Firs Farm was to the east of Firs Lane – just north of the present day Fairway. The farmhouse was built in 1720 by a Mrs Childs. Alan Dumayne tells us it was ‘a tall building with a mansard roof’, and that the land had once been owned by the Dean and Chapter of St Pauls.
The lands of Firs Farm extended to the north and east. On the farm’s demolition in 1927, part of the land became housing (presumably Rayleigh Road and Harlow Road) and the rest, sports grounds. The name of the farm is remembered in Firs Farm Primary School.
19 replies on “Firs Farm”
Hi all I have particular interest in photos of this housing from 1951 my year of birth I have vague memories of living there and would like to see pictures if there are any I just remember single story accommodation believe in a square or rectangle, we moved to Potters Bar to the Edmonton side.
Being now in my 80’s and sitting at my screen, I am reminded of many pleasant memories of living at 100 the Fairway – 1940 to 1960. First school was at Hazelbury Infants in Westerham Avenue, which was quite a reasonable walk from our house – Yes, children DID walk to school in those days. I still treasure a photograph of the school celebrations of the May Queen from about 1945, with the maypole around which we all danced dressed as gypsies (would anyone like to see a copy?) Very much in evidence was the headmistress – Miss Turner – somehow being referred to, irreverently, as Miss Turnip.
The next school was Silver Street, subsequently renamed as Huxley and now converted to residential units. It was a tough old school with asphalt to play on and not a blade of grass anywhere. Nevertheless, one day because my birthday fell in August, I was hauled out of my year and found myself taking some sort of test -. Aged 10. Things went well for me that day, and I found that I had passed the 11+ and was to move to Latymer Grammar School. Enough of school life, does anyone recall some sort of smallholding just past where the Fairway meets Firs Lane? During the early ’50’s this was developed and about 8 local shops were built there together with residential accommodation, art of which became Myrtle Road. Before all this took place, I remember there was a very old cottage on the site, completely covered in ivy, which of course was demolished.
Local history has become very precious to me and, now living in Hertfordshire, I am a volunteer with Hertfordshire Archives, although unable to meet at present due to covid19.
I went to firs farm school in the sixties and I lived in franlaw crescent on the other side of tatum Park. I remember casseys newsagents and Norman’s fruit and veg. Dewhurst butchers (had a sat job there) lovely little clothes shop opposite the Cambridge pub called Morleys anyone remember that? Summer holidays spent in tatum Park with the magic show and the big old round paddling pool. Happy days!
FAO Terry… My father used to take me to the roundabout on the Great Cambridge Road, via the alley way around Firs Farm Primary School playing field (which i attended from 1956 approx). We went to buy Triang or Corgi small car replicas… what a treat!
I am a teacher at Firs Farm Primary school and I am trying to find information about its history. Year 2 are learning about how schools changed in our local area- so I was very interested in the memories you shared on this site.
I would really like to find out more about what school life was like when you attended and have a look at your photograph- maybe even use it with the children- if possible? So much has been lost when the web pages have been changed! Please get in touch if you understand more how this site works.
Hi Carol !, I remember accompanying my mother, who shopped at the Cambridge roundabout – once queuing for oranges during WW2 (they had just come into the shop). Yes, I definitely remember a shop selling toys. A little later – 1949/50 I recall that anyone visiting the long-gone library – across the North Circular Road – could ask to see a Roman stone coffin which was kept in a cellar. Can’t recall why it was there, though. By that time I was attending Silver Street junior school – afterwards renamed Huxley School.
By the way THE Mecca for toys was, for me, Janes & Adams in Palmers Green, who stocked Dinkey Toys, Meccano, and Bayco. Does anybody remember Bayco? .
I went to school there too , I was four in 1955 . It seemed a very new school at the time . I loved it . I remember the big playing fields there .
Hi… I was born in 1952 and lived at 103 Rayleigh Road. I also attended Firs Farm Primary School – only 3 doors away from the school, but i still insisted on my Mother taking me to the gates! I have a wonderful photo of my class on Facebook, taken from the previous school website, probably produced by the school children of a few years ago. The school website has now been re-developed, by a company and is now rubbish… no history and certainly no photos of the school as i would have remembered it!!! I was there from 1956… well i was only 4 years & 4 months old… so this has to be a guestimate. Anyone with photos of the school, Rayleigh Road and Harlow Road (where most of my friends lived), would be much appreciated. PS Tatum, i remember this as being Tatum Park, with swings and stuff!
Hi Carol ! Yes, Tatum Park was a bit of a Mecca all those years ago. Right in the middle was a large shelter where, occasionally, a puppeteer/conjurer did his stuff. Also, I recall that there was a substantial concrete cycle track which held occasional events and could host games of cricket in the middle.
One thing of particular interest was that the park was created after gravel extraction. A museum – sadly lost years ago to a fire – at Broomfield House in Palmers Green had on display mammoth tusks which had been found there.
What a joy to find this article. My parents bought 100 The Fairway, new, in 1936 and I came along in August 1940. By this time, the farmhouse had gone, to be replaced by an army camp and anti aircraft battery which were very close indeed to our house. I still have vivid memories of being in an Anderson shelter in the garden with my family and the deafening sound of the guns. (after the war our house ceilings had to be replaced due to vibration damage).
Later in the war German prisoners of war were accommodated on the site and, possibly not being hard line Nazis , were allowed out. I vividly remember them in uniforms with white circular patches on their backs.
Later on Polish servicemen were accommodated in the huts, after which for some time displaced British families were also accommodated – I delivered evening newspapers to them, from Casseys newsagents at the Cambridge roundabout.
The anti-aircraft site remained for a number of years more, much to the delight of myself and my friends as it provided a wonderful place to play. The police, however, did not share our joy and were frequently chasing us off.
Looking at the photograph, I assume that the view is looking north, along Firs Lane as I recognise the scots pine tree which survived the war. All that I could see of the original farm during my childhood was a high, dense and overgrown hedge in which was embedded a wooden gate with a sign “Firs Farm” upon it.
Up until the 1950’s Firs Lane was a delight with trees on both sides forming a continuous arch. Unfortunately, then the requirements of the motor car were satisfied and all trees were swept away.
Terry Askew – Watton at Stone, Herts.
Hi terry great memory! Can I repost?
Please do Suzanne. I still have very fond – and vivid – memories of the first 30 years of my life in Palmers Green ranging from playing in Tatum (spelling ?) Park in the 1940’s to life in the 1960’s – Royalty Ballroom etc etc etc.
I was one of the displaced families living at the army camp. We lived there from 1954-1957. You may have even delivered a newspaper to my parents, Quite a few of the families living there went to to be rehoused in Cheshunt Herts. I went to Firs Farm School and remember walking across the fields to the school with my cousins.
Although it wasn’t the best of places to live. One room for each family with shared kitchens and bathrooms and a number of rats living under the huts I always remember it being a carefree time with plenty of open space.
Yes, Marion, almost certainly I delivered evening papers to where you lived. I did this for pocket money – 30p per week – from ‘Casseys’ newsagents situated at the Cambridge roundabout. My recollections, after all these years, of the huts at the camp was that each were a community separated within the huts by screens. In the entrance alcove was evidence of community activities such as a football team sweep i.e. the most goals in a season etc. Also I remember a football pitch being there next to a prominent scots pine tree, which survived for many years. I remember the building of Firs Farm School upon some derelict land, which was probably allotments at some time, which could be accessed via the end of Rayleigh Road which, at that time came to a dead end. I remember this because it was a short cut on my daily journeys to school – Latymer – which involved crossing a single carriageway A10 in those days.
I am running a heritage project at Firs Farm – we have funding to create archives and a heritage trail and club- would be great to get an personal account from yourself of the area and what you remember of area. If you’re interested, please email email@example.com
Marion were the “ huts “ also called the hostels . I remember living in something similar where we shared a kitchen with others . I was four then I believe and. Mum got me in school at four and remember walking to Firs Farm school alone through the fields sometimes.
I’m wondering if it was the same place my family lived , mum called the place a hostel . We shared a kitchen with a family .. there was lots of open green space .
Marion hi I was there probably 1953 onwards for a while born 1951 then moved to Potters Bar I would love to know if there are any photos of that period. Thanks Chris
we have funding to create archives of Firs Farm, for a heritage trail and club on-site, your account would be really useful in building a ‘peoples’ account of history- if interested, please contact me via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org