A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
The rare and iconic "Tin Tabernacle" in Herbert Road by Bowes Park station is currently under review for demolition and replacement with a new build office and residential development by the site owners the Samaritans Charity.
The building has remained largely unused for many years and is showing signs of deterioration, but it is a distinctive piece of local architecture and is an important part of local history.
A similar application by the Samaritans was refused planning permission in 2008. Consultation by Haringey Council on the current development has attracted significant opposition from local residents - as well as those with an interest in local history including the Hornsey Historical society, The Victorian Society and local historian, author and expert on all things Historic Albert Pinching.
Back in March another discussion on this site commented that a similar bulding had been given a Grade II listing - However the Bowes Park building has been deemed not of significant merit to warrant listing.
It would be a shame to see it go - but it would be good if the building in its current form could be put to a positive use.
Does anyone know anything of it's history or use?
The current fence and gate at the tin tabernacle, and the poor upkeep of the site, currently make it a bit of an eyesore, but having it spruced up is not inconceivable, and it would be interesting to see it in use as a community building.
The planning application is rather concerning, as it sounds like they are trying to cram far more into the site than is suitable, including, if I understand it correctly, not only a 24/7 Samaritans office/drop-in centre, but also 4 residential flats with doors that would open onto the alley?!
I was contacted this week by a former Wood Green Resident, Bob Rust, with some interesting information about the history of Shaftesbury Hall.
Bob has done some research into Donald Macadie the inventor/maker of the AVO meter which was first produced in 1923.
Donald Macadie lived in Bowes Road at the corner of Moffat Road. He worked as a Post Office engineer and he became dissatisfied with having to carry many separate instruments required for the maintenance of the telecommunication circuits. Macadie invented the first instrument, which could measure Amps, Volts and Ohms, so the multifunctional meter was called an AVO meter.
It would seem that Macadie rented Shaftesbury Hall for a time to use as an assembly shop for his invetion.
At the Bowes Park Community Association meeting this week there was some discussion about the Shaftesbury Hall - and I was reminded of this discussion earlier in the year.
Shaftesbury Hall is a lovely building - with a fascinating history. It would be terrific if it could be brought back into community use.
Pleased to see that the planning application was refused:
Its a shame as although its a cheap building with its corrugated sheet roof and corrugated steel walls its really very attractive with the elegant arch shaped windows and has obviously been maintained to a high standard.
I presume that the building would be very cold and difficult to insulate. Perhaps local residents should meet with the Samaritans to provide their input into what its replaced with.
The only time I was inside this building was when it was used as a rehearsal space. Would be perfect for hire as a small studio, pilates classes etc
It belongs to the Samaritans and I think they are looking to make some money from developing the site hence the 4 two bed flats.
In the mid 1980s it was used by 'Haringey Community Workshops', a government-funded scheme to help the medium-term unemployed back to work. I, and a couple of dozen other creative-but-too-lazy-to-work types (musicians, actors, alternative comedians, mime and performance artists, writers, etc.) , hung out there weekday mornings planning out 'workshops', and then in the afternoon were bussed out to various community centres (e.g. for the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged, after school playgroups, etc.) and run creatinve & artistic activities for them. It was great fun and really creative, and the people we took our workshops to really appreciateed us. By 1990 it had closed down due to a combination of funding cuts and bad management - a great pity. I have photos and some video footage somewhere.
Sounds brilliant - the sort of scheme we could do with recreating!
I'd love to see some images and/or video - it would be really good to showcase that bit of local history and it might even be a catalyst for thinking about re-use of Shaftesbury Hall as a community arts space again.
Yes, I second that Richard!
Fascinating! I walk past this all the time and often wonder about it. What about the one on Braemar Avenue - is that still in use by the Baptist Church there?
Just doing some research on Tin Tabernacles and came across this website, which includes a small pic of one in Finchley: http://www.tintabernacles.com/Archive.html
A Message from Caroline Simpson:
"Shaftesbury Hall, Carlton Road, Bowes Park, was registered in 1885. It had attendances of 78 and 103 in 1903 and was still used by Baptists in 1937 but had been closed by 1954. (fn. 35) “
From: 'Tottenham: Protestant nonconformity', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5: Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham (1976), pp. 356-364. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=26995.