Last week I went to New Southgate Cemetery to find the grave of someone I am researching. I got the tube to Arnos Grove, one of Charles Holden's marvellous Art Deco masterpieces, and I headed north. As I walked north up Brunswick Road I mused how reasonably new the area was – it all looks to have been built in the late C19th and then added to in mid-C20th.
|See my warped and stretched version below|
Squinting at it, and no doubt looking like I was casing the joint, I could see a large name at the top: LANDER. Other words quickly led me to ascertain that this was a sign for a stone mason connected to the cemetery. I stood there for a while making scribbled notes as I tried to decipher the specific wording, but the angle and the faded areas at the very top and far left/rear made it rather difficult. It did cross my mind to knock on the door to speak to the occupants and ask for access to the rear but I hesitated, and if you don't do those kind of things immediately they just don't happen.
A. K. LANDER
(Monumental something?) CEMETERY OR BURIAL GROUND
(...) UNITED KINGDOM. MEMORIALS CLEANED & REPAIRS
(...) ENGRAVED - ESTIMATES FREE. FOR DESIGNS &
(?prices please visit?) OFFICE & WORKS 1 FRIERN BARNET RD
Similarly, I do not know whether the family had a direct connection to the pair of old houses in Brunswick Park Road. The Landers might have simply hired the wall as advertising space being as it provides a perfect sightline from the cemetery where prospective clients might be choosing a burial plot or looking after a family memorial. A company by the same name still trades today but is based in Basildon Essex. Even though they make mention of being founded in 1866 I can see nothing on their site about Friern Barnet or Southgate.
And the grave I was looking for? Well, it turns out I was looking in the wrong cemetery! Never mind – it was nice wandering around New Southgate Cemetery and, should you ever need to find information there yourself, the staff in the office are really helpful and friendly, and funny too.
|A little bitof Photoshop action here – the quality of the image isn't really good enough as regards the focus/sharpness at the left/rear|
Dear Jane, I am Andrew King Lander’s great granddaughter. He built the houses you saw in Brunswick Park Road and, at the time, the Great Northern London Cemetery (now The New Southgate Cemetery) had two entrance gates, one of which was close to where the houses are situated and almost certainly why the advertising was on the wall. He also established A K Lander Memorial works in 1866, as you say, at 1 Friern Barnet Road. He had 3 sons who helped run the business but it was my grandfather, Albert King Lander, who finally inherited it and subsequently was passed onto my father, another Andrew King Lander. The business traded on its original site until the site was compulsory purchased by the council, at which time my father moved the works to the land he owned adjacent to the houses you saw on the site now occupied by the house to the left. My father continued to run the business until he was nearly 70 before selling it with the name as goodwill and died 40 years ago. The cemetery land surrounding the second entrance was sold for re-development and there is now a housing estate on this land. My great grandparents, grandparents and parents are interred at the cemetery, all in a row until they pulled down trees and squeezed extra graves in between. It was interesting to read your article. Thanks. Jacki.ReplyDelete
Dear Jacki, thanks for taking the time to add all this info. It's so nice when family members get in touch – the same happened with another old sign I wote about on here last month. Delightful.ReplyDelete
Ah yes, a second gate makes total sense, expecially for people travelling from the south. Do you have any pics of that or the house with the sign actually visible in its entirety?
All the best, Jane
Dear Jane, I only have a photo of the old works, which I did try to attach last time without success. I am not familiar with this site but if you want that photo and can talk me through how to attach it to a comment, I will have a go. Jacki.ReplyDelete
Thanks again Jacki, simply email it to me at email@example.com and, as long as you are happy for me to add it here, I will do the rest as an Update section. Thanks in advance. I am quite excited to see it. Though it might be one of the pics in the link above (the Friern Barnet Photo Archive)?ReplyDelete