Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Acton Main Line, North Acton

Post to the south Acton Centrall

Acorn Gardens
Built by Acton District Council in 1932 on what was known as the Friars Estate. ACOrn was the name of the Acton Telephone Exchange

Allison Road
Laid out by the Birkbeck Land Society
Rear entrance to property in Emmanuel Road with urns and lions

Canada Crescent
Built by Acton District Council in 1932

Cloister Road
Cloister Road Clinic. This was built in 1935 and was later the Gunnersbury Day Hospital, a mental health facility. It was replaced by the Cloister Road Surgery which was built in 2006 and designed for Ealing Primary Care Trust by Penoyre & Prasad LL.

Cotton Avenue
The present housing on the site appears to be relatively recent and to replace a depot on part of the site.  A previous version of Cotton Avenue ran from Western Avenue (originally Friars Place Lane) and to continue parallel to the railway. Along this road and one side road were a number of small isolated units – maybe prefabs, or some sort of huts.
Road Transport Depot. This is shown as preceding the current housing and to have fronted and entered on Western Avenue/Friars Place Lane.  It appears to date from the 1930s and to have been a large dark featureless building.  It was preceded on the site by sports grounds.

Friars Place Green
This small triangular green is the remains of Friars Place Waste and is now registered common land.

Friary Road
Friars Place. This house stood south of both Friars Place Farm and The Friars and was south of the Great Western Railway line. It had a number of owners and appears to have dated from the 18th when this area was a visitor destination.. In 1850 the house was described as a beautiful with a balustraded terrace looking south over pleasure grounds. It was demolished in 1902.
Walls Ice Cream. T. Wall and Son of Aldgate who as early as 1913  considered manufacturing ice cream during the seasonal summer downturn in sales of meat pies and sausages. By 1922 they were a subsidiary of Macfisheries itself part of Lever Brothers. They bought the site of Friars Place house and grounds in 1919 and built a factory there to make sausages, pies, and brawn. From 1956 the Friary factory concentrated on ice cream, the meat business moving to Atlas Road. Walls were by then the biggest ice cream maker in the world. The factory closed in the late 1980s
Friary Park Estate was built on the Walls site in the late 1980s. It had 240 social housing units in a mix of bedsits, one bed and larger units. They have been managed by the Ealing Family Housing Association, later called Catalyst. In 2014 Catalyst decided to demolish and replace some units with tower blocks.
Harry’s Bar – eccentric corner cafe, with some outdoor seating. Harry’s Café is about proper ‘man food’   Everything fried, no grease spared?

Horn Lane
The section of the road north of the station is marked as “Willesden Lane” before 1900.
Acton Main Line Station. This was opened in 1868 and now lies between Ealing Broadway and Paddington on Great Western Railway by the Great Western Railway.  It is on the Great Western Main line between London and Bristol but was built 30 years after it first opened and originally named just ‘Acton’ and renamed ‘Acton Main Line’ in 1948 The station had a goods shed and cattle pens with sidings to the north.  At nationalisation in 1947 the station had four platforms, all with wooden canopies along their length –now all gone.. There was also a siding next to platform – both of which were demolished in the late 1960s. Modernisation in the 1960s led to the demolition of the 19th station building and replacement with a small booking office. All eastbound trains from the station terminate at Paddington.  It has a very limited service, most trains pass straight through without stopping on the line which once used Platform 1. Some of the Beatles film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was filmed there. A new station building was provided in 1996 and it is intended that the station is part of Crossrail.
Western Region Goods Yard. A large coal depot stood to the south east of the station. By the 1950s this is marked as ‘Metal Store’ and is served by a siding from the main line. Currently Network Rail own the site and is responsible for the access road and it is used for a number of industrial and commercial operations. As part of the freight railway infrastructure trains are loaded/unloaded and loads stored and sorted here, Freight trains deliver aggregates and used ballast from London Underground for recycling. D B Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd, operates the rail freight yard. Other users include: J. Simpson Waste Management Ltd with a a waste transfer station for construction and demolition waste;   Hanson who have a concrete batching plant, Horn Lane Metals who deal with non-ferrous metals,  Aggregate Industries who handle sand and gravel, aggregates and recycling of used London Underground ballast, Day Aggregates, which packages aggregates for retail and Mixamate, a mobile concrete batching operation.
222 Leamington Hotel. This Charrington’s pub closed in 2013. It is now a Polish grocer.
307a The Shamrock Sports and Social Club. This is down an apparently unnamed lane on the west side of the road. In front of the club are large sports playing fields used regularly by local Gaelic Football, Hurling and Soccer teams which include - Greenford Celtic Football Club, Greenford Celtic Men’s Football Club, Murphy’s Ladies Camogie and Gaelic Football Club and  Father Murphy’s Hurling Club. The club also hosts Irish Music nights
367 Friars Place Farm. This stood at the north end of Horn Lane and was an early farm in the area. The moated farmhouse in Horn Lane  is thought to have belonged to St. Bartholomew's, and called Friars Place Farm from 1664 and later as Hamilton House, Narroway's Farm, or Snell's Farm. The last farmhouse, in 1818, was in yellow brick and an elaborate cast-iron balcony. Two older cottages lay behind a paved courtyard. The land was gradually sold off from the early 20th mainly to the local authority. It was a rest home for 200 horses in 1901 and in the 1920s the land was laid out for 100 tennis courts. In 1929 the house became the a vicarage for St. Gabriel's church and the moat was filled, in 1975 it was badly damaged by fire and by 1980 it had been demolished.

Jenner Avenue
This road is on part of the site used by the Leamington Park Hospital which fronted onto Wales Farm Road. Like some other roads on the estate it is named after an important past medical personality.
12 Big Yellow Self Storage. This was built on a neglected site at Gypsy Corner in 2008.
Playground, very small.

Kathleen Avenue
Vacant site – This was originally left vacant for part of a road widening scheme planned for the A40 which was abandoned in 1997. The site has derelict residential properties and an electrical substation extant.

Leamington Park
Vacant site – there have been various proposals for this site which results from the abandoned road widening scheme
Willesden & Acton Brick Co. operated from here by 1905. They had an agreement locally with the Great Western Railway over work on sidings extensions.
Electric Sub Station. This was built by the Metropolitan Electricity Supply Company in the 1930s when local conversion to AC supply was taking place. It is a large and impressive art deco building.

Lowfield Road
The Victory Construction Co. built bungalows for Gordon Selfridge here in 1919 and 1920, Acton residents receiving the first option to buy them.

Noel Road
The road runs along the edge of the playing fields and was formerly an approach road to Acton aerodrome before the Great War. The name commemorates the commandant.          |
Garden village houses for Great Western Railway employees. Designed by T.Alwyn Lloyd in 1923-25.
St Gabriel’s Church. When he was Bishop of London Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram wanted the Church of England to expand into the suburbs. Forty mission huts were built and the clergy were called the London Diocesan Home Missionary.  Forty new churches resulted.  St Gabriel's mission was launched in 1923 and the church was opened in 1931. It was designed by Ernest Charles Shearman and parts  are unfinished. A very small part of a proposed hall complex was built with two small meeting rooms and a later wooden hall which is now rented to a nursery school

North Acton Playing Fields
This is a large open space for recreational sport with facilities for cricket and tennis. It opened in 1903 on land which had been part of Friars Farm.
Pavilion. This is in the park and hosts a number of activities. The moated site lies in the part of the park in the square to the west.

Park Royal Road
This was originally called Willesden Lane
Imperial College. Woodward Building. This is a hall of residence for Imperial College. It is 19 storeys and a student village with cluster apartments and communal space for students to enjoy. It is named for Professor Joan Woodward, an academic in Organisation Theory.
1 Brett Villas. Robertson Memorials. Alexander Robertson set up a stone cutter business in 1876, with Mr Gray. In 1936 the family were still on the same Aberdeen site. In 1951 they began to take over other businesses in 1960 as far away as Buckie.
North Acton Cemetery. (the northern part of the cemetery is in the site to the north  - this includes the railway line and crossing)  It is built on the land of the Lower Place Farm which the council bought 13 acres of in 1893.  It opened in 1895, set up by the Acton Burial Board two chapels were built and an area was consecrated and laid out for the cemetery.  The Early English Gothic style stone chapels for Anglicans and Non-Conformists were designed by Borough Surveyor, Daniel Ebbetts  There is some planting of lime, holly, yew, horse chestnut, Leylandia. It is bounded by utilitarian 20th railings to Park Royal Road. A Cross of Sacrifice was erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission to honour those who lost their lives in two World Wars.. The cemetery is now closed to new burials, and only used for burials in re-opened family owned graves.

Portal Way
This is a road built through the centre of an industrial area Victoria Road and Wales Farm Road. It is full of large units, mainly for businesses but residential towers are planned.
1 Dixons Car Phone Warehouse. This was their head office until a merger with Dixons.
3 Shurgard. Self Storage company building.
4 Holiday Inn. Chain hotel. This was previously a Ramada Encore hotel.
Lyra Court. Ground floor community space;
Portal West Business Centre
Delphna Group. This dates from 1972 and deals with commercial kitchens and refrigerated cold rooms to the food and drink manufacturing industry.

Rosenbank Way
Road built in the inter war years on the site of a house called Rosebank
Rosebank Works.. In the 1930s it was used by W,Hall, engineers and brassfounders and in the 1950s  the occupant was Jencons (Scientific) – laboratory supplies, and glass blowers. Oaktree House is a block on site. Now being developed for housing

Seacole Close
Leamington Park Community Centre. This is one of a group of such centres run by Catalyst Housing;

The Drive
Road on the line of the entrance into the Friar’s Place Estate

Victoria Road
Originally called Edward Road
1 NEC building. European headquarters building for this international telecoms company. This was on the site now used by Imperial College and demolished in 2009
Elgee Works.Landris and Gyr. They had a factory near the station.They are a Swiss firm, dating from the 1890s and specialising in electric meters. They set up a base in England in 1912, building the works in Acton in 1927.  in 1985 they produced a commemorative phone card and were still in production in 1996.. They are now part of Toshiba .
Ducon Works. The company was founded in New York in 1920, by William Dubilier, who was responsible for many early developments in the field of electronics and radio, including the use of mica in capacitors. They appear to have been in Acton from 1925 and to have exhibited at British trade fairs from 1929.
Victoria Instruments, Ltd., Midland Terrace.Scientific instrument company  belonging to a Mr. Quilter
Victoria Paper Mills. Owned by Albert E.Mallandain from south London who had begun as a draftsman and became a lithographer.. They made corrugated papers and laminated board. The works dated from the 1920s and later moved to a site in Park Royal.
North Acton Station.  There had been an earlier Great Western Railway North Acton Station adjacent to the present Central Line Station 1923-1947. This opened as a halt in 1904 on a service between Westbourne Park and Southall. It had a short timber platform, corrugated iron pagoda hut, oil lamps, name board and no staff.
North Acton Station. This is a tube station opened in 1923 which lies between Hangar Lane and East Acton Stations and between West Acton and East Acton Stations, all on the Central Line and run by London Underground.  Although it is a Central Line Station it originated with a New North Main Line which had been built by the Great Central and Great Western railways. The Great Western had built the Ealing & Shepherd's Bush Railway to connect their Ealing Broadway station to the Central London Railway. Trains began to run on this route in 1920 and a station at North Acton was built and owned by the Great Western. The New North Line ran on two tracks north of the Central line tracks along with two freight lines which were removed in the 1960s.  Platforms which served the New North Line closed in 1947 when the Central Line was extended to Greenford.  By 2008, only freight trains and a Chiltern Railway one a day passenger service used it. Thus the Central Line Underground station had only two platforms until 1992 when a third platform was added in space previously used by the freight line. Plaforms are reached by stairs from the booking hall and there are two exits in Victoria Road. About half the trains stopping here go to West Ruislip and about half to Ealing Broadway.
140 Castle Public House.. Built after 1913 on the site of Wales Farm A large, pub and prominent local landmark. It is a late example of the application of a Victorian ‘free style’ to a public house

Wales Farm Road,
St.Leonard’s Farm – this was also called Wales Farm and stood on the corner of Wales Farm Road and what would become Victoria Road. A footpath ran north of the farm on the line of the current road
The Friars. This was a house built in 1785 of the Goldsmiths Estate. It was sold to the Council in 1902 for the isolation hospital and became the administration block of Leamington Park hospital. It was demolished in 1989
Leamington Park Hospital. In 1902 Acton Urban District Council purchased land from the Goldsmith Estate for an isolation hospital Included in the sale was The Friars, an 18th house. The hospital opened in 1905 with The Friars as the administrative building. In 1929 the London County Council took the hospital over. In 1946 it became an annexe to the Central Middlesex Hospital before joining the National Health Service. It was renamed Leamington Park Hospital after a nearby street to avoid confusion with other hospitals. In 1953 it was linked with Acton Hospital converted for the Group Geriatric Service. In 1983 it was closed and patients transferred to Willesden General Hospital. Part of the site has been redeveloped with housing with new roads named after various medical personalities - Garrett, Jenner, Lister and Seacole.
Acton Council Electricity Works. This was on the site of The Friars and resulted from pressure from the Board of Trade. The Council arranged for the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. to provide current to the council from their works at Acton Lane. The Councils bulding at Wales Farm Road was built in 1904 and comprised static transformers and motor generators to provide a direct current The building was designed by the Council’s Surveyor, Mr. Ebbetts.  Service began in 1905 and cables were laid in 36 streets. By 1911 the costs were such that the whole system was transferred over to the Supply Company and they bought the Wales Farm Road works in 1913.
Acton Council dust destructor. This was built here 1909 and all rubbish was burnt here by 1928.
140 Elizabeth Arden Perfume Factory. This was built by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners in 1939. This American cosmetic company  moved its London factory from Westminster to this site in 1939. The Acton factory continued to make and distribute cosmetic products in the U.K. despite changing ownership. It has now been converted to offices and flats
Telegraph Condenser Works.  Their factory was also by Wallis Gilbert., In 1906 Sidney George Brown, electrical engineer and inventor, formed the Telegraph Condenser Co. to manufacture and market his inventions By 1914 the businesses had expanded to employ over a thousand people. Many thousands of his headphones were manufactured for use during the Great War.  As radio broadcasting took hold the company manufactured crystal and, valve receivers. The company also manufactured loudspeakers and compasses. They moved here in 1915  into a building designed by Wallis Gilbert.  Brown's companies provided components for both power and radio, as well as for telegraph and telephone businesses.The Browns retired in the 1940s. The company was acquired by Racal in the 1980s
Actona Biscuit Works. Owned by Gunn & Co.,
Strachan and Brown. They moved to Wales Farm Road in 1921 and were later renamed Strachans. During the Second World War they built the utilit' bus body, to government design, intended to  minimise on skilled labour and unnecessary frills. In the 1950s, they built van and lorry bodies - notably for the Post Office. The factory later moved to Hamble, on Southampton Water

Western Avenue
Major road – the A40 – built through the area in the 1930s
Gypsy Corner. This junction was formed with the construction of Western Avenue. There have been various plans for widening and improvements but none have actually taken place, In the 1990s houses were bought and demolished but work stopped in 1996 and the vacant land remained undeveloped for another decade.
Rail Bridges. This scheme is managed byTransport for London to replace the two Western Avenue bridges over the railway lines at Wales Farm Road and Perryn Road. The bridges were built in the late 1920s and were not designed to cope with the volume of traffic.
Big Yellow Storage Company. This has been built on a site which had been left derelict having been kept for a road widening scheme which was abandoned in 1996.  It is a self-storage warehouse.
S G Brown Radio Relay Products Ltd, This firm was in a property on the corner with Park Royal Road. They claimed to have been the first to use the term "loudspeaker".  In 1910 Sydney George Brown formed the company to make telephone equipment. In  1906 he formed the Telegraph Condenser Co to manufacture and market his inventions. By 1914 he was employinf  over a thousand people.Many thousands of type-A headphones were made being for use during in the Great War.Later they made crystal receivers and, later, valve receivers. They moved here in 1915. Brown also made compasses. Through the 1930s The Telegraph Condenser Co expanded; the business was turned into a public company the Browns retaining control but they were replaced by the Admitality in the Second World War. In the 1980s Racal Electronics acquired S. G. Brown

British History. Online. Acton. Web site.
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Day. London Underground
Field. London Place Names
Grace’s Guide. Web site 
Imperial College. Web site
Knights. A brief history of electricity in Acton 
Kingston Zodiac
Landrys and Gyr. Web site
Life in London. Web site
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Parks and Gardens. Online. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Middlesex Churches
National Archives. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London 
Robertson Memorials. Web site
Shamrock Club. Web site
Skinner. Form and Fancy
Stevenson. Middlesex
Univ. Middlesex. Info
Walford. Village London, 
Wikipedia. Web site. As appropriate

Friday, 17 March 2017

Acton Central

Post to the north Acton Main Line, North Acton

Acacia Road
Acacia Club tennis courts. This was present on the north side of the road until the 1950s. There is now housing on the site – more modern than the rest of the road.

Acton Park
Acton Park.  This was created in 1888. In the middle ages this had partly been a common field, Church Field. In 1886-88 land was purchased by Acton Local Board from various owners, including the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, a market garden, and the Perryn Charity but mainly from the Goldsmiths' Company.  Lane in the south of the park had been used in part for brick-earth extraction in the 1870s and the ground remains uneven. It was opened to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The northern boundary changed in the Second World War and became allotments and in 1945 prefabs were built here. A bank along the northern edge was removed when these prefabs were removed. At the same time an entrance was created as a result of a flying bomb demolishing houses in East Churchfields Road.
The Layout.  This includes mature trees some of which may predate the formation of the park and may be hedgerow trees. Some plane trees may have been planted to provide a view from the Goldsmiths' Almshouses. The municipal layout has radiating avenues of mature trees with large grassed open spaces, and there are views to the east. There are planted clumps and lined walks of beech, hornbeam, horse chestnuts and lime. There is a sunken garden laid out with rhododendrons and other shrubs.
Twilight Tree. This is a tree which died of Dutch Elm Disease near the main entrance carved into a 28-foot statue.
Wildlife site. In the south of the park is a hedge, a pond and wildflower meadow area. This was developed in .2001 by Ealing's Parks Service with the Friends of Acton Park.
Obelisk.  This is a memorial to James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater who was one of the leaders of the 1715 Rebellion, imprisoned after the Battle of Preston, and beheaded on Tower Hill in 1716. It was originally in the grounds of Derwentwater House, Horn Lane and was given to Acton Council by the owners of the house in 1904.
Bandstand. This staged popular concerts in the early 20th. The site of it is now a circular bed with ornamental planting.
Pavilion and cafe. These were installed in the 1930s
Acton Park Lodge. It is now the East Ranger Base

Alfred Road
C.J. Jordan Monumental Masons were at Zero from the early 20th until around 2014. The site is now being developed for housing and Jordans are elsewhere in the Borough

Baldwyn Gardens
There is said to be a manhole cover here for Acton Council Electricity Supply

Berrymead Gardens
2 United Services Club. This was Liberty Hall an Evangelistic Mission, set up by undesignated Christians in 1908. The United Services Club were using the building by 1933 and remain as a Clubs and Institutes Union Working Men’s club.,
5 Presbytery for Our Lady of Lourdes which is round the corner in the High Road.

Birkbeck Road
4 Probation Service Office. The site was previously a nursery – and there may have been other nurseries opposite.

Chaucer Road
Roman Pottery found here by Pitt Rivers, 1869when the houses were built
Railings - early 18th railings, gate piers, and garden walls remain in back gardens in the street as relics of the grant houses which once stood in the area.

Church Road
16 Ruskin Hall. Ealing Labour Party
Hope Centre Baptist church. The Baptist church in Acton originated in 1856, and a church was established here in 1864. In 1894 the church split and some members built a rival chapel. In 1977 this church rejoined the Church Road Baptists. It was designed by in 1864 by W Mumford with a classical frontage and stained glass windows with idiosyncratic lamp brackets along the frontage

Churchfield Road
This is on the line of an ancient track across the Church Field from Acton to East Acton Lane, and it remained unpaved until 1860. Between Churchfield and East Churchfield Roads.
Level Crossing for the railway
2 Albion Pub. This closed 2008 and is now a beauty shop. It dated from the 1880s.
11-13 The Rocket. Originally this was The Station Hotel and was built in 1871
Darton Court. This is the site of Acton Congregational Chapel. This opened in 1871 and eventually became United Reform in 1972. It closed in 1976 and there is now a block of sheltered housing flats on site. Churchfield Hall was attached to the church and used by various religious and other groups for meetings, including use by local schools.
89 This was taken over in 1941 by the laundry operating at the rear in Grove Place. It was demolished in 1991 and replaced with flats.
115 The Mechanics Arms. This was later known as Foleys and then Lynch’s Inn. It closed in 2011. It dated from the 1880s
St Mary’s Burial Ground. This was opened in 1863 on land purchased by the Acton Vestry. It had been part of Conduit Close where springs, providing the village with water. By 1929 it was almost full. In 1979 it was turned into a public garden with a paved area, planters and headstones were set against the perimeter walls. It is bounded by iron railings with an iron entrance gate from Churchfield Road

Cromwell Close
This is on the site of what was Acton Technical College and itself on the site of Grove House. There are now flats on the site of the house and the college.
Grove House. This was built in the 19th as a gentleman’s country house and then demolished in the 1920s. It had previously been Acton Commercial College, a boys' boarding school from 1896, run by a trustee of Acton Methodist church. It provided preparatory classes for young boys and courses for careers in business, the civil service, and engineering. It moved to Ealing in 1925 and House was sold to Acton Urban District Council.
Acton Technical College. This was built on the site of Grove House and opened in 1928 with access via Locarno Road. Some sectors of the College moved out to eventually become Brunel University. The original College also moved and this building was demolished.

East Churchfield Road
Goldsmiths' Company almshouses. Overlooking the park this was built in 1811 by Charles Beazley. In 1808 a scheme was developed to build almshouses on Goldsmiths' Company property here. The freehold land had been left to the Goldsmiths by John Perryn. Twelve almshouses were built in 1811 and another eight added in 1838. Almspeople were chosen from the Settled Pension List. Rules were stringent and it was compulsory to attend church twice on Sundays. It is a yellow brick building with two wings. At the ends and the centre are stuccoed feature buildings. The forecourt gardens are laid out with a lawn and, originally, two Lebanon cedars. It is surrounded by railings on a low brick wall with central gates. Behind the buildings is a walled garden and allotment garden with service yard, with two old water pumps and a chapel. In 2011 they were converted into 20 homes by Charterhouse Standard Holdings.
Maples Children’s Centre and Nursery School.
Acton Central Station.  Opened in 1853 this now lies between Willesden Junction and South Acton on the North London Line. Originally North and South West Junction Railway were authorised to build a line between two other railway junctions to join the London North West Railway from near Kensal Green to the London South West Railway’s line near Kew. Passenger services over it were run by the North London on what was a single track with no stops.  In 1853 this station was opened and called ‘Acton’ and said to the result of action by the Goldsmiths’ Company. It was then called ‘Acton Churchfield Road’ until 1925 when it became ‘Acton Central’.  The Italianate station was very grand in pale brick with yellow London stock detail and is now partly a pub.  Between 1875 and 1902 it was connected with St.Pancras via the Dudding Hill Line.In 2011, the platforms were lengthened to allow longer trains. This is where trains change power supply from overhead line equipment to third rail
The Station House Pub. This is in the part of the station building which was the postal sorting office.
Manor Farmhouse. This was on the corner with East Acton Lane. There are now flats on the site.

Friars Place Lane
St Dunstan. This church was built in 1879 following a request from the Goldsmith’s Company who endowed it.  . It was designed by the architect R Hesketh with red brickwork and a 140 foot high landmark tower

Goldsmiths Close
A development by John Grey and Partners for Peabody1956

Grove Place
2 -2a this was a laundry before 1871. In 1887 it was the Sussex Laundry and in 1941 extended to a shop front in Churchfield Road

High Street
1 Railway Tavern. This pub has had a series of name changes – on 2006 it was the Captain Cook, and later Libertaire. Euphoriom, Frankie's; Hollywood Greats. It dates from the 1860s
Dominion Cinema. This opened in 1937. It was belonged to the Bacal & Lee Circuit, and was designed by Frank Ernest Bromige in streamlined Art Deco. Inside the circle was cafe in a sunken floor area. It was taken over by the Granada Circuit in 1946 and re-named Granada Theatre. It closed in 1972 and was became the Gala Bingo Club which closed in 2014. It was then sold to the Destiny Christian Centre who have now left it.
Town Hall. The original Town Hall building fronts onto Winchester Street. This is the 1938 extension. It continues along Winchester Street but faces onto the High Street.
Inside it is dominated by the main marble staircase. There is an Assembly hall, with a stage and dressing rooms a reception room, panelled in sycamore and called the Sycamore Room. Committee rooms on the first floor later used as offices. It was by Robert Atkinson who used good materials in a, Scandinavian-inspired fashion.
Acton Baths. These have now been rebuilt with an entrance from the High Street which opened in 2014.
50 Windmill Pub, Late 19th corner building with a tower and some pargetting.
Acton Library. This is in red-brick with an ornate façade. It was designed by Maurice Bingham Adams and constructed in 1898-1900. It is no longer in use as a library. It was originally funded by Passmore Edwards
Our Lady of Lourdes. This is an Italian Romanesque church built in 2002 from designs by Edward Goldie including some use of concrete. The interior marble furnishings date from the 1950s. In the early 19th there was a small base of local Catholic activity and in 1882 a corrugated iron church was opened in South Acton and in 1902 the current church was built. Various extensions and fittings have been added since.
191 Crown Cinema. This opened in 1911 it built by. Field and Son. From 1913 it was named the Crown Kinema and closed around 1946. By then the auditorium was a snooker club. Part of the building was demolished in 2003 and flats built on the site. The original facade and foyer is a Chinese take-a-way and a dentist in above.
145 Elephant and Castle now called Foleys. Pub, also called The Clare Inn. This dates from the 1880s and may, or may not, still be open.
183  George and the Dragon. An 18th building with an Edwardian pub front. Inside is a list of landlords since 1759. There is also attached a micro brewery called the Dragonfly. There are also two large statues of nymphs.
Barclays Bank. Originally built for the London and South West Bank  in 1884
The Old Fire Station. The Acton Local Board bought a manual fire engine and escape following fires in the 1860s. A volunteer Fire Brigade was also formed and equipment was housed in a shed behind the church. A new Fire Station was opened in 1899 designed by D J Ebbetts, the Acton Surveyor. It included a tower to dry hose and act as a lookout. There was a flat for the engineer and a panelled room for drill. There was also a mortuary and an ambulance. It remained in use until 1939 and then became a civil defence post. It is now a church.
St.Mary's Church. This is the parish church. A church dedicated to St Mary of the Visitation’ has been on this site since at least 1231. In 1642 it was damaged by Roundhead soldiers. Under the present floor are the remains of the church rebuilt in 1834 and demolished except for the tower, in 1865. The tower was replaced in 1876. The church contains art works and monuments – including a wooden font carved by Maoris for the Wembley Exhibition of 1924-1925. The clock in the tower dates from 1876 and there are eight bells, two dated 1637.
Graveyard. This was replaced for burials by the Churchfield Road Burial Ground.
Pump. The Acton Pump is by the north-west door of St. Mary's. It was originally in the High Street replacing an earlier conduit. It was restored by Dorothea and placed here. It is inscribed "1819 t. Freethy, maker, Acton, erected by the Rev Wm. Antrobus"
Mile post. This is opposite the pump but originally stood in the High Street. As a turnpike that was the Uxbridge Road and distances were measured from Tyburn.

Hoopers Mews
Acton Poultry Club. Club House and offices in the 1940s and 1950s.

Horn Lane
This is an old lane now cut in two with part as a main road and part as a small scale shopping street. It was once called Stone Lane.
Stream called the Warple ran, or runs, from here to Ravenscourt Park. It flowed down along the road
10 Rex Cinema. This opened as the Acton Cinematograph Theatre in 1909. It had two projectors, a small orchestra, a piano and an organ. Seating was on a single floor. By 1913 it was the Acton Kinema Theatre, and then Kinema until 1930 when it was wired for sound and re-named Carlton Cinema. In 1937 it was re-named Rex Cinema and was closed in around 1943. The building was used as offices for Barrett Maintenance Services Ltd until it was demolished in 2007, and replaced with housing.
Man hole cover. This is said to represent St Helen's Cable Co. for Acton Urban District Council.
Artillery House Territorial Army. In 1938, RHQ, 154 and 155 Batteries had moved from Chelsea to here After the Second World War it was used by one of the City of London Field Regiments. The site is no longer in use by the TA. Engineer House was demolished in 2001 and there are now flats on site.
35 Hawkco House. Offices for tool hire company and training establishments. The building is named for F.Hawkins and Co. who moved the offices for their grocery business here in 1932. They went out of business in 1977
Springfield Gardens. The site was part of the estate of Springfields House, named for a spring here, part of the land was bought by Acton Urban District Council in 1920 in order to deposit excavated material from sewage works construction. In 1933 it was decided to turn it into ornamental public gardens. It opened in 1935 when it had 'trim lawns, flower-beds, rockeries, meandering gravel paths and summer houses' .Tennis courts, putting greens and bowling greens and a children's playground were provided and the park had a path 'in the form of a loop for gentle exercise'. An open-air theatre was later demolished.
Baptist chapel. This was on the corner of Faraday Road. It had originated in Hope Baptist church which moved here in 1904. It closed in 1934 and was renamed Faraday Hall and was subsequently used by Acton Liberal Association and later by the Labour Party.  The site is now flats.
Springfield Works. Described as ‘hearing aid works’ in the 1950s this seems to be a branch of Ardente Acoustics founded by a Mr. Dent. They had a head office in Oxford Street and a factory in Guildford and elsewhere, including Park Royal, and specialised in acoustic equipment of many sorts. Springfield Works itself was built on the site of an old gravel pit, one of several in the area
Derwentwater House. Built by historian Nicholas Selby in 1804 after the Earl of Derwentwater. Demolished 1909.
Rectory. This was built here in 1725 and demolished in 1925

Market Place
This was part of Horn Lane, renamed in the mid 19th when shops were built here. There are also market stalls in other parts of the adjacent area. There has been a market in Acton since the middle ages.
Sheepwalk Tavern. This pub closed in 2012 it may, or may not, be open. It’s a 19th pub originally called William IV.

Oldham Road
2-5 Acton Mosque and Muslim Welfare Association. Acton Mosque is the town's main mosque: daily prayers, Friday prayers, Islamic talks and children’s' classes.

Salisbury Street
Acton Baths – the public baths have now been replaced on the same site but with an entrance from the High Street
Public baths Acton Baths, opened in 1904, with changing rooms are located around the outside of the pool. There were two Swimming Baths and slipper baths supplemented in 1926 by the King's Rooms fronting the High Street. This meant there was a Grand Entrance Hall when the baths were floored over for a dance or concert. On the first floor was a restaurant with elaborate plaster of ship's prows. Restored in 1989-1990 and since demolished and replaced
King George V Garden. This was opened on Coronation Day 1911 and was eventually covered by extensions to the baths and the 1930s Town Hall. It was taken over for Army offices during the Great War and later used as offices by the Council.

Shaa Road
Road built up on Goldsmiths’ Company land in the late 19th

Shakespeare Road
This was built up in the 1860s and named for Shakespeare House which it replaced.
89- 91 Acton Conservative Club and Headquarters. In 1871 this was Acton’s first baths – a private baths, double fronted with imposing stairs. In 1903 it became a laundry, and in 1927 became a billiard saloon. It is said there is an underground stream and artesian well beneath it, and also a ghost. This has now been demolished and replaced with housing.
Derwentwater Primary school. This was built in 1905 as the Acton Central Schools, on part of the grounds of Derwentwater House.  It was a classic "three decker", with Infant, Junior and Senior schools in the three separate levels of the building. It was the first building in Acton to be lit by electric light from the Council's works in Wales Farm Road. The school had a commercial bias with French, typing and science included. It had a Manual Centre, and a Cookery School. It is now a Primary School and nursery

St.Dunstan's Avenue
There are several green spaces down the west side of the road. Many sadly fenced off.

Steyne Road
51-53 London Star Hotel
86 Duke of York Public House. Early 20th corner pub of three storeys in red brick with pepper pot turret with copper cladding.

The Vale
195 Kiss Gyms
272-282 Bryant Court Sheltered Housing
Access Storage Solutions. This is what was the Wallis Gilbert building of Napier’s engineering works as modified in the 1970s. David Napier came to Soho later moving to Lambeth, D Napier & Sons was set up in 1848 and was taken over by grandson M. S. Napier in 1895 working on internal combustion engines and motor carriages. They moved to Acton Vale in 1903, and by 1906 were making 200 cars a year plus motor boat engines. In the Great War they made aircraft engines under government contract including the “Lion”. This led to the construction of the extant building. During the Second World War, production of aircraft engines was increased. The company was taken over by English Electric Company in 1942, and became part of the GEC group. The Acton sites continued to develop products, but closed in 1965.
Park Lodge
Horse trough outside the Lodge
220 Seaton House and Grafton House. Marked from 1950s as ‘nurses homes’
St John's Ambulance. First Aid Dressing Station. Present in the 1950s
273 art deco garage building.
St Barnabas church. Built in 1890 as an iron mission church. Closed and the site sold by 1919 when the building became a club.

Vyner Road
Named after another goldsmith, Thomas Vyner

Winchester Street
Acton Town Hall and Municipal Buildings. Acton Public office and Town Hall were built in 1909-10 on a site then already crowded by public baths, a police court and a public library. They were designed by Raffles & Gridley who came second in a competition assessed by. Norman Shaw. The building is modest because of finance but embodied a degree of civic pride. Inside is a staircase leading to the council chamber, committee room and councillors' retiring-room on the first floor and expansion of office space was allowed for. In 1939 a new town hall was built for the Borough of Acton which fronts onto the High Street.
Magistrates Court. Now housing

Action W3. Web site
Acton Masjid. Web site
Barton. Lost Rivers of London
British History. Online Acton. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site.
C.J.Jordan and Sons. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. London Place Names,
Grace’s Guide. Web sites
Harper Smith. Soapsud Island
Haverhill Whitings. Web site
Hearing Aid Museum. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Knights. Electricity in Acton
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Metropolitan Archive. Web site
Lost Pubs Project. Web site
Meulankamp and Wheatley. Follies,
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Oates. Acton. A History
Pastscape. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Robins. North London Railway
Rocket. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
St Mary’s. Web site
Taking Stock. Web site

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

M25 Bricket Wood

Post to the west Bricket Wood
Post to the east Smug Oak Lane
Post to the south Bricket Wood

Blackboy Wood
Scouts Hall. This is round behind the shops near the pylon.  It is the 4th North Watford Scouts. (1st Bricket Wood)

Blackgreen Wood
There is now just a remnant of Blackgreen Wood which once stretched from Old Watford Road to Station Road. It is now a public open space in the ownership of the Parish Council. The original wood once covered the area of the village of Bricket Wood as is to be seen in the number of mature trees, primarily oak, within and around the village. In the 1930's the wood was sold and people from Watford and St. Albans bought five acre plots with no sanitation or lighting to built holiday chalets. Water came from wells.

Hunters Ride
Choristers Court. This was Victor Smith Court. Sheltered housing.

Lye Lane
Bricket Wood Sport and Country Club. This appears to be operating as a club hosting weddings and conferences. There are a number of buildings, many apparently built without planning consent. This is on what was a large sports ground attached to the club which appeared also to consist of a large cricket pitch dating from the 1920s.
Bricket Wood golf course. This site to the west of the road was given planning permission in 1995 but never built. Initially the developers were allowed to import waste to build a bank to shield the site from the M25 – but more and more waste kept coming in. Then the topsoil was a sold.
Bricket Wood Paintball Centre. This is on what was part of the sports club
Lye House, the sports grounds appear to have originally been the grounds of Lye House.
Caravan site, Travellers' site
Woodside Retreat.  In 1889 brothers Henry and William Gray bought up land and built Woodside Retreat Fairground. This attracted hordes of visitors to the area and a small village developed around the station. In 1929 Lady Yule bought it up and closed it down.
Horseshoe Business Park, This may or may not be on the site of Woodside Retreat
Recreation Ground
Bakery. Now an undertaker


North Riding
Built by speculator R.Christmas

Oak Avenue  
Built by speculator R Christmas

Smug Oak Green
Site of Joyland fair built by R. Christmas and closed down by Lady Yule in 1929

South Riding
Built by speculator R.Christmas
St Luke’s Church. Built by speculator R.Christmas in the 1930s as a Village Hall and church. At first built it was a daughter church of Holy Trinity Frogmore but in 1981 became a Parish in its own right. The village hall has now expanded and hosts many events.

Station Road
The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Centre  This is in the buildings of what was Smug Oak Farmhouse and opened in 1982 to provide an autism specific day service. The Centre is run by Dimensions supporting people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health problems.
Fox and Hounds. This pub closed in 2010 and is now a house
St Stephen Parish Centre is the old Smug Oak Farm dairy
Railway Cottages
The Gate Pub. This pub has recently reopened.
Congregational Church, Built in 1895 and in use until the 1960s when it was replaced by the United Reformed Church in West Riding. It is now a lawnmower shop.
Bricketwood Station. This opened in 1858 and lies between How Wood and Garston on London Overground Line to Euston via Watford Junction. London, Midland, and Scottish Railway, from Watford to St. Albans. Two funfairs situated nearby meant that hundreds of people passed through the station in the summer months. The station then had a crossing loop and a second platform that could accommodate long excursion trains.  However, the funfairs closed in 1929 and the traffic fell.
Bricket Wood Railway District Control Building. This is at the north-east end of the Bricket Wood Station car park, in the trees between the station and Railway Cottages. It is a protected railway control room for BR London Midland Region built in 1954 and was intended as the dispersed location for the London Euston control room. Built of reinforced concrete construction, it would appear to be the sole surviving example of this type in England

Bricket Wood Parish Council. Web site
Bricket Wood Residents Association. Web site
Historic England. Web site
St. Albans City Council. Web site
St.Luke's Church Bricket Wood. Web site
Wikipedia. As appropriate
4th North Watford Scouts.  Web site

Monday, 13 March 2017

M25 Bricket Wood

Post to the north Noke Lane
Post to the west Waterdale
Post to the east Bricket Wood


North Orbital Road

Oakwood Road
Five Acres Country Club. Nudist club. In 1945 the site was bought by Gerald Gardner who wanted to found a coven there.
Witches' Cottage,  This 16th house was re-erected by Gardner in the club grounds. It was decorated with magical signs on the inside. He had bought it from the Freemason John S.M. Ward who had found it near Ledbury.

Old Watford Road
This was the turnpike St.Albans Road.
Black Boy. The pub dates from the 18th and was by a tollgate on what was then the St. Albans Road. It then catered for drovers. The name probably relates to Charles II.
Roman tile kiln. This was discovered during excavations at the back of the Black Boy pub.

Mount Pleasant Lane
Mount Pleasant Junior Mixed and Infants School. This dates from the 1930s

West Riding
Bricket Wood United Reform Church. Two 1960s buildings at right angles to each other, the current hall was the church and the current church was added as a hall. It was originally a mission church for the Spicer Street Chapel in St.Albans but in the 1920s it became part of Trinity Congregational Church. In 1972 it became United Reform.

Archaeological database. Web site
Black Boy. Web site
Five Acres Country Club. Website
Hertfordshire Churches, Website
Mount Pleasant Land School. Web site

M25 Noke Lane

Post to the west Chiswell Junction
Post to the  south Bricket Wood


Noke Lane
Miriam Lane and Entrance to the Gardens of the Rose. (the gardens are in the square to the north)
Noke Lane Business Centre. 
Holt Farm. Livery stables. The house may have origins from 1311 and there are stories of links with Jane Seymour and Henry VIII. There is a large barn, a granary and a moat which is now part of the gardens.
Holt Farmhouse. 15th house altered later and made up of two units. It has a timber frame with weatherboarded extensions..
Noke Farm Equestrian Centre.

North Orbital Road

British Listed Buildings. Web site
St. Alban’s City Council. Web site

M25 Chiswell Junction

Post to the south Waterdale
Post to the east Noke Lane

Blunts Lane
Hanrox Meadows. This is a farm rearing free range turkeys. Established in the early 2000s.

Holt Wood

Junction 6A. This is the  Chiswell Interchange which is a junction between the M1 and M15. It was opened in 1986 abd the M1 continues through the junction. There is no link off the A1 other than onto the M25.

Junction 21, This is the Chiswell Interchange  between the M1 and M25. It was opened in 1986 as part of the last section of the M25.

Plaistowes Wood

Searches Lane
Searches Farm
Granary. This has a barn extension. It is 18th and incorporates red brick 18th wall
Barn  Long weatherboarded 18th range.

Whitehouse Lane
Whitehouse Farm

Hanrox  Meadows. Web site
Historic England. Web site
SABRE. Web site

M25 Waterdale

Post to the west East Lane Abbots Langley
Post to the north Chiswell Junction
Post to the east Bricket Wood

Chequers Lane
Chequers. This was once a pub. It is a 16th house with a timber frame, and rendered brick casing, part weatherboarded.

This section of the road opened in 1959 and was then two lanes only in both directions and was widened in the early 1980s to three lanes in both directiosn..
Junction 6. This is Waterdale Interchange. It connects the M1 to the A405 North Orbital Road with an original bridge by Owen Williams. It opened in 1959 and remains basically the same except that originally both carriageways of the M1 crossed the North Orbital Road using the western bridge. When the M1 was widened a new bridge to the east which carries the southbound carriageway, while the western bridge now carrying the widened northbound carriageway.

North Orbital Road Waterdale
This is the A405 which was originally planned as part of a London orbital road. It was built in the 1930s and this is part of the original section.
Junction with M1. The road becomes a trunk road northeast of the junction and runs on link to the


Winch Hill Wood
Woodland cut in two by the M1

British Listed Buildings. Web site
GLIAS newsletter
SABRE, Web site