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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I was looking out of my home-office window the other day and realised that I couldn't identify a couple of buildings in my skyline. 

Both images are shot with at 200mm lens plus a 1.4 magnifier. So don't be fooled into thinking the buildings are that close.

The first image is shot in a due southerly direction from the Ladder. It shows two tall buildings, one further away than the other. I've left in the eastern edge of the roof of St Paul's Harringay as a reference point (behind the chimney stack on the far right of the picture). Because of the location of the buildings relative to St Paul's Harringay, neither of them can be the new buildings by Finsbury Park Station. 

The second image is shot in a south easterly direction. You can see the chimney of the old Maynards Factory in the Harringay Warehouse district.

I previously had a view of One Canada Square at Canary Wharf, but the Woodberry Down development put paid to that. So I was delighted to see that the ArcelorMittal Orbit is just visible in this photo (to the right of the red brick tower). 

Any idea what these buildings area?

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Hugh, you suggest that we "honour the industrial history" of an area? And indeed I'm sure we'd both include the varied and changing social history of an area.

How can and should we do this? You know the answer, Hugh, because you've begun doing it with affection, curiosity and care in Harringay and nearby. From memory - and I'm probably forgetting and leaving a lot out - you and other people have used maps, old documents, old photos, people's reminiscences etc.

I think we both guess reasons why some people may prefer saying they live in, or are selling, a home in a former "Warehouse District". Rather than, say, a converted former factory. Someone is putting a lot of work into this invention. And it's not just a few streets, on Google it's the label for a whole area. If you look-up 'Warehouse District' on Wikipedia you'll see that Harringay Warehouse district is now on the way to international recognition.


I wonder who owns the freeholds? And if they're smiling?

There are a couple of books I loved, which I found secondhand in a charity shop. In 'The Fields Beneath'  Gillian Tindall presents a history of Kentish Town. In: 'The House by the River' she sifts the old scraps and stories she can find about Bankside, the area south of London Bridge. Revealing en route that the house of the title wasn't where Christopher Wren lived and watched the building of St Pauls.

But never mind, because the truths Gillian Tindall assembles are more fascinating than the fictions.

Apologies for not checking. Gillian Tindall's fascinating book is 'The House by the Thames and the people who lived there.'

An entertaining review by Kathryn Hughes, mentions "a persistent smell of dog shit (essential for steeping the skins in the nearby tanning industry'. (Or perhaps I should write 'warehouse'.)

£999,999 for a three bed flat in Harringay based in a "former factory" suggests that estate agents don't make the same distinction as you Alan. (Brochure attached for future reference).

Warehouse or factory - both have the same cachet for folks who want to own a bit of urban texture.

Re the owner, this from the East End Review:

Shulem Askler began buying up property on Eade Road in the nineties, when the ‘rag trade’ fell into decline and Harringay’s smaller textile factories accommodating Greek and Turkish dressmakers, sewers, packers and button makers began to close. His company Provewell Ltd now manages around 70 per cent of the warehouses in the area on behalf of its owners (mainly offshore investors).

It’s curious that former Labour councillor Alan Stanton insists on attributing the naming to property developers, disregarding the advice that this originated with the residents, while shoehorning a reference to conflict in the Middle East into a discussion about property owned by a business with Israeli connections.

Really interesting discussion. For those that do not like the 'warehouse district' name, is there an alternative that is preferable?

Alan, with regards to where the factory buildings are/were, I think it's pretty evident to anyone walking around the area. But, for those who don't know it, I've added a clip from the circa 1950 OS map below (click to enlarge). You can see that only a third of the area at most was ever residential. As I wrote in my Wikipedia article, it was an important centre of industry for Tottenham Borough.

If you walk around on Streetview, you'll see that many of the buildings are still standing. 

Alan - I think there are added complications when factoring in both Royal Mail's and local councils' views as to what any road/street/area is called, and it's not just Google that decides. I worked on a new arts project some years ago, and wanted to get the formal building address (xx High Street) changed to that of an adjacent linked area, with its established shops, restaurants, etc, all known to be in - or on - XXX Quay. The council (part-funders of the project) firmly refused, referred me to the national postcode database, and said that no matter what the next-door premises might claim, they all had street addresses that bore no relation to any marketing designation they used. We could call our location anything we liked, but an address was an address.

London's mish-mash of names and nicknames has accrued over centuries, hence frequent disjunctions between official names and what real people call an area. I'm heartily glad the attempt to re-designate Holborn as "midtown" failed and I'd hope the similar campaign to make the Strand "North Bank" withers; they both have ancient designations that identify them geographically as well as spiritually, so who needs a new name (except an ad agency)? I agree with the inference you draw from the wonderful Translations, but if the "Warehouse" appellation came from the occupiers (and doesn't over-write any previous name) then maybe it'll gain acceptance - even if it is more Manhattan than Manor House!

Thank you, Alan, for the Brian Friel Translations reference. So apt for everything, including Backstop and No Hard Border even if (the other) Hugh and Manus and Máire preceded Bojo and Rees-Mogg by nearly two centuries: "English can't express us. We feel closer to the warm Mediterranean. We tend to overlook your island. . . . Nonne Latino loquitur ?"

I found a website which may help other ignoramuses like me.

Here's what I think is showing in pic 1.



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