A Tale Of 8 Tottenhams - 4. South Tottenham.
South Tottenham, is located, as you would imagine, at the very south of Tottenham, and it borders the predominantly Jewish-based community of Stamford Hill. Of all the areas that Tottenham as a whole borders, Stamford Hill is the area which many would see as being the most affluent, and therefore this is what has caused the knock-on effect to South Tottenham, in that it boasts much of the most expensive properties within the area. I have seen property's go for £500,000 for a three-bedroom, which is simply unheard of in other parts of Tottenham. For example, in Northumberland Park you might be paying £250,000 for a property with a similar specification. Much of this may just be down to basic logistics of the area: to get to London Central from Tottenham, you had to head south, and therefore Tottenham South is the part that is nearest central London. However, it is more than that. Much of South Tottenham borders the River Lea, and having been somebody who has walked down by the river quite regularly since 2005 to 2012, I have noticed a marked improvement in many of the developments that have sprung up around the River Lea. Many of them actually look very nice, for example, Watermint Quay
Despite being a relatively new housing development, I actually think it looks extremely nice, and would not look out of place in Chiswick or even parts of Richmond. I used to traverse the River Lee ticket from my home in Tottenham to Hackney Marshes to play Sunday league football, and I will never forget the first day I walked down there and, to my amusement and surprise, I came across a rowing club? A rowing club?!?!?! in Tottenham?!?!?! It would appear so.
And it actually looks pretty damn nice as well!! (I actually got my phone out and called my partner to say "You'll never guess what I've just seen?") On a Sunday morning, there were groups of well-to-do teenagers, putting themselves through their rowing paces. None of them seem to be nursing hangovers, and they all seemed to have a surprising amount of enthusiasm, considering it was 8:30am. It was almost like they were their of their own free will! Behind them, a rugby game was commencing, while a crowd of about 80 people looked on. I walked down, and came across a lovely little cafe, which was joined onto the rowing club. Just past that, was a lovely little picturesque bridge.
And then we come to the actual Marina itself, which is surprisingly nice. In fact, for any bands that are based in the area, they even seem to put on gigs there. Although I am not 100% certain where the gigs are, I have seen a couple of bands posting links to gigs on Twitter that they have at Springfield Marina, N15.. It would be a fantastic place to play a gig, although to be fair, it is quite far away from public transport. There are even some Tennis Courts right next to it, which are in pretty fantastic shape; they seem to be maintained very well, in that they have been laid recently, and there never seems to be any rubbish or litter there, and the nets are also well maintained. In approximately 2009, my ex-partner and I decided to pop down there for a game of tennis. Having popped to the nearest Argos to buy rackets, located right next to Tottenham Hale station, we made the approximately 25 minutes walk down to the tennis courts located in Springfield Park. We saw a sign up on the wall saying that it was £5.20 for one hour, so we stayed for 90 minutes, and then headed off to see where we could pay our fee.
However, it was only then that we realise that everybody seemed to be playing their tennis, and heading off in different directions, with seemingly none of them heading towards any sort of building which looked like an official Council building to pay. We walked for approximately 10 minutes in Springfield Park before we finally came to a lovely little cafe area, and it was in there that we realised that was where the council offices were. We walked in and asked if we could pay, and the gentleman who worked for the council there said,
"Pay for what?"
"Oh, God, right, yeah, I'm not actually sure who you pay for that....."
10 minutes later, and we still could not find somebody to accept the money. Eventually, the gentleman just suggested to us, "look, I wouldn't worry about it to be fair..." So, it would seem, there seem to be free tennis courts located approximately 25 minutes south of Tottenham Hale Station!! We ended up going back approximately 12 to 15 times and never once did we see anybody pay, and it was a fantastic facility within the area. It gave us something to do and also kept us very healthy.
Here is where we get to know one of the greatest paradoxes about Tottenham. Once again, the best and the worst seem to sit side-by-side, as Springfield Park is a mere five-minute walk away, if that, to the notorious Murder Mile in Clapton. Now, this blog is for me to inform you about certain parts of the area, but the fact that it is called the Murder Mile, I don't think it needs to much embellishment..... (I'm going to bow out of this one gracefully...)
South Tottenham also has a massive added benefit of recently being added to the Overground Train Network. I have been actually quite taken with the Overground Train service, and it used to go past my flat in Bream Close, when I lived there. Having said that, it barely went by at all. That was because the train seemed to be once every 30 minutes, but I would swear that there were whole hours that went by without a train going by. And also the train seemed to stop at roughly 10pm. Not officially, mind, it's just that I never saw them - they seemed to be cancelled a lot. This was when it was called the Silverlink, or the North London line. However, recently, the London Underground has totally revamped, spruced up and relaunched this line under the London overground name. And how is it? Well, it's great actually!!! The trains arrive every 15 minutes, and what's better, they do actually arrive every 15 minutes!! No hour long wait for South Tottenham residents of 2013.
South Tottenham residents of 2008 may have had to wait for one hour for their train, but no more! It has fantastic commuter links to Gospel Oak, which is great for exploring Hampstead Heath.... Yes, you see, if you live within a few minutes of South Tottenham station, then technically you could be 20 minutes away from Hampstead Heath. The train takes 13 mins. (13 mins!!!) The very same Hampstead Heath that sells two-bedroom properties for £1.5 million. You're also a very short distance away from areas such as Wanstead to the east (which if you ever had a bit of spare time on your hands, I would recommend walking across Wanstead Flats towards Wanstead Park, as it is one of the most underrated parts of London). Some of our Studio staff have also said that they have gone to gigs at the Barfly where they have changed at Gospel Oak and gone to either Camden Road or Kentish Town West, and managed the journey from door to door in 30 mins or less. I have gone from South Tottenham over to Crouch End station many times, and I have even made the barely five-minute journey across to Green Lanes to sample some of the fantastic Turkish Shops that are over there. It is very hard to underestimate just how important the new station has been for the area. If before the transport regeneration, South Tottenham was a 6/10, this redevelopment of the train station has definitely turned it into a 8/10.
Having said that, I do think that the area is slightly overpriced. I guess if you have the money, and had reason to stay in the area, then it would be worth it, but for me personally, it is an area that is much more expensive than the rest of Tottenham and is only a bit better than the average. Maybe I'm being unfair: I mean, as I have said it is a fantastic part of Tottenham and it has so many things that the rest of Tottenham does not offer. So if you were looking for somewhere to rent, and if you maybe didn't mind paying a little bit more money, then by all means go for it. You are barely a five-minute journey away from Stoke Newington, which is a great vibrant area full of live music, restaurants and artistic folk, and only about 15 minutes away, at the most, from Dalston, which seems to be the new hotspot of the world, and seems to attract hipsters like Rappers attract Gold. I would say, though, that in consistency with the rest of Tottenham, it does seem to lack a range of pubs. (Maybe I should have written a blog called Tottenham: A Tale of Closed Pubs....) I think that is the one thing that brings the area down the most. However, if I had to live in South Tottenham, whilst in 2005 I may have not jumped at the idea, now I would certainly be happy to do so, as the area has improved that much. In fact at the time of writing in February 2013 there seems to be a new Sainsbury's opening literally just down the road, and they seem to be clued up on which areas are up-and-coming. Who knows, maybe in a few years this will be the new Dalston?
One final note, few citizens of South Tottenham realise that there was actually originally an extra station that was planned in South Tottenham, which was at the location of St Anns, and is now a convenience shop. It used to be between South Tottenham and Haringey Green Lane station, and it would be more than possible to reopen it, and even possibly connect it to the Victoria line because the Victoria line runs underneath it. People who have been reading these blogs will know that I seem to be going on about opening new tube stations all over Tottenham (in fact, I will not rest until the day I am on a tube train and hear "the next stop is - "Bally Studios Personal Station" - alight here for copious amounts of tea.....") but my only point is that if the tracks are already laid there, then it would actually make good economic sense to open them, even if they were only operated on peak hours like Turnham Green.
Springfield Park, especially the tennis courts
New Overground station
Room for improvement
High Prices (although to be fair, if they keep their value,then it is not too bad)
Lack of bars (again.........)