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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

A discussion elsewhere on HoL about the fate of the last of Harringay's social clubs inspired me to check out the history of 547 Green Lanes.

We've known it for many years as O Pendaktylos (The Five Fingers), a Greek social club that has apparently jealously guarded its threshold.

But what was it before? Here's what I've been able to dig up. The occupation of the premises was actually amazingly uniform for much of its history.

It was open by 1896 and trading as a Dairy. Although it was listed in Kelly's as listed as the O. E. Dowden, Dairy, we know that a decade later it was trading as the Harringay Farm Dairy. But  Kelly's still listed it as a dairy along with the name of the proprietor.

Between about 1902 and 1909 it was run by Frederick Collins. Fred obligingingly advertised in the Harringay Ratepayers magazine.

(385, by the way is now the Turkish Food Market on the corner of Umfreville.)


By 1910, Norman Osborne Bennet had taken on the business but was still trading under the same name. Shortly after the war he seems to have re-styled the shop as Bennett Dairies,

By 1924 it had been bought by the large Welford & Premier Dairy who traded under the slogan "London's safest milk is delivered thrice daily by staff from Welfords Premier". The picture below shows a Welford Milkman in London (but not in Harringay).

Welford had become part of United Dairies in 1915 and in 1928 the Harringay Shop started to trade as United Dairies. It continued to trade under this name until 1977.

The image below comes from a short Movietone reel about the launch of the Traffic Control Experiment in 1963. The shop front looks like it might date from the late 1920s when UD moved in. It also looks like what we've had till recently was probably the survival of that same shop front.


In 1978 the shop started trading as Thomas Butchers and finally in 2002, it opened as O Pendaktylos (The Five Fingers).

In 2018, planning permission was granted to the Taco House Limited to convert the premises to a restaurant.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks Hugh. I'm glad my recollection of it when it was a butchers is not mistaken.

Thanks so much, Hugh.  I read this hoping the shop would turn into United Dairies and so it did.  That shopfront is part of my earliest memories.  I particularly remember my mother's delight when they began to sell yogurt.  She had been accustomed to it in India but had yet to find it here.   UD's, which came in a glass jar with a red foil top and in one variety only - plain set - appeared around 1950, I'd guess.

Lovely little memories...........so precious.    And what little gems Hugh and co discover !  

I to remember it as the United Dairies as I was born and lived just along from there at 573 Green Lanes. Great memories of the inside with, if my memory serves me right, green tiles on the walls.

Thank you Hugh, I remember Thomas Butchers and the couple that run the business, but was not sure exactly which shop it was. 

Really interesting, particularly reference to specialising in milk for infants and invalids. Any chance of getting photos of interior before conversion?

Sorry, I didn't get the chance. From what you could see through the window (the front part), little survived, but who knows what a little poking around might have revealed.

I learned that the old shop-front was stripped out this week. It's a bit sad. You'd have thought a restaurant could have made capital out of it. 

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