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                                                                        Courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum
Devonshire Hill Cottage, Devonshire Hill Lane -1905

Devonshire Hill Cottage (above) stood to the north of Devonshire Hill Lane about halfway between River House and Devonshire Hill Farm. The local historian, Fred Fisk, makes reference to the cottage in his "History of the Ancient Parish Of Tottenham" 1923 (Second Series):-

"On each side of the lane, a little farther [from River House], is grass; the ground here is very boggy, and there are several ponds. A pretty cottage recently stood on the right, adding to the charm of this spot; notice was served on the owner to make certain sanitary alterations which he was unwilling to pay for; compulsory measures were being adopted, but the owner scored - he pulled the cottage down!"

The cottage is not shown on the 1913 OS map and, therefore, had disappeared by the time that Samuel(2) moved to River House in 1917. In 1891, the cottage was occupied by James Abrams, a farm labourer, and his family. By the time of the 1901 census, James Killey, a gold and silversmith, and his wife, Maud, were the occupiers.  

Devonshire Hill Lane was a popular destination for Tottenham residents taking a "country stroll" and a stile, opposite River House, by the abandoned bed of the New River, gave access to a footpath leading to Weir Hall. The occupiers of the cottage obviously took advantage of the opportunity to sell refreshments to this passing trade. In addition, Hilda Beech has recalled :-

"It [Devonshire Hill Lane] was a favourite spot for walks and picnics in the fields. One enterprising man who worked at the potteries used to set up a stall by this stile for the sale of soft drinks."

Sweets and refreshments were also sold at Devonshire Hill Farm.

SAMUEL SOUTH(1) (1853-1919)

The Tottenham & Edmonton Weekly Herald, 14 March 1904, published the list of candidates standing at forthcoming Edmonton District Council Elections. Samuel South(1), representing the Ratepayers' and Traders Defence Association, was one of 21 candidates for the Fore Street Ward. The entry reads :-

South, Samuel (R), brickmaker, 43, Snells park. Proposer, P. D. Shortland; Seconder, D. R. Hanneford.

 At the election, held on 28 March, 1904, Samuel(1) received 343 votes but was amongst the 12 unsuccessful candidates. The Ratepayers Association, however,  became the majority party.

Newspaper reports published afterwards suggest that local elections created greater interest amongst the electorate than the apathy of today, as the following extracts describe :-

"The excitement of the elections was mostly concentrated in the last three hours. Everybody who was anybody for this particular occasion was about. Candidates and their friends who had been unable to forego their daily toil now appeared on the scene, and the knots of men and women and boys at the polling places grew larger and more excited, and the noise increased in volume....................Darkness closed in upon a busy scene. Motors and all manner of vehicles, from smart carriages to a humble and a somewhat dilapidated looking van, travelled to and from the railway stations and up and down the streets .......Ratepayers and Progressives were both well off for conveyances .......although the Socialists could only boast one or two...... It would be difficult to have found a more lively spot .....than the Lower Edmonton railway station. Hundreds of people collected there, and the efforts to induce the travellers to "jump up" made a curious and interesting spectacle....... In the final hour the strain on the polling stations was very considerable...... the doors were shut, and so many people were admitted at a time"     


Entrance to Samuel South & Sons - 1960

Samuel(1) transferred his Edmonton pottery business to premises in White Hart Lane in 1886 where it remained until the site was sold to Idris Ltd. in 1960. The present owners acquired the site in 1997 and the warehouses erected by Idris are utilised as self storage units, with an area of 200,000 square feet, under the trading name of Safehouse. The accompanying photographs illustrate the changes to the site entrance which has remained in the same location.

Entrance to Safehouse - 2004


"Jim" South passed away on 31 July, 2004, aged 92. The last survivor of the eight children of Samuel(2) and Emily Maud South; the end of an era has finally drawn to a close.

KLB 9/04


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