Saturday, 29 December 2012

River Brent - Park Royal

River Brent
The Brent flows south westwards

Post to the north Tokyngton
Post to the west Alperton
Post to the east Harlesen Stonebridge

Abbey Road
Indestructible Paint Co. Ltd. Cleopatra works. The Indestructible Paint Co. dates to about 1867 and were in Park Royal by the 1920s. It acquired Pilchers, who used the trade name Cleopatra – from a Royal request to provide paint for Cleopatra’s Needle. The company was taken over by other paint companies and eventually the trade name Indestructible was taken over and a new company was set up in Birmingham, which is still trading.
Curtis Works. Curtis Automobile.  The business was started in 1910 by two Curtis brothers and called Curtis Arthur. In 1919 it was reformed as the Curtis Automobile Co., Ltd., based in Kensington, and under the directorship of Mr. T. H. Curtis, who, in 1922, was joined in the management by Mr. Leonard Stewart, and in 1922 they got the Lancia concession. They then moved to Park Riyal in 1924 with a test track on site paid for by Lancia. They also were Curtis Duramin who developed a rust proofing method. They went out of business in 1929
F. W. Berwick and Co. In 1912 ran motor showrooms. With the Sizaire brothers he developed a racing car made in France. After the Great War they opened a factory here but they were bankrupt in 1920 and they began to work with Austin. The factory closed in 1924.
D Link House. D-Link was set up as Datex Solutions in 1986 in Taiwan.  They provide data link and networking technology.
Park Royal Vehicles. This firm, Britain's leading coachbuilder who made the Routemaster, was situated on the east side of abbey road south of the canal and north of the bend at Whitby Road, and partly east of the greyhound track. The firm started in 1889. They produced many different types of vehicle. In the Second World War they made wings and cowlings for Halifax bombers. In 1949 it became part of Associated Commercial Vehicles and worked to the demanding requirements of London Transport to produce the Routemaster, other major bus fleets were built here. They closed in 1980.
Hall Lewis & Co. Coachbuilders and one of the forerunner firms of Park Royal Vehicles
Iron Paving Works, Abbey Works. 1930s production of non-skid surfaces
National Motor Horse Box. 1930s body work factory
Twyford Waste Transfer Station. This handles 38,000 tonnes of household waste from Brent each year. The waste is compacted and sent another waste transfer station. It is on a former tip.
Twyford Tip.
Baptist Gospel Hall. This was on the east side corner of Twyford Abbey Road in the 1920s and had gone by the mid-1930s.
Tudor works. H. Cleaver made wooden mantelpieces here before the Great War
Tudor Estate with lots of small engineering works 1920s onwards
Stonebridge Works. There in the 1930s- 1951. The firm was Drake and Van de Bergh and made kapok down,  
Twyford Abbey Sidings. From the London and North West Railway Line. These had been put in to serve the Royal Showground and were retained for the Heinz factory and some other works. Reduced in the 1950s and subsequently removed. There seems to have been a station here serving the showground with trains coming from Euston via Willesden. It is said to have opened in March 1903 and closed by the June of that year – but a station called ‘Royal showyard’ on the site is shown on a a-A=Z from the early 1950s
Abbey Point. European Glass Ltd.
Autocycle Works. The Cyc-Auto by Mr. Wallington was the original autocycle.  After Philip Snowden's Budget of 1931, it became worthwhile to use a motorised bicycle and this came out in 1934. The company later moved to a different site at Park Royal
Standard Wood Works.  With landing stage on the canal 1930s
Unimix House site of instrument works 1970s
Brick and lime works in the 1920s alongside the railway line
Abbey Road Works. Making electric meters 1960s
Rifle club

Beresford Avenue
The Aircraft Operating Company Ltd was founded by Harold Hemming AFC aerial survey and amateur air racing pilot. In 1925 they took over Aerofilms Ltd, and acquired contracts from Ordnance Survey.  They also set up a company in South Africa. In 1940, the staff and equipment of AOC were requisitioned by the Air Ministry. Hemming became a wing commander and, after bombing, the operation moved from here. They were later taken over by Hunting Aerosurveys Ltd
18 The Redeemed Church of God
Northfields Industrial Estate. Opened to take advantage of the North Circular Road in 1934
Celotex wharf. Celotex used the canal from 1937. They were an early tenant of the Estate. They had 500 yards of canal bank with their Head Office next to the aqueduct and a frontage on the North Circular Road. The Beresford Avenue frontage was lined with poplars to screen piles of bagasse – the dry pulpy residue left after the the extraction of juice from sugar cane. This wa the raw material for Celotex boarding which was made on site.
1-3 Trading Post.  Prop House. Theatrical costumers and props, founded in 1938. Previously this was Rizla House, makers of cigarette papers. Rizla are a French company founded in the 1660, This Art Deco factory opened in 1936 but from the mid-1960s the company moved to Wales.
Atlas Diesel Engineering Works. Made air compressors 1950s
1 Binatone House. Binatone Electronics Ltd. was founded in 1959 by, Gulu and Partap Lalvani, and named after their younger sister. The company specialised in importing consumer electronics from the far east.
Safety Celluloid Co, were making celluloid acetate before the Great War but out of business sin the 1920s.

Eleveden Road
308 Kolak Snack Foods. Founded 1985
Hoopers coachworks.   Hoopers were coachbuilders founded in 1805, with premises in Haymarket. 1n 1933 they opened an Art Deco styled factory on Western Avenue where they worked for up market car firms designing cars to meet customers' needs and using innovative construction methods. In 1938 Hoopers took over Barkers, another 18th coachbuilder now associated with Rolls Royce. They then built a factory at Elveden Road for Barker coachwork, but only 9 were made before the Second World War. This factory continued after the war building Daimler Barker Special Sports cars 
Twyford Laboratories. Research Division associated with the Guinness Brewery

Grand Union Canal
The Grand Junction Canal was built under an Act of 1793 and runs from Braunston to London.    An Act of 1795 authorised a branch from Bull’s Bridge to a basin at Paddington – which was built in 1801. It eventually became part of the Grand Union.
North Circular Canal Bridge. An aqueduct carried the road over the bridge which was completed in 1933 of reinforced concrete with the Arms of Middlesex on the bridge. It had to be built without disturbing the canal traffic. The design was by Alfred Dryland, Middlesex County Engineer and W.Casson, Resident Engineer. In 1939 rebels of the Irish Republican Army attempted to wreck the canal bridge, but the bomb which they hurled at it failed to cause any serious damage.
New Aqueduct. In the 1990s the North Circular was turned into dual three lane carriageways and a new aqueduct had to be built. This was built alongside the canal and moved into position over Easter 1993. Engineers were Mott MacDonald using Balfour Beatty for the Department of Transport.
Aqueduct over Brent River. Smaller than the North Circular one.

Iveagh Avenue
Houses built for Guinness workers in 1933

Moyne Place
Housing by Charles Hepworth for Guinness employees 1945

North Circular Road
The North Circular here is essentially two roads, the original road with the upgraded three lane motorway standard road running parallel to it.
Ace CafĂ©. Motoring memorabilia and vintage vehicles. The Ace Cafe has black and white colours simulating a racetrack and many bikers meet here. The cafe also has a wider customer base, including local workers, seniors in touch with their biking youth, and others. 
Hoo Hing

Park Royal
Originally the village of Twyford Park Royal Industrial Estate –was named for the Royal Agricultural Show held here 1903-5. Between 1914 and 1918 the government used the site for munitions factories. This led Park Royal into becoming a major industrial estate

Rainsford Road
Mabie, Todd and Co. Swan Pen works. The firm’s involvement in gold nib and pencil manufacture dated to the 1840s in New York. A London office was opened in 1884 and began manufacture of Swan pens by 1914. The largest fountain pen manufacturer in the world they became a casualty of the ball point.

Twyford Abbey Road
West Twyford Primary School
Canal Cottage a British Waterways canal side cottage. It was built around 1830 and is now a listed building and thought to be a lengthman's cottage
100 Waterlow and Sons. Site where Radio Times was printed
Abbey Point cafe

Wycombe Road
Lee Lighting was a large studio complex owned by InterTel (VYL) Services Ltd. they owned one of the first independent video facilities in Europe and were used by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.

Canal walks leaflet
Civil Engineering Heritage. London and the Thames Valley
Field. London place names,
Firth, GLIAS walk notes
GLIAS Newsletter
Grace’s Guide. Web site
London Night & Day,
London Borough of Brent. Web site
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Middlesex County Council. History of  Middlesex
Papers from University of Middlesex Seminar 1980s.
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London
Stevenson. Middlesex
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Walford. Village London

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

River Brent Tokyngton

River Brent
The Brent flows south westwards. It is joined by the Wembley Brook from the west

Post to the west Wembley
Post to the east Stonebridge
Post to the south Park Royal

Argenta Way
Argenta House. Silver ware factory which has been here since the 1970s owned by the Norman family. On it are murals commemorating three Olympiads at which racial tension was at its height. Created by design group Ol’ Man T, Jesse Owens who won over the Nazis at the 1936 games, Tommie Smith’s black power salute of the 1968 games and the 11 Israeli athletes killed in Munich, 1972
Stonebridge Park Station. Opened in 1912 it now lies between Wembley Central and Harlesden on the Bakerloo Line and it is also on the London Overground into Euston. The original line was opened by the London and North Western railway in their New Line project. It was first used by Bakerloo line trains in 1917. The current station buildings replaced the originals which were destroyed by Second World War bombing except for the booking hall at ground level appears to be the original. The platform-level rebuilding used concrete and steel rather than brick plus wood and glass canopies. The 1940s buildings have however also been subject to two fires which meant that much of the up side and later much of the down side have been rebuilt.

Office blocks – two curved blocks dating from 1975 adjacent to the North Circular

Brent River Park
Tokyington Recreation Ground has now been partly renamed as Brent River Park
Brent River Park. The river used to run in a straight concrete channel but has now been re-structured with meanders and sloping sides. The ground levels have been raised with landfill, and the course of the river altered.
Wind powered sculpture, which was commissioned to coincide with the building of the new Wembley Stadium. It is near the entrance to the park. Its base has the River Brent motif laser-cut through it and a turbine on the top turns in the wind. It was made in association with Liz Armitage
Climate Pavilion: the Pavilion has four overlapping canopy sections to show the damage done by extreme weather conditions due to climate change. It provides a shelter for park users and can be used for performance space. It is made of mild steel that rusts easily and this is to show the power of nature and the role it plays in the decay and destruction of the man-made world. It also has on-site solar energy using photovoltaic cells which generate all the electricity required to light it and ten underground water storage pools have been built and the foundation is permeable to allow for effective drainage during floods which stain demonstrates how we can adapt to climate change.
Pebble mosaic designed by students from Vernon House School. Fish and boats are interwoven in to the design.
Mound with the four-tonne base of the flagpole from the East Twin Tower of the 1923 Wembley Stadium

Harrow Road
What became the Harrow Road was a road called Deadman's Hill which ran between Wembley and Tokyngton and then Willesden
Stonebridge over the Brent at Tokyngton. In 1820 this was a two arched bridge of brick and stone described as ancient and maintained by the lords of Tokyngton and East Twyford manors.
Harrow Bridge – this was About 200 yards to the north of the Tokyington bridge and was built around  1800 by the parish of Harrow and the neighbouring landowners. In 1818 its arches were bricked up by the trustees of the turnpike road
30-32 The Innisfree Pub

Heather Park Drive
Transpute. Transputec is a company offering IT advice and solutions. It was started in 1984 by students from Imperial and Kings Colleges tube name is an amalgamation of Transputer and Technology
Trinity House Business Centre
Celestial church of Christ. Trinity Business Centre
La Mont Steam Generator. Manfacturers of waste heat boilers 1930s-1960s
Precision Centre. In the 1960s occiupied by Eagle Interntionl who distributed components aimed at the audio and amateur radio markets - ie Audiotronic Group, B.H.Morris (Radio) etc.H
Heather Park Pub and restaurant
Single track rail line ran behind the factories in Heather Park Drive 1930s.

Monks Park
Monks Park Primary Care Centre
Tokyngton Library. Closed and the site sold off for housing

North Circular Road
On this stretch the North Circular divides into two with the old road running parallel to three lane road
Ferodo Advertisement on a Bridge.  One of several bridges around the country advertising Ferodo disc brake pads. The name is part of an anagram of the inventor, Herbert Frood.
The original arches of the main line from Euston to Scotland
Bridge carrying the Harrow Road A404

Point Place
Wembley Point. 21 storey refurbished building with offices, gym. Health spa and restaurant. Built in the 1960s when it was called Station House with hexagonal floor plates. It was originally heavily brutalist with concrete columns and an exposed service core but it has now been tarted up. Beneath it runs the River Brent, having been built over and channelled through the site.

Railway land
Pillbox – said to be a Second World War pillbox on the bank of the northbound rail line north of Stonebridge Park Station
The Watford DC Line runs beside the West Coast Main Line and the Bakerloo line shares the track on this stretch. The line is electrified with direct current in contrast to the alternating current on the adjacent main line. It was originally electrified in the fourth rail system getting power from the Stonebridge Park power station which closed in the 1960s
Stonebridge Park Power Station. This was built for the North West and South Junction Railway, and North London Railway in 1916. . It was coal fired with wooden cooling towers. It closed in 1967, after which power was taken from the grid. It was used for scenes in an early episode of Dr., Who. 
The Bakerloo line depot opened here in on the site of the power station. It is where the Bakerloo fleet's is maintained.

St. Michael's Avenue
St Michael the Archangel, Tokyngton

The area is sometimes called Oakington but this is wrong and the name comes from a farm to the north of this square connected with the name of Toca. This was an important manor in the Middle Ages with a prominent chapel. In the early 20th Audley Neeld, then Lord of the Manor, wanted to develop a ‘garden city’ estate and building took place into the 1920s.

Tokyngton Recreation Ground,
Middlesex County Council open space now part of Brent River Park

Clunn. The Face of London
Get Walking. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
Hidden London. Web site
Knights. A Brief History of Electricity in Acton
London Encyclopaedia,
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Natural England. Web site.
Pevsner and Cherry. London North West
Pinner Chalk Mine info. Web site
Radio Museum. Web site
Skyscraper News. Web site
Stevenson, Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group report
Walford. Village London,

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Wembley Brook - Wembley

Wembley Brook

The Wembley Brook flows south eastwards

Post to the east Tokyngton
Post to the south Alperton

Dorothy Avenue
Named after the builder's daughter

Ealing Road
Shops on the corner of Montrose Crescent are on the Site of The Regal Cinema. This was built for Associated British Cinemas and opened in 1937.  It was designed by ABC’s architect William R. Glen and had an entrance curving round the corner with a small fin tower. Inside on the walls was a panel with scenes of deer and antelope grazing. It was re-named ABC in 1962 and closed on 1976. In 1978 it was re-named Metro Cinema, playing Bollywood films. This closed in 1983 and the building was converted into a garage and was demolished in 1987.
Wembley Central Masjid. The idea for this facility dates from the early 1980s when local Muslims bought a house which they soon outgrew and St. Andrews church was purchased. The church had been vacant for nearly 15 years and was listed in 1993. The Masjid committee refurbished it adding a bookshop, a tearoom and library plus an extension for funeral facilities and the Imam. Unfortunately a fire ensured but the damaged area has been replaced by a new floor plus a caretaker's residence.
St. Andrew's Church of the First Born. This was a Presbyterian church built in 1904 to the design of Thomas Collcutt and Stanley Hemp, in an arts and crafts style.
Church Hall to the north of the church now in use as a community centre attached to the mosque.
Ealing Road Methodist church. Dates from 1927. It now hosts services with Guajarati Christians
Alperton County Secondary School
Shri Vallabh Nidhi Mandir.  It took fourteen years to build of stone including ochre coloured stone from Jaisalmair, Bansipahad and Makrana marble and Jaisalmer lime stone carved in Sola in Gujarat.  It is on the site of Alperton County Secondary School. It was constructed according to the scriptures of the Hindu holy texts, and so contains no steel supports.  It opened in 2010 
Shri Sanatan Hindu Community Centre. Part of the temple complex.
Ealing Road library
145 Wembley Gospel Hall. The building was opened in 1924 by a group of local Christians who had come together 30 years earlier. The services include an input from Hindus from the Gujarat.
140 The Chequers. Demolished and replaced with flats
155-157 Alperton Baptist Church. Built in 1937

London Road
Dennis Jackson Centre, Youth Centre opened in 1972 following fund raising by local young people. Closed 2012 on health and safety grounds
Wembley Youth Centre
Copland School playing fields

Stanley Avenue
St James Church Centre. In 1890 the Wembley vicar, asked W.R. Lane, a missionary, to set up his tent in Alperton. In 1893 a mission room was provided and in 1896 a corrugated iron church. The parish of Saint James, Alperton, was created in 1904 and a church was built by W.A. Pite in 1912. In 1990 it was replaced by a barn shaped church built by Tony Rouse of the KC White Partnership.
Alperton Community School Upper School. This was previously Wembley County School, and was used as athletes’ accommodation for the 1949 Olympics. Built on the site of Alperton Hall
Alperton Hall. After the South African War in 1904 the Imperial Yeomanry School for Girls opened here to educate, the daughters of yeomen who died in the war. It was sold for a council school in 1920
1-3 2-4  Victorian cottages

Station Grove
Cedar Hall. Church of God

Union Road
Pavitt Hall

Vincent Road
Mount Pleasant Primary School

Tokyngton Avenue
Elsley Primary School

Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Brent. Web site
London Metropolitan Archive. Web site
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pevsner and Cherry, London North West
Shri Vallabh Nidhi Mandir. Web site
Wembley Masjid Web site

Sunday, 23 December 2012

River Brent - Stonebridge

River Brent

The Brent flows south westwards and is joined by the Mitchell Brook from the east

Post to the north Neasden
Post to the east Willesden
Post to the west Tokyngton
Post to the south Harlesden Stonebridge

Alric Avenue
White Heather Laundry. Opened in 1904 by ‘some young university men’. It is said to have had the deepest artesian well in the UK dug in 1911. It is also said that a source of oil was found while the well was being bored. In 1947 some more serious investigations were undertaken.
Garrard Jewelers in 1915 as part of the war effort formed The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company Ltd and up in the premises the White Heather Laundry. At the end of the war Garrard continued started the production of small lathes and boring tools and motors for gramophones.  The White Heather Laundry wanted its premises back, and Garrard moved to Swindon.
Alric Avenue Day Centre – Brent Council Centre with a number of associated and neighbouring projects. ie: Wise. West Indian Self Effort.  Asian Community Care Services, etc

Artesian Close
Artesian Industrial Estate

Barry Road
Barry Road originally ran all the way south to the Harrow Road
Laundry here in the 1950s
Site of Pathe Freres Pathephone Ltd who made early gramophone records.  They were bought by Columbia in 1928. British Homophone Co. was also based here for a while and are said to have launched their Sterno record label here with Mantovani.  After the Second World War the site was a store for the Office of Works. This site seems to be roughly the area covered now by Mandela Close.

Brentfield Estate
Built 1919-21 and designed by F.Wilkinson Borough Engineer. Willesden Council.  It was influenced by the work of Parker and Unwin in the arrangements of grouped cottages. It was the first municipal housing to be built in the area

Brentfield Road
This was originally known as Dog Lane
Neasden Hospital. This was opened in 1894 by Willesden District Council opened as a fever hospital on an isolated site near the sewage works. The name was later changed to Willesden Municipal Hospital. In 1948 it joined the NHS and the theatre block opened in 1949 had 16 tonsillectomy beds. By 1953 they were treating food poisoning, whooping cough, diphtheria and croup this meant most patients were children but there were also some TB patients and some geriatric beds. It became a specialist centre for the treatment of bulbar poliomyelitis. In 1978 it became a geriatric hospital and closed in 1986.  The site was sold to the Paddington Churches Housing Association for fair rent and shared-ownership homes.
Five Precious Wounds. Roman Catholic Church built 1967
101-103 Eurocar. This is the site of Unity Works of Freestone and Webb. A coach building company who worked for Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Packard and Mercedes-Benz. Founded in 1923 by V.E. Freestone and A.J. Webb. They worked largely on Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, making bout 15 cars per annum. During the Second World War they made aircraft part. Eventually car manufacturers began to make their bodies in house and eventually the company was sold in the 1960s.
105-119 BAPS Shri Swaninarayan Mandir.  First traditional Hindu Mandir outside of India. Built 1995 of 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble and 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and using no iron or steel for £12m raised through donations. It was Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, as distinct from converted secular buildings. The architect was C. B. Sompura and much of the carving was done in a special workshop in the Gujarat.  It is a part of BAPS - Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha and was inaugurated in 1995.  The complex includes: A traditional Hindu temple, a permanent exhibition on ‘Understanding Hinduism’, a cultural centre designed in traditional Gujarati architecture with an assembly hall, gymnasium, bookshop, and offices. The temple and the complex have received many awards.
The Swaminarayan School.  This is Opposite the Mandir and is Europe’s first independent Hindu school. Founded in 1992 it follows the National Curriculum while promoting aspects of Hinduism and Hindu culture. It was previously Sladebrook High School
Sladebrook High School. This opened in 1969 as a comprehensive made up by amalgamating Willesden School of Building, ex Kilburn Polytechnic, with Gibbons Road. School and Wesley Road secondary. Moderns.  This has new buildings but also used the Gibbons Road site. Closed down in 1990.
Gwenneth Rickus Building. Brent Centre for Staff Development and other education services. This is in the buildings of what was Sladebrook School.  Gwenneth Rickus was Brent’s Chief Education officer 1971-84
Gibbons Road School; also called Brentfield Road School. This opened in 1902 as a Board school for boys. Under the 1944 Act it became a secondary modern. The Hall was built in 1959 and the name changed in 1960 to Brentfield School. It merged in 1969 into Sladebrook High School bit continued to use old Gibbons Road buildings.  Badly bombed and partly rebuilt during the Second World War.
New River Mill. British Booklet Matches were set up in the mid-1920s producing patent advertising booklet matches and "disk" matches in boxes made of cardboard instead of wood. The factory was subject to a fire in 1929 but continued until 1967. The facility was north of the canal feeder on the site now covered by the Mandir.  It is marked on maps as a ‘cotton waste’ factory.
Brentfield works
Bridge works. Pendry Plastics 1962
Arkel Works. Robert Hitchen & Co, cotton goods 1960s

Bridge Park Community and Leisure Centre. This has an air-conditioned aerobics studio, fitness studios, sauna and steam rooms as well as badminton, netball courts, and football pitches.
Princess Royal Distribution Centre. Used to be the Royal Mail depot which opened in 1996.  It handles millions of parcels and employs over 400 regular staff. They have road and rail connections. Access is via Blakemore Drive which is south of this square;
New Life Christian Centre International
Tramway Depot. Built as an overhead electric tram depot by Metropolitan Electric Railways, 1906 and then a trolleybus depot from 1938. It was where staff where trained in righting overturned vehicles. Its shed could take 202 buses but that amount of capacity was never needed here.  It was an open fronted three bay building. Very little of the original depot survives except for small sections of wall and some of the roof trusses. Most of it was rebuilt and clad in metal sheet. The layout of the site however mirrors the depot and some ancillary buildings in other uses appear to be original.
War memorial. A memorial to tramway workers who died in the Great War was removed by Brent Council and resited in Sudbury with a new dedication.

Brentfield Open Space
Open area at the back of schools and houses. Said to be of nature interest.

Bridge Road
Our Dumb Friends League Dogs Home. There until the 1950s.

Conduit Way
Centre of Brentfield Estate – it originally met and ran along the canal feeder.

Canal Feeder
Built in 1811. It is now used as a landscape feature through the area

Fawood Avenue
35 Fawood Children’s Centre.  This is a cage steel structure with elliptical coloured lozenges round the outside. It provides family care, education, and health services for children up the age of five. There is a large ground floor space plus facilities for nursing mothers, parents with and learning spaces for both adults and children.

Gibbons Recreation Ground

Gresham Road
Housing for Great Central Railway workers.

Stonebridge Estate. Between 1967 and 1978 the council demolished housing along Hillside and elsewhere in the area and built high-rise buildings wiping whole streets off the map. Even before the project was complete, it became notorious. In 1994 it was taken over by the Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, and some of the tower blocks were demolished and new houses built.
Coach House. Flats on the site of the ousHoudCoach and Horses. Opened following building south of Harrow Road by 1770, and shown in a painting of 1792 as 'the angler's alehouse', and later used by another painter, George Morland. It was originally called the Stonebridge Inn.  Described as a very pretty spot in 1817.  Rebuilt to the designs of M T Saunders, reopening in summer 1908. Demolished
Hillside Centre and Cycle King. The building was a music hall attached to the Coach and Horses pub, known as the Palace of Varieties. It may date from as early as 1860, but was in operation from 1901. It was rebuilt with the pub in 1980 and for a while was a cinema. It closed by 1922. The pub was demolished but the hall survived.

Kingfisher Way
Housing on the site of Neasden Hospital.

Leicester Road
Taylors Lane Power Station. This originated in a coal-fired station built in 1903 by Willesden Urban District Council and sold to the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Co. in 1904. This station closed in 1972 and was demolished along with the cooling towers, etc. The current station was opened in 1979 by the Central Electricity Generating Board and it is now operated by E.On remotely from Grain Power Station

Meadow Garth
This was renamed in the 1970s and had been part of Conduit Way
Brentfield Primary School. This was part of Gibbons Road School but the name was changed to Brentfield in 1959.  The school was rebuilt in 1979.
Shayona, Car Park etc. The congregation had started in Islington but, having outgrown that site, moved to an old truck warehouse off Brentfield Road in 1995. When the Mandir was built they kept the old building and it became Shayona, an Indian grocery shop and vegetarian restaurant.
Akshar IT Centre. On part of the Shayona site this is an adult learning centre providing government-accredited IT course to the public.

North Circular
130 burger bar in the Pantiles Pub
236-238 The Carramore

Rainborough Close
St. Raphael’s Community Centre

Ruby Street
Is this the original line of Barry Street

Russell Close
Appears to be roughly on the site of a gravel pit which stood opposite Stonebridge Farm

Tokyngton Recreation Ground
This is a large park with a pond and the River Brent running through it. It was created to compensate for the loss of parkland when the North Circular Road was widened in the 1980s. It was previously called Monks Park witch comes from the Neeld family who owned land in the Tokyngton area.

Woodyates Road
Great Central Railway Housing.

Wyborne Way
Basin. This is shown on pre-Great War maps on the west side of Wyborne Road slightly north of the junction with Hillside. It appears to lie on a cut either off the Brent or off the canal feeder
Willesden Sewage Works – increased number of filter beds, etc for Willesden works based further north.  Closed when Willesden joined the LCC system
James Dudson Court – roughly on the site of Stonebridge Farm


British History Online, Willesden
Clunn. The Face of London
Field.  London place names,
Freestone and Webb. Wikipedia Web site
Glazier. London Transport Garages
GLIAS- Newsletter
Graces Guide. Web site.
London Gardens Online. Web site.
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London  
Theatres Trust. Web site
Walford. Village London,

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Mitchell Brook Willesden

Mitchell Brook
Mitchell Brook rises in this area and flows south west towards the Brent. It is joined by the Harlesden Brook from the east

Post to the west Stonebridge

Bridge Road
38 Harmony Children’s Centre. Four pavilions with offices and a nursery.  By Greenhill Jenner 1955. Sure Start Centre, likely to close.
Rail Bridge
Mitchell Brook Primary School. The school was built during the Great War but has been added to over the years.

Church End
An old name for part of what was Willesden village. The church was in a dead end lane near the manor and a farm. Recorded as the ‘Church end’ in 1593. It was also known as as Crouch (Cross) End, and was on the edge of marshland. In the middle ages Willesden was owns by St. Paul's Cathedral and later by All Souls' College, Oxford, Westminster Abbey and St. Bartholomew's Hospital

Church Road
Church End and Roundwood Unity Centre built 2007 and provides recreational, educational and cultural activities
Beulah Apostolic Church
212-214 Afghan Islamic Cultural Centre
226 Granada Cinema. This opened as the Empire Kinema in 1920 built by Cecil Masey for Alexander Bernstein. It closed in 1927 when a balcony was added and Theodore Komisarjevsky was employed as interior designer. It also had a Christie 2Manual/7Rank Christie organ. It was then sold to Gaumont British Theatres, and closed in 1936 for alterations and re-opened as the Granada Theatre. It closed in 1962 and was converted into a Granada Bingo Club which closed in the 1990s. In 1994 it re-opened as a live comedy theatre and in 1995 began screening Asian films. This closed in 1997 and it was converted into a church for the Miracle Signs and Wonders Ministries who want to demolish and convert to housing.
Restoration Revival Fellowship Apostolic Church. This was a Congregational church foundation here in 1899. It is in Red brick with an asymmetrical. Tower, designed by Spalding and Spalding with an adjoining lecture hall. In 1962 it was leased to a film company.

Cobbald Estate
Industrial and trading units
Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories. Site of celebrated strike in the late 1970s which the Tories won out on. The laboratory had been founded by George Ward in the 1960s and processed colour film using low paid female labour.

Energen Close
Energen Foods Ltd. Had a works in Bridge Road from before 1929. They made starch reduced bread for slimmers

Franklin Road
Trojan Works. A firm there in the 1950s which specialised in hospital furniture
Adelphi Works. Heaton and Tabb. Designers who had worked with Morris became specialist liner decorators. Founded by A. Heaton they were taken over by Harland and Woolfe when decorations were required for the Titanic and Olympic. They were sold off in 1963.
Willesden New Cemetery. Opened in 1891 when the names of the Burial Board were buried in bottles. It includes the Willesden Civilian war memorial, a tribute to local civilians who died in the Second World War but the lime walk to it has gone. There are 130 graves from the Great War and 121 from the Second World War - 29 of which h form an informal group. A Screen Wall bears the names of those casualties from both wars buried in the cemetery whose graves could not be individually marked. The chapels were in 'unique Pont Street Dutch' designed by Mr C H Worley, but now demolished. The layout of paths is simple and straight, but there is a lot of deciduous planting - horse chestnut, Lombardy and hybrid poplar, willow and a circus of horse chestnut.

Garnet Road
St Marys Church of England Primary School. This is the oldest school in Brent, founded in 1777 when Richard Freelove gave £200 towards building a Charity School in Willesden. In 1809 a Sunday school was founded and this was extended to a day school in 1818. A new school was built on the site 1853 and again in Pound Lane and following various reorganisations a new school was built here in 1972

Hawkshead Road
Leopold Primary School. Opened in Leopold Road in 1897 and later moved here.

High Road
Willesden Magistrates Court
White Hart Inn. The pub was here in 1749. In the late 19th it was known for its pleasure gardens. It is now closed and the site used for housing
J. H. Dallmeyer Ltd. Church End Works, he was the son if an Anglo-German apprenticed as an optician in1846. He came to London and worked for a telescope manufacturer. Amend later took over the works.  He made lens to international success and his son took over the business developing telephoto lenses.
393 Peradon & Co. made billiard cues here from the 1880s
473 Park Ward Motor body works – built Rolls Royce bodies. They had moved here in 1919 into what had been the London General Horse Bus Stables – Church End Paddocks.  Taken over by Rolls Royce in 1939.  The works were demolished in 1982.  Now Homebase
356-360 Tony’s Pub.
449 The Elms, would become part of Beckets Coal yard

Leopold Road
St Joseph’s Roman Catholic primary school. Built by the Willesden School Board in 1897 as Leopold School for junior and infants. It eventually became a Secondary Modern and closed 1966. It was then used as an annexe for St. Joseph’s, Harlesden

Longstone Avenue
Roundwood Gospel Assembly. This opened in 1971 in the old Roundwood Mission
Newfield Primary School

Neasden Lane
St Mary Church. The church is first mentioned in 1181 and first recorded as St. Mary's around 1280. The font is mid-12th century, and a 12th century window is said to have been destroyed in 1872. By the early 16th the church was known for its spring credited with healing powers and a shrine to the Virgin Mary, sometimes called the Black Virgin. In 1538 the image was burnt at Chelsea. There is currently an early 20th image in the church. The church is in Kentish ragstone with Victorian ‘restorations’.  The holy water of Willesden flows underneath it.
A rectory and vicarage stood next to the churchyard by the mid- 13th. The rectory was probably the chief manor for the parish
Saint Mary’s Parish Centre
Old Burial Ground. It is said there were burials here from the 10th and definitely from the C13th – there were wooden headstones here. By the 19th the churchyard was full and in 1865 Willesden Burial Board bought a site between Church Path and the railway. Near the south-east exit is a War Memorial in remembrance of workers from the British Thomas Houston Factory who died in the two world wars. The churchyard is walled with horse chestnuts and limes. A wildlife area has been developed as a natural woodland area in conjunction with the London Wildlife Trust. Said to be haunted by a hooded white monk and also said to be the site of a plaque pit.
Church Cottages
Church End Estate. Taken over in 1998 by Fortunegate from Brent Council
Chancel House. Job Centre

Taylor’s Lane
Acorn Boys Club, redeveloped as housing.

Cinema Treasures, Web site
Clunn. The Face of London.
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Brent. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pevsner and Cherry, London North West
Stevenson.  Middlesex
Walford. Village London
Willesden Historical Society newsletter

Monday, 17 December 2012

River Brent - Neasden

River Brent
The Brent flows south and is joined by the Wealdstone Brook from the west

Post to the north Neasden
Post to the south Stonebridge

Besant Way
Estate boiler house now in other use as an office.

Canal Feeder
This is a feeder canal to the Grand Union Canal built around 1811 taking water from the River Brent to the main canal in what is now Park Royal. It was gravity fed and followed the natural contours. After the Brent Reservoir was built in 1835 the feeder was supplied through a tunnel in the dam. Having run underground for some distance through the railway works and industrial sites the feeder runs in the open alongside the IKEA store

Fourth Way
British Empire Exhibition. Amusement Park. This ran down between Fourth Way and the boundary having also been along the northern boundary. It featured among other things:
Tut’s Tomb - a reconstruction of the then recently discovered Tomb of Tutankhamen at Luxor.  This was in the amusement section because Egypt was not in the Empire – and allegedly Carter was not amused.
Golden Glide.  Sponsored by Pears Soap. Cars shaped like soap tablets travelled through an English lavender garden, into a cave-of-soap and to the brink of a waterfall cascading at the rate of 35,000 gallons an hour.
Safety Racer, a double-track mountain railway switchback ride
Scenic Railway – this was built by Thompson & Iliffe. After the exhibition closed it was moved to Manchester’s Belle Vue Park and remained in use there into the 1970s. It was demolished in 1979
Pyramid House and the Brent Car Pound
Hallmark Trading Estate.  Hallmark was the trade name of refrigeration equipment shown at the exhibition by J. & E Hall of Dartford. Engineering works can’t read 1950s

Great Central Way
The road goes through an area of industry and trading sites. It appears to have been built since the 1950s through an area used as sidings by the Great Central Railway.
Neasden Freight terminal lay north of the road. It was closed in 1965

Gresham Road
The Great Central Railway built houses for its workers here

Hannah Close
Industrial and trading area, including waste processing and heavy haulage 

Hardie Close
St Patrick’s RC church
St, Patrick’s Community Centre
Vernon House Special School

Neasden Works
Metropolitan Railway Works.  In the1880s the Metropolitan Railway Co. built a new depot and repair shops here which would employ 500 men and replace its works in Marylebone. The original shed rebuilt for two lines was brought here from Harrow in 1893 and replaced by a roundhouse in 1898 which was itself demolished in 1909. Then a three line corrugated iron shed was built and also used for carriage cleaning and that closed in 1936.   A brick built replacement for two lines closed in 1971 but is still there. There was a gas works on site.  Locomotives and coaching stock were also manufactured here for the Metropolitan Railway. The final locomotive produced at the works was in 1898. The depot was later extensively rebuilt and became one of the main London Transport works. It is now the largest on the London Underground system, maintaining stock on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, and Circle lines. The steam shed is now used as a training centre,
The Great Central Railway established its depot south of the line, they had a six line shed built of brick which was there until closure in 1962. 
Neasden Power Station.  Coal fired generating station built by the Metropolitan Railway as part of their electrification programme. It opened in 1904 and was adjacent to their depot. Power was fed to a network of sub stations around the Metropolitan’s area.  The station later contributed to the general underground power supply after the setting up of London Transport. It ceased production in 1968.

North Circular Road
Radiation House. Office block built 1962 the factory was opened in 1924 and known for making Ascot Gas Water Heaters. The firm was founded by a German called Dr Bernard Friedman and sold heaters made by Junkers of Germany. In 1933 it became Ascot Gas Water Heaters. It went through several take overs becoming part of Radiation in 1958. Radiation.  Based in Birmingham but had a factory here in 1937 From GracesGuide
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IKEA. The store, on the site of the Ascot works, dates from the mid-1970s.  Scandinavian home wares

Railway Lines
Chiltern Railways. In 1905 the Great Central railway opened a route for freight trains between Neasden and Northolt. It was used for passenger services from Marylebone from 1906, serving stations to Northolt Junction,
Metropolitan Line. This line was laid as an extension to Harrow by the Metropolitan Railway in 1880. The line is now paralleled through this section by the Jubilee Line to Stanmore.

St.Raphael Estate.
 Built in 1965 for the London Borough of  Brent
Willesden Sewage works – in the area covered by new housing and north of St. Raphael Way. By 1875 some drainage works had been constructed at Stonebridge Park and in 1880 the Local Board bought land for a sewage outfall near the Brent at Stonebridge. A sewage farm at Stonebridge was built in 1886 and a new one was built in 1904.

Village Way
New housing, initially for railway workers, was built by the Metropolitan Railway with all the streets named after their Metropolitan stations in Buckinghamshire

Woodheyes Road
Cottages 1899 for Great Central Railway

British History.  Middlesex, Willesden. Web site
Field. London place names
GLIAS Newsletter
Graces Guide, Web site
Jackson. London Metropolitan Railways
London Encyclopaedia
London Railway Record
McCarthy. London North of the Thames
Metropolitan Railway. Wikipedia Web site.
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Walford. Village London

Friday, 14 December 2012

Wealdstone Brook - Wembley Park

Wealdstone Brook
The brook flows south eastwards and north east

Post to the east Neasden
Post to the west Wembley Park

Bridge Road
Wembley Park Station. The station lies between Finchley Road and Preston Road on the Metropolitan Line and between Neasden and Kingsbury on the Jubilee Line.  The first station was opened in 1894 by the Metropolitan Railway to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the Company at Wembley Park - a country estate bought by them for excursion trips on the company's trains. It initially served only Saturday football matches in the park - In fact the first train to call there is said to have been a football special.  Later in the 1890s, The Great Central Railway London extension line was constructed adjacent to the Metropolitan Railways’ tracks but trains were not allowed to stop here although they pass under the building and there was no platform provided – the lines go straight through.  In 1905 the tracks were electrified and additional tracks were added. In 1932 they opened a branch line north from here to Stanmore and after the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board this stretch became part of the Bakerloo Line and in 1979 part of the Jubilee Line. In 1948 works were carried out to tart it up for the Olympics – using old pre-war stock from stores. It was given a new ticket hall and so on. 433,000 spectators came to Wembley by underground and during those 15 days, over a million people used Wembley Park Station. .  More recently it has been extended to handle capacity for crowds attending Wembley Stadium. In 1996, a staircase was built from the 1948 extension which remained here unfinished state until 2004 and it was completed in time for the opening of the new Wembley stadium in 2007. Outside is a stone plaque with the letters M.R – it stands for 'Metropolitan Railway'. Although it has been extended and rebuilt but retains its original booking hall. .
15 Torch Pub, opened in 1956
Ark Academy.  One of a chain of schools, privately run but state funded. This one is new. Built on the site of the London Transport Sports Ground.  New sports pitches at the rear are supposed to have public access.
Bobby Moore Bridge.  This was opened in 1993 and is a road traffic bridge over the roadway from the tube station to the football ground.  There is a plaque under the bridge which refers to its naming after a footballer and was opened by his widow. There are also murals depicting footballing scenes.

Brook Avenue
Runs between the railway line and the Wealdstone Brook
Station car park.  This is the biggest car park of all the underground stations with 634 car spaces

Buddings Circle
Low rise housing was built here as part of the 1965 Chalkhill Estate

Chalkhill was an ancient manor on land which belonged to Edward the Confessor and then Westminster Abbey. 
Metroland Estate. Small plots were sold to builders here in the 1920s encouraged by the nearby Empire Exhibition.
Chalkhill Estate. The estate was planned by the old Wembley Council to move people out of Willesden. It was built by the London Borough of Brent. It was high density and high rise with some amenity and open space as well as some low rise developments. There were however 30 high-rise Bison blocks linked by 'walkways in the sky'. Homes were all-electric utilizing with central heating and waste disposal systems. By the 1970s it had become a focus for crime plus vandalism from visiting football fans. The estate was partly demolished in 2000 and rebuilt financed by selling land to ASDA
Chalkhill Combined Facilities Building. Built 2009. This includes a Community Centre, a Health Centre, offices for the Metropolitan Housing Trust and 42 shared-ownership flats.

Forty Avenue
Sattadvas Patadat Centre - Advait Cultural Centre.  Funded by a Gujarati Trust. Wave formed roof with cigar shaped supports, interiors with coloured lights. Halls, theatre, classrooms, library. Agenda 21 Architects.

Forty Lane
Brent Town Hall.  Built as Wembley Town Hall in 1935-40 and influenced by Hornsey Town Hall. It was designed by Clifford Strange who go first prize in a competition run by Wembley Urban District council for the design.  It has a long austere front with a staircase tower in brick, behind the forecourt are offices, a public library and assembly hall at the back,  the council chamber was upstairs in the centre. The foyer had veneers and Botticino marble.

Fulton Road
Industrial and trading area. Runs along the backs of some of the Empire Exhibition buildings, including the Palace of Industry.

Chalkhill House. A 17th building on an older foundation, stood very roughly at the northern end of the road.  The house originated with the Chalkhill family who owned land and a mill in the area in the 16th. The properties passed into other hands and in the 1880s this house was occupied by H, Rawlings of the soft drinks company. It later became a private school, Kingsgate School, and was demolished in the 1960s.

North End Road
Empire Court. World Evangelism Mission. Operates in USA, Uganda and Congo
Empire Court – LCC type flats
Victoria Hall. Built 2010 on site of Northway Garage. This is not tied to a specific college but is provided by a company with other such sites
Durkin & Sons Ltd. The company dates from 1980 and as a contractor to the electricity companies, cable manufacturers specialising in underground EHV cable installation
Dowling and Fransen Engineers
Wembley Park Business Centre.  Industrial and trading area

Olympic Square
Part of a redesigned area around the station dating form 2006
Sculpture of a field athlete by Stanley Howe

Olympic Way
Olympic Way links Wembley Park Station with the Wembley football ground. It was built in the 1940s by German Prisoners of War.
Arena House. North West London College building.

Wellspring Crescent
Low rise housing was built here as part of the 1965 Chalkhill Estate

Wembley Park Drive
151 London Premier Inn Wembley Stadium
Crescent House. This is now a department of The College of North West London’s Wembley Park Campus as it originally was back in 2007. It was supposed to be rebuilt, but this has not happened
TV Studios. The Fountain Studios is currently, known as the live stage for popular ITV shows. It is the largest fully equipped television studio in Britain with a soundproof double door which can turn the space into two separate studios. The site was originally owned by British International Pictures in 1927, and later the American Fox Film Company leased it and they retained ownership throughout the Second World War. It continued to be the production centre for many popular ITV shows, under the ownership of London Weekend, and others, until taken over by Fountain in 1993. They demolished studios 1 to 4 from the original complex to make way for a retail park.

Behind the Blue Plaques
Blue Plaque Guide
Clunn. The Face of London
English Heritage. London Town Halls.
Field. London Place Names
Fountain Studios. Wikipedia Web site.
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Brent. Web site.
London Railway Record
Real Beer in London,
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Wembley Park Station. Wikipedia Web site.