River Brent - Park Royal
The Brent flows south westwards
Post to the north Tokyngton
Post to the west Alperton
Post to the east Harlesen Stonebridge
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.
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
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.
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.
Houses built for Guinness workers in 1933
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 Café. 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.
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
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
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
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
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Walford. Village London