Each borough recorded bombing incidents in its own way. Islington had cards; the LCC had an invaluable set of maps, now at the London Metropolitan Archive, plotting each incident and its gravity. This was drawn as the basis for the Abercrombie Plan for rebuilding of London. The whole set of maps was published by the London Topographical Society in 2005 in colour and is an invaluable resource.

Hornsey has an enormous grey book in which every incident is recorded.Some were bombs; some were our own anti-aircraft shells, exploded or unexploded. In Birchwood Avenue an unexploded bomb was reported but could not be found. In Fordington Road a high-explosive bomb made a crater 14 feet across and 16 feet 6 inches deep. In Duke's Avenue an unexploded bomb caused 80-100 people to be evacuated until it was defused. So the list goes on; ten incendiaries in Barrenger Road and, in April 1941, two incendiaries which gutted St James's Church. At the top of Firs Avenue, opposite the stables, three houses were bombed by a high explosive and some incendiaries, setting fire to the gas and bursting the water main. These houses have now been replaced by modern ones.

A flying bomb which landed at the top of Midhurst Avenue destroyed buildings on both sides of Fortis Green. Nos 3 and 4 Lime Tree Cottages, 1,2,3 and 4 Cheapside, all cottages like those still existing further along the road, were destroyed and the west corner of Long Ridges, Billy Collins's five storey block of flats in Fortis Green was partly demolished. Damage to surrounding property included shops, the electricity substation and a first aid post. Thirty persons had to be accommodated at St James's Rest Centre. The photograph below shows the scale of the damage, with furniture exposed, balanced on the edges of broken floors.

Today a block of post-war flats in an older terrace may well pin-point a bombing incident, while the change of brick colour in a gable wall may reveal that the building was once damaged and repaired.


Destruction by a flying bomb in Fortis Green.

Today a block of post-war flats in an older terrace may well pin-point a bombing incident, while
the change of brick colour in a gable wall may reveal that the building was once damaged and repaired.

 

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The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps 1939-45, London Topographical Society, © London Metropolitan Archive.

Haringey Archive, Bruce Castle

Ibid

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