Tuesday, 24 December 2013

River Pinn RAF Uxbridge

River Pinn
The Pinn flows southwards

Post to the west Uxbridge
Post to the north Uxbridge Common
Post to the south Brunel University


Dorset Way
Hillingdon Golf Course. The club was founded by Charles E Stevens in 1892.  Harry Woods, the then groundsman of the cricket club, constructed the course. The clubhouse was a disused lambing shed and there were only 35 members. In 1895 the members raised £30 to build a timber clubhouse. In the early 20th several acres of land were added to the course but when the Hillingdon House Estate was sold for housing it was thought the Club would close. However when war broke out the land was compulsorily purchased and the club was kept open. Negotiation with RAF resulted in the club being called the Royal Airforce and Hillingdon Golf Club until 1928. A local builder Robert Warren donated the land and the current clubhouse.  In 1950 16 Dorset Way was added as staff accommodation.


Hillingdon Hill
Stratford Bridge.  This was carrying the Oxford Road across the Pinn by 1410 and was a brick bridge by 1726.  The name means the ford by which the street, or main road, crosses the river.


Hillingdon Road
9 Chip shop which was the Green Man Pub
RAFA Battle of Britain Club
5 & 6 there is the date of 1826, on a stone plaque with name: PLEASANT PLACE.  A brick house with flat arches to the windows
11-12-13-14-20-21-22-23 18th houses in pairs 
15 19th building of yellow brick
16- 19 19th brick terrace divided by a carriageway under a central arch.
32-34 19th 2-storey villa
Hillingdon House. Part of the estate built as a hunting lodge in 1717 by the Duke of Schomberg. The Marchioness of Rockingham bought the house in 1786. In 1810 the estate was sold to Richard Cox, grandson of the founder of Cox & Co. Cox provided banking services for many regiments of the British Army in the 18th. The house was rebuilt after a fire in 1844. In 1907 the gardens covered 47 acres and contained a five-acre lake formed by a dam in the River Pinn.  The house is to become a central part of the redeveloped site as a restaurant and offices
St.Andrew’s Gate – the original entrance to Hillingdon House was here. It was opened as a ceremonial entrance in 1957
RAF Uxbridge was in the Hillingdon House estate which the British government had bought in 1915 for a prisoner of war camp but following local protests it became the Canadian Convalescent Hospital. This was joined in 1917 by the Royal Flying Corps Armament School who established firing ranges one of which remains today. The hospital closed in 1917. In 1918, the Uxbridge site came under control of the Royal Air Force, on the day it was formed. The station itself was designated RAF Central Depot, Uxbridge and split into two stations, RAF Hillingdon and RAF Uxbridge. The RAF School of Music moved here in 1919 followed by other departments. Ten barrack blocks designed by A. Gilpin were built around the parade ground in 1925, plus the RAF officers' hospital and the original Operations Room.  In 1936, No. 11 Group RAF was headquartered at RAF Uxbridge although fighter aircraft went to RAF Bentley Priory. RAF Bomber Command was based in Hillingdon House. In the Second World War the station dispatched people to and from units in Northern France. It housed the RAF Uxbridge Language School, British Expeditionary Force troops returning from Dunkirk were processed here.  During the Battle of Britain, in 1940, RAF Fighter Command at Bentley Priory received air threat warnings, filtered them and forwarded them to RAF Uxbridge, which allocated appropriate defence resources.  The RAF officers' hospital was converted to the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) hospital. The station served as an athlete's village for the male competitors in the 1948 Summer Olympics.   Control of RAF Hillingdon passed to Technical Training Command in 1957 that year and the entire site became known as RAF Uxbridge.  In 2008 the station became part of RAF Northolt in preparation for closure bad is now being redeveloped for housing as St Andrews Park
Battle of Britain Bunker. Planning for the No. 11 Group Operations Room began in August 1937. Problems with London Clay meant it was eventually built by Sir Robert McAlpine at 60 feet and able to withstand being hit by a 500-pound bomb. It was designed by Bob Creer of the Air Ministry. It was finished ten days before the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1975, the Operations Room was restored by No. 9 Signals Unit. The original map was repaired and returned to the table by the RAF Cartography unit, and a board detailing the readiness and activities of each sector squadron was rebuilt to resemble it as it was in September 1940. In 1985 a museum was created here and the site opened for group visits. A small surface blockhouse stands at the top of a stair which leads to an intermediate landing for the air conditioning and generating plant. Below, in the centre of the main room, is the plotting table with the WRAG plotting positions around the edge.  Above is a gallery with cantilevered glass windows for the Controller and his assistants.   The wall has an automatic 'Tote' board, showing the status of each airfield in the Group. The site is now a museum open to the public.
St Luke’s. The station church dated from 1933 and was built of wood and eventually the floor rose by 4 inches and was structurally unsound. In 1993 the church moved into a new permanent home, Building 231
Cinema. A building designed by Lieutenant J.G.N. Clift of the Royal Engineers became a lecture hall and later was the camp cinema, also open to the public until the Second World War. The outside is painted ironite and there are squash courts behind.
A memorial to the personnel of No. 11 Group, in the form of an obelisk made of Cornish granite, was placed above the Operations Room in 1957.

The Greenway
School buildings. Uxbridge County School was founded in the Greenway in 1907. The School moved in 1928 and the buildings became Greenway County Secondary School. These buildings are now part of Uxbridge High School which has a more recently built site to the west along Greenway.

Vine Lane
Hillingdon Court. Banker Charles Mills, of Glyn, Mills & Co., bought two houses here 1825 which he had demolished.  He used both sites as the site of a new house Designed by Philip Hardwick, in 1858. His son consolidated and enlarged the estate using it for shooting. The estate was sold in 1919 and in 1928 Uxbridge Urban District bought some land which became Hillingdon Court Park. The Roman Catholic order of the Sacred Heart bought the house itself in 1920 as a nursing home for the elderly and after the Second World War was used as a girls' convent school. In 1978 it was sold to ACS International Schools who added buildings as well as restoring the original house. However, several original outbuildings had already been demolished– stables, aviary, laundry and others including it is said a tunnel through which tradesmen could arrive at the house unseen.
ACS are private schools founded in London, in 1967 by Gordon E Speed and Emmanuel J Poularas to serve the needs of international families with three schools in London and one in Doha, Qatar
RAF sports ground and cricket pitch. It is seen as the ‘home’ of RAF cricket. This site has been a sports ground since 1923 and has been owned by the RAF Sports Board since 1949.  The earliest recorded cricket march there was in 1939. The playing surface is matched by a pavilion that is the envy of the Services.  The ground has hosted matches at county and test level.
Cedar House.  This was originally a cottage of 1560 remodelled in the 18th. The house was occupied during the early 18th by Samuel Reynardson the botanist who is said to have planted the cedar tree outside in 1742 and which has named the house. The current tree is a replacement. In the 1950s it was Rutland House private school. Following refurbishment by Peter Bond & Partners for civil engineers Shephard Hill it is in use as offices.

Sources
ACS International Schools. Web site
British History online. Hillingdon. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Clunn. Face of London
Hillingdon Golf Club. Web site.
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
Hillingdon Court. Wikipedia. Web site
London Drinker
London Encyclopaedia
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Mills. Dictionary of London Place Names
Pastscape. Web site
RAF Cricket Association. Web site.
RAF Uxbridge. Wikipedia. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
Walford. Village London

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