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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Gardeners to the King - Based in Wood Green

Beyond what we see in the picture, I've no idea what a 'resianette' was, and neither does Google. However, I thought it was an interesting piece of local social history and I have been able to find the following on the Wood Green based firm who made this Edwardian equivalent of decking.

The firm William Wood and Son can be traced back to 1850, when William Wood (1818-1869) founded a coal merchants business in north London at the North British Wharf in Wood Green. This was located adjacent to Wood Green Railway Station. William Wood was later joined by his son James London Wood, who took over the running of the firm after his father's death in 1869. It was not until the early-1890s, under James L Wood, that the company started to sell `horticultural sundries' as well as coal and lime.

By 1914, however, the firm was operating on a far grander scale as horticulturalists. They are described as `horticultural specialists, estate and garden contractors, specialists in rock and water gardens, stone temples, sellers of mowing machines and horticultural implements'. By this time, the firm was becoming quite large and employed 30 men.

In 1924, the Great Northern railway line was extended and William Wood & Son had to move. An advertisement in the Gardener's Chronicle of 1924 announced that `William Wood & Son are leaving their premises at North British Wharf, Wood Green, London to the Beechwood Works in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.' A Kelly's Directory for 1924 describes the firm as `Royal Horticulturists and Garden Designers and contractors, Beechwood Works, Telephone 79, Burnham; Telegrams `Gardening Taplow'.

Woods remained a family firm until the 1960s. In 1929, Denis Wood (the grandson of James London Wood) left Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had been studying, to join the family firm. He had been a pupil of the author and lecturer C S Lewis (of `Chronicles of Narnia' fame), who had taught at the College from 1925-1954.

By 1935, William Wood and Son are described as `garden contractors and horticultural builders to HM King George VI. They were famous for their landscape designs and were often referred to as `the Harrods of landscape designers', a reputation which was to last until the 1990s.

Text from Parks and Gardens UK.

Views: 165

Albums: Historical Images of Wood Green (1 of 2)(F)

Comment by John D on August 9, 2017 at 20:32

My dictionary gives " resian " as an archaic alternative to residence. I think it probably means a small residence - ie summer house.

Comment by Lesley Ramm on August 9, 2017 at 20:40

I found a couple of refs to resia nette - 2 separate words - but all in French so no idea.

Comment by JoeW on August 23, 2017 at 22:26

"An Improved Summer-House
The summer-house shown in the accompanying illustration was made and designed by Messrs. W. Wood and Son, Limited, Wood Green, N. It is quite a new design and a most effective one. In addition to the summer-house, there is a terrace attached, a delightful adjunct, where tea might be served or chairs placed for sitting or reading out doors; in fact, this new summer-house has many advantages over the ordinary one. The structure shown in the illustration was exhibited by Messrs Wood and Son, Limited, Wood Green, N., at the recent Chelsea show of the Royal Horticultural Society. This design lends itself excellently to effective decoration with plants and flowers. Full particulars may be had from Messrs. Wood and Son."

From the 68th volume of The Garden, Dec 30 1905 (an "Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches".)


I was going to suggest a reference to Resia, an Italian village and tourist venue, an Alpine location so balconies and decking would be popular constructions. But I think I prefer John's " resian " as an archaic alternative to residence.

Comment by Richard Woods on August 25, 2017 at 15:26

resian is alleged to be a dialect of Javanese so that's less of a help! So I'd go with some usage around residence - and ette as in small. Or a misprint of course.... 

Comment by Richard Woods on August 25, 2017 at 15:27

No - silly people we bare - it's just an early decking idea that took decades to finally catch on.

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