Friday, 14 December 2012

Wealdstone Brook - Wembley Park

Wealdstone Brook
The brook flows south eastwards and north east

Post to the east Neasden
Post to the west Wembley Park

Bridge Road
Wembley Park Station. The station lies between Finchley Road and Preston Road on the Metropolitan Line and between Neasden and Kingsbury on the Jubilee Line.  The first station was opened in 1894 by the Metropolitan Railway to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the Company at Wembley Park - a country estate bought by them for excursion trips on the company's trains. It initially served only Saturday football matches in the park - In fact the first train to call there is said to have been a football special.  Later in the 1890s, The Great Central Railway London extension line was constructed adjacent to the Metropolitan Railways’ tracks but trains were not allowed to stop here although they pass under the building and there was no platform provided – the lines go straight through.  In 1905 the tracks were electrified and additional tracks were added. In 1932 they opened a branch line north from here to Stanmore and after the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board this stretch became part of the Bakerloo Line and in 1979 part of the Jubilee Line. In 1948 works were carried out to tart it up for the Olympics – using old pre-war stock from stores. It was given a new ticket hall and so on. 433,000 spectators came to Wembley by underground and during those 15 days, over a million people used Wembley Park Station. .  More recently it has been extended to handle capacity for crowds attending Wembley Stadium. In 1996, a staircase was built from the 1948 extension which remained here unfinished state until 2004 and it was completed in time for the opening of the new Wembley stadium in 2007. Outside is a stone plaque with the letters M.R – it stands for 'Metropolitan Railway'. Although it has been extended and rebuilt but retains its original booking hall. .
15 Torch Pub, opened in 1956
Ark Academy.  One of a chain of schools, privately run but state funded. This one is new. Built on the site of the London Transport Sports Ground.  New sports pitches at the rear are supposed to have public access.
Bobby Moore Bridge.  This was opened in 1993 and is a road traffic bridge over the roadway from the tube station to the football ground.  There is a plaque under the bridge which refers to its naming after a footballer and was opened by his widow. There are also murals depicting footballing scenes.

Brook Avenue
Runs between the railway line and the Wealdstone Brook
Station car park.  This is the biggest car park of all the underground stations with 634 car spaces

Buddings Circle
Low rise housing was built here as part of the 1965 Chalkhill Estate

Chalkhill
Chalkhill was an ancient manor on land which belonged to Edward the Confessor and then Westminster Abbey. 
Metroland Estate. Small plots were sold to builders here in the 1920s encouraged by the nearby Empire Exhibition.
Chalkhill Estate. The estate was planned by the old Wembley Council to move people out of Willesden. It was built by the London Borough of Brent. It was high density and high rise with some amenity and open space as well as some low rise developments. There were however 30 high-rise Bison blocks linked by 'walkways in the sky'. Homes were all-electric utilizing with central heating and waste disposal systems. By the 1970s it had become a focus for crime plus vandalism from visiting football fans. The estate was partly demolished in 2000 and rebuilt financed by selling land to ASDA
Chalkhill Combined Facilities Building. Built 2009. This includes a Community Centre, a Health Centre, offices for the Metropolitan Housing Trust and 42 shared-ownership flats.

Forty Avenue
Sattadvas Patadat Centre - Advait Cultural Centre.  Funded by a Gujarati Trust. Wave formed roof with cigar shaped supports, interiors with coloured lights. Halls, theatre, classrooms, library. Agenda 21 Architects.

Forty Lane
Brent Town Hall.  Built as Wembley Town Hall in 1935-40 and influenced by Hornsey Town Hall. It was designed by Clifford Strange who go first prize in a competition run by Wembley Urban District council for the design.  It has a long austere front with a staircase tower in brick, behind the forecourt are offices, a public library and assembly hall at the back,  the council chamber was upstairs in the centre. The foyer had veneers and Botticino marble.

Fulton Road
Industrial and trading area. Runs along the backs of some of the Empire Exhibition buildings, including the Palace of Industry.

Kingsgate
Chalkhill House. A 17th building on an older foundation, stood very roughly at the northern end of the road.  The house originated with the Chalkhill family who owned land and a mill in the area in the 16th. The properties passed into other hands and in the 1880s this house was occupied by H, Rawlings of the soft drinks company. It later became a private school, Kingsgate School, and was demolished in the 1960s.

North End Road
Empire Court. World Evangelism Mission. Operates in USA, Uganda and Congo
Empire Court – LCC type flats
Victoria Hall. Built 2010 on site of Northway Garage. This is not tied to a specific college but is provided by a company with other such sites
Durkin & Sons Ltd. The company dates from 1980 and as a contractor to the electricity companies, cable manufacturers specialising in underground EHV cable installation
Dowling and Fransen Engineers
Wembley Park Business Centre.  Industrial and trading area

Olympic Square
Part of a redesigned area around the station dating form 2006
Sculpture of a field athlete by Stanley Howe

Olympic Way
Olympic Way links Wembley Park Station with the Wembley football ground. It was built in the 1940s by German Prisoners of War.
Arena House. North West London College building.

Wellspring Crescent
Low rise housing was built here as part of the 1965 Chalkhill Estate

Wembley Park Drive
151 London Premier Inn Wembley Stadium
Crescent House. This is now a department of The College of North West London’s Wembley Park Campus as it originally was back in 2007. It was supposed to be rebuilt, but this has not happened
TV Studios. The Fountain Studios is currently, known as the live stage for popular ITV shows. It is the largest fully equipped television studio in Britain with a soundproof double door which can turn the space into two separate studios. The site was originally owned by British International Pictures in 1927, and later the American Fox Film Company leased it and they retained ownership throughout the Second World War. It continued to be the production centre for many popular ITV shows, under the ownership of London Weekend, and others, until taken over by Fountain in 1993. They demolished studios 1 to 4 from the original complex to make way for a retail park.

Sources
Behind the Blue Plaques
Blue Plaque Guide
Clunn. The Face of London
English Heritage. London Town Halls.
Field. London Place Names
Fountain Studios. Wikipedia Web site.
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Brent. Web site.
London Railway Record
Real Beer in London,
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Wembley Park Station. Wikipedia Web site.

No comments: