A Tale of 8 Tottenhams

Unit 16, 17, 18.

MillMead Business Centre, MillMead Road,

Tottenham Hale, London, N17 9QU.

That's the address of Bally Studios. Tottenham Hale. As opposed to Tottenham. Not Tottenham Green, or Tottenham High Road. Tottenham Hale. Sometimes people ask, "why is it called Tottenham Hale, as opposed to Tottenham?"
Well, for a start, it was not really my choice. When I took over the business in 2005, that was the address. I did not really question the "Hale" part, I just accepted that it was part of the address. However, it is an important distinction, and it says a lot about the area in general. Tottenham Hale is very different to Tottenham: Tottenham as a whole is an incredibly varied area. In fact, it is pretty pointless asking "what is it like in Tottenham?" You may as well say, "what is it like living in North London?" Or "how do you find living in Haringey?"
Haringey is quite possibly the UK's most varied council borough. There was a show a few years ago with Kirsty and Phil from “Location, Location Location”, and they said it was the most varied in Britain, and I'd be inclined to believe them. In recent years, Haringey Council has been famous for a few things. If I am being honest, not all of them are good. The "Baby P"scandal happened in Tottenham, and it was the shooting in Tottenham of Mark Duggan that sparked the nationwide riots that happened in August 2011. The Broadwater riots were also in Tottenham in 1985. However, Haringey is also home to some of the finest parts of London. Highgate and Muswell Hill are in Haringey, and a three-bedroom flat in either of them will set you back at least £500,000, (unless you get a fixer upper) You can also get a three-bedroom flat in Tottenham for £165,000, despite them being in the same borough. Haringey straddles both ends of the social and financial spectrum, and Tottenham is also an area that has a feel of a collection of smaller areas, all banded under the same name. A 5 minute walk can take you through 3 of the areas, some of them are that close. Some are better than others. I've lived and worked here for 8 years, so I have a pretty good understanding of the area. And it is this huge variation in the different areas that makes it so intersting. For every mention in the newspapers that Tottenham will get for the London riots, there are also hidden gems, such as Bruce Castle....
Which is in Tottenham! As is the All Hallows Church, which dates back to the 12th century
Yep, also in Tottenham. I always think that Tottenham can be best summed up by the fact that on the high road, just before you get to a one-way system, right next to the Kwik-Fit and new affordable homes that are being built, and directly opposite the Chinese takeaway and 3 separate hairdressers is a monument that dates back to 1600, slap bang in the middle of the road! And I mean literally, the cars and buses have to drive around it....
See, Tottenham can be funny like that. The vast majority of my time living and working in Tottenham, I look back on with a fondness that actually shocks most people.
“Where do you live? “
“Oh God, really? Wow, what's it like?”
Yeah, I've had that conversation a few times. Hence this blog post. Despite that impression, I've lived here quite happily. I used to live up in Foyle Road, Northumberland Park, Tottenham, in a fantastic Victorian property with great features, big back garden, and great bus links, before moving to Bream Close, Tottenham Hale, which was a few minutes walk to the station, and next to the Walthamstow fisheries
So here is a little guide to all of the different parts that make up Tottenham. Some of these boundaries I have drawn are unofficial, but are recognised by many people who live in Tottenham. Also, it is just my personal opinion about the areas, so do not be surprised if anyone else disagrees with me. However, they are all honest accounts of a part of London that I hold very dear to my heart. They are also very honest. I have had to point out the bad parts as well as the good parts. The only point in the blog post is to inform people honestly about the area. If I were to cover up the worst parts of the are, then it would be misleading. In fact, some of the best aspects of the area are actually in some of the least desirable areas. As I said, Tottenham is funny like that.
In coming weeks, on Monday of every week, we will be looking at each of the different parts of Tottenham, which are:
1.) Tottenham Hale 2.) Northumberland Park 3.) Bruce Grove 4.) White Hart Lane 5.) Seven Sisters 6.) South Tottenham 7.) Black Boy Lane/St Ann's 8.) Bruce Castle/Lordship Lane

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Comment by Stephanie Jones on October 15, 2013 at 19:09

Hi Sharonvirtue,

I've lived in Tottenham since 2006, and enjoy living here although it does have its challenges.  What annoys me so much if the almost inevitable negative response when you tell people that you live in Tottenham, because it many people's minds it's seen as some awful dump full of "sink" council estates, and benefit scroungers who only stop scrounging long enough to stage the odd riot.  it's certainly not a place that many people would ever consider living.

However I note that the above negative viewpoint is changing, and the make up of Tottenham is once again changing.  Due to property and rental prices being significantly lower than other nearby areas, new people/communities are moving in and creating an even more diverse culture.

Happy to discuss more if you would still like to.



Comment by sharonvirtue on August 18, 2013 at 3:35

Looking for tottenham residents to talk about life in the area. saw the great post in which the difference between wards/neigborhood lines were discussed in great detail. I'm interested to know why the boundaries are important- what do they represent to you? what does blurring the boundaries mean?, do you feel the people in those neighborhoods have strong  ties to those boundaries?

 please send me a message if you are interested in talking about your life here, and what you think the future of tottenham looks like, with all the planned regeneration projects.

Comment by tottenhamlife on March 15, 2013 at 11:54

No worries - I have a touch skin. Glad you pointed that out mind you - as the map doesn't have a 'Heading'. I should take more notice - as I am a member of ABC (Association of British Counties)

Comment by Hugh from Harringay Online on March 15, 2013 at 11:42

Just sharing my viewpoint - no offence intended.

Comment by Catherine MacArthur on March 15, 2013 at 11:37

Sorry I spoke Hugh!

Comment by Hugh from Harringay Online on March 15, 2013 at 11:31

Catherine, your map, as I'm sure you know is a ward map, with the wards on the old borough of Tottenham shown in red. Wards are boundaries drawn for the convenience of electoral purposes. The fact that each has to contain a certain size of population means they often do not respect historical or present day neighbourhood boundaries. They should only be used as a background to understanding London's neighbourhoods. Look at St Ann's ward, for example. One third of St Ann's ward is in Harringay - no one says they live in St Ann's or thinks of themselves as doing so. A few decades ago, St Ann's ward didn't exist. Check the history - only the names have changed, the geography hasn't. And what of Wood Green and Bowes Park? If we follow the ward map above, they don't exist.

I applaud the author of this post. I think it's great to get a more granular understanding of the various neighbourhood in Tottenham. I would add my pennethworth to area 7 - in a slightly different shape, it's actually West Green. It's centre is the top of Blackboy Lane, but since it lost its station in the Beeching cuts its identity has seeped away. In my view it would do West Green an enormous amount of good to recapture its identity and feel the love!

Comment by Catherine MacArthur on February 24, 2013 at 18:59

Hii whoever put up the post above about Tottenham .. ( I can't see a little picture of you with your name .. ?

I think your map may be out of date, for example 'Black Boy Lane/St Ann's' doesn't exist.

The wards in Tottenham are; 1) White Hart Lane 2) Northumberland Park, 3) West Green 4) bruce Grove 5) Tottenham Hale 6) St Ann's 7) Tottenham Green and 8) Seven SIsters

Comment by Catherine MacArthur on February 24, 2013 at 18:53

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