The War Years: 1939-45
A very large number of houses in Hornsey were damaged by bombs during the War. 131 houses were destroyed and a further 611 so badly affected that they had to be demolished. Many more needed repair. During 1945-50, 256 houses had been rebuilt at government expense and blocks of flats were built on other cleared sites. There were 4 rockets, 18 flying bombs, 7 parachute mines, 26 oil bombs, 287 high explosive bombs and several thousand incendiaries. This can be followed in the Bombing Maps at Bruce Castle Archive. The maps are not in the London County Council book of maps which are so invaluable in other parts of this web site as the area was not inside the L. C. C.
I walked into Crouch End School playground one morning in early 1940 to see a boy swinging a bomb round his head. Instinctively I rushed across, only to be greeted with delighted laughter. Teacher had been caught. It was the tail end of an incendiary bomb which had buried itself in soft soil and burnt out safely below ground. When the boy had salvaged it next morning, the fins were complete, attached to a bulb of melted metal and glazed earth. An Air Raid Precautions Officer had declared it safe, so he carried it off in triumph and was now displaying it. Collecting shrapnel, sharp as razors and already starting to rust, was a morning search; everyone had found some, but nobody had ever seen the tail of a bomb before, so he was king for the day.
The map below is a black and white version photocopied for me by Haringey Archive of damage in Fortis Green.