A Walk Down Memory Lane
I’d taken a 141 bus to Turnpike Lane from the end of my road and alighted opposite the station.
Or should I put the local name underneath which sounded like Turnpicky Larny. I wonder if it’s still used.
I walked down the west side of Wood Green High Road and the first place I remembered was the Marks and Spencer on the other side.
I didn’t go in, but it certainly looked to be in a worse state than how I remember it from the 1960s, when it was one of their flagship stores. I visited it many times, as a bag carrier for my mother, when she used to do the food shopping, when she was working with my father in Wood Green.
Further up you can still see the remains of the old Wood Green Empire above the Halifax.
I can remember going there once to see the pantomime. It may have been Babes in the Wood, with Ted Ray, but even if I hadn’t had the stroke, I wouldn’t be sure.
My father also claimed that he’d appeared on the stage there in a variety show. But at one time, I know he did print the programs and posters for the theatre, so perhaps he did a deal. Knowing him, that could have been possible.
The centre of Wood Green High Road used to be crossed by a railway bridge that carried the Palace Gates railway line to Palace Gates from Seven Sisters. At one time there was a station in the area called Noel Park and Wood Green, but although I can remember the bridge and trains running on the line, I can’t remember the station. To the south of the bridge there used to be a pub called the Alexandra, which was pulled down in the 1960s or just before to build Wood Green’s first supermarket. Now the whole area has been redeveloped as Wood Green Shopping City.
Moving along towards Wood Green tube station, I passed what some refer to correctly as the Broadway, but I just remember it as the place where you caught the trolley buses. On the left there used to be a restaurant called the QS for Quick Service and one of the first burger bars. I can remember visiting both quite a few times with my mother. I can still remember and smell, the chef, Ally, turning the greasy burgers as he fried them.
On the corner opposite the tube station, there is a pub which is now called the Goose.
I think the pub used to be called the Nag’s Head and it is part of a family tale. My father used to live with his mother over the print works in Station Road, which is just around the corner. One Sunday morning her dog, who was a renowned thief, arrived back with a large cooked joint of beef in his jaws. My grandmother, immediately washed such a prize present off and that was the family’s Sunday lunch. My father surmised that the chef in the Nag’s Head had put the cooked joint on the window sill of the kitchen at the back of the pub to cool down a bit and the dog just couldn’t resist.
I then crossed the road by the tube station to catch a 141 bus back home from where the trolley buses stopped.
All of these stations from Cockfosters to Turnpike Lane are very much part of my childhood and I remember them all with affection.
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