As previously announced, the Big Green Bookshop and the Hornsey Historical Society had organised a Wood Green History Walk to take us around the area and back into times past.

Well, it looked promising, we met about 30 fellow would-be local historians just outside the shop to explore Wood Green under the learned guidance of local legend Albert Pinching.

However, this being London, we did not get very far until it started to drizzle, the drizzle turned to a shower at the second corner and the shower got upgraded to a robust drenching that ended our tour by the time we got to Wood Green tube station, about half a mile up the road. As a consolation we got treated to a lovely rainbow over Wood Green (see picture), but it was impossible to ignore that some members of our intrepid entourage, especially those who inexplicably had left their umbrellas behind, were getting soaked to the bone.

Despite our guide's unwavering enthusiasm, the organisers decided to call it a day and we hastened back to the shop. Luckily the shop has tardis-like properties, as miraculously we all found space and seats inside, and while our umbrellas were drying in a corner we were treated to an indoors lecture on Wood Green's history. Albert passed around photocopies of images from times long past, times long before the shopping centre had been built and when the trains still went all the way up to Alexandra Palace.

So we had a satisfactory educational experience after all,  but we still hope that the walk will be repeated some time soon, ideally under kinder weather conditions. For those who can't wait that long, there are guides to historic Wood Green published by the Hornsey Historical Society.

You find a good selection of their books and booklets at the Big Green Bookshop; or you can visit their website for more information and mail order.

© Parkside Malvern Residents Association 

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