Gilpin Grove, Edmonton pg1

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Note 1: Information from Enfield Local Studies Library & Archive.

Here are three photos taken at the street party held to celebrate the end of World War II. A truck is being used as a stage and it is parked adjacent to the air-raid shelter in the square. The first photo is looking east towards the square while the second photo is looking south towards Gilpin Crescent.

The third photo on the right is similar to the second one but taken either earlier or later in the day. Click on the photos to see larger versions with more information.

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Gilpin Grove, Edmonton.

Gilpin Grove was built in about 1881 (more info here) and demolished in the 1960s (note 1). It is situated in Edmonton, London, in an area bounded in the north by Silver Street and in the east by Fore Street (formerly the A10 but now designated the A1010 - see the street map of the area).

The street name comes from John Gilpin, a character in a 1782 comic ballad: “The Diverting History of John Gilpin” by William Cowper. The ballad links John Gilpin to The Bell Inn, Fore Street. In Gilpin Grove there was a pub called “The Bell” on the north-west corner of the junction with Fore Street. Here’s a link to an earlier photo of Fore Street and the Bell pub (the link also shows other photos of Edmonton including one of the Alcazar cinema destroyed by a V1 doodlebug bomb in the fall of 1944, the closest that a bomb came to Gilpin Grove in WWII).

Next to the Bell on Gilpin Grove was a yard belonging to a coal delivery business. Originally, the coal was delivered on horse-drawn carts and so there were stables in the yard. Later, lorries (trucks) were used and they were stored there under cover. There were large solid wooden gates across the entrance. Next to the yard was Gilpin Cottage, a smaller two-storey house tacked onto the end of No. 1 Gilpin Grove.


From the street map detail you can see that Gilpin Grove consisted of two streets in a “T” formation with an enclosed public square. The houses were back-splits with two and a half storeys at the front and two stories behind. On the right is a 1958 photo of the square with the camera is situated at the north-west corner looking in a south-easterly direction. The camera is approximately in front of No. 56, the house in which I lived. Click on the photo to see a larger version with more information.


On the left is another photo taken in 1958, this time with the camera situated beyond the south-west corner of the square and looking in a north-easterly direction. Click on the photo to see a larger version with more information.


At right is a photo taken in 1957 showing the rear of the houses. Click on the photo to see a larger version with more information.

The Square

During the second world war, a standard brick air-raid shelter with a flat concrete roof was built on the square (we also had an Anderson shelter in our back yard). Some years after the war, the shelter in the square was demolished and crazy-paving and gardens were installed. It must have been very attractive when it was completed but, unfortunately, we local kids over-ran the gardens and they didn’t survive the treatment.

There was a brick wall six or seven feet high across the end of Gilpin Grove at the junction with College Gardens and so there was very little traffic around the square; it provided a good, safe playing area for the kids that lived on the street and kept them in sight of their parents.

Street party to celebrate the end of WWII