Wednesday 15 August 2018

Can you solve the mystery of the Apex Corner Seals?

Many of us pass through Apex corner roundabout every day and never give a thought to the architecture. Apex Corner is one of the busiest road junctions in London, where the A41 and A1 collide. Thousands of cars every day pass by. I've walked and driven pas these shops thousands of times and never given a thought to the architecture. There is a picture of Apex Corner from 1955 on the Francis Frith Website).

I was quite shocked to have my attention drawn to two stone plaques of seals balancing balls on their noses above the shops at Apex Corner by a good friend of this blog Mark Amies.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am always one for a good mystery. What do the seals signify and why 1958 and 1959? The buildings date from before then, so what monumental event involving seals occurred at Apex corner in 1958 and 1959.

Good friend of this blog, Robert Elms on BBC Radio London has joined in the hunt to find the mystery seals and made the subject one of his notes and queries this morning! I'm hoping the answer will be found between Noon and 12.30pm on his show. Click here to listen

Subsequently, following listeners responses, we have figured the mystery out. The correct name of the Parade is Northway Circus and the seals represent circus animals. Thay part of the parade was built in 1958/9.

Got a local mystery? Let us know and we'll see if we can sort it out

If you can help call Robert on 0800 731 2000 before 12.00 or leave a comment on this page!

**** Update @ 12:10 **** A surveyor has rung up Robert to state that the part of the parade in question was built 1958/9 - closer examination of the picture on Francis Firth backs this up. You can see that the second half of the parade was not built. He suspects that they are simply to commemorate the year of construction and are simply decorative


ArkAngel said...

My theory: In the 50s the name Apex Corner was replaced (temporarily) by Northway Circus and so at the year of construction that name may well have applied. So the seals/sealions with balls was probably derived from the word Circus.

The next roundabout down where the model shop (Blunt's) was is also named a circus - Mill Hill Circus.

Rog T said...

I think you are probably right. Thanks for the suggestion