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Lower Edmonton > Roads and localities > Shops in 1937 Part 1: The Green

Shops in 1937 Part 1: The Green

A look at the shops in the area of The Green back in 1937.
Much of the content of this page is historical so it shouldn't have become too dated. However there are some bits which no longer apply, for example using the old multi-storey car park as a reference point. So please bear in mind it was written before 2005. It did get amended in 2020 to confirm that the numbering of the Hertford Road started with 23 in 1937, and to rework some of the comments about numbering.

As I have a copy of Kelly's Directory of Middlesex for 1937 on CD I thought I'd do something with the information in it and listing some of the shops in it by address seemed a good idea as I can also relate it to the shops using the premises now (if the area hasn't been obliterated). I should imagine you might have had to pay to be listed in the directory so it might not be a complete record and I have to take it on trust that it was accurate. I may also have overlooked certain businesses because the Middlesex directories have an alphabetical listing rather than a street by street one. Anyway let's see where it takes us ...

I want to start with the Edmonton Green area. I shall start with the southern end of the Hertford Road, then consider The Green and The Broadway to give a north to south flow and then I'll tack on the east end of Church Street too.

Hertford Road (southern end)

I shall start with the south end of the Hertford Road. The area covered here runs up to Croyland Road on the west side and up to (but not including) The Crescent on the east side. See the number of shops that used to be there and then consider that since the 1970s demolition frenzy this area now contains just the United Services Club and the shops up to Croyland Road with no new buildings replacing those lost. The east side of the road was splattered for the shopping centre development, the west side of the road lasted a few years longer.

113 Brown newsagent
111 Goode boot repairer
109 Hargreaves hairdresser
107 Gwynne coffee bar
99 Edmonton United Services Club
91a / 91b Wheatley wireless engineer
91 Wheatley furniture dealers
89 Wheatley furniture dealers
87d Sampson confectioner
87c Modern Hairdressing, Modern Super Coaches
87b Stanley Bridge cycle dealers
87a Winter outfitters
87 Childs wallpaper
67 Gunn corn & flour dealers
65 Baxter draper
63a Downe outfitter
63 Hewitt greengrocer
61 Sanders Brothers Stores corn & flour dealers
59 Zitver costumier
57 Thelma ladies hairdresser
55 King tailor
53 Ayres fried fish
49 Woolworth bazaar
47 Woolworth bazaar
45 Popular Footwear
43 Teleradio wireless components
41 Brickland butcher
39 Young & Harrison chemists
37 King's Head pub
35 Messer clothier
33 Messer clothier
31 Linwood fishmonger
29 Maypole Dairy provisions
25 Dear butcher
23 Tesco grocers
80 Kaufman outfitter
78 Chase butcher
74 Bossy music dealer
72 Henry oil & color dealer
[Monmouth Road]
60 Squier fancy drapers
58 Squier costumiers
54 Maison Cee ladies hairdressers
52 Imperial Cycle Works cycle dealers
50 Learoyd newsagent
48 Brown confectioner
44 Clarke refreshment rooms
42 McDonald & Whitaker house furnishers
40 McDonald & Whitaker house furnishers
38 Brooks herbalist
34 Bedford eel pie shop
30 Smeeton butcher
26 Monk insurance agent
24 Monk building contractor
22 Wiltshire furniture dealer
20 Thornton hairdresser
18 Haynes dining rooms
16 Leslie china & glass
Exhibition pub

Looking at a 1902 directory reveals that back then the Hertford Road was hardly numbered at all. The exception was the south end on the west side which was numbered consecutively from 1 to 20 with the King's Head being number 18. There was also a 19a. A 1914 directory shows the landlord of The Exhibition at 14 Hertford Road which is consistent with the numbering above which suggests that between 1902 and 1914 the Hertford Road was renumbered into standard odds and evens. So that means the numbers 23 to 41 above (or perhaps 43, allowing for 19a) were once numbered consecutively as 11-20. A large scale old map with street numbering confirms that 37 The Green was next door to 23 Hertford Road, suggesting that 1-21 was renumbered onto The Green at some stage.

My recollections of the area (35 years on from the date we are looking at so there could have been different buildings) are limited to Wheatley's being at the north end of a parade that was set back slightly from the street (it was a toy shop by then), Stanley Bridge's being further along on the south side of a footpath, and finally Woolworths being further along still. Wheatley's was no doubt much further from Croyland Road and much closer to Stanley Bridge's than I at first thought. On older maps this area is first known as Oswald Place, then marked as Oswald Villas with some bigger detached houses, and in a 1902 directory it has both of those. I'd hazard a guess that 87 to 91 had probably replaced Oswald Villas and Oswald Place was still there between Wheatley's and the U.S.C.

The Exhibition pub sat on the south of Town Road and the New Road junction was just to the north. There used to be some more buildings on this little stretch of road (called Alfred Place?) and comparing old photos suggest these were demolished in the 1910 to 1920 period.

Numbers 72 to 82 must surely be the old Crescent Buildings between Monmouth Road and The Crescent and numbers from about 28 to 60 would tie up pretty well with the old Skilton Cottages. The gap between 60 and 72 is apparently just a jump in the numbers and nothing is missing there. This leaves numbers 16 to about 26. These would have originally been considered as being on New Road. I will have to have a better examination of the 1914 directory but I would anticipate them being part of the Hertford Road by then as it would make sense if the demolition of Alfred Place and the renumbering of Hertford Road took place at the same time. This would suggest sometime between about 1910 and 1914.

The Green

The Green was the area north of the low-level railway line leading up to around about Town Road. It was numbered starting from the south with odd numbers on the west side and evens on the east. I'll try and reflect this in the table below. The eastern side would have been longer then the west as the railway line ran roughly south-south-easterly.

50 Cater Brothers grocers
48 Cater Brothers grocers
46 Langbridge drapers
44 Edgley butchers
42 Golden Lion pub
37 Geary baker 38 Pearks' Dairies provisions
35 Abram ladies outfitters 36 Geary baker
33 Abram ladies outfitters 34 Boots the Chemists
31 Staveley provisions 32 Linwood fishmongers
29 Rochester hardware 30 Edgeley butcher
27 Rochester hardware 28 National Shoe Exchange
25 Cornwall tobacconists 26
23 24 Baines grocers
21 Mansfield draper 22 Carswell butchers
19 / 19b Abram hairdressers / Lush & Cook dyers & cleaners 20 Hill bakers
17 / 17a Morley costumier / Mansfield confectioner 18 Lipton grocers
15 Dale & Sons house furnishers & estate agents 16 Oliver umbrellas, Phillpot florist
13 Dale & Sons house furnishers & estate agents 14 British & Argentine Meat Co. butchers
11 Dale & Sons house furnishers & estate agents 12 Sosner outfitters
9 Dicks wine & spirits 10 Sosner drapers
7 Ragg chemists 8 Sparrow butcher
5 Ragg tobacconists 6 Sparrow butcher
3 (likely to also be associated with the Cross Keys?) 4 Bartons baker
1 Cross Keys pub 2 Morgan & Son house furnishers

The directory still seems to be saying there was a Post Office on The Green though it might be suggesting it as a telegraph office more than a General Post Office. Previously there had been one next to Ragg's chemists (and indeed Ragg was the postmaster) but this was number 5 which is now just mentioned as a tobacconist, so I don't know if I should be looking elsewhere. Balham Road was between the double fronted number 9 and Dales at number 11. A 1938 aerial photo shows Dales Estate Agents as number 15. For the next block along it shows blinds with the name Elm on them which is presumably 17/17a and might indicate a rapid change of owner from the time of the directory (Elm's was trading in Balham Road and elsewhere in 1937).

In a 1902 directory, the entries for the west side of The Green beyond Balham Road are Dale's, a Miss Coster in Devonshire House, and Edward Howe butchers, after which the road becomes the Hertford Road. In 1914 street numbers have kicked in and Howe's is listed as number 19. There is a bakery at 10 Hertford Road in 1902 so it does rather seem that numbers 21 to 37 The Green could be associated with the original 1 to 10 Hertford Road.  That is 9 addresses against 10 (or 11 if we include 1a which was Dicky Bird's) which may or may not be a problem. It was mentioned previously that the Hertford Road numbering started at 23 in 1937, so it seems likely that the eleven addresses (including 1a) that were first numbered as 1 to 10 Hertford Road were renumbered in odds only sequence as 1 to 21 between 1902 and 1914, and then renumbered onto the nine addresses 21 to 37 The Green as a later date.

Railway Approach

Railway Approach is a little awkward to pin down exactly but the key seems to be that it is considered to be a road in its own right. In modern terms it would have started a little way down The Broadway (say where the phone kiosks are), taken in the corner where the booking office is now, and followed the roundabout to the end of the first block of flats where the low level railway line platforms would have closed it off and the station building was. Later it would have shrunk to just be the bit from the Church Street railway bridge.

  Avery tobacconist
  Cook coal merchants
  George florist
  Jackson refreshment bar
  Stewart toilet goods
  Warren coal merchants

Back in 1890 there were numbers 1 to 7 and a couple of coal merchants and I am confident that that the numbered shops were on the corner where the railway booking office is now situated and a little way down the road, and happy to suggest that the coal merchants traded from the sidings and yards between the two railway lines. In a 1902 directory the numbered shops had been given numbers on Fore Street and by 1937 they had been renumbered onto The Broadway so Railway Approach had shrunk a little.

The location of the unnumbered businesses still isn't clear though and so I can only offer the suggestion that the coal merchants had been joined by a few other kiosk type shops on the street frontage of the yards. There seem to be several in a late 1930s aerial photo. A 1936 map certainly indicates four units clearly, plus perhaps one on the station side of the road and there could be one or more right next to the station building.

The Broadway

Today The Broadway might seem to cover just the area under the multi-storey car park but a glance at a streetmap usually reveals it as being the whole of the high road from the roundabout to around about the New Road junction and Bridge Road. As the name suggests it was once a much broader roadway at the north end. If you look at the pavement on the west side you can clearly see the old kerb line outside the station and likewise on the east side there are drains in the middle of the pavement that normally one would expect to find in the gutter. At one stage Salmon's Brook would have run in the open along the east side. I don't know when it was culverted but there are some big manhole covers there that suggest it runs under the widened pavement.

Until the 1970s redevelopment of the area there would have been shops running from Church Street to Bridge Road where there is now just an enlarged booking office at one end and green space. Now a bit of greenery is very welcome, and it could look even nicer if they made more of a feature of the railway station arches, but yet again you do wonder if this is just by accident rather than design and if they really had it earmarked for more hopeless buildings. Certainly at one stage there was talk of a petrol station there but that passed by. Over on the east side there isn't a lot to speak of and I can't remember what there used to be there. The 1894 map suggests a row of houses or shops was there at one stage but nothing really crops up in the 1937 directory bar one business and of course the Railway Tavern.

In the following table I am assuming that, given number 30 is the pub and that was at the north-east corner and some shops occupy two consecutive numbers, the numbering scheme was 1 to 29 from south to north and then started at 30 on the other side and increased going south. In fact I am very confident about this!

29 Cornwall tobacconists, Lodge accountants 30 Railway Tavern pub
28 Burr refreshment rooms
27 Goodwin house furnishers
26 Poole hairdresser
25 Sturton oilmen
24 Dexters fancy repository
23 Queensway Laundries, Ralls Dairy
22c Waller's Stores corn dealer
22a Cooper optician
22 Wilson draper
21 Sutton watchmaker
20 Universal Coaches
19 Millsom ham & beef dealer
18 Progressive Boot Co boot repairs
17 Welsh photographer
16 Blake & Horlock funeral directors
15 Smith draper
14 Findlay chemist 45 May gramophones, Miller chimey sweeps
13 Baptist Chapel  
12   Barclays Bank
11 Firth house furnishers
10 Firth house furnishers
9 Estelle millener
8 Estelle millener
7 Simmons music seller
6 Northend Optical Services opticians
5 Firth musical instruments
3 / 4 Martins Radio wireless suppliers
3 / 4 Tottenham & District Gas Company
1 Cornwall tobacconists

I have a photo showing the London & Provincial Bank on the triangular end plot where The Broadway and New Road meet and Barclays merged with that bank in 1918 it seems reasonable for that to be where Barclays was in 1937.

The Baptist Church was also on The Broadway and it woud have been where 12 and/or 13 would have been, though whether it was given a number is another question.

Firth's the piano shop and Firth's the house furnishers are the same company. Martins and the gas company seem to have shared numbers 3 and 4. Unless one was upstairs this might just mean the directory is showing a change of hands over the year.

I had been speculating that , when comparing with the 1890 directory, numbers 4 to 15 could correspond with Frederick Terrace, 16 to 22 could be Manor Place, and 23 to 29 could be those shops previously numbered on Railway Approach. This is all based upon the assumption that the buildings haven't changed much in the mean time and the facts that in 1890 Firth's piano shop was 2 Frederick Terrace, Sutton's was 6 Manor Place, and Dexters' was 6 Railway Approach.

Having learned that a c. 1900 Post Office directory places Manor Place here, mentioning Horlock's at number 1, and follows it with Railway Approach I feel confident about the Manor Place and Railway Approach end. However I was completely wrong about Frederick Terrace and I don't know how I managed to get myself so confused in the first place. A 1902 directory has all of The Broadway numbered as part of Fore Street but only shows shops from numbers 433 to 469 (leaving only a one number gap where the Baptist Chapel is). It mentions Bruce Terrace starting at 433 and referring back to 1890 shows number 6 as the highest recorded there. So I now want to suggest that numbers 10 to 15 are likely to be Bruce Terrace.

In 1902 Firth's piano shop was 1 Bruce Villas which it seems was at the south-west end of New Road so it probably moved between 1890 and 1902 and again by 1937. I would suggest that all the south end of The Broadway was probably a post-1902 development or redevelopment.

I haven't forgotten Frederick Terrace. In 1980 (*) that had a grocer and Post Office at number 10 and by using that as a fixed point I am confident that this was on the east side of Fore Street north of Sebastopol Road. It looks like the Albion pub could have been number 1.

(*) Clearly I can't have meant to write 1980, but I can't now recall what it should have been.

Church Street (east end)

The shops at the east end of Church Street are likely to be pretty much unchanged since 1937, especially on the west side since they are mostly 18th and 19th Century cottages. On the east side the first block of three probably dates from the 1960s or thereabouts but the others will have been built in the 1930s.

22a Joyce boot and shoe repairer
22 Pitfield tailor
20 Lewis baker
[Cedars Road]
18 Crowe fancy drapers
16 Upcott newsagents
14a Jackson cabinet makers supplies
8a Warner confectioner
6 Jay's stationers
4 Ralls & Son dairymen
2 Groves printer
9b Vango confectioner
9a Sizer ladies hairdresser
[Lion Road]
7d Marcovitch ladies tailor
7c Taylor's Stores grocer
7 Page gown manufacturers
5 KP Castle confectioners
4 KP Way & Glass butchers
3 KP Aston wireless engineers
2 KP
1 KP
5 Lloyd tobacconist
3 Johnson boot repairer
1 Bush's fried fish

The numbers marked "KP" mean addresses in Keats Parade which is a terrace of five shops built in the 1930s. Today it also includes the four shops running up to Lion Road which have the numbers 7b (the double fronted florist), 7c and 7d which I think it is fair to assume will be the same as the Church Street addresses in 1937. The post code database also records addresses for numbers 6 and 7. I should think the four shops on the end replaced a bigger house at number 7 but what number 6 is I don't know. Placing 9a and 9b on the other side of Lion Road is just a guess really but I am assuming there might have been a shop or two where the small car park is now situated.

Numbers 1–5 must surely be a replacement building because I can't believe it dates from much before the 1960s. On the west side 2–6 are the 1930s or earlier shops that are now the antique restorers, a vacant shop (that was a greengrocer for as long as I can remember) and the estate agents. Numbers 8–18 are the shops in the 18th Century cottages leading up to Cedars Road and 20 and 22 are the white early 19th Century cottages that are now used by solicitors.

Continued in part 2...

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