Brimsdown Ditch - Ponders End

Edith says – Up until the early 1990s there were many sites in the High Street and side streets which were in industrial use. It was neglect on my part that I didn’t write down what they were.  What took me to Ponders End then were seminars on the industrial history of the Lea Valley in what was then the campus of Middlesex University – what happened to the material put forward at those seminars and the database which was allegedly being prepared?????

Post to the east Ponders End

Post to the south Edmonton

Brimsdown Ditch

Brimsdown Ditch flows southwards and is met by Boundary Ditch from the west

Alma Road
Alma Primary School. Alma Road board school opened in1897
Horse and Dray. Derelict pub once called The Hand and Hind

College Court
Ponders End Library. Single storey L shaped brick building behind the main line of the street.  Built in 1962.
Ponders End United Reform Church. Including Orc and Goblin Stronghold. Built as a congregational church replacing a church of 1768 which was bombed in 1940.

Derby Road
4-6 Ponders End Conservative Club. Built 1950 and derelict since 2006. Now housing.

Gardner Close
Robins Hall, Middlesex University Halls of Residence.

Hertford Road
Boundary House. This pub is on the Enfield side of the boundary ditch.
St Alphege's Church. Built in 1958 designed by Edward Maufe. The church was first a tin church from 1897 in a different site.

High Street
40 BT Exchange.
79 John Wilkes House. Enfield council offices and homelessness projects
114 The Picture Palace pub. This was a cinema which had opened in 1913 as the Ponders End Picture Palace. Typical purpose built cinema of the period with a central pay box and doors either side leading directly into the auditorium. Inside the screen curtains were opened by a member of the projection staff pulling a rope on the side of the screen and it was gas lit all the time it was a cinema. From 1938 it was managed by Davies and was called The Plaza. In 1939 all cinemas in the UK were closed at outbreak of war but the Plaza never re-opened. During the war it was used as a store for aircraft parts and the front as a shop. Later it became a dance hall and then a community centre called Howard's Hall which closed in the mid-1990's. It became a Wetherspoon's pub in 2001.
Hoarding site corner of South Street. This was the site of the Two Brewers pub first recorded in 1716 as the Royal Oak. Bombed in 1940 with great loss of life.
198 Tara kindergarten in an old works office block
204-214 The Police Station, late 20th century building set back from the pavement line.  Soon to be out of police use.
216 Beef and Barrel aka The Swan pub. Now demolished although the sign was left for a bit.
218-221 Swan Annex Enfield Youth and Social Services. Municipal Georgian, built as a Technical Institute by Middlesex County Council in 1911. During the Great War provided training for boys going into munitions factories but had been established for pre-apprenticeship training in engineering,. Entrance was by examination for which competition was stiff. 
228 Jalaliah Jamme Masjeed. Ponders End Mosque. Established in 1977 but the building is much more recent.
237 off-licence since demolished was faced with green glazed tiles adverting “Ales and Stouts”, “Wines and Spirits” and “Draught and Bottled Beers and plinth with a black eagle and “Truman’s Beers”.
250 The Goat. Greene King pub.
Ponders End Park.  This was once called Ryan's Park and then Ponders End Recreation Ground”  bandstand
ASDA site, this was previously a Netto. The site was at one time a motor works.

Lea Valley Road
The original Nags Head Road was been renamed Southbury Road before 1896 and the name Nags Head Road was given to a new road extending from it and  running eastward from Hertford Road  to the Lea. By 1972 it was extended onto a bridge railway and the Lea Valley Road, to form a major east-west route

Lincoln Road
This was previously Bungeys Lane
Lincoln House. 19th stucco villa used as offices

Wickham House. 19th stucco villa used as offices

Lincoln road chapel. An Assemblies of God fellowship in a brick church purpose built in 1949.

The road is on the line of Goat Lane
Industrial buildings of the 1920s onwards – these are clearly all built to a common style, although some have now been demolished.

South Street
St.Matthew. Built from 1877 in Kentish Rag by H.J. Paull, with
St Matthews Church of England Primary School. St. Matthew's National School for Infants, was opened in South Street in 1840.Within thirty years it ws a mixed school.  Now it is a one form entry Church of England Primary School
115 The Falcon. In 1794, The Society of Good Fellowship met here.  On the wall are some old Charrington’s plaques.
Bangladeshi Welfare Association of Enfield
Enfield Youth Centre
Ponders End Working Mens Social Club
Grout and Baylis' crape factory. They had opened in Norwich in 1807  andA London warehouse was opened to serve the large market in the capital and in 1809 a factory was built here for dyeing and finishing crape before dispatch to London. it had deep wells in the chalk gacew clean wafter and a stream carried away the dye - Hence Black Dyke Works. There was an increase in the demand for black crape, worn as part deep mourning. silk was taken from London to East Anglia whwere it was woven into cloth, and then taken to Ponders End where it was crimped, dyed and given a waterproof finish. After crimping, the cloth was steeped in a liquor made from valonia to set the embossed figure. The cloth was then dyed, using logwood. In the late 1880s the market in crape began to slump with a less rigid attitude towards mourning. In 1894 Grout Baylis sold out to local businessmen in Yarmouth anmd machinery and equipment were there,
United Flexible Metal Tubing. Took over the crape factory. flexible metal tubing tubing had been invtend in france in 1885 and the rightrs takebn up by Frederick Walton, who was vcery axtrice elsewhere with linoleum and much else. . He took over the Grout and Baylis crape mil. Ways of usinf dflexible tubing grew rapidly and the ocmahgy priopsered. The factory at Ponders End was biombd by a land mine in 1941 and by a V1 in 1944. The company became part of the T.I.Group in 1969.
The main factory block used by Grouts was damaged in Second World War and  replaced in 1962. On the Scotland Green south street corner John Baylis's residence remained as the company manager's house up till 1935. A three-storey building, which housed a unique braiding machine, and a  low range of buildings with small cast-iron framed windows on the corner also remained. One of the wells remained open and was used as an emergency public water supply. All of this site is now modern housing

Woodall Road
Ponders End Gas Works. Built by the Enfield Gas Co. which dated from 1867 and built this works at Ponders End.  Taken over by Alexander Angus Croll who was building up an empire in Tottenham and Edmonton. His company took over the Enfield Gas Co in 1913. The company was nationalised in 1949. The ceased production in 1972 with the introduction of natural gas. There is a gasholder from the 1920s which is Lattice framed with Paddon wind ties and two mid-twentieth century, spiral guided gasholders.        

Friends of the earth Gas Works sites in London.
Cherry and Pevsner, Buildings of England, London 4 North.
Cinema Treasures web site
Ponders End War Games web site
Enfield  Arch Soc. Industrial Archaeology in Enfield
United Reform Churches Web site
Smith & Carr IA of Hertfordshire and the Lea Valley
St.Matthews School web site
Brewery History Society web site
History of the County of Middlesex web site


Anonymous said…
The Woodall Road gasholder is no more. Oasis Academy Hadley was built on the site -- I guess some time in the last couple of years.


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