I read with interest David Frith’s story of Grove Lodge in the September Newsletter. In that there is a mention of, ‘the tree-lined strip which is still there and called Grove Lodge Gardens’. I rediscovered this ‘strip’ or path a few years ago.
Mention of Grove Lodge in the last Newsletter brought back memories to me. In 1948 I was a Red Cross Cadet and did voluntary duty there. At that time the Commandant was Mrs Blue when the house was a home for elderly ladies in need of full-time care.
It was quite strange in the late 1980s being uprooted from Cambridge in the middle of the night and being taken to London to go into foster care. I watched from the car and tried not to cry – even in the dark London scared me. But fear gave way to surprise when I saw that we had arrived in an attractive part of London and were passing Alexandra Palace, which to all us teenagers was known as ‘Ally Pally’. The car struggled up the steep hill and turned right into a driveway.
There were three large houses on the eastern side of Muswell Hill until the late 19th century – Bath House, The Grove and Grove Lodge. By far the oldest site was the one which still remains, Grove Lodge.
The virtues of thrift and sobriety were highly prized in Victorian society. Mrs Priscilla Wakefield (1750-1826), born in Tottenham, philanthropist and a Quaker author of children’s books, founded a Penny Bank for children which was to develop into England’s first savings bank. The movement took off in Scotland in 1848 and was rapidly followed by many others in Yorkshire and London. In his 1882 book, Thrift, Samuel Smiles said, ’The penny bank is emphatically the poor man’s purse’.
“I was all knocked up!”, said my 90-year old neighbour. This shocked me at first, but then I realized she meant she was exhausted after a flood of visitors.
The headmistress and founder of the Crouch End school was Miss Charlotte Jane Howarth Cowdroy. She was born on January 5, 1864 and died on September 22, 1932. I only saw her once when she was brought into the classroom in her wheelchair by Miss Marguerite Bennell who later succeeded her as headmistress.
Visitors discover a most unusual combination in Pages Lane: a modern church situated neatly between the mid-Victorian family house of North Bank and its stable block. The house, dating from around 1860, was built as one of Muswell Hill’s numerous Victorian villas with estates.
September 1928, aged five, my mother took me across Cranley Gardens to St. George’s Hall for my first day at school. At that time there were no nursery or play schools to help prepare a child for this big day.
In Memory of Malcolm Stokes, long standing and much-valued member of the HHS Publications Committee, who passed away on 19th July. Malcolm lived at Southwood Park, on the site of Southwood Court, where the William Wallace plaque can still be seen in the boundary wall on Southwood Lane. Our condolences to Isobel, his widow.