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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

March 1969: Led Zeppelin play The Bluesville '69 Club at The Hornsey Wood Tavern

I used to drink in this pub opposite Finsbury Park on Seven Sisters Road all through the late 90s and early 00s. We had lock-ins that ran until the early hours of the morning. We threw parties in the upstairs rooms. The pub then was run by Jack who never closed the bar while someone needed a drink.

Happy times!  We were sad to see it go in 2007. It's a housing block now. So it goes.

Obviously though it had a lot more history than we knew as this advert from 1969 shows. It seems that back then a club night hosted not just legends Led Zeppelin but also Jethro Tull, Family and Ten Years After to name but a few. 

Here's a quote from the closed pubs website The Lost Pubs Project remembering those days:

I saw quite a few bands at The Hornsey wood Tavern. Jethro Tull, Family, Ten Years After, Rory Gallagher Led Zeppelin. Apart from Led Zeppelin, there was always space to move around and often we`d stand right in front of the band. I must have seen these bands at least twice each. Great pub with amazing music. What a great pub landlord to have sorted that out so early on. Merih Tuman (May 2014)

The club night appears to have begun there around October 1968 (it moved from the larger venue of Manor House, picture below) and featured The Nice and Fleetwood Mac, who seemed to play regularly at the Bluesville Club, in the first weeks. According to the Led Zep database, they only played this venue once 50 years ago this month.

The venue was a function room at the back of the pub and was so small that the stage was only just big enough for John Bonham's drums, the rest of the group having to stand on the floor at the same level as the crowd.

London Music Map on Facebook

I would give my right arm now for a time machine to go back and see most of these bands (I was alas a wee babe in arms when these bands were playing gigs in pubs). That function room where the band played toe to toe with the audience became a pool hall, but there was a room upstairs as well where we threw our parties and sometimes joined in the ones thrown by the Colombian football club who played in the park.

Anyone remember going to club nights here in the late 60s and who they saw?

Old pics of The Hornsey Wood Tavern in Finsbury Park and as I remember it (above)

Tags for Forum Posts: closed pubs, local pubs, music history, the sixties

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Makes me wish I had not moved out in 1964!

wow, what a history

The old pics are, as I'm sure you know, Liz, of a completely different building. Bar sharing the same name, as far as I'm aware it had nothing to do with the new building.  I marked on Google Maps a year of so back where the old building used to stand. 

The late Victorian pub stood on the corner of Alexandra Road opposite the site of the older HWT.

Yes, but I’m guessing  the pub took its name from that older early 19C building. I don’t know anything about the incarnation above before the 1960s or when it took its penultimate name. 

A friend of mine reminded me of this post on Bowes and Bounds about the Fishmongers Arms in Wood Green by Richard 

The live gigs at the Fishmongers Arms which was just up the road in Wood Green are documented here: http://www.bowesandbounds.org/profiles/blogs/fishmongers-arms-live-...

I think it’s a fair assumption that the bands that played there are almost certain to have done gigs at the Manor House and Hornsey Wood Tavern as well. 

I went to the jazz club at the Fishmongers a couple of times. But for some reason I missed the gigs by the top names.



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