Saving the White Hart pub

Petition to save and restore a Tottenham Hale pub gains traction

The White Hart, circa 2008/2009 when the pub had closed
Credit: Chris Ramenah

By Chris Ramenah, Tottenham Civic Society

Once a sporting pub for rowing clubs along Tottenham Marshes, the White Hart pub, Tottenham Hale is now closed, and is at risk of demolition. The pub, which has existed since 1856, is a striking piece of architecture – a local landmark that has served the community for well over 150 years.

Around 1900 the building was extended upwards to include a third floor, and outwards on both sides to become the building that we know today.

The pub has survived many decades, from its beginnings surrounded by farmland, to the industrial age. The building has survived both world wars and all past development around Tottenham Hale, including the one-way system. The pub looked after the community, and the community looked after the pub.

The Edwardian building you see today is one of the last remaining buildings of Tottenham Hale’s industrial and pre-war era. It is also the last historical landmark on the Ferry Island section of Tottenham Hale.

Many pubs have closed in the area, but The White Hart survived, becoming Tottenham Hale’s first gay pub in its later years, right up until its closure in 2008, when the licence was surrendered. The pub was successful with both gay and heterosexual communities, but saw decline because of the development of the one-way system (which is now a two-way street again).

A friend and I started the petition to save the White Hart in February. We are both part of Tottenham Civic Society, and we are trying to get the property developer, Argent LLP to restore the building and incorporate it into their plans for the area. We hope that all the locals who have signed the petition and commented on saving the pub, will persuade Argent to reconsider their plans to knock it down.

The petition is important because we want to bring the pub into the future. The White Hart has potential, and it always thrived until its closure. It has a history of hosting community events and being a music venue, and it is a good place for locals to gather and meet.

Tottenham Hale does not have much of its old heritage left. The pub could yet play an important part in the community, especially if reopened as a gay-friendly pub, keeping its recent history at the front of the new proposals.

Eleven years have passed since the White Hart closed, but this pub would thrive as thousands of new residents move into the new flats around the Hale, serving them and the existing locals in Tottenham Hale Village.

We think a historic pub like the White Hart would add so much more character to the area than a replacement one with a dull, corporate chain restaurant – which is the inevitable alternative.

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