Ray Swain

RAY SWAIN

Introduction and Thanks

To start my memories of Summerhill Road I would like to start with a big Thank You to my brother Alan and nephew Richard for all their hard work in setting this website up for us, and also to Alan's partner Eunice who has put up with the countless hours he has spent on his computer scanning the internet and picking up items of interest for Summerhill Road. I am very proud of what he has achieved. I would also like to thank 'The National Lottery' and 'The West Green Community Chest' for giving us the funds to achieve the aims of the Summerhill jubilee street party project, details of which can be found on the social event section of this website.

The last year or so has been along haul but it's been worth it thanks to the support of the committee of Lisa, Scott, Mark, Dale, Sham, Jane, Donna, Jan, Roger, Alex, Robin and all the people who helped us start this off with a wonderful street party. I would also like to add special thanks to Myrtle Knuckle and Lynne Simmonds the manager of 'Summerhill Village', the sheltered housing unit, who have both been in the forefront of every event we have had in this project. They have really worked hard. I must also add my thanks to Janet Perkins who has helped me a lot in researching the Road's history and has provided some very good photographs for us. Furthermore I must not forget wonderful response we have had from the past residents of the road who have supplied us with their memories, many of which we were very lucky to trace through little snippets of memory from periods of over 30 years. It has been wonderful to renew these friendships and memories of the past, not only for me but also for many others. We have used snail-mail and telephones,Fax's and e-mails which have helped to renew the Summerhill Spirit. It really has been a wonderful experience.

We have also been able to get a good idea of the residents who lived here well before us. The road really has a most fascinating history, we have even got a photo of a husband and wife who lived in the road in 1881. The 'Census' section of the website shows the names and number of people who occupied the houses in the past as well as their occupations. It was also wonderful to see the 'House Names' that were in common use until house numbers were introduced prior to 1901.  Could you imagine these people coming back today to see the changes and the fact that their photographs are now flashing around the world on the internet. It could also just be possible that a relative of the neighbours of the couple pictured in 1881(Joseph and Mary Piggin) is still living in Summerhill Road today - 2003 !    The Great Grandfather of Janet Perkins was living in Dorset Road in 1881 but was back in Summerhill Road by 1891 and living at Coleman's Cottage which is immediately next door to Mr Piggin at 2 Sydenham Villas. Furthermore Janet's Great, Great Grandfather was living at Eliza Terrace in 1871 while Janet's Grandfather was living at the house she still lives in today. The family have lived in other houses in the road as well as Clyde Road and Clonwell Road and it must be a record for a family to live in a residential road for 132 years. These are not stately homes, these are just ordinary homes, but nevertheless it is a special road that has contributed much to Tottenham and its local history.

I have so many memories past and present that I don't really know where to start as I have known so many wonderful people during my lifetime in this road, and it is a lifetime for me since I still sleep on the same bedroom I was born in. This also applies to Janet Perkins who lives in the same house she was born in. I can only claim to be the longest male resident still living in the road, whereas there are four females who have lived here longer than myself. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, we have lost three lovely ladies over the past nine months whose memories we so nearly had for the website, which is very sad. However they will not be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of knowing them. I cannot claim to have got on with everyone who has lived in this road, but I think I can safely say I have got with 95% of the people I have had contact with, and this is a long road with an average of 100 homes. I don't pretend to have known everyone who has lived in the road, but I do remember a lot that has happened over the years. This is going to take a long time to put down in writing, so I will do this in batches and will try to do it house-by-house and my memories of the people I have known who have lived there.

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