Paradise Park is a 4.57 acre area located on Mackenzie Road in Holloway. It is popular with families because of its children’s play area, the RSPB Sparrow Meadow, the open grass area and outdoor gym equipment, as well as Freightliners Farm.
However, the area now covered by Paradise Park was the scene of one of the worst civilian casualties of World War II. On 26th December 1944, a V2 rocket fell on “The Prince of Wales” pub, killing 73 people, including 7 children from the Jarvis family who lived opposite, ranging in age from 14 months to 17 years. Most of those who died were buried in a mass grave in Finchley Cemetery. 20 buildings were wrecked and a crater 30’ wide and 15’ deep was formed. For years after the war, the site was occupied by a bomb site and pre-fabs. Now, there is an information panel on the site which acts as a memorial to those who died.
Close to Sheringham Road is Freightliners Farm, the only urban farm in Islington since 1988. The City Farm movement began in the 1970’s, and its aim was to convert otherwise under-used and often derelict sites into community areas where local children could interact with farm animals and domestic animals. Freightliners was originally based close to York Way and animals were housed in railway goods vans. Nowadays, there are rare and traditional breeds at Freightliners, geese and ducks and a particular favourite – Betany the Golden Guernsey goat. There is a vegetable garden and a herb garden, school activities and goods from the farm are sold in the shop. Entrance is free, but donations are encouraged.
Finally, Mary Tealby (1801-1865) lived in Hollingsworth Street and had stables where lost dogs were looked after. This was only a temporary residence and it led to the foundation of Battersea Dogs’ Home for lost and starving dogs.
For more information contact the author Jenny Watson-Bore and with thanks to Jane Scott for the photographs.