Tottenham is hardly the bonniest or most photogenic place in London.
It has a famous football team but in the past 40 odd years has also been infamous for riots.
Both emanated from the Broadwater Farm Estate which is shown on my first nine photos.
Broadwater Farm was built in 1973 and was initially very popular but soon fell into unpopularity as faults with the development became apparent: infestations of cockroaches from the waste shafts, lots of problems of damp and the high level walkways between buildings acting as perfect getaways for criminals.
In 1985 the police raided a flat searching for ‘stolen goods’ and one of the residents – a black middle-aged lady took such fright that she had a heart attack and died. There were accusations of police racism and rioting took place – initially outside the police station in the High Road but soon confined to the Estate.
The rioting got so bad that a police officer – PC Keith Blakelock was killed by the mob.
When calm was restored, Michael Heseltine investigated and some improvements to the Estate were made – including that most of the troublesome high level interconnecting walkways were removed.
The second case of rioting was rather more recent, in 2011, following the shooting by the police of Mark Duggan, a resident of Broadwater Farm, near to Tottenham Hale (my next to last picture is of the rather garish buildings at Tottenham Hale Station). Mark Duggan was a known local criminal and it was claimed he was armed and indeed a gun was found close to where he was shot, though suspicion probably remains as to whether it was his gun.
Mark Duggan’s death caused rioting on a much larger scale in the centre of Tottenham; rioting which soon spread to other parts of London and to other places in Britain.
Again improvements to the Estate were promised, though from what I have read most of these were social improvements – such as the well-run football club for young kids on the estate – run by a resident.
Whilst I was photographing I met a nice chap – a Muslim guy who I think may have one time originated from Sudan. He spoke very well educated English and told me that he was visiting a friend, and that many of the flats were ‘horrible’ inside and asked about demolition. I knew of no demolition plans (there aren’t any) and since the Estate houses some 4,800 people there are not likely to be any.
According to Wikipedia, the crime rate on the Estate is now massively reduced and below the average for Haringey Borough (the local authority).
I have followed my photos of the Broadwater Farm Estate with some photos of the Tottenham High Road and some of the emerging new football stadium. The football stadium is going to be huge – as so many of the new ones are and I wondered looking at it, if it might last as long as that well known stadium – the Coliseum in Rome – but I rather doubt it… The stadium will result in a lot of new development of housing and some general improvement to the town centre when it is complete.
The High Road is full of rather low grade shops but the buildings are really very nice high street architecture and in a place such a Hampstead or Richmond the same buildings would be trendy and fashionable shops and restaurants.
The last picture I have of the High Road itself is one that I have called Amazing Cakes
How sweet the taste…
(With apologies to Reverend John Newton who wrote the well known hymn)