Esoteric London

No. 92: Harringay Road, N15

Posted in Amusements, London Music, Parks by esotericlondon on July 6, 2010

Harringay Road, London, N15. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

The Wilds of London – James Greenwood, 1874:

“The Retreat” provides no German band, perched up aloft, no capacious platform. Such dainties may be very well where young men and women are concerned ; but Johnson’s customers are children merely, and if the frisking lambkins desire to indulge in saltatory exercse there is a nice patch of green, and it is hard but that they can caper to the music of their own sweet voices. The beer on tap is, of course, not for these innocents, but for their elders – their fathers and grown-up brothers – who, by way of a treat, bring them to this delightful old-fashioned place. There are swings here, and roundabouts, and pretty games of puss-in-the-corner, and kiss-in-the-ring, and the entrance gate stands wide open, and there is neither policeman nor money-taker. No wonder so worthy a place is well patronized and supported! No wonder that Monday after Monday bands of schoolchildren, marshalled by benevolent gentlemen of clerical attire, with neat flags and banners bearing appropriate scriptural mottoes, are met in the green lanes on their way to “The Retreat.”