The Hornsey Hornet – December 2023

The second edition of the new Hornet in which we highlight forthcoming events, flag some offers from the Society, preview the next Bulletin and draw attention to some articles from the Society’s web archive

Hornsey Hornet December 2023 masthead

Bimonthly update from the Hornsey Historical Society

HHS Books Offer

In the spirit of seasonal sales, this year the HHS is offering 20% off a selected collection of its award-winning publications.

Articles on the website

In this edition of the Hornet, as a way of drawing attention to the growing wealth of material on our website, we’re featuring two articles from previous years.

 Slowsh’mstall and South of Hog’s Back

Slowsh’ms….what!? This article from Ian Murray, first Chairman of Hornsey Historical Society and Haringey Council Archivist will reveal all! In this informative piece, Ian looks at the part of Hornsey to the south of the ridge of high ground, known as the Hog’s Back which stretches from Highgate by way of Hornsey Lane and Mountview Road to Harringay Station.

Crouch End Opera House

Crouch End used to boast its own opera house at 31 Topsfield Parade. In her article, Deirdre Dean provides a history of the Crouch End’s Opera from its controversial beginnings through to its demise.

More history of the Opera House will be picked up by Hugh Flouch in his HHS talk about the Christey’s of Crouch End early next summer – keep your eye on our talks programme.

Hornsey Hornet and the HHS Newsletter?

Following the publication of the first Hornet in October, we had a couple of questions seeking clarification about the difference between the Hornet and the HHS Newsletter. Essentially the Newsletter provides new content with news abut the Society and some history articles, whereas the Hornet is designed to draw members’ attention to existing material and to flag up events run by us and other organisations. Please address any further questions to us at publications[at]

Special membership offer

We have extended our special membership offer till 15 January. Bundling books and membership, these offers provide some helpful savings for lovers of local history. See full details on our website.

HHS Bulletin 65

The next edition of our award-winning annual Bulletin, is currently in the final stages of production and will be with you early next Spring, This year’s articles include:

Picturing the past and the present: the Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace – An account providing an overall sense of some of the significant developments since the Palace Theatre’s birth in 1873.

The Hillcrest Estate in Highgate – An illustrated account of the Hillcrest Estate on North Hill, Highgate, built by Hornsey Borough Council between 1946 to 1949 on the site of Park House, a large Regency mansion.

Hornsey in literature – An overview of how Hornsey has appeared in literary writing since the 18th century, and then to consider how it has been represented in a selection of recent works.

Author and Newspaperman, R. O. Sherington: Hornsey’s first history and its survival through local press rivalries and local petty jealousies – the story of the first publisher of the Hornsey Journal, his sojourn in British Guiana and the tribulations he faced when he published Hornsey’s first history.

Celebrating a Blunder: the Balaclava Banquet and Fete Alexandra Palace 1875 – On 25th October 1875 at 4 o’clock, 250 people sat down in the recently rebuilt Alexandra Palace for a sumptuous banquet. This was part of a huge all-day event called The Balaclava Banquet and Fete.

Bishopsgate Institute Archive tour

The Bishopsgate Institute has collected books, maps, and photos for over 125 years. The collections have grown to include stories of activism and protest, as well as of everyday Londoners. From counter-culture guidebooks to placards and suffragette sashes, the Institute holds the records of organisations that have strived for political and social change. The tour will go down into the Institute’s archive store and is for anyone with an interest in London history.

More information

What’s on

Dec ’23 to Feb ’24 HHS events

Churchill and the loss of Everest at the foot of Crouch Hill

14th Feb 2024 7:45 pm

Speaker: Tom Barclay Matchett

What brought Churchill to Crouch End to reunite with his childhood nurse and nanny?

Other events

London’s squares and gardens

10th Jan 2024 8:00 pm

Speaker: Peter Mathers

An online talk based mainly on the popular London Open Gardens Weekend. This talk is a pictorial tour around some of the famous and less well-known green spaces of our capital city.

The Everyday Heroes of Postman’s Park

7 Jan 17:00 – 19:00

Dr. John Price

Revealing the fascinating lives and untimely deaths of people commemorated in the Postman’s Park Memorial to heroic self sacrifice by ‘ordinary’ people who lost their lives saving others.

By: London Metropolitan Archives.

London Bridge: A History of the People of Southwark

2 Feb 18:30 – 20:00

Author Margaret Willes reveals the life and times of the people of Southwark, capturing the Borough’s anarchic spirit of revelry. By Southwark Cathedral. More information.

Jewish history Walking tours of Tottenham

21 and 23 Jan (Mornings)

Two different and equally fascinating Jewish history walking tours around Tottenham. The tours will last approximately 2 hours. Booking essential. Organised by Bruce Castle Museum. More information.

Satirical Cartoons: A History

25 Jan 18:00 – 19:00

How do cartoons and visual satire operate? This lecture will look at when humans first created art and at the dawn of satire. Organised by Gresham College.

Download PDF of the Hornsey Hornet

Hornsey Hornet December 2023
The Hornsey Hornet – December 2023 PDF

The Hornsey Hornet is designed and edited by Hugh Flouch and published bimonthly by the Hornsey Historical Society, Old Schoolhouse, 136 Tottenham Lane, London N8 7EL | info [at] | 020 8348 8429. ©Hornsey Historical Society. Registered charity no. 274424.

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