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Residents of Tottenham both past and present may remember with some affection the ‘SWAP SHOP’ which operated in West Green Road back in the 1950’s and through to the early 1970’s. At first you could be excused for thinking this was just an Antique shop but this was no ordinary shop, as to peer through the metal grille at the display in the windows or within the shop was an adventure in itself. You were totally unprepared as to what you might find - anything from military swords and memorabilia, medals, binoculars, sports equipment and ancient looking tools and devices to name but a few.

I don’t know precisely how the concept of the SWAP SHOP operated so one presumes you were able to exchange or barter items with the proprietor if necessary. However, you were able to make a straight forward purchase and haggle with the proprietor to arrive at an acceptable price

Unfortunately we do not have photographs of the ‘SWAP SHOP’ itself but we would be delighted to receive some. However, from this old photograph of West Green Road, it would have been taken from immediately opposite the junction with Beaconsfield Road and therefore almost outside the location of the shop.

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We have a couple more  old photographs from West Green Road that will help place where the shop was located. From the photograph taken in 1974 we have enlarged a section that clearly shows the shop sign.

From the older photograph from 1911 it would appear that formerly the shop may have been a branch of the footwear company 'Freeman Hardy & Willis.' because you can also make out their sign in almost the identical spot to the later ‘SWAP SHOP’ hoarding

see photographs below

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The name ‘SWAP SHOP’ was used many years before the Saturday morning children’s TV programme of the same name that was hosted by Noel Edmonds.

The following is a copy of an article that was published in the ‘Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald’ back in the 1970’s which wonderfully illustrates just how this most unusual yet quaint shop was so popular with the residents of Tottenham.


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Article prepared by Alan Swain - February 2014

Article prepared by Alan Swain - February 2014


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