Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!
A collection of photos featuring the now long-gone Harringay Arena.
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I grew up in harringay late 40s and all the 1950s and the arena was just super.As a child my mum cleaned the changing rooms, then later she worked the tote at the dogs. We knew someone who worked at the arena and could get free tickets for us so we saw ice,roller and roller derby for free,but not the fabulous circus.I have so many wonderful memories, but unfortunately the place was no longer viable to run.The only time the place was ever full was for Billy Grahame.If any one is interested i have got lots of stories.
I would be interested in your stories Rowena, sound fantastic.
Hi Rowena, as a small kid I was taken to what was I think the last circus in the Arena in 1958.
An uncle of mine was a Judge at the Greyhound Racing from the 1950s right until the end.. and I got see plenty of Dog Racing (from the late 50s) as well as Stock Car Nights (in the 60s & early 70s).
BTW, Which school did you attend? - were you on the Tottenham or the Hornsey side? The reason I ask, my sister knew a Rowena and I was wondering..?
Rowena, I'd love to hear more of your stories about the Stadium & Arena. Why not share them in our Harringay History Group.
The conversation between Rowena and Stephen about possible past connections at local schools is now in the Harringay Alumni Group.
Harringay Arena was a great place for us kids to have fun.
Tom Arnold’s Circus was a regular Christmas visitor 1947 to 1957 and I think I was taken most years as a treat. During the day, before the performances, we’d go around the back of the arena and talk to the performers and watch them practice and the trainers feed the animals – lions, horses and elephants. It was all very informal and as long as you didn’t make a nuisance of yourself they’d let you watch.
Horse of the Year Show was there for its first ten years, from 1949 to 1958. A few times Mum and I would walk down in the evening and would be let in for nothing. Being Irish Mum loved watching the horses and her idol was Colonel Harry Llewellyn.
In 1952 there was a Texas Western Spectacle, starring the famous cowboy singer and actor Tex Ritter. Who dad said looked rather overweight for a cowboy – dad was a keen reader of western fiction.
Roy Rogers (real name Leonard Slye). 1954 appeared as part of the Billy Graham ‘Crusade’
I spoke to him one morning while he was exercising Trigger in the car park and told him that my name was Roy too and got to stroke his horse, ‘Trigger’!
Ice Hockey which I’d often go to
Ice Skating! The arena was open to the public for ice skating. I loved it, and would hire a pair of ill-fitting skates for a few shillings and wobble around. The skaters were of all abilities from the boys showing off and speed skating, girls in short skirts who performed the most intriguing ice dancing and at the other end of the scale were kids like me who’d just love to be able to go around without falling over. It was great fun and I still remember fondly the exciting times there. It wasn’t all a disaster if you were hopeless and fell over, often two girls would pick you up and with you between them hold your hands and whizz you around the rink….
Basketball - I saw the Harlem Globetrotters.
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