Chronology

LORDSHIP REC – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

The following is just a rough summary of the history of Tottenham’s largest open space.

1800s-1900s Downhills manor/estate straddles area – to become Downhills Park and Lordship Rec in the 20th century. Included Moselle River and adjacent ornamental lake (thought to be on the site of a Saxon ‘moat’). Green spaces were also known locally as ‘uplands’, ‘downhills’ and ‘mount pleasant’ at different times.
1910-20
Tower Gardens Estate built. To the south there are allotments + river + marsh + a ‘Broadwaters’ farm
1932 Lordship Rec created by Tottenham Council.
1936
10,000 local people attend Lordship Rec grand opening
1938
Model Traffic Area (MTA), unique in UK, opened.
1940
Downhills Shelter (in southern part of park) suffers wartime bomb direct hit. 40+ local people killed.
1950s – 70s
Park’s heyday eg MTA, Shell theatre events, boating lake and ‘cascades’ etc

1966 Thousands attend Haringey Show in the Rec (on World Cup Final Day!)
1970s
Broadwater Farm Estate built. Loss of many allotments.
1980s – 90s
Cuts to maintenance and staffing cause serious decline
1980s Closure of lido by the Rec – replaced by housing. More open space lost. Woodland planted at the south of the park.
1985
BWF disturbances – Inquiry report calls for regeneration of estate and park. Broadwater Farm Residents Association demand improvements to the area.
1990s
BWF Estate residents drive forward regeneration of the estate, and new Community Centre built next to park. Organise multicultural festivals in centre and park. Broadwater United football teams multiply and manage sport pitch in the Rec.
1990s Some physical improvements in the Rec (drainage, BMX track) but chronic lack of staffing and maintenance continues. Mother & Toddler Group take over disused hut as play facility (later to be co-managed with the Friends)
1998-9 Tower Gardens Residents Network launched to the north. Friends of Downhills Park launched to the south. Both groups very active and in achieving improvements.
2001
Friends of Lordship Rec launched, inspired by the neighbouring community efforts.
2002
Resident-led Lordship Rec Users Forum set up for community/council coordination to achieve improvements – have met monthly ever since (like the Friends have)

2000s Friends organise annual community festivals in Rec. Development of range of user groups and a vision for community-led regeneration/renewal.
2005-7
Some investment in active play areas. Friends rescue/improve woodland and lake areas. Staffing re-introduced after Friends lobbying.
2008
Back 2 Earth local charity set up to promote food growing, healthy eating and environmental sustainability in the Community Centre and in the future Rec
2011
LRUF hold weekly coordination meetings to oversee regeneration plans. Harmony Gardens created in Broadwater Farm Community Centre by the Rec.
2012
Regeneration and renewal works implemented, including restoring and bringing Rec heritage features alive again!! (eg Shell, MTA, River, main entrance)
Sept 22nd 2012 Planned Lordship Rec Community Festival
2013-forever? Planned community/council joint management of the park and ‘micro-management’ of its specific facilities/areas…