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The Phoenix Motorcycle Company: Archway historian remembers Joseph Van Hooydonk and his Holloway Road workshop

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 March 2019

Main image, Holloway Road, circa 1910, looking north from Fortnam Road towards 736 Holloway Road, now a kitchen showroom, on the right. Picture: Islington Local History Centre

Main image, Holloway Road, circa 1910, looking north from Fortnam Road towards 736 Holloway Road, now a kitchen showroom, on the right. Picture: Islington Local History Centre

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History buff John Leo Waters runs the Archway Revisited Facebook group, where people share their memories of the area. Here he recounts Mr Van Hooydonk's journey from Brussels to Islington, Hampstead and Highgate at the turn of the last century.

Holloway Road, circa 1910, looking south from St Johns Villas to Fairbridge Road with number 736 in the distance. Picture: Islington Local History CentreHolloway Road, circa 1910, looking south from St Johns Villas to Fairbridge Road with number 736 in the distance. Picture: Islington Local History Centre

The following reports from the Hampstead and Highgate Express in early 1900’s;-

“HIGHGATE THIRTY CLUB. AT the usual Thursday evening meeting of this club at the Flask Inn. Mr. Van Hooydonk, captain of the North-road Cycling Club. gave a very interesting history of the bicycle. After tracing the development of the cycle from the time of the Egyptians to its present advanced state, Mr. Van Hooydonk gave a lantern show of the old “ boneshaker “ and other oddities in wheel machines, and also a splendid collection of pictures showing the Great-north-road. from the General Post Other, London, to York. At the conclusion Mr. Van Hooydonk was highly complimented and thanked for an entertaining evening”

“HIGHGATE THIRTY CLUB. At the weekly meeting of this club on Wednesday night Mr. J. A Bolster presided, and Mr H van Hooydonk delivered interesting lecture on The Moselle and the Rhine, being an account of a recent cvcling tour on the Continent. A large number beautiful views were shown bv the aid a lantern manipulated bv Mr Joseph van Hooydonk”

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