Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Tube Station for Northumberland Park by Bally Studios

Sketch for the proposed tube station at Northumberland Park by bruce castle news

The following is an edited extract from a recent blog by Tottenham's Bally Studios. You can read the full post here. For more info about Bally Studios Rehearsal and Recording Studios go here.

"Bally Studios recently celebrated 7 years of trading in Tottenham Hale, and, as co founder, I have been based in the area for over 8 years. In 2003, I was living in Highbury and Islington, a few mins walk away from the tube station. At the time, my partner and I were paying £798 a month for a one bedroom flat. ... Despite having some of the best bars in London on our doorstep, a limited budget meant we didn't have the disposable income to frequent them. With heavy heart, and craving more space, we decided to relocate, and look further afield.
Our new home was based in Foyle Rd, a few mins walk away from Northumberland Park Train Station. Over the next few years of living in this area, it became obvious that many other people living in the area had similar reasons for being based there as we had. Young families, priced out of surrounding areas, relocated for the extra space that their budget could accommodate in Tottenham. Parking spaces were plentiful , a refreshing change. Tottenham marshes was based on our doorstep, and we grew so attached to the area, that when it came time to start a business for ourselves, we didn't hesitate to choose Tottenham as its location.

So when we saw a recent Twitter post by Bruce Castle News, highlighting a question that Joanne McCartney had put to London Mayor BorisJohnson about looking into the possibility that he “ask TfL to conduct a feasibility study for extending the Victoria Line to Northumberland Park” it was a subject that both appealed to our emotions, as well as one that, we felt, made sense, economically.

Diagram of proposed Victoria Line extension as imagined by Technical Slip
All tube trains currently go to Northumberland Park anyway, as this is where they are cleaned. There is a train-wash, like a car wash for tube trains, that can be clearly seen by people driving along Watermead Way. The tracks are already laid, but at present there is no platform and station facilities. Joanne McCartney shared the same hopes as many local residents, that Northumberland Park Train Station could be transformed into a tube station. Within minutes of us echoing her sentiments, Justin Hinchcliffe ‏of @TottenhamTories chirped in, that it had been “first proposed by us on 2001”. A quick internet search shows that local Labour MP, David Lammy felt that "the important thing is to deliver an extension on the Victoria Line sometime soon - people desperately need it in what is a deprived part of London."

So both the Tories and the Labour party, at a local level, seem to be in favour of it. Justin Hinchcliffe ‏of @TottenhamTories tweeted “we should make a united, cross-party push for it”, a sentiment we agreed with. Ken Livingstone, in 2003, was vocal for his support too, and Boris Johnson has backed a regeneration plan that promises ‘up to 10,000 new high quality homes and over 5,000 new jobs’ for Tottenham by 2025, as well as publicly backing Tottenham Hotspurs plans to build a new 56,000 all seater stadium next to their current stadium...

On 7th August, 2011, The UK was shocked by the riots in Tottenham, and the image of Allied Carpets, burning well into the night, was a catalyst that created more rioting over the next week. I remember watching it myself. I had, a couple of months earlier, moved onto the property ladder, and I was having a house party that night to celebrate purchasing my first home. Party guests who understood my affiliation with Tottenham brought the matter to my attention, and about 20-30 of us, with glasses of wine and beer in hand, watched the footage of the riots on TV, with great sadness, until about 3am. When everyone had left, I stayed up until 8am watching the footage. I went into work the next day, at 11am, witnessing, first hand, the widespread looting that was happening the next morning at the Tottenham Hale retail park. The image of Allied Carpets ablaze, that night, was the enduring image, for me, of the London riots. When we were soundproofing the studios on it's first day, in 2005, I bought a job lot of carpet that was frayed at the edges, for 50% off, from that very store. It was symbolic for me, that on the night I was celebrating stepping onto the property ladder, the very building that put me on the way, was burning to the ground. 
The empty shell of this building lies 850m from Northumberland Park Train station. What a fine legacy it would be if Northumberland park were to have it's own Tube station. How are people meant to feel proud about their own community when transport for London openly state that it is not worthy of investment, while other, more financially affluent areas, are given mass funding? The government is not meant to be investing in areas that are already financially strong. That is what the private sector is for. By investing now, it will help to revitalize an area, and hopefully prevent some of the scenes we saw last year. This area helped me to create financial stability for myself. I am sure it can do the same for others.

We sincerely hope that TFL reconsider their stance, and we hope that the mayor for London, and the Government, both at a local and national level, put their support behind this worthy scheme. It has our full support."

Bally Studios

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