Silk Stream - Colindale

Silk Stream
The Silk Stream flows south eastwards
TQ 20548 89781

Busy area along the Edgeware Road including many historic aircraft manufacturing sites

Post to the north Burnt Oak

Post to the south Kingsbury Green

Annesley Road
By 1920 AIRCO had premises here

Capitol Way
The road is made up of trading units and superstores. The area was previously covered by factories
Aspar Pharmaceuticals

Carlisle Road
Carlisle Road was built in the 1930s on land used for industry since before the Great War, when it was the northern boundary of the area used by AIRCO.
1 Peerless and Ericsson. This company made coffee grinders, potato peeling machines, dough kneaders, sausage fillers etc. They became part of Baker Perkins in the 1930s but appear to have been here from the late 1920s...
11a Nigel Fredericks, Butchery business which began elsewhere in the 1890s.
15a Café de Carriage – café designed as a green double decker bus
20 Bosch. The company made grinders here in the 1960s
20 Scintilla Ltd. The British division of this Swiss company was based here 1930s-1950s making electrical equipment, mainly for aircraft and specialising in magnetos
Acorn Products Ltd. Founded in 1928 moved here from Camden Town in 1936. In 1965 it became Acorn Aluminium Products and closed in 1968. They made a large range of anodized and Electro-metallurgical products
Armstrong Cork Company Limited. This American based multi-national had its Ceiling Systems Department here in the 1960s. The factory was on the north side of the road
Broadway Engineering Co. Ltd. This company based here in the 1930s and early 1940s handled agencies for machine tools, etc.
Coxorian Works. Owned by John Cox this works was here in the 1960s making specialist fireproof cloths for aircraft seats, etc.
Kay (Sports and Games) Ltd. This company had works here from the 1930s -1960s making a wide range of items from the Kay Chemistry Outfits, to sports equipment specialising in Dart Boards. Still there in the 1960s with a factory on the south side of the road
Lamson Paragon. They opened their packaging division, factory and offices here in 1969, moving from another factory site nearby.

Cecil Road
Everett and Edgecumbe Instrument Works. Although Cecil Road is given as the address of this works which stood on the south side of the road the works also fronted onto Colindeep Lane.they built their first monoplane in 1910 and effectively founded Hendon airfield. In Cecil Road they made specialist electrical instrumentation – now collector’s items.
Process Developments. Made plastic processing machinery.

Colindale Avenue
New Chandos Pub. Prominent building with a ‘Tudor style’ façade. Closed.
London& Parisian Motor Company Ltd. Repair Works. They were agents for Hotchkiss and Delage cars and in 1914 had their Motor Works here. In 1916 it became the London and Provincial Aeroplane works who used designer Anthony Fletcher. . By 1921, their premises were occupied by the Hendon Jig & Tool Company Limited.
The Hendon Electric Supply Co. this is a brick building with the name on a plaque above the first floor. There are houses built at the back in what was the yard
70 Seahorse Furniture and some offices.
68 Jain Centre. This has been refurbished to include a carved wooden temple with semi structured idols and a Community Hall, Seminar Room, Offices and ancillary facilities. It is an old factory building.

Colindeep Lane
Technology Park – on the site of the Everett and Edgecumbe Works in Cecil Road
The Chestnuts – new housing on the site of a house of that name

Edgware Road
319 Dagenham Motors. Motor showrooms on the site of the Desoutter factory built in 1998.
319 Desoutter Brothers. Desoutter was set up in 1914 to manufacture artificial limbs. This was started after Marcel Desoutter lost his leg in an accident. In the course of this a pneumatic drill was developed. By the 1920s a range of pneumatic power tools had been developed and Desoutter took over a company manufacturing electric power tools. Moving to Colindale, in 1924 where they had an art deco factory. By the 1980s they had many foreign subsidiaries. They were sold to Air Power Tools in the 1990s. The factory was demolished and is now a car showroom. However they seem to maintain some sort of presence at that address
333 Southon House. Headquarters building of MFI furniture group
399 Oriental City. This was a shopping centre specialising in oriental goods and restaurants. It had been set up as Yaohan Shopping Centre but the parent body became bankrupt and it was sold to Malaysian owners who renamed it. It closed in 2006 and the site redeveloped.
508 Merit House, tower block and offices on the site of the tram depot.
AIRCO.  The Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., had been formed by George Holt Thomas in 1912. At first they built French Farman designs under licence, but in 1914 Geoffrey de Havilland became their chief designer and after that their aircraft were De Havilland DH1, DH2 etc. AIRCO produced thousands of aircraft for the British military during Great War. In 1914 AIRCO were on the east, side of the road. There was an expansion to meet increased War Office orders around 1917 and by 1919 had all the area between Hay Lane and Carlisle Road, plus part of the grounds of Grove House. By the Armistice the workforce had grown to 4,400 and the factory area had increased seven-fold and it was advertised in 1918 as the largest aircraft company in the world. They established the first airline in the United Kingdom, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, as a subsidiary. The original AIRCO hangar covered six acres with 15 acres of land. There aircraft were built for the R.F.C., Royal Navy, and R.A.F. Behind it were other hangars which were still there in 1922. The Edgware Road factory covered six-acres. AIRCO could not adjust to peacetime production and by 1919 the company was in trouble. It was bought by the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited in 1920, manufacturers of cars and bicycles as well as firearms – but they were not interested in making aircraft when they discovered how bad the AIRCO’s finances really were. Geoffrey de Havilland bought the assets he needed and set up his own company in 1920.  Havilland moved to Hatfield in 1914 but the site was used until 1971 and the original buildings were used by BACS.  In 2005 tthey were demolished for housing. 
Beardmore Motors. William Beardmore Company was a Glasgow based engineering company active in many feeds from the mid-1880s. In 1919 they had set up a motor vehicle manufacturing arm. In 1929, Beardmore Motors was bought out by its directors, and taxi production moved to Hendon where a line of taxis was introduced and manufactured. In 1956 production moved to Addlestone.
Beis Yaakov Primary School. This is a voluntary-aided primary school, for girls aged 3 to 11 from Orthodox Jewish families. It is the largest Jewish primary school for girls in the country. It was set up in 1972 to serve the Cheredi community and was then in Finchley Road. It is maintained by the London Borough of Barnet although it is actually in Brent. The building was previously known as Kilburn Polytechnic Annexe but was in fact the former headquarters of AIRCO. The office building dates from about 1914 when Holt Thomas embarked on a big expansion. Before being taken over by the Polytechnic the building was used for a mixed secondary school, Kingsbury County, which had been adapted in 1925
Daimler. British Daimler was always independent of the German company and from 1910 were part of Birmingham Small Arms. After BSA took over AIRCO there was an attempt to extend Daimler’s car hire business into air hire– The Daimler Air Way - but using Croydon Airport. This eventually became part of Imperial Airways of which it formed the basis. In Colindale their works were south of the former AIRCO hangar on the corner of Grove Lane.
Davies Tyre Works. Davies were on the site on the south side of the road immediately south of Colindeep Lane. They had originated in 1880 as a bicycle maker, S. T. Davies & Co. After the Great War they concentrated on wholesaling imported tyres and then sold tyres made elsewhere but 1924 branded “Davies" and this continued. Their range consisted of Davies car, giant and motor cycle covers and tubes and also in retreads
Frigidaire. This is an American firm, a division of General Motors. Their UK operation started in a wooden shack in Aerodrome Road, employing 11 people in 1923. They sold the first fridges in England. They took over some of the site on the west side of the road in 1931.
General Motors Limited. They acquired the freehold, from the War Department in 1928. This was land used by Lamson Paragon Supply Company Limited, formerly owned by Thrupp and Maberley plus land owned by the Royal Dental Hospital and the Daimler Company. What had been the No.1 Aircraft Salvage Depot - the northernmost factory on the west side of the road, built in 1917, became General Motors assembly plant in 1923 onwards. They opened a branch with 6 employees in 1923, making vehicles which included assembly of Chevrolet vehicles, for which a specialist plant was set up here. They assembled a 1-ton Chevrolet truck here to avoid paying import duty. Chassis parts came from Canada and assembled into using a range of bodies from local manufacturers. American practices of standardised manufacture meant that unskilled labour was used. After taking over Vauxhall in 1928 some work moved to Luton
Handley Page. Had a temporary factory in this area near the AIRCO works in 1915 where the first large bomber made in England was constructed and towed to the airfield along Colindale Avenue.
Hupfield Bros. and Hedges, Reinforced Plastics. Took over the Lamson Paragon factory in 1959
Lamson Paragon. This firm took over Thrupp & Maberly's premises in 1920. They had been set up in the City of London in 1886 as the Paragon Check Book Co. The Hendon factory opened in 1922 as Papercraft Works, making bags and wrappings but after the Second World War, production moved to West Hartlepool and the offices moved to Carlisle Road in 1969
Mercedes Benz House. Centre for Smart Car dealership
Nevett Bookbinding Co. The Company had been set up in the City in the 18th and had pioneered a number of bookbinding techniques.
Phoenix Telephone & Electric Works, which started in 1912 in Cricklewood, became the War Department signal factory, and moved to Kingsbury in the early 1920s. At its height it employed 1,600 workers but there were only 1,000at the factory's closure in 1968-9. They were on both sides of Grove Lane in old AIRCO premises. Om one side was an old AIRCO hangar. They began to make telephone apparatus and other electrical and mechanical domestic appliances plus tinsel as a component of telephone cords. In the 1960s the Post Office was their single largest customer.
Shoelands Farm. This was owned by All Souls College Oxford but in industrial use from 1914.
T. F. Bristow and Co. Soap and shampoo factory here in the 1950s. The firm was founded in the 18th and later became part of Smith Kline. It was on the east side of the road
Thrupp and Maberly Limited. This firm built motor bodies at Shoelands Farm. In 1920, they moved to Acton and later became a Rootes' subsidiary.
Trolleybus Depot. This was on the site of what is now Merit House and had been the Metropolitan Electric Tramways Hendon Depot – the name was changed to Colindale Depot in 1950 to avoid confusion with Hendon bus garage. It has been converted to trolleybus use in 1936 but in 1910 it had been where the first British trials of a trolleybus were held. It has been intended to convert all tram routes to trolleybuses but the war intervened and motor buses were used instead. It was closed and demolished in 1962. Land behind the depot was used from 1959 to 1962 by the George Cohen 600 Group for scrapping the trolleybus fleet.
Turnpike marker. This was south of the junction with The Greenway. It was placed on the Edgware - Kilburn Turnpike, which had opened in 1711. It is in cast iron and marked ‘Hendon Parish’.

Grove Park
The road evolved from a new road which followed the line of a footpath to Grove House and which ran from the main entrance to AIRCO. AIRCO had acquired the Grove Park Estate along Stag Lane to increase production around 1917.
Grove Park – small local park with The Bungalow which is part of Grove Park School., this was Westfield College Athletic Ground – previously the Royal Dental Hospital Sports Ground
Grove House. This stood south of Shoelands Farm, on the west side of the road. It was a nursing home in 1906 but had been the home of Field Marshall Lord Roberts. It was requisitioned by AIRCO to create a take-off field. It was bought by Hendon Council in 1934, demolished, and the grounds became Grove Park. In 1914 there was a private road from Edgware Road to the house and another roadway going to Stag Lane from it which became Grove Park Road.
The Village School. This is a merger between Grove Park Special School and Hay Lane School with new buildings on the Grove Park site. Grove Park School was built in the late 1960 by Brent Council as a school for physically disabled children. There is a swimming pool here as there was at Grove Park.
Kingswood Kitchens – this factory is in the remaining buildings of the AIRCO factory.

Hay Lane
St. Sebastian and St Pancras Roman Catholic Church. In 1924 a cottage and field next to Haydon House as a camping ground for the Westminster Cathedral boy scouts. A church was built there in 1925 - St. Sebastian and St. Pancras, are the patron saints of scout officers and cadets. In 1930 and subsequently the church was enlarged.
26 Father O’Callaghan Centre
Hay Lane School. This was built in the late 1960s by the Department of Health for children with severe learning difficulties. In the early 1970s the council took over Hay Lane School

Montrose Park
Engine shed. This remains from the Hendon Factory Branch railway from the Midland Main Line.’ This terminated in a fan of sidings on Edgware Road just north of the Tramway Depot.

Roe Green
Roe Green Garden Village lies behind the AIRCO buildings, between Stag and Bacon Lanes and was completed in 1920. As a Garden Village it was built on old farm land to house the hundreds of factory workers. In 1916, the Office of Works commissioned its principal architect, Frank Baines, to design an estate of cottages for aircraft workers. Roe Green was based on his office’s design for Woolwich Well Hall Estate built for Arsenal workers

Stag Lane
Sewage works. This was next to the General Motors site in land owned by All Souls College. It was built in 1904 by Kingsbury Urban District Council on Stratford Long, east of the road. The site was sold in 1925
Roberts Court. Site of Amy Johnson’s house was where Stag and Hay Lanes meet
Stag Lane Clinic
Library. This is now used by the Brent Park pupil referral service
The Brent Sikh Centre, founded in 1995 in a church hall in Edgware. They bought a coal depot/junkyard from the council in 1995 opened a new centre there.
Kinnor Jewish Youth and Community Centre

The Greenway
Capitol Industrial Park

Windover Avenue
Windovers the coachbuilders were in a short road named after them off Edgware Road. They claimed to go back to a Bartholomew Windover who was a 17th saddler in Devon. By the late 185y the family had a coach building business in Grantham and Huntingdon. In the mid-19th they built a two wheeled horse drawn vehicle and were established Coachbuilders. In 1910 they made their first body for a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. After the Second World War they made bodies for passenger coaches some of the first models were used for coach tours abroad. In the 1950s they made fire engines including the "Green Goddess. Hey also made the bodies for the Beardmore taxis. In 1956, the company closed down.

Armstrong Cork. Web site
British History. Kingsbury. Web site
Competition Commission Reports
Daimler History. Web site
Davies. British Airways
DistrictDave. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Flight Archive. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Nigel Fredericks. Web site
Osborne. Defending London
Renwick. RAF Hendon
Stevenson. Middlesex
William Beardmore Co. Wikipedia Web site
Windovers. Web site.


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