Waterworks River - Blackhorse Lane

Flood Relief Channel
The Flood Relief Channel, Waterworks River, flows southwards

Gospel Oak to Barking Railway
The Railway running from South Tottenha Station goes north eastwards
TQ 35756 89389

An area mainly taken up with reservoirs. Blackhorse Lane and Road are on the east side of the square with some 19th and 20th century housing - but with many old and interesting industrial sites - buses, batteries, toys, luggage, scientific instruments, aromatics, agricultural machinery, dry cleaning - it is a long and impressive list.

Post to the north Lockwood Reservoir
Post to the west Tottenham Hale
Post to the south Coppermills
Post to the east Walthamstow

Blackhorse Lane
Original name was Werdestreete. Saxon Road from north Walthamstow to Lea Bridge.  Black House stood in the road in the 18th, on the site of the Clock House, and was bought by the Warner family. Recorded as ‘Black Horse Lane’ but also ‘Block House Lane’ or ‘Black House Lane’.
Higham Hill Lodge. House dates from the early 19th and was home to Eusebius Lloyd in 1836
Baird and Tatlock. This firm was on the east side of the road where they took over Higham Hill Lodge. This was much altered and adapted in 1925 as the centre of a glass factory - It is said that a staircase and door remained in the 1970s. Baird and Tatlock were scientific instrument makers and laboratory furnishers, originally of Glasgow and then Hatton Garden who moved here in 1902. In 1959 they were taken over by Derbyshire Stone, later Tarmac, who in 1969 sold them to G. D. Searle and Co., U.S.A. and then Merck in 1978.  The area of the works is now part of the Webb Industrial Estate – the house still appears to be on site.
114a Blackhorse Lane studios. Barbican Arts Group Trust. The Studios opened in 2008 and 28 artists work there in a variety of media
London General Omnibus Company or LGOC was founded in 1855 to amalgamate and regulate the horse-drawn omnibus services in London. In 1910 they began producing motor omnibuses for their own use in Blackhorse Lane on a site taken over from the Vanguard Motor Omnibus Co. which had been set up by Arthur Salisbury Jones. By 1907 he had three hundred ‘Vanguard’ buses on London roads and he opened a new 30,000 square foot factory on the Hooker Lane site. From 1910, as LGOC, the buses made at the Walthamstow factory were made with the letters ‘LGOC´ cast into their radiator tanks. In 1912 they were bought by the Underground Group and the bus manufacturing elements went on to become the Associated Equipment Company. Their B type bus was more reliable than any other and by 1913 2,500 had been built – they were standardised and built of interchangeable parts. This bus hastened the demise of horse drawn buses and became a design benchmark for future buses. In the Great War many were used as troop carriers.  In 1927 the factory moved to Southall
Endurance works. S.Noton Suit Case Manufacturing Co. was on this site from 1929. They began as makers of 'Crown' luggage. Post war they made Noton Travel Goods including "Paxall" Expanders, and describing themselves as the 'World's Largest Makers of Travel Goods and Handbags'.
Lampshade Factory. 1930s
Achille Serre. The company was formed by French born Achille and Eugenie Serre who set up a company here in 1870 to ‘dry clean’ clothing with chemical solvents.  This continued by their son Eugene.  In the 1930’s they had about 400 outlets in the UK. At Blackhorse Lane they employed 1700 people. The factory was bombed and got into difficulties. It was bought by Portland Estates and the now redundant shops were taken over or closed.  They now did contract laundering and ‘bag wash’. The factory was equipped with the equipment for laundry work on a huge scale. However domestic washing machines were becoming universal and the factory closed.
Higham Place 1860s terraced housing.
Mills Equipment. Mills Equipment Company, Ltd. was founded in 1906. Its predecessor company was the Mills Woven Cartridge Belt Company of London. The Mills belt had first been used in in the Boer war and was initially a product from the United States. Mills webbing products were sold internationally to military outlets.  In the Second World War the Blackhorse Lane factory was bombed frequently. After the war they moved manufacture to Woking where they made a wide variety of items from their narrow woven fabrics, but were also major suppliers to the aircraft industry and continued to sell to foreign military.  They were also involved in the production of parachutes.
Ever Ready Batteries. This factory – one of many owned by the company in north London - was opened in 1933. It was built for the manufacture of radio high tension batteries and dry cells for electric torches. On the ground floor was a mill to crush raw manganese dioxide, and also production lines for the finished cells. They made batteries for many purposes, such as radios, hand torches, motor cars and cycles. The company was originally American selling novelties which set up a British company in 1901. They were eventually outsold by companies with newer technology
7 Gnome House. Hammond and Champness. Lift Manufacturers. Opened in 1905 by cousins Ernest Hammond and Harold Champness. They originally made hydraulic water lifts.
Blackhorse Mews. Trading estate area
Stepney Tyre and Rubber Co, 1919 -1958. Bombed 1940s
Highams Lodge Business Centre
Britian’s Toys. The firm started in the 1840s with a William Britian in Hornsey Rise. His son invented the hollow casting process for manufacturing toy soldiers which allowed them to replace German imports. They used a standard size which became universal.  After the Great War they diversified into farm models. In 1931 this range was moved to North Light Building in Blackhorse Lane. After the Second World War plastic began to pose a challenge as did new safety concerns about lead. In 1997 Britains was purchased by the Ertl Company
Boake Bush and Allen.  Boake had a factory in the 1860s in Stratford specialising in chemicals for breweries.  By the 1880s, in partnership with Roberts, they were making essences and essential oils for perfumery and diversifying on a number of sites. Following mergers and expansion by the 1960s this site had become the headquarters of Boake Roberts & Co.
H.T.B. Ltd., engineers of printers' sheet-feeding machines, was founded in 1923. In 1968 the company became a member of the Baird & Tatlock group.
W. B. Bawn and Co. Ltd., who made agricultural machinery moved here in 1940. The firm moved to Bury St. Edmund's in 1970, taking with them a life-size figure of a 17th naval helmsman, erected over the entrance.
Duroglass Ltd. The company was owned by Webb’s Crystal Glass Co.  In the 1930s were Lighting Glassware Specialists, Reflectors and Floodlights for all purposes. They were on site until the 1960s
The Royal Standard Pub. 19th pub used for many years as a music venue.  A race track is marked alongside it on 1920s maps.

Blackhorse Road
Blackhorse Road Station. The Tottenham and Forest Gate Joint railway built the first station to east of the present one in 1894 with an entrance on the east side of Blackhorse Road – now marked by a metal gate. Totally demolished.  
LMS goods yard – the old goods yard lies alongside Forest Road and to the south alongside Hawarden Road
Blackhorse Road Station This lies, over ground between Walthamstow Queens Road and South Tottenham, and underground between Walthamstow Central and Tottenham Hale on the Victoria Line. The line had originally been promoted by the Warner family in connection with their extensive development work in this area. The Victoria Line opened in 1968 and in 1981 the station was moved west to allow better interaction.   It is now a clerestory-lit box of dark brick. Fibreglass relief of a black stallion by David McFall
Dutch Place. 1870s terrace opposite the station
Early telephone box Junction with Ferry Lane and Forest Road

Clinton Avenue
Willowfield Humanities College.  Waltham Forest School.  The oldest parts of the present buildings were originally part of a primary school built around 1901. In the 1960s Willow field was opened as a Secondary Modern school and then from 1968, a Junior High School for students aged 11-14.  In 1986 opened as an 11-16 school.  In 1990 a building programme led to the construction of the South Wing designed by Van Heyningen and Haward. The old Blackhorse Infants School was demolished to create a new playground

Cornwallis Road
Cornwallis was the first name of Viscount Hawarden, Courtney Warner’s father in law.  It was also the name of one of his sons.

Courtney Road
Named after Courtney Warner, landowner

Edward Road
Edward was the name of one of Courtney Warner’s sons.
108 this house was the Courtney Stores. The green tiles and pub signage have been retained.

Ferry Lane
Bridge over the Waterworks River built by the Council in iron in 1904
Thames Water Walthamstow Fishery – reception point on the site of Ferry Lane Works.
Ferry Lane Works. This was built by the East London Water Company in 1894 as part of the development of the Walthamstow reservoirs. It includes “Marine House” Pumping station 1893-4 by WB. Bryan and there were also three filter beds.  A second steam turbine was installed in 1907 by the New River Company for pumping River Lee water into the New River at Stoke Newington.  The East London Water Works pumped water from here to Hornsey Wood and Haggar Lane.
Ferry Boat Inn. Partly 18th house with two storeys and later extensions. Thus is on the site of an older ferry house at the Lea crossing. This was a Mitchells and Butlers house but has been with Stonegate Pub Company since 2010

Forest Road
26 – 30 English Calico Ltd. was called Rael Brook Ltd. from 1955 and before that Sussman.  Came from Bishopsgate

Hawarden Road
This was the title of Courtney Warner’s father in law
Warner Estate Office - this has now been redeveloped
Memorial to Lt.Johnson, young American airman killed when his Spitfire crashed in the playing fields, missing housing. This is now in the Vestry House Museum.
Douglas Eyre Playing Fields. This belongs to London Playing Fields Foundation with a centre to the south.  Douglas Eyre was the man who set up the Foundation.

High Maynard reservoir
Built by the East London Water Company in 1870 under the company’s act of 1867 and following the buying out of commoners’ rights. It receives water from Keids Weir through Chingford Mill. It is known for cormorant roosts on islands within the reservoir.

Hookers Road
Trading estate and industrial units.
Peter Hooker. Named after Hooker’s printers’ engineers who there from 1901.  They closed in 1921 and eventually became part of Armstrong Siddley. They had originally been part of Gnome and le Rhone Engine Co. – a French company making some of the earliest rotary engines. 
Empire Works, Micanite and Insulators Co. Moved here in 1902 from Stanstead and the works were extended several times subsequently. They produced mica for electrical purposes.
Tyre and Rubber Co 1919-1958
Sutton Works. T.J.Wright pattern card makers 1902-1954. Bombed 1940s

Lloyd Road
Arthur Lloyd was the first Managing Director of the Warner Company

Lockwood Reservoir

Lockwood Way
Industrial and trading units

Low Maynard Reservoir
Built by the East London Water Company in 1870 under the company’s act of 1867 and following the buying out of commoners’ rights. It receives water from the High Maynard Reservoir.

Priestly Way
Industrial and trading units

Reservoir No.2.
Built by the East London Water Company in 1863 under their Act of 1853.  It is low level, has one island and holds 31,000,000. The water came from their intake was at Keids Weir via Chingford Mill.

Reservoir No.4
Built by the East London Water Company in 1866 under their Act of 1853.  It is high level, and holds 130,000,000 . The water came from their intake was at Keids Weir via Chingford Mill

Sutherland road
Industrial and trading units

Wickford Way
Industrial and trading units


Achille Serre web site
AEC web site
Britians web site
Day, London Underground
Ever Ready web site
Forgotten Stations of London
Grace’s Guide web site
LGOC web site
London Playing fields web site
London’s Water Supply. MWB
Mills web site
Morris. Archives of the Chemical Industry
Plummer & Bowater. Courtney Warner and the Warner Estate
Victoria County History. Essex
Willowfield School web site


UpYourStreet said…
The Reservoirs are now Walthamstow Wetlands.

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