The Hornsey Hornet – October 2023

This is the first issue of the Hornsey Hornet providing an update of news of things on the website and elsewhere that you may easily miss.

Hornsey Hornet October 2023 masthead

The Hornsey Hornet was a short-lived local newspaper published in Hornsey from 1866 to 1867. The masthead at the top of this page is an exact copy of the Hornet’s original masthead, taken from one of the original editions held at Bruce Castle Museum.

The Recollections of Clementina May

At the HHS we have recently published our latest book. Based on the vivid memories of Topsfield Hall resident Clementina (Clemmie) May, the book recalls a privileged life in late Victorian Hornsey. Clemmie was the youngest child of Henry and Sarah Elder of Topsfield Hall, Crouch End, who married Frank May, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England in 1879. The memories were recorded a few months before the author’s death in 1942, aged 92. Order on the HHS website.

Making the HHS Bulletins easier to access

Our back catalogue of Bulletins is packed with lots of fascinating articles. Built up over the 50 years of the Society’s existence, we still have stock of many of the back issues. They can be ordered online or purchased in person at the Old School House on Tottenham Lane. We are currently working on digitising our collection to make them readable online and on your own digital devices. If you can’t wait, we have printed copies available. You can explore our catalogue on the HHS website.

Short articles on the website

Each month we add one or two articles to the website. Two of the recent additions are highlighted below.

The Aged Pilgrims’ Asylum

The Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society, founded in 1807 provided pensions for, ‘aged and infirm Christian poor of the age of sixty and above whose income does not exceed five shillings per week’. Fourteen postcards which provide a complete record of the Asylum buildings from every direction. The Archive holds copies also of two 1870s articles from The Builder, both with beautiful engravings of the building at different stages of its occupancy. Read about it on the website. Charles

Parish Cottages in Hornsey High Street

Wealthy residents of Hornsey together with officials of the ancient parish, have at various times since the early seventeenth century, provided cottages for the poor at different locations. Read on the website about Hornsey’s free housing for the poor, long before the advent of council houses.

What’s your view of the Hornsey Hornet?

We’re testing the ground with this first issue of the Hornet to see what our members think of a more regular update with news of things on the website and elsewhere that you may easily miss. Are we on the right track? Would you like to see this become a regular feature? What sort of things should we include? Please let us know at publications[at]hornseyhistorical.org.uk. (Please substitute [at] with the @ symbol]

HHS bookshelf

Did you know that the HHS now has almost 70 books available online? They can be sent worldwide or collected at the Old Schoolhouse on Tottenham Lane. See our full collection on the HHS website.

What’s On

HHS Events

Charles Roach Smith and the first Museum of London

8th Nov 2023 8:00 pm

Speaker: Michael Rhodes

An online talk about how Smith established a small museum behind his Pharmacy in the City with the antiquities being unearthed in excavations for new sewers.

The Story of Pantomime

13th Dec 2023 8:00 pm

Speaker: Malcolm Jones

An online talk tracing the story of panto from 18th century political satire through to 19th century fairytale story plots and the extrovert Music Hall of today’s Christmas pantomime today.

Other events

The London Menagerie: Animals in London History

18th Nov 10:15 – 17:30

Museum of London Docklands

Themed around animals and London across its history, from Cockney ‘sparrers’ to ‘fantastic beasts’, bears in medieval London and Turkish baths for animals in Victorian London.

Organised by LAMAS.

Nurseries of Disaffection?”

Speaker: Joanna Bourke

7 Dec 19:30 – 21:00

This talk looks at the early history of adult education in London, exploring why working people thought it was important and the resistance they experienced from political and religious elites. London.

Organised by Camden History Society.


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 |

| 020 8348 8429. ©Hornsey Historical Society. Registered charity no. 274424. The London

Download a PDF of the Hornsey Hornet

Hornsey Hornet October 2023
The Hornsey Hornet – October 2023 PDF
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