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 © John Batten Photography

This map, a rather creative amalgam of older Hornsey parish boundaries dating from 1350 onwards, represents an approximate catchment area for a somewhat random collection of scenes and views which we locals ourselves sometimes miss - assembled here now mainly for the benefit of a far-away relative who wants to see what the area I inhabit is like. (Hello Clare!). Unless otherwise stated all the photos (it's probably best to view them in sequence as some are inter-connected, but it's not essential) were taken within the approximate confines of the map, though some were taken from the edges and look outwards. WYSIWYG does not apply here: what you see is not what you get because I have excluded any scene with a vehicle in it - unless the vehicle is the subject. Hornsey itself was heavily bombed by the Germans during WWII, when over 80 per cent of the houses suffered damage. The area covered by the map is predominantly contained within the modern London Borough of Haringey, where nearly 200 different languages are spoken.

Although the visual impact of endless streets of vehicles has driven me, so to speak, to its open spaces and odd out of the way corners today’s photographer also has to deal with other hazards – at one time or another I have been told to leave by uniformed 'security' guards of questionable legitimacy, as well as being accused of spying for the Inland Revenue, Social Services and more recently Border Controls. So I have steered away from people - London is of course people - towards rus in urbe wherever I can find it. I am very grateful to Haringey Borough Council and to the Hornsey Historical Society and its contributors for constantly adding to my knowledge.

I admit that this brief random visual tour lacks drama. For example the last legal execution by guillotine in France was in 1977, and the garrotte in Spain was still available in 1974. In contrast and apart from Ring Cross (as the conjunction of Holloway Road and Hornsey Road was then called) I have not been able to find any reference to an execution site in Hornsey after C15th., and even this is unverified. We have of course had forms of illegal 'executions' as alleged and contested in the case of Mark Duggan by the police, and in the dreadfully sad case of PC Blakelock by rioters. Fortunately these events are untypical and Hornsey today is a peaceful thriving place full of good things...