The trees I think were planted by the Council. The owners probably paid extra and it was added in with the road-making which was then about £1 a foot frontage. The cost of the trees was added to that.

Straddling the Fortis estate was a fish pond running from Birchwood through Fortismere Avenue to Leaside. I remember once over lunch hanging my line in and catching two perch on one hook. One had eaten the other, or tried to. The pond was full of perch. There were numerous streams and ditches in what must have been meadow land. 1t was drained into the sewers at the time of building.

Below the fishpond, between it and the area of Grand Avenue was a paddock. My father was very keen on horses and he had a lot of jumps erected in that area. The pond was on the brow of the slope, I don't know quite where the water was coming from but it must have been draining in from somewhere.

The shopping centre was all built by Edmondsons except I think for one parade, the one on the south east corner of the roundabout. I can't remember who built that but it wasn't Edmondson. My father didn't do any of the shops except a row at the end of Collingwood Avenue and the row of shops from Firs Avenue to the corner. Our offices are in that row now in1975.

The man who built the United Reform Church in the Broadway was Baines. He built a lot of non-conformist churches in the area. They all look a bit like wedding cakes but they are definitely better than some. Baines also built the Baptist Church, or rather he designed it. He was the architect. That was built at the same time as the shopping centre was being built, both churches were. It must have been about 1905.

Baines also built the Ferme Park Church in Crouch End. That's gone now, but when 1 was a youth I remember being taken down there and meeting him. He was wearing the regulation frockcoat, silk hat and probably a monocle. I remember being right up the roof of the church and looking down into the body of the church as the work was going on.

 

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