Historic memories from an old Stroud Greenian!

edited December 2017 in General chat
Part 1 !

Born at Royal Northern (Old site). Christened 1937 Holy Trinity Granville Road. Grannie lived about 1905 - 1939 0r 40 in Charteris Road. Grandad in "War Horse" support in WW1. Moved in with Grandparents to house at bottom of Crouch Hill about 1940 with other cousins and uncles etc when most men were off to war; father KIA 1943, shot down, Holland ( navigator Lancaster, Bomber command) on way back from Berlin . Mother in WAAF.

Remember watching AA flak from front room from AA guns in Finsbury Park. Will continue, if of interest, as time goes by!

I attach, as requested, a photo of the Osbourn per WW2, and another 2 inside it!





  • edited December 2017
    Wonderful JohnB. There's a little cog that you'll see next to your post - if you click on that it allows you to edit if if you make a mistake. I have to use it a lot!

    Crikey the pub was beautiful! What a terrible loss. Incredibly grateful to you for sharing them - I've wanted to know what it looked like for years.
  • Arkady
    I have some of the roof if you are interested! BTW if you don't mind I will blur faces and ask you to keep surname confidential.
  • The more the merrier JohnB!
  • This is brilliant stuff
  • Outstanding. Do you have a photo of the shops on the other corner pre bombing? I was told there was a grocers run by two brothers who both played for Arsenal.
  • John B that is fascinating stuff, please tell us more.

    Was that the Royal Northern site on Holloway Road?

    Great photos of the pub.
  • Thanks to all. Will continue when time permits! Papa 1. Yes it was on Holloway Road I believe, but even my memory is hearsay from parents!
  • Amazing historical material! Looking forward to what else you have, it's really fascinating to see the area develop.
  • Here is a photo of part of the roof of the Osbourne , in 1930's


    Moving slightly north, I well remember the Friern Manor Dairy Company before its transformation into a restaurant. I am 95% sure, in about 1939 or 40, there were still cows being milked there . There was an entrance and yard on the apex of the corner of Stroud green road and Hanley Road. Further up on the right was a classic old style grocers, Greggs I think.

    Looking for more photos, but in those days, few had cameras.

  • Out of curiosity, would they have sold lunches (luncheon?) during the day, closed for the afternoon and then just sold just drink in the evening or would they have sold evening meals as well?

    Assume they had an off licence as well?
  • @Johnb what would the cows of eaten. There is no grass round here?
  • edited December 2017
    I believe the pigs at Broadwater Farm used to eat the old food (slop?) that people left outside their houses for collection, not cows i realise.
  • As krappyrubsnif says, I'd love to see any photos you have of the other corners of that junction. Of anywhere really! Anything of any of the train stations - Finsbury Park, Crouch Hill, Harringay, Stroud Green?
  • Stutent . They were in Finsbury Park for a while.
  • Holborn Fox. Not sure, Maybe Pub lunches= I was too young to remember!
  • edited December 2017
    HolbornFox. During the war, all houses had a swill bin for (such little) food waste there was (remember all except potatoes and bread was rationed). The swill was centralised for boiling and used as pig swill. When I lived from 1940 to 48 at the foot of Crouch Hill, my granddad grew vegetables in the garden, and kept a few chickens. Also we had , in a conservatory, about 5 - 8 rabbits in cages. We kids would get dock leaves or ask the greengrocer for bits of old vegetables to feed them . About once a month or more, we had a rabbit or a chicken for stew, so we never thought of them as pets.
  • I think this is me at Finsbury Park Lake, 1939. Is the wall still there?


  • From about 1943 to 48 I was in the (I think) 93rd North London Cub / Scout pack. Very traditional cubs in those days, caps and all. Got to be a "sixer" with all the badges etc. Based at Holly Park church on right at bottom of Crouch hill, just past Shaftsbury Road. I remember watching pigeons going in and out of the tall spire. When was it pulled down and re built?
    The only photo I found was from a postcard.


    Hope I'm not boring; more memories are coming!
  • I forgot to say that we all got used to the bombing; if you grew up with it, it seemed normal. My friends and I would search for shrapnel in the mornings and swap and collect "desirable" pieces. We started with sheltering under strong dining table, then in an Anderson shelter in the garden . Then , brick built ones appeared in side streets, with concrete roofs, when the V1 and V2 were around. We were moved out one night when a (fortunately unexploded) bomb dropped next door but one away. In the end we rarely used the shelter. If anyone is interested I could post a bomb site map of the area from a website.
  • Awesome stuff. I'd never seen a picture of the Holly Park church before, that's wonderful. The old church hall still survives behind the ugly modern flats. Do you recall what the other buildings on Holly Park looked like before it became a council estate?

    How come you weren't evacuated?
  • Definitely not boring!

    Yes sorry swill bins, not slop.

    I asked my old dear if she remembered that pub but she was around from the 60's so too young!

    I can just remember my great aunt having pot fearing chickens as well as a goat in Tottenham.
  • Do please keep them coming, JohnB!

    Interesteing to see the pics of the Osbourne. My father (b. 1929) grew up living in what was no. 2 (or 4?) Upper Tollington Park, i.e., just round the corner. My memories go only as far back as the late '60s, so I only knew what seemed to be some of those remnants from your earlier times (Hall's the Draper's, Elkin's Bros, ABC Bakery, etc.)
  • Arkady. As far as I remember, Holly Park was a narrow cobbled lane, I think, but not sure, with a single wooden barrier on Crouch hill. We cubs and scouts would come out at the side exit of the church for a little church parade down the hill and to wherever. I think there were houses on the opposite side, like the ones on Crouch Hill. Few had cars in the WW2, and so it was pedestrian access only, and I do not recall going there except after church. On the left side of the entrance to Shaftsbury road was a tall rendered wall with broken glass embedded in mortar at the top. In the gutter in front was a horse trough. During the war, most deliveries went back to horse drawn vehicles. The Coal had 2 black Suffolk Punch horses, with well polished horse brasses on the bridle etc. The milkman's horse would stop at each house whilst the milkman walked along. We kids would collect horse manure in buckets and get a few pence from garden owners!
  • PS The mass evacuation was mainly from the London Docks area. I did go for about one term to a relative in Northants in about 1943 or so, but the local schoolkids were pretty hostile there so I came back. Will come onto schools, buses and cinemas next!
  • PPS
    Re bombs. This website shows most London bombs , but not a full description.


    This is a screenshot from them of "our" area


    I remember older relatives helping with some tragic situations in the area.

  • edited December 2017
    The maps only go up to the then London Council boundary so nothing on the east side of SGR.

    Black = total destruction
    purple = damaged beyond repair
    red = seriously damaged (doubtful if repairable)
    dark orange = seriously damaged (repairable at cost)
    orange = general blast damage (not structural)
    yellow = blast damage (minor in nature)
    green = clearance areas
    small circle = V-2 rocket
    big circle = V-1 flying bomb
  • NorthNinteen

    Thanks; do you have the website link?
    The house I lived in shows partly red, but it, and its neighbours were not seriously damaged . Shaken, yes. I woke up one morning to find the bedroom window shattered but I had not woken up!
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