A letter in the Daily Chronicle the next day said:

--- It was with great relief that that the residents, some ten years ago, heard that the purchase of the Upper Wood had been effected; and how delightful a boon this has proved, anyone who visited them can testify, but all who exerted themselves to save these upper woods, which lie on the west side of Muswell Hill road, felt that their victory was incomplete so long as the sixty acres on the east side remained in danger. It is, as it were, an accident that the woods are divided by a broad high road. Can anyone doubt what the effect would be if the Churchyard Bottom Wood were replaced by rows of small villas, each sending out its contribution of smoke and soot'? Can anyone doubt, too, the serious difference it would make to the picturesque setting of the purchased woods if a line of staring new houses were to be run up right over against their leafy frontage?'

This expressed the opinions of many people.

In fact, the Gravel Pit Wood, which the writer calls the 'Upper Wood', had not been purchased, but given to the district by the Ecclesiastical Commission, a point they were to reiterate time and again over the years, but most people ignored it. The Commission was not going to give away a second wood whatever anyone said, and held this position to the end.

H.S.Chamberlain, of 5 Cranley Gardens, in a letter to the Times dated June 8, 1895, urged purchase.

I know that it is common to speak harshly of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, but as the trustees of a fund they are bound to administer it to the greatest advantage, and therefore, if anything is to be done to save the demolition of the wood, it appears to me that it can only be effected by the purchase of the property from the Conmmisioners, who I know, are fully alive to the protection of free and open spaces for the people, and who, I feel sure, would be disposed to treat the matter of a purchase in a free and liberal spirit, as they have already done in the matter of the Shepherd's Cot-field, by granting a lease to the Crouch End Playing-fields Company - a small company in which I own a few shares, a small company which was formed exclusively for the purpose of securing the fields for cricket, tennis etc.

­ As Chairman of the Muswell Hill Conservative Association, I am constantly in touch with the inhabitants, and I can safely affirm that every person resident in the neighbourhood would do anything in reason to preserve this beautiful wood from the destroyer.

Might I suggest that the parish of Hornsey should raise a loan for the sole purpose of purchasing the wood, and make it an open space, free and for ever, for the use of the public`?



Page 211
Page 213