Posts Tagged ‘Green Lanes’

Canonbury, Green Lanes and Balls Pond Road

Friday, March 25th, 2022

My next walk on Wednesday 3rd August 1988 began on a train going over the River Thames at Strand on the Green, the North London Line, taking me to Highbury & Islington from where I walked through Canonbury to Green Lanes, where I photographed an interesting pair of houses and found some rather poetic graffiti on my way to Newington Green and went on the the Balls Pond Road.

Highbury Grove, Highbury, Islington, 1988 88-8c-14-Edit_2400
141 Grosvenor Ave, Canonbury, Islington, 1988 88-8c-14

In my dreams last night I was sitting in front of my computer and just turning it off after searching for the location of this house, which on my contact sheet is simply given as ‘?Highbury Grove’, and it flashed onto Google Streetview as the application closed. I was just coming round and wasn’t sure whether this was dream or memory, so as soon as I got back in front of the screen today I looked up where I thought it had been – and found no such street existed. However a few more minutes searching – and looking at the next image on the contact sheet helped – I recognised it as 141 Grosvenor Ave in Canonbury.

The house next door in the semi-detached also had those distinctive vertical brick panels in the colums of the porch and at the side of the windows, but they have been disguised I think by white masonary paint, and possibly others have suffered a similar fate.

But the dream got me thinking more about taking these pictures and about my photography generally as I lay half awake in bed. I think I had walked around half a mile before making my first picture on this walk, past many other houses and shops I might have stopped to photograph but had not done so and I reflected on this. I’ve always been a rather timid photographer and often find it difficult to start taking pictures until something jolts me out of this, and once I’ve got going my reluctance fades. Making a photograph exposes not just the film (or these days the sensor) but also the photographer.

Green Lanes, Highbury, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-65-Edit_2400
Green Lanes, Highbury, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-65

I can’t remember the exact route I took to Green Lanes, perhaps up Petherton Road, as the few pictures I made (not on-line) are typical of the area but not easy to locate, but I then walked south towards Newington Green, but a grid reference written on this frame of the contact sheet together with the street name Green Lanes suggests this shop window was near Aden Grove.

The curling notices suggest that Enright & Co Ltd m(established 1875) had left the building some time earlier, and although they say Houses Wanted, the upper left ‘Sorry Nothing’ was probably more appropriate. I rather liked the rather ghosty reflections in the glass, including my legs in the centre of the frame.

Roughly one in four of the pictures I made on this walk are on-line, and four of the ten from this particular film are these consecutive images from this section of Green Lanes.

Green Lanes, Highbury, , Islington, Hackney, 1988 1988 88-8d-66-Edit_2400
Green Lanes, Highbury, Islington, Hackney, 1988 1988 88-8d-66-Edit_2400

There are still several of these ‘Mid-Late 19c’ houses on Green Lanes, roughly oposite Aden Grove and they are locally listed at 57-63 for their ‘truncated Dutch gables’. The bars on the windows at right have gone but they still otherwise look much the same.

Graffiti, Green Lanes, Highbury, , Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-51-Edit_2400
Graffiti, Green Lanes, Highbury, , Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-51

Two writers appear to have taken advantage of this long stretch of white wall, probably empty industrial premises of some kind. Possible the “BIRD Turning in the sky air below the clouds’ there is no corner…” got in first complete with its extra apostrophe and the later writer (perhaps F. Ratttttl)tadded a line above and below, with some other additions including from an Arsenal fan.

Green Lanes here is on the border of the two London Boroughs of Hackney and Islington and I’ve included both boroughs in the captions even when I’m sure which side of the border I took the pictures on.

Graffiti, Green Lanes, Highbury, , Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-52-Edit_2400
Graffiti, Green Lanes, Highbury, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-52

On the side of a boarded up shop, just off Green Lanes on the corner of Springdale Road was a more organised piece of writing, possibly advice to Fred to build a cradle for his baby. The reflecttion at left clearly shows the two buildings still on either side of Pegasus Close.

Annette Works, Halliford St, Ecclesbourne Rd, Islington, 1988 88-8d-31-Edit_2400
Annette Works, Halliford St, Ecclesbourne Rd, Islington, 1988 88-8d-31

For once a picture which includes precise information on its location, the Annette Works on the corner of Halliford St and Ecclesbourne Rd in Islington. The house at 61 Halliford Street was or had been home to Multi-Print Co, and this side of it has now been extensively rebuilt. I wondered briefly if there might be some connection to Annette Crescent, a listed crescent not far away on the Essex Road, but failed to find any further information. It seems unlikely as Annette Crescent was named for its developer, Thomas James Annett, only picking up the ‘e’ in later years.

Southgate Rd, Kingsland, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-36-Edit_2400
Southgate Rd, Kingsland, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-36

Southgate Road is another street on the Hackney/Islington border. There were no Vacancies at No 81, which is now together with No 83 ‘The Sydney Building’ a ‘warehouse conversion’ into flats with a rather prettier garden, roses replacing the buddleia.

Balls Pond Rd, Kingsland, Islington, Hackney, 1988 88-8d-26-Edit_2400
Mildmay Rd, Canonbury, Islington, 1988 88-8d-26

This picture appears to show a woman looking out of a upper floor window but this is actually a painting on the wall. But there was a real woman coming along the street towards me. There is still a mural visible on the wall which can be seen rather better from Wolsey Road, but is largely obscured by an overgrown tree. I’m not sure if this upper part above and behind the main painted wall is still there.

The mural was painted in 1981 by Carolyne Beale for Mildmay Housing Action Area and is now in very poor condition, cracking badly. You can see a good colour picture of it all before the tree grew online, with a second picture of this lady at the window. I don’t think I photographed the mural properly, though I may have done.

More from the Balls Pond Road and Dalston in another post.


Click on any of the images in the post to see a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse other images.


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Further North in TQ32

Saturday, July 4th, 2020
Swimming Pool, Golden Lane Estate, City, 1992 TQ3282-017
Swimming Pool, Golden Lane Estate, City, 1992

I don’t know why TQ32 didn’t take me very much into north London during the years 1986-92 as certainly in later years I spent more time in Canonbury, Stoke Newington and Enfield etc, but this particular 1km wide strip perhaps just avoids the areas of them that interested me most.

Dummies,  Old St, 1988, Islington TQ3282-005
Dummies, Old St, 1988, Islington

It’s just an accident of geography that while Green Lanes begins just on its west edge, as it goes north it moves just a little to the west, taking it out of the area. Another accident that much of what I photographed in Tottenham lies just a short way to its east. Of course the pictures I took of these areas still exist and are either already on line in other albums or will I hope soon be there as I get around to uploading other strips of the project.

Tin, Zinc, Iron & Copper Workers, Dufferin Ave, Old St, 1986  TQ3282-003
Tin, Zinc, Iron & Copper Workers, Dufferin Ave, Old St, 1986

TQ3282 begins on the edge of the city where both Islington and Hackney and meet it around Old St in Finsbury, Shoreditch and Hoxton. I don’t think there are now any Tin, Zinc, Iron & Copper Workers in Dufferin Ave, which seems largely now to be home to various financial organisations and I think this building close to Bunhill Fields may have been replaced by something more modern, or at least refronted.

SEFCO Ltd, Honduras St, Old St  1986 TQ3282-004
SEFCO Ltd, Honduras St, Old St 1986, Islington

Honduras Street is one of several short streets between Old St and Baltic St, just west of Golden Lane, and at one time was where Olympus Cameras had their service centre, which is probably why I walked down it and took this picture of SEFCO Ltd which will probably have been taken on an Olympus OM camera.

There was a company called SEFCO Ltd offering to supply specially shaped rubber pieces from an address in Rosebery Avenue in a small ad in the magazine Electrical Engineering in September 1955 who may possibly be the same company moved to a different but nearby address, but otherwise I can find no other information on the internet.

In later years I visited Honduras Street to go to exhibitions and events when it became the home of Foto8 magazine and the Host gallery from 2002 to 2012.

Mural, Caribbean House, Bridport Place, Hoxton, 1986 TQ3283-001
Mural, Caribbean House, Bridport Place, Hoxton, 1986, Hackney

Among the other pictures that I made in TQ32 were a few from Hoxton and Stoke Newington and the start of Green Lanes, including a fine travel agent’s window and several of a photographer’s shop.

Photographer, shop window, Newington Green, Green Lanes, 1988 TQ3285-008
Photographer’s window, Newington Green, Green Lanes, 1988

And further north there are some of interest you can find for yourself, including one with some particular resonance at the moment which I probably photographed at the time in part for its street name, Black Boy Lane.

You will find the pictures on Pages 3 and 4 of TQ32 London Cross-section.