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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

An Open Letter to Claire Kober About Harringay's Dislocated War Memorial

Dear Claire,

With the sale of Hornsey Town Hall now agreed, as I understand it, Harringay's war memorial which has been kept there since 1984 is now at risk. I am writing to ask if your officers have made provision for its future. If not, I would ask that this is done as a matter of urgency. 

In case you're not up to speed on the memorial, I have given a potted history below.

A memorial to locals who died in the First World Ward was unveiled in the school on Pemberton Road, Harringay (then the Hornsey County School) by the Lord Mayor of London on 1 November 1920. It was designed by British sculptor Richard Reginald Goulden.

The school was completely restructured in 1952 and the memorial was moved to St Paul's Church in Burgoyne Road, Harringay.  After the church suffered a fire the memorial was moved to the Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End.

The original inscription read: 

Our School fellows (names)/ Vincit qui se vincit/1914/1918/Hornsey County School 

A plaque now kept next to the memorial states:

This memorial commemorates the scholars of Hornsey County School who were killed in the wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.

Originally housed in the school hall in Pemberton Road, Harringay, the memorial was removed in 1952 when the school ceased to be a Grammar School and was rehoused in St Paul's Church, Burgoyne Road, Harringay, which was closely associated with the school.

During the disastrous fire which destroyed the church in 1984 the memorial was almost the only artefact which survived. It was hoped that it would be re-erected in the new St Paul's Church but a site in the church suitable to the Old Hornseyans Association could not be agreed upon with the church authorities. In 1995 Haringey Council agreed that the memorial should rest here in Hornsey Town Hall.

The bronze figure is by eminent sculptor, Richard Goulden FRBS, ARCA (1877-1932). A similar statue by the same sculptor stands outside St Michael's Church, Cornhill, London. Bronze sculptured figure of St Michael with children at his feet. Figures surmount plinth with school motto and Hornsey Coat of Arms. Below are two bronze plaques for WWII. Whole is mounted onto a wooden backboard.

I would be most grateful if you could let me know of any discussions that have taken place about the future of the memorial and any decisions that have been made so far. In the event that no firm conclusions have yet been reached, I would welcome clarity on the process for finalising arrangements going forward.

Whilst writing, may I offer my thanks again for your intervention with preserving the Disney shop front. I spoke to one of the workmen during construction and it was quite clear that they had been given very firm and clear instructions not to interfere with the existing shopfront construction due to its local historical significance. I assume that this was the result of your timely intervention following our email exchange. 

Yours etc

For those reading on HoL, you may be interested in a history Liz wrote on the memorial back in 2009, using my snaps from 2008. 

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Glad to report an immediate response from the Leader of the Council to look in to the matter and get back to me. 

Hugh, The Town Hall is also the home of the WW11 civilian war dead memorial. This is a list of all Hornsey Borough residents who died in the borough through enemy action in WW11. it is a typed list on many panels in a glass display case in the main foyer (on left as you enter). I found this on a guided tour of the Town Hall in 2015. What would happen to this? This is another important piece of Hornsey history which should be presrved in a suitable location, accessible to people. What plans does the council have for this? Or are they unaware or uninterested? And what about the plaques to Hornsey Mayors and Freemen inside the Town Hall? Will these be retained in situ, removed, destroyed?

Let's see what Cllr Kober comes back with. It may well be that everything is already in hand.

A little bit of late night Googling has led me to the discovery that the twin of this statue outside St Michael's Church in Cornhill is Grade II listed in its own right.

Image reproduced from Wikipedia

Hugh, Any reply yet from Cllr Kober about these matters? I know Hornsey Historical Society are concerned and have also written to her about the monuments (safety/future etc) and have yet to receive any reply. Thanks

No update as yet. Prompted by you, I've just sent a follow up mail to ask if there's been any progress.

Hugh, I am compiling my response to the Town Hall Planning Application HGY/2017/2220 which closes in days and wanted to know if Cllr Kober ever did respond about the war and other memorials within the town hall.

Thanks

I've been told that the memorial's retention is stated in the application, but i don't know which document. FEC have set up a point of contact you could ask

Nothing I can recall

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