Spurs fan. My Dad was originally from Hoxton and supported Spurs so I was brought up doing the same!
Hi Christine, I didn’t make myself clear, I meant the website John referred us to, which is pretty comprehensive about Islington’s streets but doesn’t mention the tenements where I grew up. Nor does Islington’s local history library have anything on them, apart from one photo of the brick sign for ‘Hatton House’. I do know about this website and have been posting here for some years now. My family is evenly split Arsenal/Spurs even though we grew up in the shadow of the Arsenal stadium and went to Highbury schools!
John thanks for the tips. I actually use the Medical Officers reports for work sometimes but hadn’t got round to checking Hornsey Road.
Hi Sharon, yes so many families & so many blocks of tenaments,along with the Council built flats, yet so little info, shall try as my next project to search @ least something for us…
Hi Sharon plenty of time on my hands broke my l/leg in two places, so here goes chk out studiedmonuments Albert Hatswell(Hatton House)&Wellcome Library report of the Medical Officer of Health for Islington, trawl thru there all mentioned, the tenaments you seek, not much but a start.Rgds jj (also the Peabody Estates History not relevant to our cause/near area,but intresting nevertheless).
John I am so sorry about your leg but oh my goodness that Albert Hatswell story is incredible! Thank you, you clearly have a gift for archival research. ‘a gloomy tenement building in Hornsey Road’ is a perfectly accurate description of the tenements and they were obviously even gloomier half a century later when I lived there. Poor Bertie Hatswell, what a life. If only people had been more worried about his life when he was alive rather than putting on such a fine funeral after he had died.
Hi Sharon, another thread &trust me their thin on the ground!London North Mercury &Crouch End Observer just put in MRS ARCHER 1 Ingram House,its circa 1902 & its subscribe, so do your thing, its has far as I got.Rgds jj
Thanks John. When I get time I will comb through the local papers as they might have some images. I think I mentioned it before in this thread but Jerry White’s excellent book ‘Campbell Bunk: The Worst Street in North London Between the Wars’ mentions our area a bit. Sadly my family were split between ‘our’ bit of Hornsey Road and Campbell Road at the other end, which was a shockingly poor part of London. It’s amazing we turned out as well as we did!
Hi Barrie/Sharon,sadly we(as a family)have no connection with your Jackson’s apart from living opposite #42,although Sonning Street could be called roughly in the Liverpool Rd “area”,Sharon mentions “those”tenaments which yes were pretty sub standard living for the families,but having travelled London wide & visited places such as Saltley(Birmingham)Ancoats(Manchester)& Holbeck(Leeds)& various Glasgow suburbs in the late 60’s&early 70’s we all appeared to mostly in the same boat, trust me(I visited working class suburbs&old industrial buildings,workhouses/mills&canals instead of places of worship)Yeah, think I said it before get a life(eventually) John.Rgds to all jj.
Hello John sorry to hear that you have broken your leg. Once again fellow contributors’ a big thank you for your hints and research information. John your mention of the Broad Street posters took me back to my family picnics at Richmond in the mid 1940’s. A NLR train from Highbury and Islington transported my mother, sisters, uncle, aunt and a boy to Richmond from the houses and roads of Islington to the tranquil Richmond high street a short walk from the Thames. Following an afternoon of fun and laughter overlooking the serene Thames countryside we returned to London where a walk through Highbury Fields, Highbury Hill and Stavordale Road stood between a small boy and his bed. Dreams were interrupted by a stinging sunburnt neck and the exciting prospect of further NLR journeys.
Sorry to say John that being a day dreamer I did not register the many descriptive buildings or train stations that you would have skilfully put into words. My only contribution to you Islingtonian researchers is to visit The British Newspaper Archive website. You will be captivated by the 1800’s articles to the
Arsenal/ Ashburton story of recent times.
Best wishes Ron
Hi Ron what a nice day/afternoon out with your nuclear family, sadly ours was more “post”nuclear, would have liked just one day to bond with the ext.family,pnds or rivalry?who knows what prevented those excursions even just once, Bruv billy 7yrs my senior,so a solitary childhood/teen years,focused life, cruising London’s Suburbs &Night life(not the Savoy} in later years for whatever purpose(don’t feel sorry/ I’m rich ha}. cest’la’vie.jj
Hello Sharon and John hope all is well and broken bones are now on the mend. As a boy in Elfort Road tales of Campbell Bunk were always grim and explicit. I was never sure if it was true or near the truth but reading the book as an adult was disturbing with regard to my maternal grandparents living at No.12 in1911. My family it appears, were poorer than the Church mouse in tandem with the residents of Lambeth in 1913 depicted in the book Round About a Pound a Week by Maud Pember -Reeves. However family life seemed a little brighter living at No. 20 Queensland Road in 1932.
My only visit to Queensland Road was a 1963 Sunday morning visit to the Favourite pub with a friend where we met Tommy Pudding a music hall performer. Tommy was an amusing character with a rather large build and a smile to match. With his head tilted back his smile showed a row of uneven teeth and with a frequent loud roar he burst into laughter. Is it a nostalgic recollection? but I am sure he smiled whilst drinking from a pint glass. An enjoyable visit, thanks Tommy.
Hi Ron, all good here. Re. Campbell Bunk: it’s truly shocking how poor our families were back then. That book is a revelation to me and I feel I should re-read it whenever I’m feeling hard done by – just to put things into perspective! As for the Favourite – I don’t really have good memories of that pub as I only think of fights, so I am glad you have better recollections. It’s all under the Emirates stadium now anyway. There are some images here in case you haven’t seen them: https://pubwiki.co.uk/LondonPubs/Islington/FavouriteQueensland.shtml
Hi Sharon,silly but I envied the kids who set on the “Favourite”pub step & had a pkt of Smiths Crisps with the Salt in a blue wrapper & a glass of cherryade,Dad didn’t drink & was a kindly man and we had no marks to prove it otherwise;unlike some others of our ilk/age,gave up eating my mothers dinners@ an early age knowing ea.day what was coming… the Ministry of Supply?put out a booklet “how to keep your man”, early postwar to prevent him from straying or some such!Think I would have been a non-meat eater with the cuts of meat, neck of lamb/offal back in ’52 but that surely would have landed a clip of some kind…jj
Hello John, good to hear from you. We didn’t have the crisps and lemonade either (far too poor) but I vividly remember being sent by my mum to get my dad out of the pub and being unnerved by the noise and of course not being allowed in. I just used to wait by the door for someone going in or out and then ask them to get my dad ‘Padraig! Yer wanted!’ But he wouldn’t always come out so then it was a case of waiting and asking again, and risking him being angry, or going home and my mum being angry. Either way it wasn’t great.
Hi Sharon &Ashburtons what a great set of pics,of the “Favourite” showing Colemans Newsagent&Confectionery(we called it a sweet shop) on the cnr,never dreamt that their were two buildings there, walking past the original many times ¬ noticing it!,on our way to the Off Licence(only North of Watford called it an Offie) to buy an Arrowroot biscuit from a Large Glass Jar with sealed top on the counter, one or twopence ea.Rows of Bottled Beer on a higher shelf, that on one visit a bottled decided to explode!The publican not particularly disturbed or shocked by this event being a Worthington “white shield”strong pale ale.
Hi Ron/Sharon or shaaza(as they say down under!)&other ashnburnites, School William Forster observations, dinner cooking odour in the play ground, not much better @ home,all down to budget I suppose, should have been a size 10 but filling up with bread&marg(echo) put pay to that..Rushing back to the school late as usual awaiting the signal @Holloway East Goods that heralded the departure of a wonderful sight(to me anyway) of a brand new ex.Doncaster/Crewe steam engine shiny blk/pure white smoke,they called them “spaceships” look it up 9F engines,but back to school, music, well be had a trio playing classical music, so serious we all laughed @ how intense it all was, think our music teacher Mr Hudis, who’s son did appear on Elstree Prod.soundtracks was a nice man who tried(oh how he tried) with the waifs,but the poetry group! tears In our eyes, remember we are 8/9 coming on 12 not our left wing college student/greenie world that would appear later, missionarys of a different kind?One last observation,more may appear in the sleepless hrs before midnight &dawn,lookin @the back of a girl’s head(no names, no pack drill what stays on tour?) to see a mass movement of some kind occurring, she had to visit “Nitty Norah”(visiting nurse) very soon after to sort that out….bit like making sure you had clean underclothes on in case you got knocked down by a bus, few car owners then, or wouldn’t let you on a bus/trolleybus if you had dirty ears.They really “got it made in the shade” with us as parents. bye jj
Hi Ron/Sharon&Ashburnites been racking my brains, the crossing @ the cnr of Benwell Rd&Colemans sweet shop, the Belshas never flashed when I crossed….before ’56 (Bill Haley arrives),with the smogs/fogs it was a wonder we never got “collected” on that crossing, around about the time the Smokeless Fuel act came in, sounding the death kneel for “Coalies” eventually&the many Yorkshire orginated, Ferme Park destination coal trains for all of London, tapering off,think the “Borough of Camden” instigated the High Court challenge against steam locomotives polluting the area(environment didn’t exist then)@ Camden MPD,(only after 80+yrs) which led on to home heating changing radically.
You will all be interested in this footage of Arsenal on the open top bus celebrating the Double: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-arsenal-may-1971-1971-online
We went to the town hall then had a street party in our ‘little’ Hornsey Rd.
Hi Sharon/Ron &other Ashburnites or Grove area dwellers?Further to my comments about the abattoir that catered for the London Zoo,have since discovered all the animal “dung”intermixed?was taken by road to the “vestry”or municipal waste facility & then transported to the area around Blackbridge Sidings near Welwyn Gdn City by railway, that also took the Ashburton “Pullmans”loads daily, to be distributed to the local Hertfordshire farmers for Fertiliser, so not just careful about that which you washed your hair in but the tomatoes/cucumbers/lettuces&potatoes that you eat(to late to worry now I suppose).jj
I lived at number 60 when I married Irene Mills in 1957,her Mother was born at number 10 in 1910.We all moved down to Essex in 1960.Her mums family were the Briggs.We have been looking at the discussions and enjoying them,a lot of the people mentioned we knew .They were good hard working class people
Hi John. I was also born at number 10 but in 1954 and I lived there until the houses were knocked down in 1966
Hello Sharon and John hope all is well.
Thanks for the Favourite photograph, many of the the children I a sure joined me at Shelburne Road school and helped me to accept my limited education and appreciate their friendship. In both Drayton Park and Shelburne I was instructed not to sing because I was not very tuneful ( and I thought that school was a teaching establishment and not an audition process for St Paul’s choir). My education was helping dad on his tomato stall in Stroud Green Road, South Ken museums and many hours /days of fun exploring the City of London. Not forgetting standing on platform 7 or was it 9 at Kings Cross (help John) watching the main line locomotives majestically pulling the brown and yellow coaches North towards Scotland. It was also an education standing at the Clock End laughing at the many comedians during and after the match.
I confess that I was not an ideal pupil but my last maths lesson at fourteen consisted of basic percentage questions. My academic years were spent at the North London and Redbridge further education techs, at last I began to believe that being an eleven plus failure was not the end of my hope in achieving useful employment. Apologies for the rant but I hope you understand, I promise to be a little lighter on my next visit.
Best wishes Ron
Hi Ron, absolutely no apology needed. Your comment about being told not to sing really resonates (excuse the pun) with me as I was told exactly that at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary. I have never forgotten it and although I love all kinds of music I am embarrassed by my voice and have never sung since, not even at a school carol concert. I always thought it was my fault that my singing was so bad, but you saying school was a teaching establishment has (for the first time!) made me think: why didn’t they teach me to sing?!
Hi Ron, Brown &Cream(Umber)must have been Pullmans,the platforms hard to determine steam/early diesel days everthing #wise seems to revolve around the Hogwarts Express! 9&3/4 which I think is in (our)reality Platform 1, which I parked alongside, the truck on inter-station Xmas pkgs&club book transfers on hire to the Post Office,Limited education, like me I’m told you present well?ha still reckon from my education(limited)being streetwise beats the academics hands down, they still come to me after being “stiched up”asking why?thats not to say I’ve sailed thru on blue skies &calm waters..jj
Hello Sharon and John
How many Islington pupils were ordered not to sing? All that was required were lessons in breathing control and basic music scales. Treat yourself to a seasonal gift this Christmas Sharon and sing with the local young children who are young enough to be in your company without criticism. I hope that you enjoy the first of many concerts, have a happy time if you decide to join in the fun.
A good example of being street wise John, thanks for your knowledge with a clever reference to platform 9&3/4 that I must admit to my daughter’s amusement, missed the Harry Potter reference. I should have stopped her pocket money at an early age. At least my grandchildren can attend school to-day and tell their friends that grandad in 1947 stood on the next platform to the author. It was indeed platform 10
https://www.flyingscotsman.org.uk › timeline 1939 refers. This photograph shows the platform and probably the Pullman (thanks) ready to take the passengers on their long journey. Each carriage had several separate tables with each table adorned with a table cloth and a table lamp with a red shade. As the train stood waiting for the guard to blow his whistle all the lamps were on, this made a grand sight for us youngsters to stand and marvel.
Best wishes Ron
Hi Ron just to throw a spanner in the works I think the Pullman that I suggested was the “Queen of the Scots”or the “Yorkshire Pullman” which would have left from an Island platform near the “box” the platform nearest to York Way I assume was #1(9& a bit)ref. harry,this platform was used for a parcels train that sat there for many hours stinking of fish/mailbags etc & making the platform greasy/slippery &stinking badly, ease of unloading I suppose, with proximity to the internal roadway I all ready mentioned,now before anybody thinks this is of little reference to the subject in question “the Grove” when empty this particular train was hauled to Clarence Yard mid morning&propelled up the Ashburton Grove creep so blocking my view of the railway for 3/4hrs per weekday until hauled back to the “X” giving them some breathing space.
Thanks for your help, must have been platform 8 where we used to stand and watch the engines. Your mention of platform 1 the York Road platform, made me realise that my platform was to the left of the station just before the suburban trains that occupy platforms 9/10/11. No wonder I needed your knowledge, seventy years is a long time to remember such detail. So it was not the platform 1 Pullman driven by an inconsiderate driver of the smelly engine who irritated an enthusiastic Ashburton train enthusiast.
I was interested in your story regarding the Hertfordshire farmers using animal dung as a fertiliser. As a boy of thirteen my father Willy, when on a visit to Covent Garden early one Saturday morning said the tomatoes purchased from the fruit and veg wholesale distributors were from either Worthing or the Jersey Islands. Funny he did not mention Hertfordshire, it must have slipped his mind.
Hi Ron thanks for the response, well York Way platform peak hrs only (went there most school lunch hrs with pals until they pushed a parcels trolley on to the 4ft 8ins… crazy! guilt by proximity, not proud))only up the “drain”to Farringdon Street&Moorgate or Cross-London goods(mainly Yorkshire coal), the other far side of the station held the down surburban platforms(down from the drain actually meant (up) from the drain(in railway parlance its always up to London) & milk dock,In reference to the Market Gardeners lots of salads/vegs.came(our way) from the Lea Valley area Broxbourne/Ware/Bishops Stortford etc areas. But those “new”potatoes that came in bins filled with earth tasted like nothing else before or since that came our way from the Channel Islands!jj
Hi Ron&fellow ashburnites Islington Borough Council was ahead of the re-cycling game all those years ago before it changed its name from Salvage(they also took all the railings in the Second World War metal drive, also remember the pig-bins on a past post, one truck painted in the short lived green/cream livery had a box van body made of alloy the noise the truck made over the “Grove” setts made sure you knew it was coming ¬ walk out in front of it even @ the slow speed it travelled &showing artwork depicting Newspapers&Magazines ,this petrol Dennis truck lost its body to reappear with a custom built gritter dispenser which our North London area travellers found more relevant between Dec-Mar of each year!
Hello Sharon and John
Was the box van pig truck a van with three metal lids on both sides that were drawn up and down by a brass handle ? When the green van was driven slowly down the road, the shape from behind was a perfect half circle. Cica1948. It was a regular feature down Elfort Road in association with the many other men callers including the United Dairies milkman, Liverpool Vic insurance, postman, Harvey the coalman, Mr Lipman the tally man and Mr Foster the winkle man selling his fish products every Sunday. All of which were of a cheery nature and always greeted with a polite welcome.
My final visitor was the School Board man, the tallest person in Islington who wore a dark blue suit with his trousers fastened with cycle clips. His serious glance hid a proud and determined call to duty. Riding his black bicycle with the seat extended to its limit to accommodate his long slim legs he rode the streets of Holloway looking for truants. I think we should quietly leave this story and slip away …………… just in case.
Haha Ron! I don’t remember the pig van so I’ll leave John to answer that. I remember the bone lorry which had a smell I will never forget! Part of this article talks about the bone lorries that went to Silvertown, I wonder if ours went there too? https://www.royaldocks.london/articles/the-smells-of-silvertown I had forgotten the insurance man but I definitely remember the tally man (and sometimes everyone having to be quiet so he thought we weren’t home when he knocked) and the School Board man (who for many years I thought was the School Bull man as I only heard his name spoken, never written). Don’t remember him as vividly as you though – thanks for the memories!
Hi Sharon, Ron, Christine &Ashburnites another year passes & thanks to Phil the page still survives although getting a bit threadbare so many memories out there(I hope) don’t be shy &share! bit of a mopping up operation, yep Irene Mills(blonde?)always went shopping @ least once a week with her Mum/Christine think I remember Ms Young her parents trucks along with Borthwicks green meat trucks down that alley in Harvist Road, The Fordhams lived @48 upstairs with Ted/Win&children Raymond &June,& moved to Hayes, Middx.near that wonderful “607” trolleybus route to Uxbridge,Ted worked in North Acton &rode a bicycle with the engine in the back wheel(remember those Ron)there everyday & spoke the word “ruddy” when ever he could, classic &foreign to our ears!Maybe more of these “light bulb”moments will occur over the months but time marches on &memories fade.Merry Xmas & Happy New Year to all from the antipodes.jj
Hi all been trawlin the mind we @ William Forster went on a river trip from Tower Bridge turning round in the River Thames Estuary Mouth (you could in those days)met others from London Schools on board some from Sutton/Cheam areas possibly other areas, but in Aug/Sept ’57?elvis in the charts the charts with “All Shook Up”an HMV release not RCA in the UK,we were transported via LCC green Dennis “triton”buses we thought they were for the disabled? off to Hindhead(Surrey) camp for 14 days, we paid, which in our house caused considerable financial angst, the camp was shared with amongst others some Germans who via Antwerp/Dover managed to bring in the dreaded Asian flu, most virulent @ this point in time,symptoms were sickness or bad noise bleeds/throat ache yours truly not turning anything away for free, got the noise bleeds and managed the honour?of been the 5th in the country to gain the Asian Flu &to think we won the War!,Camp shut down us in Isolation for 40+days in dorms with deaf&dumb children who we helped, parents picked us up when cleared of infection(a legacy I believe to this day of sorts) always felt unease near the Devils Punchbowl or Frensham on the way to blighty or the I.O.W,.all character building I Suppose.Happy New Year from Bush Fires&Drought…jj
Hi Ron,Sharon &other Ashburnites,the box van was unique to its task before conversion,the three metal lid per side trucks were for the collection of uncooked vegetable waste(pig food),which like the paper salvage was sadly a passing fad so “eco”not new,the trucks that you describe, Islington had 8(Finsbury/St Pancras &City of London(articulated)&others had them, were also for the collection of Veg.Waste @ markets like Chapel Street &Drayton Park(high pavement)?which it wasn’t(a Market or High as such) along with Nags Head, in fact anywhere that had a multitude of street stalls selling the same produce in Islington. jj
To John Jackson
Hi I’m Ray Fordham, I remember you and your brother Billy in fact I have a photo somewhere of the
three of us down the Grove, I was quite young when mum and dad moved to Hayes, both now deceased.
I also remember that ruddy ( ha ha ) bike with the motor on the back.
Mum and Dad finished up living in Northamptonshire near brother Brian ( born in Hayes ) June lives
in Worcester and I am living out my retirement in North Devon with my wife.
I often think of Ashburton Grove, playing out in the road and trying to climb the wall at the end of the road
at the entrance to the coal yard, the street party, and going to Saturday morning pictures up on the holloway
road, I also remember ( just ) going to that school at the top of the road I hated it but then I hated school
all the way through till i left.
We came back to visit you and you played me a record of a new singer called Buddy Holly how about that.
I hope you find this as this page has stirred the memory.
All the best Ray.
Hello John and Sharon
Thanks for your valuable knowledge of many of my Islington and transport questions over the past months. I am sure that many readers look forward to Phill’s website updates. May I as a non resident, make a contribution in support of John’s wish for further discussions by jogging the Ashburtonites memories by a following edited archive newspaper article. Thursday 9th April 1959
” Three raiders snatched £800 wages when they made a lightening snatch at a builders firm in Ashburton Grove Holloway where they threw red pepper in the eyes of a building firm’s employee”
Jog any Memories?
Best wishes for 2020
Hi Ron yep it was Pitchers Sawmill in Ashburton Grove,and I can remember a car parked there some weeks on &off across the road near the yard,simply because not many cars would just “park up”in the Grove with occupants for a couple of hours reading Newspapers!,It was claimed to be an inside job,&some pals of many years who were employed @ Pitchers, fell out over the throw away remark “did you help them?” or “what you going to do with your share”all meant in jest, but the comments went badly wrong for the person’s involved in the prank & as a “rider” to my last post in one of my light bulb moments, the bulb flickered, all though I think I remembered Irene Mills,I actually meant Kathy Partridge & her Mum @17 or18?Bye jj
Hello all. I don’t have any further memories to contribute but Ron, the red pepper in the article you quote must mean chilli powder? In which case: ouch! And a nice early example of gentrification in Islington, where the thieves are using unusual (for 1959) spices? Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020!
Re the wages snatch in Ashburton Grove. Was it really in 1959? I would have only been 5 then. Could there have been another one a few years later? I remember one of the Keneally girls having her photo on the front page of the Islington Gazette because she wrote down the registration number of the get away car.
Hi Christine only the one robbery, Shirley was a natural blonde not many around with brothers Jimmy& Sister Babs time marched on…jj
Hi John. I must have a good memory then if I can remember that from 1959…. I was only 5! I think Barbara was a similar age to my brother Stephen (Hill). He will be 70 in February.
Hi Christine yes but can you remember back further than 5, now this aint a competition, but we “moved” upstairs on my “step”grandfather’s passing in ’52 &my father taking me to KX for a journey to Hatfield by 60139 “Sea Eagle” in blue livery(rare) I think, on the day of the funeral,but I remember my granpappy giving me a 3d bit @ the top of the road to spend in Davies Dairy before that fateful day, but wait….. just like the steak knives there’s more,my mum washing me standing up in an enamel bowl (before plastic bowls &flowers), on the dining room table &managing to tip the bowl over &falling, 2/3yrs ’49/’50? So Ron,Sharon,Christine,Valerie start trawlin’ those memory banks & turn up those area memories..jj oh yeah I remember Furrs horse &cart before he bought an ex Express Diary blue Bedford replete with churn chains on the back tray from Flockie that’s one driving test for Ernie or Alf @ Wood Green that should have been videoed.
Hi Christine of course the “The Little Wonder “name change maybe? but most “Turners”coalies &Flocke’s men could? be found there,around the corner was louis?belindas sweet shop selling records(sharon where are you)? we bought a few “new/unplayed” 45RPM’s (loved those “London” 45rpms with the traingle centre gold block printing&sleeves that could pay off you bank loan now)that werent, transferring our record buying habit/addiction to “Star Records” cnr of Liverpool /Holloway Rds nxt to the Pie/Jellied eels shop that I delivered coal too.
Happy New Year to all Ashburton readers
I hope this information could offer a little help. Hilda and Edward Kenealy living a 65 Ashburton Grove.
Shirley Hilda B. 1944 James R. B. 1947 and Barbara A. B. 1949.
Hello Sharon and John
Further to my research into the Ashburton crime of the century where as you say Sharon, it was carried out by a gang of new age Islingtonians, I discovered a website that may be of interest to you all. Google “streets with a story – Islington council” it offers a concise history of many streets within the area. Ashburton Grove has a disappointing two lines that John probably knows about, a line more than in 1880ish Elfort Road did not have many houses. As you might expect Holloway Road and Upper Street have many more interesting facts
including present day contributions. Happy reading.
Thanks Ron that’s a great website!
Hi again everyone.
I submitted a few posts a couple of years ago, but have been silent since as not having lived in Ashburton Grove myself (my grandparents and parents lived at no.37) I have had nothing further to add, although I have read everyone else’s reminisces with interest as and when they appear.
However, one question has recently crossed my mind, so perhaps someone may be able to provide an answer, as I don’t think it has been addressed previously.
My Grandad (“the big man with the short fuse” – sorry JJ, couldn’t resist using your description) moved into a care home in 1964 or 1965, and with that we no longer had any reason to visit Ashburton Grove, and so I had no idea of when the houses were demolished.
Having read other posts, it appears that this occurred shortly after, in 1966 or 1967.
My question is this – what was built on the site after demolition (if anything) or what was the space used for? The Emirates Stadium was obviously built over what was Ashburton Grove, but work didn’t commence until around 2003. What went on during the intervening 30 plus years?
We moved out of Ashburton Grove in the Summer of 1966, so the houses were demolished sometime after then and factories were built there.
Many thanks Christine. Presumably they were a bit like the small industrial units in Queensland Road that you can still just about see in boarded up form on google maps (using the earliest photos from 2008) before they were gobbled up and demolished.
Hi Ron &others not much mention of the shops /cafes near the Grove,one next to the P.O.sorting office,which in them far off days displayed “luncheon vouchers”accepted not sure who would have took that offer up in that area!& opposite the far bigger& busier cafe called the “Orange Cafe” or was it the “Blue Cafe”?run by Alf who managed to acquire a Vauxhall Cresta in two tone burgundy &cream with white wall tyres to match,not many cars produced had those features that early in the piece &those that could afford very seldom advertised the fact choosing to fly”under the radar”bye jj
There was “The Little Wonder Cafe” opposite Ashburton Grove, on the corner of Hornsey Road & Benwell Road.
Hi everyone thnks for the memories all good it appears i have to facebook to chat so I shall join to say thank you&farewell not wanting to be part of “facebook”or “twitter”etc god bless Rgds jj
I can tell you who lived at no 26 Ashburton Grove in 1880, Frederick and Annie Waller (nee Windsor), who are my maternal great grand parents. He was a cabinet maker but I have hit a bit of dead end with her, all I know is her Dad was a plasterer called James Windsor (from the St Barnabas Church wedding register).They had a very large family, my grandfather Thomas Waller being born in 1895, and then they moved to Bexhill. I’m guessing that’s a bit too early for anyone to remember but the info on the street you’ve all posted was interesting to get a picture of things.
Hi Kevin, did you know that in 1859 Ann Windsor (only a few months old) is in the Liverpool Rd workhouse with her widowed mum (also Ann) and siblings, all able-bodied. They were there because of distress and their last address is Sidney St, aka Dennis St, off Copenhagen St. And in the 1861 census she is at 4 Payne St, later Cave St, part of Copenhagen St with widowed mum, a lodger called Mary Blunden (a charwoman like mother Ann), sisters Eliza and Euphemia and brothers James and Alfred. Her father James was born in Devon c.1814 and in 1851 the family lived at Lambs Conduit Passage. Her father James died in 1858 and is buried in Victoria Park cemetery. Lastly, in the 1950s Windsors lived on the other side of Hornsey Rd, in Highbury House and I think in Ingram House too, Alice and Albert Windsor and others but I can’t remember their names.
Hi Kevin living @ 25 I can tell you who lived @26 late pre-war/post war, downstairs Mr &Mrs Croft the parents of Mrs Smith along with Husband &Son Charlie who lived upstairs whos Uncle lived @22 working for the LEB(London Electricity Board)parking his grey Fordson truck with canopy outside the same address,Mr Smith worked as a ticket collector @ Harringay West(correct spelling) on the St.Pancras to Barking railway line,charlie worked for a while @ Kentish Town MPD as a Fireman before joining his uncle @ the LEB.
I hope you don’t mind but I belong to a couple of sites and looked up your ggmother, James Windsor was from Devon married Ann Alderston. If you need any help let me know
Hello Sharon. John and all.
I have an addition to my Islingtonian famous people list that is in the Ashburton Grove location. Born in 1956 and lived in Benwell Mansions, Johnny Rotten AKN John Joseph Lyndon lived with his parents Eileen and John. This was after my time to know much about John but visit his life story on Wikipedia where it list his many singles and albums, quite an impressive list. For those who knew the residents of Benwell Mansions there is a great photograph of a WW1 street party on the following web site.
Best wishes Ron
A Benwell Road update.
Regarding the Benwell Road shown above it was a WW2 party, my mistake. To make up for my ageing
memory you may be interested in this update giving a little more information, albeit some of the information has been duplicated.
The children of Benwell Road gather outside Mrs Austin’s wardrobe shop prior to their fancy dress parade. Mrs Crumb can be seen in the back row, to the left of the photograph, just in front of the doorway to Benwell Mansions. To her left is her brother Billy and between their shoulders, their mother Elizabeth is just visible. Mrs Crumb’s younger sister Jean can be seen in the second row from the front, wearing a pinafore (in ‘Mrs Mop’ fancy dress), her nose in the air.
Mrs Crumb’s younger sister Jean can be seen in the centre of the photograph, with her hand raised to her forehead. Opposite Jean, Mrs Crumb (Edith) and her older sister Mary can be seen alongside their mother Elizabeth.
Mrs Crumb’s older brother Billy can also be seen i. He is to the right of the photograph wearing short trousers and braces, his head turned away from the camera.
Best wishes Ron
Hi Raymond Fordham well who looks on this page? not many, but you were a surprise! you &junee along with Ted&Win(parents) were v.nice people &dare a say a bit of class, the trip to 157?Shakespere Ave, Hayes Middx. was a monumental trip for us Nth londondoners but we did it!not enough times! remember you taking me to the ” brook”only to get shot in the leg by some hoons with any air rifle &to think we thought only “our”area like this!sadly txt/email not around &contacts lost which it shouldnt have been my parents(94bill)&(92dolly) passed here in Aus.(I made them talk of the past a lot) but still talked of your kind mum/dad &yourseleves..Rgds jj
Hi my maiden name was Kathleen Ginnelly, I came across this site by accident when looking up something about William Forster School, I lived in Instow Place which was just before Emily Place off Queensland Road. From 1952 until 1958 when we were moved due to the slum clearance. I think we were the first road to go. I went to William Forster School, two of the girls in my class lived in Ashburton Grove, Susan Holland and Rosemary Cook, I was in contact with Rosemary on friends reunited sometime ago she was living in France working as a magistrate. My friends were Janice Compton and Margaret Wheeler. I can remember a lot of the things mentioned in previous posts although I was only 10 years old when we moved. I remember watching This is Your Life when Mrs Ridgeway appeared on it they brought on Danny O’Connor and Brian Bailey who also lived in Instow Place. My parents used to go in the Favorite Pub, I used to play outside until it shut then would go in and upstairs to the parties they’d have at the weekend, there daughters name was Diane. On Maundy Thursday there was a factory in Queensland Road that gave all the kids money, not sure if it was sixpence or a shilling, I remember queueing up to get it. And building a bonfire on 5th Nov at the end of Queensland Road, we always tried to build a bigger one than Ashburton Grove. Till the fire brigade came and put it out. They were happy days, I missed the place when we moved away.
I lived in Ashburton Grove until the houses were pulled down in 1966. I have an older brother Stephen Hill (born 1950) and he went to William Forster . I have some class photos of his time there. My Mum & Dad used The Favourite pub when Toby & Lou ran it, I have some photos of the Beanos they used to go on from there.
It is such a shame that we can’t share photos on this site!
Hi Kathleen to sit in that Cafe took a lot of “front” for a girl to… I admire you,it was tough times, remember buying clothes after “ordering”from pals parents, paid cash to them.&I assume they then paid weekly from the “club”book, it took many years for me to work that out @15+yrs never knew,we didnt sadly live in a Docklands/Large factory area like East London(Docks/Dagenham or Liverpool for example they seem to have prospered better for their station in life than us.
Hello all, I thought I had made two replies just before Christmas but I can’t see them so I don’t know what I did there! Belated greetings to you John and to everyone and hope you are all well.
Hi All,funny how you remember the courtesy shown to you &others & long forgotten,carrying bags of shopping down the “Grove” from Davies Dairy for the “oldies” or meeting family members off the Underground or Buses @ Holloway Rd &escorting them to your home, why? little chance of mugging in those far off days, both my Brother &Myself had motorbikes& had those v.early on in the piece, passing my own m/bike licence test @16 &car @17 not far off my birthday in ea.year, both in Wood Green in the streets shown in “On The Buses”episode’s,needed those that badly,both my Brother & Myself(my bike a 2stroke& particlarly noisy) were ,”warned”by our parents(for them?) not to “upset”or annoy our Neighbours Hey! all 71 houses?ok then,turning the bike engines off @ the top of the “Grove”after a quick throttle burst to coast us all the way home in silence to #25.
Hi welcome kKathleen never knew about Mrs Ridgeway(nice woman) appearing on TV ,Danny O’Connor would have been one of her more troublesome pupil’s& a strange choice?(her pet project would have been a certain Martin Jones(lived up the hill near you Ron) who often bought the late sadly missed very attractive Mrs Tame to tears &class in uproar,only for Miss Seager to arrive to belt a few pupils usually around the ears(I know from exp. brian remember the name not the face &yes Susan Holland I mentioned in a past post nice girl Along with Rosemary Cook so memories please Kathleen & thanks again for another year keeping the post alive Best wishes&a better 2021 to all from Rockin john in the land down under
Hi John, I don’t remember much about Danny O’Connor but Brian Bailey was brought on the show as he hit a teacher around the head with a cricket bat but ended up marrying a sunday school teacher. I remember Miss Seager, she was evil put me over her knee once and slapped me, I’d gone up on the roof train spotting with Janice and Margaret. My sister who was 6 years older than me went to Eden grove school. I got fed up with the school dinners at one point and started going into the cafe next to the school for my dinner, it was full of men but I sat at the counter, carried on till my mum found out what I was doing and put a stop to it.
I remember walking up to Highbury Fields to play in the summer, never went in the paddling pool as it had a lot of broken glass in, saw someone badly cut his foot. I was born 1947 so when we left in 1958 I still would have had one more year left there. I think a ginger hair boy Arthur Cunningham might have lived in Ashburton Grove not sure though. Have to sit and try and remember things I’ve forgotten.
Merry Christmas everyone
The only photo I have is of the party on Coronation day in Queensland Road,
Hi Kathleen,remembered a couple of names from the Benwell Rd, Tony Marsh who I think passed v.young &had an older sister, that my bruv walked out,Ronnie Cumber who with Parents&Sister lived in those tenements(woeful) Sharon their were others, alongside Stephens Ink yard/Factory,& up near the Drayton Park end of the road, Jackie Collins &Carol Lake,Carol who I bumped into @ the Cambridge Pub near Edmonton one Sunday Night when the “Nashville Teens” were playing &yes they sang “Tobacco Road”having two lead singers & passed a WW2 German Soldier’s helmet around after their set for contributions!
Happy New Year John, Sharon and all contributors who share their stories and keep this Website a pleasure to read. More mentions of the Foster School, I only attended the art class on the roof covered of course, because Shelburne Road Sec. Modern I assume, did not have an art class. Circa 1954/55
Best wishes Ron Howard
Hi Ron yes xmas regards to you&yours, also on my reply to Kathleen, I forgot the magic word “Phil” thanking him for keeping the page alive for us all, sorry!& Hi Sharon trust you are well? missing you.rgds jj
Hi Ron,Christine,Sharon,Kathleen&others not forgetting our generous host, trust you &yours are all ok the page has been quite lately,I suppose your all occupied, just got to wash our hands/wear mask/social distance& not mingle to much&get the vaccine(same here)until this all passes(&it will) take care Rockin John.
I think you are right. Every hour, day and week we hear the media prophets of doom offering the same stories, this negative message has having an effect on us at the moment. Enough of the self pity, I have been researching Islington on You Tube with some interesting results that have brightened my day. Videos and photographs have been enjoyed and mentions of the Rex cinema at Islington Green reminded me of my visit to see a Frank Sinatra film many years ago. Chapel street featured in many clips showing the a small M@S store, Manzies pie shop and a busy high pavement all waiting for buses. Worth a visit.
Best wishes to Phill, John and Ashburton contributors Ron
Hi Ron thanks for the response, I get to dread the “news breaking”flashes all negative,its been a torrent since the millenium, when planes would fall out the sky/& everyone in ICU would die etc, just got to focus on postive things even if it means trawlin the past if thats what it takes,from the land of drought/fires &floods & mouse infestation(pestulation)@ least no V1 or V2’s(not classes of LNER locomotives) & hiding in the Ashburton Grove railway arches built with (beautiful engineers blue bricks) think about it….jj
Hi John. Reading your comment about hiding in the railway arches reminded me of this…. My Mum Rose lived at number 10 Ashburton Grove during the war. She told me once that she would sleep in the railway arch at the end of the garden with her Dad, Bill Butler.
It would be so good if we could share old photos of ‘The Grove’ on this site!
Hi Ron,&others, on reflection those late ’50’s/early ’60’s a wonderful time of change that you either embraced or declined socially,working class bleached blondes instead of film stars/skirts getting higher/the birth of real R&R/Coca -Cola if you could afford it ,transportwise steam trains going/replaced by shiny green fumey things(the modernisation plan) paddle steamers on the Portsmouth /IOW,Trolleybuses gone, why quite efficent people movers? & turning around @ Islington Green instead of Smithfield or Moorgate?(609/679)/30yrs of the 611 changed to the 271/the mid ’20’s built tube trains on the Piccadilly&Central lines that had a very loud tick over on station stops/(the staff)operated lifts @ Holloway Rd tube station with the polished brass manual controls& lattice manually operated gates,when Cockfosters was in the country,& Epping Forest or Broxbourne (river lea)almost an overnight stay (camping) not that we could afford or do it anyway, our world was much smaller, along with our horizons, not saying better or worse, just living it,like we did,
Hi Christine, we had a cherry tree in the backgarden,which bore fruit in steam train days,the diesel fumes put pay to that I suppose,which I would climb from on to a shed roof that gave me access to “our” arch,I would climb in, exploring, filled with dirt,¬ much else, a newspaper/ an opened &empty tin of “Fray Bentos” Corned Beef,so no real relics,my nan on my mothers side had a bad leg so was unable to climb the ladder for access to the arches,with only my mother&brother sheltering there,I think they gave this up pretty early in the piece,prefering to hide under the kitchen table!(bit crowded)& thinking what will be will be…..jj
Hi all further to my past comments the distance to ground lvl from the platforms @ Arsenal( named Gillespie Rd until 1932)&Finsbury Park stations was Approx 20ft so much for deep lvl tubes, no wonder we could hear them in the still of late evening/night have yet to find the depth of Holloway Rd station.bye jj
Re: Arsenal tube depth
An interesting message that I discussed with my brother Jim. We both had the same thoughts and engaged in a memorable walk from the Arsenal street surface to the platform. From the ticket office we continued down a flight of stairs of 8feet that led us to the next point where we continued down the slope towards the platform steps. Our guess was the slope was about another 10ft, then 15feet of steps to the platform.
Not satisfied with this calculation I googled “underground tube – London underground depth map” only to find no mention of either Arsenal or Finsbury Park. Thanks for the nostalgic journey John, and we did not even have to buy a ticket.
Best wishes to all
Hi Ron thanks for the contact I trust you&yours are well?,if only I could do that walk that you &your brother did today however 12000miles precludes this! Another snippet is the “escalator”@ Holloway Rd station which I think was the first &still in place, (however disused) on the tube, a vertiable museum piece from the early part of the 1900’s.Good luck,I still marvel @ 90sec.intervals on the Piccadilly Line &62sec in the Peaks!along with the Central line with 46?stations, marvels under our feet.
You must have answered the many Ashburton enquiries over the past few months because we have all run out of questions, well done. However, in reply to our interest regarding the spiral escalator in Holloway Road tube station you may be interested in trying to catch up on a UK TV programme shown on TV. It was shown on Channel “26” “Yesterday” on Tuesday 2nd November at 8;00 titled Secrets of the London Underground it contained an item on the spiral escalator.
A gushing female presenter went down a locked part of the station and gave information about pre war abandoned tunnels, wall tiles, people sheltering from the WW2 bombs and the final few minutes talking about the spiral escalator that backed my brother Jim’s google search regarding a spiral escalator in 1906 was removed for safety reasons. However it was never commissioned or used and the person who thought up the idea went bankrupt in making it. It even showed part of the escalator kept in the London Transport archives.
I hope that you can obtain the footage and even the whole series knowing your love of transport history.
Best wishes to all
Hi Ron, so nice to hear from you,both you & your bruv have been active,the forum has had quite a lull,folks are pre-occupied as here, I expect,which has given me the chance to check some facts&trigger some memories, now Holloway Rd Underground platform tunnel crowns are Eight(8)metres below grnd lvl which = 26.25ft approx.(I think!)& does it still have those tiles on the Eastbound platform with the name of the station which must have been laid from the opening of the line.The lift(s)?in my time, lattice doors manually operated by a staff member who also operated the large round brass control,the removable lever never leaving his side,a quite jerky descent&climb,once it stopped when I was aboard,so consigning me to the stairs from then on!& quite a few stairs too,which makes me recall the other station near to us, Drayton Park, a more tranquil spot would be hard to find railwaywise,maybe Marylebone Station(GCR) in steam days,A journey to Moorgate with the step down,&tiny tube stock,the normal size railway tunnel diameter always made a journey a noisy rolling affair with quite a speed reached on I think a downward grade from Old Street onwards,Sadly most have memories of the unique line due to that fateful day of the Moorgate disaster which loss of life &rescue work far exceeded expectations due to the unique site on the whole Underground system.all the best JJ
Hi Ron “downward grade from Old Street onwards”should have read ESSEX Street onwards! & I read it thru 3 times before replying. rgds jj
Brought back quite a few memories. I remember that Lift operator and thinking he was a very anxious man, never spoke and never smiled. It must have been the worry that the lift would not reach the top like your experience with the long staircase. Caledonian Road staircase was a long trek terminating with a trip to the Mayfair cinema opposite the station entrance. I remember the Moorgate incident with an Elfort Road resident being injured and a not so lucky Stavordale Road resident who was killed.
Drayton Park was to say the least bleak especially in the Winter months where the fog reduced the visibility to a couple of yards it reminded me of an advert of the time “You are never alone with a Strand (cigarette)” a lonely and weird experience,
Essex Road station was warmer with a distinct slope down to Old Street. Hope you all have a Happier New Year and thanks for the information John.
Hi Ron,of course that should have read Essex ROAD,not “street” your very kind not to have corrected me,&you did jog my memory about the “Caley Rd”Station stairs(took the puff out of me even @ that age think I did it for something different or maybe cheaper (stage)from were I left from?)&the fact Drayton Park itself was quite a foggy area &up towards the “fields”also,but the Underground had that nice “ozone”smell that was pumped through the Stations&Tunnels which one savoured while waiting for a trains arrival, I often made a point of missing one just to thaw out a little waiting the extra 1.5mins or even longer for another departure,not altogether relevant to the forum here,but I once had an Undergound Train Cab ride on the Central Line from Stratford to Marble Arch from a kindly Motorman,who pointed out the River Fleet & the disused Musuem? Station as we passed thru/over on the journey, highly unoffical of course Well here’s to a better New Year &2022 for you&yours & all involved in the page Rgds jj
It appears that the followers of this valuable forum are preoccupied with the sad daily news from Europe. I do hope that their enthusiasm will return within the following few months. I suppose our passing years may have a bearing on my concern, having arrived at my post eighty years (82) my family meetings and family tree discussions are reliant on visits to my home town of Frinton on Sea. However I access this Ashburton site on an almost a daily basis and look for yet more additions regarding Ashburton and Islington stories. I also follow the Google site and key ” I was born in Islington” and similar avenues, there are quite a few nostalgic memories that I always enjoy. Always a pleasure to hear your varied transport stories John, looking forward to more in the coming months.
Best wishes to John and all. Ron
Hi Ron &possibly Sharon/Christine and other followers,yes Ron so nice to see you so avidly still following the page,I check around once a month for new posts,now I view “you-tube” quite a bit, showing our past history/buildings &of course transport.I stumbled on a post that showed amongst the Chapel Street Market shorts, one that was listed as “ISLINGTON MEMMORIES(sic)now I was astounded, whilst these still views showed Islington life in the past, one of particular intrest showed a Picture of a group of children I guess sometime in the ’50’s outside “The Favourite” public house so near&dear to us all,go check you may recognise yourself or some one you once knew or still do.jj
Hi Ron &others who may find intrest in these memories,I noted your comment Ron on Transport with the following being relevant to “our” area’s past,others forgive the indulgence,going back when the #611 had become the( 271) the only time in the London Trolleybus Replacement Programme could you ride on a Shiny new Routemaster of the longer variety(RML) that on those few “blue”Sundays did bear a Trolleybus #609, why you ask?well *(FY)had the new buses so did *(HT) but the crews would not accept the new buses stating they were longer&held more passengers,until the Executive mentioned they were the same length/seating capacity(approx.)of the Trolleybuses they were replacing!,another fact on the#611 route the original plan pre/post WW2 was that the trolleybus wires were to be carried thru the “Village” &join with the Archway Rd #609route & on to the Finchleys &possibly the High Barnet Terminus,however the burgers of the “Village” soon put pay to that idea,Now the Nags Head was always busy with Trolleybuses &Buses,but was crowned in the mid ’50’s as the busiest Trollybus intersection in the world no less,beating Gardiners Cnr with an incredible 4,500 movements in a 24hr day Mon. thru to Sat.there was much traffic to&from *(HT)@ the start or finish of rosters,from all directions they came &went, but the rarest seen was Holloway Rd to Camden Rd as a normal turn ¬ via Parkhurst Rd&Warlters Rd,So if any body still awake, you can remember when you went down the three steps from the Bus stop outside Woolworths or was it M&S? clutching you pennies for the half fare forward &onward to home silently &swiftly. *(HT)=Highgate Depot (one of the largest Tram&Trolleybus Depots in London not to be confused with(J)Holloway&*(FY) =Finchley….. Trolleybuses had Depots…… Buses had Garages.jj
Hello all from New Zealand, I found this blog because i was looking for Benwell Road before Emirates. What fascinating memories you all have. I wasn’t born in the area but I lived at 111 Benwell Road from about October 1969 until October 1973 when I left for NZ.
At the time, number 111 was where the school caretaker for Shelburne School lived. He was my husband
I well remember The Favourite pub and the corner shop (newsagents and sweetshop among other things) because they were opposite number 111.
One Sunday afternoon when the Favourite closed the Irish drums and whistles were played on the footpath outside house, empty bottles were left inside the front gate. We were a bit too scared to do anything until they left because they were big, Irish and drunk!
I have delayed any response until an additional comment has been received however, it looks unlikely, probably due to the depressing news in the UK and other Worldwide countries. You certainly know your transport history like 4,500 movements in the Nags Head junction, no wonder I could not rely on a bus arriving at Finsbury Park any time soon. Trolley Buses through the Village? it would have woken the residents within seconds, they would have won the day by a mile. Depos and Garages sounds like the fifties on BBC television.
Just a note Madeline I was a pupil at Shelburne, I bet that your husband was not the caretaker of the 50’s, I am sure he did not appreciate us playing football in the playground after school. Best wishes from the UK.
Ah Ron there you are,I would be a liar to say I was unconcerned about the lack of input from “darkest” Essex it would appear from a fresh face in Madeline that we at present are the only players on the court!,& I will amend the Trolleybus movements to 4.3K in 24hrs remembering that a lot of the movements were positioning in the v.early &late hrs, without passengers carried, but included the Allnight Services&Staff only Buses(trolleybuses),yes things sadly must be pre- occupying peoples minds ,we have issues here but not to the degree you are all witnessing ,A total lack of leadership on reflection worldwide, when one casts our minds back, no great plans to revive optimism which it would appear is sadly lacking worldwise,I hope in the coming year people will spread the net further than the “Grove”& embrace the local area more, so many stories out there to be told & heard,I;m sure many read this but have or still could come forward with contributions to keep the candle burning on the forum.rgds jj ps their you go optimism ha!
Hope you are keeping well. I haven’t posted anything for a couple of years because I have nothing fresh to add, mainly because I only visited the grove a few times as a young sprog, but rest assured I still look forward to reading all new posts, especially yours. I am sure many others will concur with my sentiments. Unfortunately, as time marches on, the likelihood of new blood appearing with memories that are over 55 years old gets smaller by the day.
All the best, John S
Hi John, so nice to hear from you,yes it must be a couple of years, Ron is back, so Christine &Sharon where art thou?,keeping quite well on life’s Mountain Railroad, a sad month that we lost the KIng of the Keyboard Jerry Lee,the news I had been expecting to hear for sometime,I can remember seeing the snippet of Jerry singing “Great Balls of Fire”on the 6…5 Special in mid Sept ’58 from the film (Disc Jockey)Jamboree around 5.40pm on a Saturday Evening it changed my life,I begged/borrowed nothing to steal the 5/4d and ran as fast as those young legs carried me to “Star Records”cnr of Holloway Rd/Liverpool Rd and reached the shop as they were bolting the door, the kindly owner’s wife let me in,I asked flushed &out of breath for that record, she put the lights on & checked only to find the last copy a 78RPM, I was warned by bruv dont bring home a 78RPM ,I was crestfallen & it showed she glanced @ her husband she shrugged her shoulders, the husband smiled &she pulled out of her shopping bag the London American 45rpm with the triangle center in the dark blue paper sleeve,mission accomplished& a very happy 11year old boy went home to play the record, I reckon @ least 20 times before bed and carried Jerry Lee’s torch all those years and still do thru good &bad times on his own Mountain Railroad.jj
Hi Martin Jones,nice to hear from you,I only found your contribution when scrolling thru the blog, it appears it turned up in other than date sequence,so sorry for the late acknowledgement of it,yes you were spot on with your memory of the bike brands we rode,we saw little of each other after Primary School & did we ride far on our bikes together? I remember you had quite an artistic talent & a love of the Middle Ages even @ Primary School, that may still be with you?,I remember going to your house, not far from where Ron lived I expect,& meeting your Mum &Dad & I think other members of your family,Your memory v. good on the “Jailhouse Rock” comment, I had to think hard on that one!never had the 45rpm till later,but yes the EP with “Baby I Dont Care” on it which charted I played it to you on Bruvs “HMV” portable & quite a substantial unit in weight &size for our little Kitchen Table, that would have been ’58, seems I was a budding DJ even then, but once the R&R bug bit we had to spread the Gospel far & wide & still do,so do tell were you finally settled, unlike us who in the “Grove” were evicted, some say not before time. rgds from downunder
Hi John S.yes your comment on age struck a note,silly of me to expect an avalanche of memories,& some sadly just not able to remember much of those days&events or possibly have trouble communicating them to the page anyway,most younger folk communicate in short bursts & find it difficult to reach paragraphs or indulge in conversation that exceeds
2or3 mins nor wish to either,I think we were the last generation that would “sit @ the feet” as they say of the older generation & learn, now Google/Siri or Wikipedia(not always accurate trust me)the answer for them, I learnt so much from those men that fought in the 2nd WW/Korean or those many so called Emergencies(Police Actions)Overseas that still turned into harrowing times for our forces.ps great to hear from you after so long.
I was also given the job of visiting the record shop by my big sister Christina, this one was for Frankie Lane and another for Rock around the clock. But the shop was not at the Drayton Park junction with Holloway Road it was a good way up on the same side of The Chapel of Ease near Ettobex, (sp?) the cleaners. My sister paid 6 shillings and 8pence per record but did not waste any time playing them on our creme BSM record player, as an eleven-year-old boy I enjoyed every moment listening to the records that played a major part in my introduction to RR at the Tottenham Royal and other venues.
On another note, I think that John S. was correct regarding the lack of comments due to us older enthusiasts not staying the pace, moving or even worse. Approaching 83 I know that there is a limited time to stop interest in my African Blondin.com website and unfortunately this splendid forum. Perhaps our fellow contributors could take my brother Jim’s lead and visit “I was born in Islington” on Google where an Ahshburton mention or two could prove effective.
Merry Christmas to all