Monday, 3 December 2012

Welsh Harp


Brent Reservoir

The Silk Stream and the River Brent flow westwards through the reservoir

Post to the north West Hendon
Post to the east West Hendon
Post to the south Neasden
Post to the west Kingsbury



Cool Oak Lane
When the reservoir was built sections of Cool Oak Lane were built up so that the road would be above the water level.
Cool Oak Bridge. This is the site of an older bridge which was there before the reservoir was built. The current bridge dates from 1835. It is in brick with engineering bricks as coping, and stone pilaster caps. There are nine bays defined by pilaster strips.
Woodfield House was in 1754 a farm called Cockmans in the Wood.  From 1852 to 1858 it was used by the Passionist fathers. It was demolished in 1940
63 Woodfield House Care Home
Kingsbury and Hendon Sea Training Corps. The Hendon unit dates from 1941 when it was set up in a school hall. In 1991 the name changed from TS Isis Sea Cadet Corps to TS Broadsword Sea Training Corps and became independent. In 1999 the unit became the National HQ of the Sea Training Corps units
Woodfield Nurseries
Hendon Rifle Club. The club dates from 1906 and has a club room, etc.

Glenwood Avenue
Woodfield Secondary School

Silver Jubilee Park
Silver Jubilee Park was a public open space renamed for the Jubilee of King George V. It is mainly playing fields but there is a scattering of older trees – mainly oak and poplar,
Kingsbury Town Football Club. The club dates from 1919 and was started by a group of local ex-servicemen the Plough pub and had an area of farmland, in Townsend Lane to play on – an area now part of the northern end of Silver Jubilee Park. In 1953 they moved to the current site and in 1981 the stand and floodlights were installed. In 2006 became Kingsbury London Tigers merged following amalgamation with the London Tigers

Welsh Harp
Popular name for the lake officially known as the Brent or Kingsbury Reservoir. The name was originally that of an inn on the main road near the reservoir. The Canal & River Trust which replaced British Waterways own the reservoir some surrounding land. Some of the area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It was built for the Regents Canal Co.  In 1835 the Brent was dammed because of the need to keep water at the summit level at Camden Town. It is fed by the Silk Stream and River Brent as they cross the borough boundaries. It was designed by the Company’s Engineer, James Morgan and the contractor was William Hoof. It was first filled in November 1835 and greatly enlarged and refilled in 1838. In 1933 major safety works was carried out by Holst & Co. Ltd. including the installation of five cast iron siphons. During the Second World War the water level was lowered.
Recreation– many activities take place, but sunbathers were thrown out by local objectors.
Greyhound racing - this is where the First mechanical hare tried out in 1876,
Site of Special Scientific Interest. This was set up in 1950 and it recognises the valuable range of wetland habitat created.
Birds - 145 species of bird have been documented. There is the largest breeding population of great crested grebe in Greater London, a significant number of tufted duck and gadwall. In winter visitors such as snipe and smew can be seen. The woodland supports, tawny owls and all three species of woodpecker. Bats are encouraged by a hibernaculum built in 1986. Large flocks of gulls congregate on the open water during the winter.  There is also cover for the Water Rail.  Rafts, which were built in the early 1980's are used for nesting. Extending the reed-beds has y attracted rare visitors such as Bittern. There are two bird hides on the site,
Bats: Commons Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Nathusis’s Pipestrelle, Daubenton’s Bat, Serotine, Leisler’s and Noctule bats have been recorded at the reservoir.
Amphibians and reptiles: Smooth Newts and Frogs are regularly seen and there are records of Common Toad. Lizards were seen near Cool Oak Lane Bridge in the 1960s, although their survival is unlikely. A small number of Slow-Worms were introduced some years ago near the old Youth Sailing Base.

Welsh Harp Open Space
Dates from 1965 and is a recreational area which is to the north west of the Reservoir

West Hendon Playing Fields
The West Hendon Playing Fields were created on a capped tip created during 1960-75 and upper layers of the tip are contaminated with heavy metals.

Wood Lane
An original section of Wood Lane survives as a green lane on the boundary of the two Boroughs, and between the parishes of Hendon and Kingsbury.

Woodfield Park
There is evidence of relic pasture in the fields.
Princes Park Youth Football Club. The club dates from the 1970s   and is run by volunteers, running football for young people. It has flood-lit astro-turf and mini-soccer pitches and a new Pavilion Club House
Phoenix Canoe Club. This dates from May 2004 and replaced the Welsh Harp Youth Sailing Base

York Park
A linear grassland park with mature plane trees

Sources
British History. Hendon. Web site.
British Listed Buildings web site
Chelsea Speleological Society. Journal.
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. London Place Names, 
GLIAS Newsletter
Hendon Rifle Club. Web site
Kingsbury and Hendon Sea Training Corps. Web site
London Borough of Brent. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North
Phoenix Canoe Club. Web site
Princes Park Football Club. Web site.
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeology Group. Report
Walford. London.
Woodfield School. Web sitePost to the east West Hendon

1 comment:

hirundine said...

There were two pubs along the Edgware Rd. One was called "The Welsh Harp". The other called the "The Old Welsh Harp". My aunt lived in West Hendon and I used to play around the water there on occasion. One year it almost dried up? Around 1970 or so? I worked at Hupfield Bros. 1965-1970. My family moved from Wales in 1930's. I was under the impression that the water formed a harp shape? Still, lots of welsh moved to that part of Greater London. From 19c. onward. Often they were "milkmen". Bringing in milk from southern Wales. Then peddling the watered down product, all around the capitol and home counties. Which likely led to the institution of "Milk Marketing Board"? "The Old Welsh Harp" was the better pub and had a fine snooker room. My family first lived in Colin Gardens, off of Colindeep Lane, then we moved to Hendon near St. Mary's. With some aunts and uncles around Hendon.

Hupfield Bros. were in West Hendon, close to Staples Corner. Then moved to Edgware Rd. nearer Burnt Oak and Edgware. Probably 1968 or so. Which likely led to their eventual demise? Since the newer premises were far too large for their operation. As well, the new plant manager was a doofus. With the social skills of a gnat and poor communication abilities.

West Hendon had been hit by German bombs during WW2. One day in 1961, during that cold winter. We were in the attic area of our house in Sunningfields Crescent. Where we found the nose of an incendiary bomb. Also, the fire damage could be seen on some beams and chimney breast.

I used to play on the bomb sites, in West Hendon, with balsa wood airplanes. That were bought for 6d.