The Hale

By Paul Downes

My Dad Leslie Downes (known as Johnny or Blondie) drove a Bedford J type for Lebus in and around 1953 my Mum also worked for Lebus, in their offices. We lived near the factory just off Ferry Lane in Edith Road, Tottenham Hale. I was so excited as a small boy it was wonderful we lived surrounded by factories in sight of the Lebus chimney and the sound of the hooter to signal start and finish of work and lunch time.

The first photograph below was taken when I was 5 (in 1953) with my only sister Kay at the Lebus furniture children’s Christmas party held at Ferry Lane at their sporting and social club called The PANDO (polishers and offices). Lebus were famous for their boxing team and regular boxing events took place there.

Dad also drove a Bedford O type, they were not great in terms of comfort, in the depth of winter he had to hang a paraffin heater under the bonnet to ensure it started at 4am when he started his journey, usually North. The windscreen wipers worked on a vacuum system which perversely stopped working when you had your foot on the accelerator when you took it off they went like crazy, not good in heavy rain.

The colour photographs are of my late Dad with his new Bedford TK outside his favourite cafe` ‘Pete’s’ most of the drivers from local companies like Wades / DH Transport used to meet here. It was in Hale Road, Peter was a boxer that used to box with Terry Spinks a well-known boxer of the ’60s, he was married to Yvonne Spooner whose father owned the betting shop, sweet shop and grocers round the corner. In the background the flats are on the corner of High Cross Road, with one of the new Routemaster buses and a Lucozade lorry passing by. Peter is seen sitting outside on one of the tables. Note how small the mirrors are on my Dad’s lorry, impossible to use in today’s traffic.

1953

Bedford O type

Tottenham Hale

Outside ‘Pete’s’

Harris Lebus (PANDO) Club annual report 1950

Harris Lebus (PANDO) Club annual report 1950

2 thoughts on “The Hale

  1. Michael Parsons says:

    Hi Paul,
    I knew your dad when he was on Sheffield Cabinet[Limelight] who ran out of Wembley. I ran for D H and we did a lot of work for Sheffield Cabinet all over the country on one occasion on a dark winters night back in 1963 he gave me a lift from Bristol to Chippenham to my transport digs he was running home after I had broken down.
    One another occasion I had loaded on a Friday afternoon out of Sheffield Cabinet for the North East coast and they had one of their lorries fully loaded taken[nicked]. I found it on the Sunday afternoon in the lay bye on the A1 just south of Darlington empty of course and your dad went up to bring the empty lorry back, he was a nice guy but the body on his small wheel TK was huge it must have been about 2500 cubic feet and Sheffield Cabinet was heavy gear. It is nice to see a photograph from the old days, quite a few photographs on this site are what I have taken over the years regards Michael Parsons.

  2. Alan lincoln says:

    Hi,
    My dads family lived in Edith rd,and one brother my uncle Wally worked at Lebus for years,we used to as boys stand outside Lebus on a Friday at Knocking of time with penny for the guy…we made a bloody fortune with all the workers coming out.if you see this please reply…lots of stories to tell about Edith rd and the Hale.
    Alan Lincoln

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