Friday, 8 February 2013

Yeading Brook - Ickenham

Yeading Brook
The brook flows south westwards

Post to the east Northolt Airfield
Post to the south North Hillingdon
Post to the west Swakeleys

Austin’s Lane
Until the early 1930s this was a lane running into fields although the common had been enclosed in the 1780s. The hedgerows are thought to be the remains of 18th field boundaries. A ditch runs alongside it and it appears that at one time the canal feeder followed its course.  Near the junction with St. Giles Avenue there is a bridge over the feeder with a plaque “1930”.  To the south of this the feeder travels below the road

Canal Feeder
The Grand Junction Canal Company built two reservoirs to supply water to the lower levels of its canal route towards London. One was at Park Hearn, near Ruislip and the water was taken by a feeder completed by 1816, to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction canal at Hayes Gate Farm, near Southall. However the difference in levels between Ruislip and Hayes was minimal and the flow was sluggish, needing constant maintenance. The feeder's intended use lasted just 35 years and it was last used in 1851, However it to trickle with overflow water from the reservoir and local drains. Many of the accommodation bridges were rebuilt in the 1930's as it became a drainage ditch. In this area it is sometimes known as the Ickenham Stream

Clovelly Close

Built in the early 1950s by the Upjohn Construction Company on the site of Glebe Farm.
Glebe Farm. This was a 17th building with church connections, maybe built as a rectory.

Edinburgh Drive
Named for the Duke of Edinburgh

Glebe Avenue
Originally called Glebe Lane.
Glebe Estate laid out in the 1930s by Francis Jackson's development company. He was associated with George Ball, who built Manor Homes in Ruislip.
Ickenham Station. Opened in 1905 it is now part of London Underground and lies between Hillingdon and Ruislip on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines.  The Metropolitan Railway as the Harrow and Uxbridge Railway built the line between Harrow on the Hill and Uxbridge opening in 1904 with the only intermediate stop at Ruislip. The following year Metropolitan Railway was persuaded to open this as ‘Ickenham Halte’ by the parish council who hoped to make the village a resort. The word 'Halte' was used because of an emphasis on pleasure traffic – and when it opened the villagers sold teas & flowers.  It was an extremely basic halt, with a pair of wooden platforms without shelters. In the rain passengers would stand under the bridge and as this was potentially dangerous, the Metropolitan agreed to build a hut for £80. In 1910, the District Line connection from South Harrow was opened, and allowed their trains to reach Uxbridge.  When the aircraft stores depot opened there in 1918 there was an idea of resiting the halt but the idea was dropped, and in 1922 the platforms were extended and again in 1939. In 1933 District Line services were replaced by Piccadilly Line trains,  in 1971, a new brick booking office was built at street level..
Signal box which was opened in 1913, and used at busy times, until it closed as a result of branch re-signalling in 1930.
Compass Theatre, the Theatre comprises a Georgian house and a modern 158 seat Theatre connected by a single storey area known as the Bistro, built in the mid-1970s. . It is owned and managed by the London Borough of Hillingdon 
Ickenham Hall – the house which is part of the theatre. It was also known as Ickenham Manor.  In the 14th there were cottages and other buildings on the site and it thought the house must be later than this. In the 18th it was called Sherwyns, and the current building dates from around 1740. It was later enlarged by the Shorediche family to form a house of Georgian appearance but traces of the original building remain and some internal timbers suggest an earlier building. The external brick wall predates the house and a pair of brick piers remain which seem to form a narrow gateway, and are all that now remains of the kitchen garden wall.  In 1902 it was sold to the Uxbridge and Harrow Railway Company, who sold it to Charles de Winton Kitcat and some remodelling dates from then.  In 1940, it was used as a school and in 1947, was sold to Middlesex County Council, who used it as a Community Centre.
The NW Middlesex Youth House. The community centre was not successful and “Kit” Beaven, who was involved with the local Argosy Players, was given use of the premises. Drama was the mainstay activity and it was also used by the Aero Modellers and Young Farmers and other social activities - dancing, music, a Girls’ club, and a photographic and cine club. A Youth Theatre was built and opened in 1968. Kit Beaven died in 1974 and the Youth House was closed.
The Youth Theatre building was much as it is today. It was opened by the Rt Hon. Jennie Lee. In time it became known as the Theatre Arts Club and in 1974, as “Compass” but retaining a strong educational focus. Following more extensions in 1975 it reopened again as the Ickenham Centre and it became very busy with many staff. But under the Thatcher government was threatened with closure and eventually the staff was cut to three. The theatre became more commercial. Following public safety fears the theatre was partly rebuilt in the late 1980s and has had several changes to is management structure and roles
The canal feeder runs from the back of St. Giles Avenue to the back of properties in Glebe Avenue. It then emerges on the south side of Glebe Avenue next to an electricity substation. The feeder passes the rear of Glebe School.
A wood yard occupied part of the site on which the main theatre building now stands In the 1950s.

Ickenham Marsh
Ickenham Marsh is a low-lying alongside the Yeading Brook. It has many tall herbs dominated by soft rush and tufted hair grass plus some Water chickweed. On the higher ground are oak and ash woodland with hawthorn, blackthorn, elm and elder, as well as ferns in the shady woodland floor.

Lawrence Drive
Named for Hon. Dame Maude Agnes Lawrence, Director of Woman’s Establishments at the Treasury, who from 1918 owned and lived at Ickenham Hall.

Long Lane
Playing fields with remains of an Iron Age settlement plus a later multi-phase field system.
Ickenham Manor became Manor farm.  It is a Tudor timber manor house with medieval hall attached.   There is a 16th stair tower and two 18th brick wings. It has been suggested that it was part of a wooden moated castle which belonged to Ernulf de Hesdin, although this has been disputed. It now forms part of Long Lane Farm
Long Lane Farm

St Giles Avenue
The canal feeder travels from Austin Lane parallel to St Giles Avenue before heading southwards

Sussex Road
Building was halted by the Second World War, in 1952 five houses on both sides of the road were built, by Francis Jackson
Gate At the bottom the Road is a stepping gate and beyond it there is a substantial section of the feeder with an accommodation bridge
Glebe Primary School

Tavistock Road
The canal feeder can be seen at the bottom of the road, although there is no access to it. Trees at the far end mark its course

Sources
British History. Ickenham. Web site
Compass Theatre, Web site
Ickenham & District Society of Model Engineers. Web site
London Borough of Hillingdon, Web site
London EncyclopaediaLondon Wildlife Trust. Web site
Osborne. Defending London
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Regents Canal Feeder. Web site

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