TOTTENHAM MEMORIES -JEAN WALTERS

 

 

I recently found the article by Steve Rowe his memories and pictures brought back so many memories to me and I remembered most of the places and experiences Steve wrote about.

 

I was born in 1944 in North Grove, Tottenham and my husband lived in Dongola Rd, having been born in Tottenham in 1937.

 

We now live in a Pennine village (officially a town because a local Victorian philanthropist built a town hall, along with other amenities for the village). Our house is on a small, private estate built in 2000 that butts into the countryside. In many ways it is like living in Tottenham in the old days - in our cul-de-sac everyone knows and looks out for each other. We party together and now its lockdown have a weekly virtual house-party with quiz. One resident always does a collection for flowers if anyone dies or is ill. When I go into the village, I usually bump into someone to have a chat with, even when I go into Huddersfield, the nearest large town six miles away. Yorkshire folk are very friendly. Enough said about the present time.

 

I am a bellringer, so I guess that is what attracted me to this article because I googled St Ann’s church. I never rang there and only took up bell ringing 7 years ago (sadly no ringing now due to coronavirus). I have rung in 45 bells around England, mainly in Yorkshire, and done 9 quarter peals, not bad for someone who started ringing at 68!

 

I remember most of those things Steve spoke about - Wards Store and the money things flying above you, Avenue Road and Sawyers Grocers, where my mum shopped each week. The eel shop in Seven Sisters Rd was owned by Italians, their son was at school with me at the private convent school, St Mary’s Priory Prep School, on St Ann’s Road.

 




 

I eventually went to the grammar school at Hornsey High School for girls. My husband went to the coed grammar, Tottenham County, where most of my friends from church went. We both went to West Green Baptist, on West Green Rd. I went for a while to St Ann’s Sunday School and the brownies there but these kids kept on beating me up after Sunday School, because I went to a ‘posh’ school, so I transferred to West Green BC, where my friend went ( I still worship at a Baptist Church and my husband is a retired Baptist minister, so I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for those bullies beating me up!).







 

 

The sweet shop in Ascot Rd (opposite the Oceana Laundry) we called Wags, don’t know why but all the locals called it that. I went round after Sunday School every Sunday afternoon to buy a Wall’s sixpenny block and a bottle of Tizer. I mixed them together to make a soda ice cream. This was the treat of the week.

My husband had a Claud Butler bike and bought it at the bicycle shop Steve mentioned, it was called Hetchins in Seven Sisters Rd.

 

 

My house in North Grove was built (the back part ) in 1850’s and extended sometime later. You can see it on Steve’s map, it backed onto the small factory in Avenue Rd. I remember it had a huge tree overlooking our garden. We lived next door but two to Dennis Young and his huge family. They stabled all the rag and bone/shellfish seller horses and a donkey, that woke me every morning. They were wide boy/ gypsy like characters, and you wouldn’t want to brush them up the wrong way so you just nodded hello and went your way.

1936 MAP SHOWING NORTH GROVE AND AVENUE ROAD AREA

 


 


THE OCEANA LAUNDRY WAS IN ST ANN'S ROAD LOCATED ON THE CORNER OF NORTH GROVE AND EMPLOYED MANY LOCAL PEOPLE

 

Our house was a small 3-bed terrace with a very small front and back garden, on street parking, now in a dubious part of London. My small bedroom has been turned into a bathroom, making it only 2 - bedroom. An 8-foot fence has been built at the back for security. It has a small extension into the back garden, making it even smaller, more a yard now. It sold a couple of years ago for just under half a million pounds, sadly not by my family, we let it go in the late 1980’s for a mere £55,000 (my parents bought it in 1939 for £400!) Enough said. Tottenham has changed, we went back two years ago. Our church is 98% black, with an African minister but there is a warm and welcoming community there. I felt safe. Quite a few of the older generation (now in their 80s and 90s ) did not move out as did we younger ones, who went to college & uni and are spread across the UK.

 

The white people left say Tottenham is still a caring place and they are well looked after. Yes, there is crime & drugs but you get that everywhere in the world sadly. I wouldn’t go back to London - I hate the traffic and urban life, having lived in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside for 47 years, but I still have a warm spot for Tottenham and am proud to have been born and lived there.

 

Regards

Jean

 

 

Article preapred by Alan Swain - January 2021 - Based on original notes from Jean Waltters

Background Image- Holmfirth Yorkshire (Home to Last of The Summer Wine)