Sunday, 16 October 2016

Riverside north of the river and west of the Tower. Chiswick Dukes Meadow Sports


This post relates to sites north of the river only. South of the river is Riverside Mortlake


Post to the east Barnes Bridge and Chiswick Dukes Meadows more sport
Post to the south Mortlake and East Sheen
Post to the west Kew

Chiswick Quay
This is entered from Hartington Road.
This estate of townhouses was developed in 1974 and was originally part of Lord Burlington's Chiswick House estate, later owned by the Dukes of Devonshire.   The designers were Bernard Engle and Partners, the developers Kier Ltd.
Marina. This operates commercially. It originated as Grove House’s ornamental lake which can be traced back to the mid-18th century. It was used for punting, and contained an island in the centre with a grotto at its eastern end. It is also said to have been a gravel pit.
Cubitt's Yacht Basin. The ornamental pond became a dock. It is said that Cubitts used it to transport stone to their developments in inner west London – but this seems unlikely. From map evidence an entrance dock was built before 1920.  Concrete barges were built here in the Great War and used to transport ammunition to France.  Subsequently it seems to have been used to moor private vessels. It was then described as an artificial sheet of water of about two acres separated from the river by a concrete gate, only opened at spring tides. It had a hard, and slipway on to which yachts could be floated.  A repair staff was maintained. In 1926 it was leased by the British Motor Boat Club. A 5 ton crane was installed and a resident engineer appointed. There was also a slipway and new clubhouse. It later became a floating village of houseboats where families and commuters lived in what was reportedly an idyllic existence. In 1969 the boat owners were forced to leave to make way for the new development – having fought a long legal battle to remain.

Chiswick Staithe
This riverside estate was designed by Edward Armitage and built by Chiswick Strand developments in 1963. It is on the site of what was 1-15 Hartington Road.

Dan Mason Drive
Riverside road named for Dan Mason who was the founder of Cherry Blossom Boot Polish and it was renamed
Tideway Scullers School. The school was founded at the close of the 1950s by Alec Hodges, whose drive got the club established and the clubhouse built in the mid-1980s.


Dukes Meadows
The name comes because the meadows were owned by the Dukes of Devonshire. Up to the 20th this was a quiet unvisited place of orchards, market gardens and marsh. It now covers the area to the east of the Great Chertsey Road.
Gravel Extraction. In 1923 there was an agreement between the Riverside Sand and Ballast Company and Chiswick Urban District Council for the excavation of land with a payment per acre. Excavation began in 1924 and finished around 1937. The works operated by Thames Grit and Aggregates Ltd was one of the largest of its kind. In 1931 it merged with Hall and Co. to form Hall and Ham River Ltd. The pits were later infilled with rubble from demolition sites.

Dukes Meadows - North and West of the Great Chertsey Road
Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground - this is the University of Westminster sports ground. It was previously the Polytechnic sports ground and is named after Quintin Hogg, the founder, in 1881, of Regent’s Street Polytechnic the University’s predecessor. It was opened in 1906 and was soon used by the Polytechnic Harriers, as well as football, cricket and lawn tennis clubs. They drew large crowds to at their events so in 1938 the ground was enlarged by 20 acres and upgraded, with a new cantilevered stadium and a state-of-the-art cinder running track. During the Second World War it was put at the disposal of the Army and RAF, and suffered bomb damage including the destruction of the ladies pavilion. The boathouse reopened in 1951, and the running track resurfaced in 1945 but the ground was not fully reopened until 1960. Today it has 45 acres of sporting facilities including floodlit synthetic turf pitches, netball/tennis courts and natural pitches for cricket, rugby and football. There is also a large pavilion with two function rooms, bars and changing facilities. In 2011 the ground hosted the London Cup hockey tournament with teams from England, Belgium, Korea and New Zealand competing.
Polytechnic Grandstand.  Built in 1936 by Joseph Addison, with concrete cantilevers and corner windows

Dukes Meadows - South and East of the Great Chertsey Road
Sports Centre with: Golf course 9 hole par 3 course plus a driving range and an academy; Indoor and outdoor Tennis; Ski slope – indoor endless slope and Cafe, shop, treatment rooms etc
Riverside Lands School Playing Fields


Great Chertsey Road
The A316 it ‘strides purposefully into the distance’.. .’reflecting the aspirations of the 1930s planners..The first part of the road was built in 1923 as part of the gravel extraction scheme and built by the company. It was called Alexandra Avenue and went as far as the Hartington Road junction.
Railway Bridge. This was built by the gravel extraction company in 1923 as a concrete bridge called Alexandra Bridge.


Hartington Road
Gravel extraction and expanded to the other side of the Great Chertsey Road, where there were smaller workings between Hartington Road and the river.
St Ursula’s Retreat House. In 1912 a Roman Catholic priest named Charles Plater published a history of lay retreats. A group of ladies and clergy formed the ‘Association for Short Retreats’ and bought a house was at Chiswick with 20 bedrooms, known as St Ursula’s, used for women’s retreats. This now appears to be part of the site known as The Lindens.

Ibis Lane
Ibis Boathouse. Ibis Rowing Club acquired this from Grove Park Rowing Club in 1886.  Grove Park Club probably dated from the 1860s and there are illustrations of their boat house from the 1880s. Ibis Rowing Club was a division of the Prudential’s Ibis Sports Club and were still extant in the 1970s. It is brick and timber with a slate roof built in 1915 for the Ibis Club. It was sold to North Thames Gas Board in 1991 for use as their staff club, Horseferry Rowing Club, and then sold again to Mortlake Anglian & Alpha Rowing Club in 1999. The Ground floor accommodates boats, and the first floor has a large club room and balcony. There is a flat at the back,
Mortlake Anglia and Alpha Boat Club. They use the Ibis Boathouse. The Mortlake Rowing Club of 1877 is the oldest component if the present-day club. It merged with The Anglian Boat Club, of 1878 in 1962 to become Mortlake Anglian Boat Club. Chiswick Rowing Club had been formed from Bedford Park Club and Bedford Park & District Club and they too merged with Mortlake to become Mortlake Anglian & Chiswick Boat Club. Alpha Women's Rowing Club of 1927 also merged in Club in 1984
University of Westminster boat house. Brick and timber with slate roof, this replaced the original timber boathouse built in 1888 by Quintin Hogg. The Ground floor accommodates boats, and ht first floor has large club room with original features and a balcony with iron railings. There is a flat at the back. This is traditionally where the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race ends.
Quintin Boat Club, this was founded in 1907 as a means of circumventing the rules of the ARA and Henley Royal Regatta – which would only allow clubs entirely comprised of amateurs and gentlemen to compete.. But it originated with the Polytechnic Rowing Club of the 1880s and the Hanover United Athletic Club, from 1875.  Organised sports at the precursor of Regents Street Polytechnic began at the Youths’ Christian Institute in 1874 with the foundation of the Hanover United Athletic Club after the Institute’s then location. Rowing started in 1875 and by 1879 was the most popular sport at HUAC. In time it became the Polytechnic Rowing Club. In 1888 Quintin Hogg paid to have a boathouse built for the club on the present site. It was surrounded by the Duke of Devonshire’s meadows.  Quintin Hogg also paid for a fleet of boats. In 1907 the name of the club was changed to Quintin Boat Club in honour of Quintin Hogg.


Staveley Gardens
These houses were built by the Cherry Blossom Company for their work force. In 1930 the first occupants moved in to the 50 houses- semi-detached houses for workers and maisonettes for retired employees in 1960. Cherry trees were planted to line the walks.


Thames Village
This land was once a gravel pit which provided material for the construction of the concrete barges produced by Cubitt's Yacht Basin in what is now the marina next door.  When the gravel pit was first filled, it was a caravan site.
Thames Village was completed in 1958, with a central green space but is not gated. There is a short private footpath along the river.  Because of its previous use as a gravel pit each house was constructed on a raft of concrete. The architects were Stone, Toms and Partners.


Sources
Arthure. Life and Work in Old Chiswick
Association for Promoting Retreats. Web site
British Motor Boat Club. Web site
Chiswick History. Web site
Chiswick Quays. Web site
Clunn. The face of London
Dukes Meadow. Web site
Dukes Meadow Park. Web site
Dukes Meadow Trust. Web site
Greater London Council. Thames Guidelines, 
London Encyclopaedia
Middlesex County Council. History of  Middlesex, 
Panorama of the Thames. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Played in London. Web site
SABRE A316
Stevenson. Surrey
University of Westminster. Web site
Walford. Village London, 

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