ANNIE ELIZABETH CHASE - A VICTORIAN CHILDHOOD-  TOTTENHAM MEMORIES

 

I would like to put my thoughts into words about this Borough of Tottenham which I was born in, in 1892. How different it is to what it was like when I was a child.

 

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TOTTENHAM HIGH ROAD 1892
Typical street scene around the time when Annie was born

We used to play on the old cobbled stones of the High Road, for only a few horsedrawn buses and carts and bicycles came along. There were plenty of country lanes to roam in and even in the High Road there was a brook. It was a large one with a bridge at Church Road. Up White Hart Lane there were three big ponds and at the corner of Pretoria Road, opposite White Hart Lane Railway station, there was a large plot of ground called ‘the old Clockey’. Years before my time a large house stood on this ground but it was burnt down one night. My mother told me that her grandfather helped to rescue the Nuns who lived there
My mother was of very old Tottenham stock. Her great grandfather helped to build the old well on the High Cross and a few years after he fell down it and was drowned. His wife used to own a pony and cart with large barrels on it and would draw the water from the well and sell it to the cottagers who had no well of their own at 1/2d a bucket. My mother often told us how her mother would go down to Waggon Lane where all the corn fields were and after the men had cut the corn, she would go cleaning the corn. When she had got enough, she would take it over to Bull Lane where the windmill stood to get it ground into flour to make her own bread..

 

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My mother was born in White Hart Yard. It’s the place where the Spurs main gate now stands. There were several cottages there and the rest of the land was market gardens belonging to the man who owned the Pub which was only a small inn at that time. I can always remember my mother telling me how she swallowed a safety-pin and was taken to the Cottage Hospital which is now the Prince of Wales. The doctor who cut the front of her throat to get the pin out was Dr. Hooper-May. After that, the Matron asked her if she would like to join her sewing class with a few more village girls.

 

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Pictured above the  'RED HOUSE' in 1883 before the 'Spurs' Ground was built. The entrance to White Hart yard can be seen just beyond the Red House

 

I have heard her say how her father and his father would talk about the Charlies. They were the men who acted similar to the police. All along the Criterion Buildings, there was a row of large trees. I don’t know if they were oak or not but near one was a big wooden tent or box affair in which a man, or men, used to keep watch and call out the time during the night. I think the householders used to give so much a week to these men. Sometimes a few rowdies going home late at night would tip the shelter up and make it hard for the men to get free. I have heard my mother say that when her grandfather was a young man he rowed a boat from Tottenham marshes, up Northumberland Park, to White Hart Lane when the marshes were flooded.
She often spoke of the first frozen meat coming to Tottenham. At that time they were living in Orchard Place and her mother bought the first frozen leg of mutton at Sawyers, a shop at the corner of James Place, Church Road. At the top of Church Road was Aires farm and her brother worked on the farm. I have a photo of her eldest brother, taken a hundred and ten or fifteen years ago, just as he left work. She often spoke of seeing the old Mission Hall in Love Lane pulled down to build in its place the White Hart Lane Railway station.
In those days they only had candles to burn for light and it was a great day when her mother bought a paraffin table lamp and also when she paid sixpence a week more rent to have an oven put in her stove to bake the meat. Otherwise it was cooked on a spit at the front of the fire. She also spoke of the Maypole Day scenes which were held on Tottenham Green near the High Cross. They all used to gather there. The sweeps were always the star turn and they used to play Jack-in-the-green.

seven_sisters_trees_1904.jpg (85908 bytes)    The Trees of Seven Sisters

My mother’s mother was not a Tottenham woman, she came from Stratford. It was her father who was of old Tottenham stock going back several great grandfathers. His name was Arnold but years before it was pronounced ‘Arknold’. My mother also spoke of the seven Miss Hibberts who planted the seven trees at Seven Sisters

 

 

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POSTCARD - TOTTENHAM BAPTIST CHURCH 1909

I myself remember a very large house in Tottenham Terrace in White Hart Lane. It belonged to a Mr. Peddley and was called Trafalgar House. Miss Agnes Peddley opened a mothers’ meeting in the hall of the Baptist Chapel.
She was very good to the mothers who had their baby with them and every so many weeks they would get a card entitling them to two quarts of milk a day. I know because I used to fetch my mother’s. Also, when a mother was expecting a baby, she could have the loan of a large bag which contained sheets, pillow-cases and night-gown for herself and baby.
When she got up it would be washed and returned to the Mission Hall. In June or July, all the mothers would be invited to Trafalgar House to tea. There was always a good supply of home-grown fruits. Then on Christmas day, all went to a grand dinner in the hall. There is no doubt that Miss Peddley was a very good lady. There was nothing to pay for all this and to families like ours, there were eleven of us, it was a help
.

My father was a gas-stoker and he was the youngest son of the Irishman who lit the fire in the first retort at the Gas works in Willougby Lane. This was about 150 years ago. About 1876, he was killed in an accident there and his wife was given a sum of money as compensation. Also, work was offered to the two sons if they liked. The eldest one did take a job in the Gas-works but my father when he was fifteen, ran away and joined the army. After he served his seven years in the 11th Hussars, he came home and took his job in the Gas-works. That is when he met and married my mother.

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EXTRACT FROM DEATH CERTIFICATE - JAMES MULADY 1876

During his spare time, he helped build the Catholic Church of St. Francis De Sales. I dare say there are a few people now who remember Father Bailey. I knew him well and saw his funeral at the Church. He was a very good man and died about 1899.

 

 

Tottenham seemed to get more populated and a lot of men were out of work. They would march along the street to collect money and some of them would be blowing tin whistles. In the cold weather, they would get hot soup given them in the old Drill Hall in Park Lane. I have seen lots of homes put in the gutter owing to people being out of work and could not pay their rent. When some of them died it was a walking funeral with mauve material covering the coffin. They were very hard times. My father’s work as a gas-stoker was well paid but we nearly came a cropper when he died in 1906.

I was fourteen when he was buried. There was a sister a year and a half older than me, six younger brothers and a baby girl six weeks old. My mother, by chance, had him well insured but the thing was how were we going to bring the children up as there was no relief or help. I had been to work a year before then and was earning four shillings a week scraping whalebone strips from eight in the morning until seven-thirty at night. My older sister was doing the same kind of work for five shillings a week. We were living in Whitehall Street at that time.
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1911 CENSUS - ANNIE ELIZABETH MULADY age 19 - Mother Charlotte & 7 Siblings - Whitehall Street, Tottenham

Note:  Mother working at Rubber factory and Annie Elizabeth a Whale Bone Polisher

It was a four roomed house at eight shillings a week so we moved out into a six roomed house at the same rent. My mother let two of the rooms and so for a year we managed to keep my mother at home to see the baby and three small boys get a bit bigger. Then a neighbour offered to look after the baby and youngest boy while my mother went out to work there. I earned six and ninepence a week and my mother’s wage was ten shillings. The hours were from six in the morning until six at night, Saturdays as well. It was while we worked there that we saw two anarchists being chased across the marshes by the Police and other people. They were Russians who had attacked a wages clerk getting out of a car at the Rubber factory in Chestnut Road. They shot dead a ten years old boy and a Policeman. One of the Russians was shot dead and the other was wounded. Several other people were wounded.
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LOCATIONS FOR ANNIE'S STORY

1. WHITEHALL STREET - Where Annie and     family lived.

2. WHITE HART YARD - Where Annie's      mother was born

3. PRETORIA ROAD - Location of the            'Clockey from Annie's childhood

4. BAPTIST CHURCH - Miss Pedley's Mothers meeting hall

5. RUBBER WORKS - Where Charlotte Mulady worked

6. TOTTENHAM GAS WORKS - Where James Mulady was tragically killed in 1876.

7. WAGGON HORSE LANE - Where James Mulady and wife had lived

 

Map of Tottenham - 1903

 

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Illustrations of some Victorian street games

 

Yes, the face of Tottenham has changed in my small time. Gone are the cobble stones and no more tibbie-tat and Wuggle. No more hoop racing down the main road with the girls with big wooden hoops and the boys with iron hoops and skimmers.

No man now pops into Mr. Akker’s men’s clothing shop on a Sunday morning to buy a 6.1/2d cap and get a half-pint glass of beer on the counter for the Sunday morning customers. I am sure the old muffin man with his bell will not be heard on a Sunday afternoon and the same with the coalman. Will he ever again be heard shouting ‘One shilling a hundredweight coals’. It’s goodbye to those sleepy old horses that took such a long time to catch up to our games in the road.

The End.

Note: Tibby-Tat (or Tibby Cat) and Wuggle (or Woggle) were the names of Street Games played in Victorian times.

Copied from an original account written down by Annie Elizabeth Chase (nee Mulady)

December 2010

Updated January 2014

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UPDATED JANUARY 2014

Pictured left is a photograph of Annie Elizabeth Chase (nee Mulady) taken at the Coronation Street party held in Hartington Road, Tottenham in June 1953 that has been sent to us courtesy of Norrie Doyle.

Annie Chase was his Grandmother and also pictured in this photograph are her daughters which includes his mother Kathleen Doyle (nee Chase)

 

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This additional photograph from Norrie Doyle shows his Grandmother and Grandfather, Annie Elizabeth and William Francis Chase outside their home at 9 Hartington Road just before it was to be demolished.

Apparently this was the last house in the street to go and his Grandmother used to make the builders tea while they were doing the demolition.

 

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