Acton Main Line, North Acton

Post to the south Acton Central
Post to the east Old Oak Common Lane

Acorn Gardens
Built by Acton District Council in 1932 on what was known as the Friars Estate. ACOrn was the name of the Acton Telephone Exchange

Allison Road
Laid out by the Birkbeck Land Society
Rear entrance to property in Emmanuel Road with urns and lions

Canada Crescent
Built by Acton District Council in 1932

Cloister Road
Cloister Road Clinic. This was built in 1935 and was later the Gunnersbury Day Hospital, a mental health facility. It was replaced by the Cloister Road Surgery which was built in 2006 and designed for Ealing Primary Care Trust by Penoyre & Prasad LL.

Cotton Avenue
The present housing on the site appears to be relatively recent and to replace a depot on part of the site.  A previous version of Cotton Avenue ran from Western Avenue (originally Friars Place Lane) and to continue parallel to the railway. Along this road and one side road were a number of small isolated units – maybe prefabs, or some sort of huts.
Road Transport Depot. This is shown as preceding the current housing and to have fronted and entered on Western Avenue/Friars Place Lane.  It appears to date from the 1930s and to have been a large dark featureless building.  It was preceded on the site by sports grounds.

Friars Place Green
This small triangular green is the remains of Friars Place Waste and is now registered common land.

Friary Road
Friars Place. This house stood south of both Friars Place Farm and The Friars and was south of the Great Western Railway line. It had a number of owners and appears to have dated from the 18th when this area was a visitor destination.. In 1850 the house was described as a beautiful with a balustraded terrace looking south over pleasure grounds. It was demolished in 1902.
Walls Ice Cream. T. Wall and Son of Aldgate who as early as 1913  considered manufacturing ice cream during the seasonal summer downturn in sales of meat pies and sausages. By 1922 they were a subsidiary of Macfisheries itself part of Lever Brothers. They bought the site of Friars Place house and grounds in 1919 and built a factory there to make sausages, pies, and brawn. From 1956 the Friary factory concentrated on ice cream, the meat business moving to Atlas Road. Walls were by then the biggest ice cream maker in the world. The factory closed in the late 1980s
Friary Park Estate was built on the Walls site in the late 1980s. It had 240 social housing units in a mix of bedsits, one bed and larger units. They have been managed by the Ealing Family Housing Association, later called Catalyst. In 2014 Catalyst decided to demolish and replace some units with tower blocks.
Harry’s Bar – eccentric corner cafe, with some outdoor seating. Harry’s CafĂ© is about proper ‘man food’   Everything fried, no grease spared?

Horn Lane
The section of the road north of the station is marked as “Willesden Lane” before 1900.
Acton Main Line Station. This was opened in 1868 and now lies between Ealing Broadway and Paddington on Great Western Railway by the Great Western Railway.  It is on the Great Western Main line between London and Bristol but was built 30 years after it first opened and originally named just ‘Acton’ and renamed ‘Acton Main Line’ in 1948 The station had a goods shed and cattle pens with sidings to the north.  At nationalisation in 1947 the station had four platforms, all with wooden canopies along their length –now all gone.. There was also a siding next to platform – both of which were demolished in the late 1960s. Modernisation in the 1960s led to the demolition of the 19th station building and replacement with a small booking office. All eastbound trains from the station terminate at Paddington.  It has a very limited service, most trains pass straight through without stopping on the line which once used Platform 1. Some of the Beatles film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was filmed there. A new station building was provided in 1996 and it is intended that the station is part of Crossrail.
Western Region Goods Yard. A large coal depot stood to the south east of the station. By the 1950s this is marked as ‘Metal Store’ and is served by a siding from the main line. Currently Network Rail own the site and is responsible for the access road and it is used for a number of industrial and commercial operations. As part of the freight railway infrastructure trains are loaded/unloaded and loads stored and sorted here, Freight trains deliver aggregates and used ballast from London Underground for recycling. D B Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd, operates the rail freight yard. Other users include: J. Simpson Waste Management Ltd with a a waste transfer station for construction and demolition waste;   Hanson who have a concrete batching plant, Horn Lane Metals who deal with non-ferrous metals,  Aggregate Industries who handle sand and gravel, aggregates and recycling of used London Underground ballast, Day Aggregates, which packages aggregates for retail and Mixamate, a mobile concrete batching operation.
222 Leamington Hotel. This Charrington’s pub closed in 2013. It is now a Polish grocer.
307a The Shamrock Sports and Social Club. This is down an apparently unnamed lane on the west side of the road. In front of the club are large sports playing fields used regularly by local Gaelic Football, Hurling and Soccer teams which include - Greenford Celtic Football Club, Greenford Celtic Men’s Football Club, Murphy’s Ladies Camogie and Gaelic Football Club and  Father Murphy’s Hurling Club. The club also hosts Irish Music nights
367 Friars Place Farm. This stood at the north end of Horn Lane and was an early farm in the area. The moated farmhouse in Horn Lane  is thought to have belonged to St. Bartholomew's, and called Friars Place Farm from 1664 and later as Hamilton House, Narroway's Farm, or Snell's Farm. The last farmhouse, in 1818, was in yellow brick and an elaborate cast-iron balcony. Two older cottages lay behind a paved courtyard. The land was gradually sold off from the early 20th mainly to the local authority. It was a rest home for 200 horses in 1901 and in the 1920s the land was laid out for 100 tennis courts. In 1929 the house became the a vicarage for St. Gabriel's church and the moat was filled, in 1975 it was badly damaged by fire and by 1980 it had been demolished.

Jenner Avenue
This road is on part of the site used by the Leamington Park Hospital which fronted onto Wales Farm Road. Like some other roads on the estate it is named after an important past medical personality.
12 Big Yellow Self Storage. This was built on a neglected site at Gypsy Corner in 2008.
Playground, very small.

Kathleen Avenue
Vacant site – This was originally left vacant for part of a road widening scheme planned for the A40 which was abandoned in 1997. The site has derelict residential properties and an electrical substation extant.

Leamington Park
Vacant site – there have been various proposals for this site which results from the abandoned road widening scheme
Willesden & Acton Brick Co. operated from here by 1905. They had an agreement locally with the Great Western Railway over work on sidings extensions.
Electric Sub Station. This was built by the Metropolitan Electricity Supply Company in the 1930s when local conversion to AC supply was taking place. It is a large and impressive art deco building.

Lowfield Road
The Victory Construction Co. built bungalows for Gordon Selfridge here in 1919 and 1920, Acton residents receiving the first option to buy them.

Noel Road
The road runs along the edge of the playing fields and was formerly an approach road to Acton aerodrome before the Great War. The name commemorates the commandant.          |
Garden village houses for Great Western Railway employees. Designed by T.Alwyn Lloyd in 1923-25.
St Gabriel’s Church. When he was Bishop of London Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram wanted the Church of England to expand into the suburbs. Forty mission huts were built and the clergy were called the London Diocesan Home Missionary.  Forty new churches resulted.  St Gabriel's mission was launched in 1923 and the church was opened in 1931. It was designed by Ernest Charles Shearman and parts  are unfinished. A very small part of a proposed hall complex was built with two small meeting rooms and a later wooden hall which is now rented to a nursery school

North Acton Playing Fields
This is a large open space for recreational sport with facilities for cricket and tennis. It opened in 1903 on land which had been part of Friars Farm.
Pavilion. This is in the park and hosts a number of activities. The moated site lies in the part of the park in the square to the west.

Park Royal Road
This was originally called Willesden Lane
Imperial College. Woodward Building. This is a hall of residence for Imperial College. It is 19 storeys and a student village with cluster apartments and communal space for students to enjoy. It is named for Professor Joan Woodward, an academic in Organisation Theory.
1 Brett Villas. Robertson Memorials. Alexander Robertson set up a stone cutter business in 1876, with Mr Gray. In 1936 the family were still on the same Aberdeen site. In 1951 they began to take over other businesses in 1960 as far away as Buckie.
North Acton Cemetery. (the northern part of the cemetery is in the site to the north  - this includes the railway line and crossing)  It is built on the land of the Lower Place Farm which the council bought 13 acres of in 1893.  It opened in 1895, set up by the Acton Burial Board two chapels were built and an area was consecrated and laid out for the cemetery.  The Early English Gothic style stone chapels for Anglicans and Non-Conformists were designed by Borough Surveyor, Daniel Ebbetts  There is some planting of lime, holly, yew, horse chestnut, Leylandia. It is bounded by utilitarian 20th railings to Park Royal Road. A Cross of Sacrifice was erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission to honour those who lost their lives in two World Wars.. The cemetery is now closed to new burials, and only used for burials in re-opened family owned graves.

Portal Way
This is a road built through the centre of an industrial area Victoria Road and Wales Farm Road. It is full of large units, mainly for businesses but residential towers are planned.
1 Dixons Car Phone Warehouse. This was their head office until a merger with Dixons.
3 Shurgard. Self Storage company building.
4 Holiday Inn. Chain hotel. This was previously a Ramada Encore hotel.
Lyra Court. Ground floor community space;
Portal West Business Centre
Delphna Group. This dates from 1972 and deals with commercial kitchens and refrigerated cold rooms to the food and drink manufacturing industry.

Rosenbank Way
Road built in the inter war years on the site of a house called Rosebank
Rosebank Works.. In the 1930s it was used by W,Hall, engineers and brassfounders and in the 1950s  the occupant was Jencons (Scientific) – laboratory supplies, and glass blowers. Oaktree House is a block on site. Now being developed for housing

Seacole Close
Leamington Park Community Centre. This is one of a group of such centres run by Catalyst Housing;

The Drive
Road on the line of the entrance into the Friar’s Place Estate

Victoria Road
Originally called Edward Road
1 NEC building. European headquarters building for this international telecoms company. This was on the site now used by Imperial College and demolished in 2009
Elgee Works.Landris and Gyr. They had a factory near the station.They are a Swiss firm, dating from the 1890s and specialising in electric meters. They set up a base in England in 1912, building the works in Acton in 1927.  in 1985 they produced a commemorative phone card and were still in production in 1996.. They are now part of Toshiba .
Ducon Works. The company was founded in New York in 1920, by William Dubilier, who was responsible for many early developments in the field of electronics and radio, including the use of mica in capacitors. They appear to have been in Acton from 1925 and to have exhibited at British trade fairs from 1929.
Victoria Instruments, Ltd., Midland Terrace.Scientific instrument company  belonging to a Mr. Quilter
Victoria Paper Mills. Owned by Albert E.Mallandain from south London who had begun as a draftsman and became a lithographer.. They made corrugated papers and laminated board. The works dated from the 1920s and later moved to a site in Park Royal.
North Acton Station.  There had been an earlier Great Western Railway North Acton Station adjacent to the present Central Line Station 1923-1947. This opened as a halt in 1904 on a service between Westbourne Park and Southall. It had a short timber platform, corrugated iron pagoda hut, oil lamps, name board and no staff.
North Acton Station. This is a tube station opened in 1923 which lies between Hangar Lane and East Acton Stations and between West Acton and East Acton Stations, all on the Central Line and run by London Underground.  Although it is a Central Line Station it originated with a New North Main Line which had been built by the Great Central and Great Western railways. The Great Western had built the Ealing & Shepherd's Bush Railway to connect their Ealing Broadway station to the Central London Railway. Trains began to run on this route in 1920 and a station at North Acton was built and owned by the Great Western. The New North Line ran on two tracks north of the Central line tracks along with two freight lines which were removed in the 1960s.  Platforms which served the New North Line closed in 1947 when the Central Line was extended to Greenford.  By 2008, only freight trains and a Chiltern Railway one a day passenger service used it. Thus the Central Line Underground station had only two platforms until 1992 when a third platform was added in space previously used by the freight line. Plaforms are reached by stairs from the booking hall and there are two exits in Victoria Road. About half the trains stopping here go to West Ruislip and about half to Ealing Broadway.
140 Castle Public House.. Built after 1913 on the site of Wales Farm A large, pub and prominent local landmark. It is a late example of the application of a Victorian ‘free style’ to a public house

Wales Farm Road,
St.Leonard’s Farm – this was also called Wales Farm and stood on the corner of Wales Farm Road and what would become Victoria Road. A footpath ran north of the farm on the line of the current road
The Friars. This was a house built in 1785 of the Goldsmiths Estate. It was sold to the Council in 1902 for the isolation hospital and became the administration block of Leamington Park hospital. It was demolished in 1989
Leamington Park Hospital. In 1902 Acton Urban District Council purchased land from the Goldsmith Estate for an isolation hospital Included in the sale was The Friars, an 18th house. The hospital opened in 1905 with The Friars as the administrative building. In 1929 the London County Council took the hospital over. In 1946 it became an annexe to the Central Middlesex Hospital before joining the National Health Service. It was renamed Leamington Park Hospital after a nearby street to avoid confusion with other hospitals. In 1953 it was linked with Acton Hospital converted for the Group Geriatric Service. In 1983 it was closed and patients transferred to Willesden General Hospital. Part of the site has been redeveloped with housing with new roads named after various medical personalities - Garrett, Jenner, Lister and Seacole.
Acton Council Electricity Works. This was on the site of The Friars and resulted from pressure from the Board of Trade. The Council arranged for the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. to provide current to the council from their works at Acton Lane. The Councils bulding at Wales Farm Road was built in 1904 and comprised static transformers and motor generators to provide a direct current The building was designed by the Council’s Surveyor, Mr. Ebbetts.  Service began in 1905 and cables were laid in 36 streets. By 1911 the costs were such that the whole system was transferred over to the Supply Company and they bought the Wales Farm Road works in 1913.
Acton Council dust destructor. This was built here 1909 and all rubbish was burnt here by 1928.
140 Elizabeth Arden Perfume Factory. This was built by Wallis, Gilbert & Partners in 1939. This American cosmetic company  moved its London factory from Westminster to this site in 1939. The Acton factory continued to make and distribute cosmetic products in the U.K. despite changing ownership. It has now been converted to offices and flats
Telegraph Condenser Works.  Their factory was also by Wallis Gilbert., In 1906 Sidney George Brown, electrical engineer and inventor, formed the Telegraph Condenser Co. to manufacture and market his inventions By 1914 the businesses had expanded to employ over a thousand people. Many thousands of his headphones were manufactured for use during the Great War.  As radio broadcasting took hold the company manufactured crystal and, valve receivers. The company also manufactured loudspeakers and compasses. They moved here in 1915  into a building designed by Wallis Gilbert.  Brown's companies provided components for both power and radio, as well as for telegraph and telephone businesses.The Browns retired in the 1940s. The company was acquired by Racal in the 1980s
Actona Biscuit Works. Owned by Gunn & Co.,
Strachan and Brown. They moved to Wales Farm Road in 1921 and were later renamed Strachans. During the Second World War they built the utilit' bus body, to government design, intended to  minimise on skilled labour and unnecessary frills. In the 1950s, they built van and lorry bodies - notably for the Post Office. The factory later moved to Hamble, on Southampton Water

Western Avenue
Major road – the A40 – built through the area in the 1930s
Gypsy Corner. This junction was formed with the construction of Western Avenue. There have been various plans for widening and improvements but none have actually taken place, In the 1990s houses were bought and demolished but work stopped in 1996 and the vacant land remained undeveloped for another decade.
Rail Bridges. This scheme is managed byTransport for London to replace the two Western Avenue bridges over the railway lines at Wales Farm Road and Perryn Road. The bridges were built in the late 1920s and were not designed to cope with the volume of traffic.
Big Yellow Storage Company. This has been built on a site which had been left derelict having been kept for a road widening scheme which was abandoned in 1996.  It is a self-storage warehouse.
S G Brown Radio Relay Products Ltd, This firm was in a property on the corner with Park Royal Road. They claimed to have been the first to use the term "loudspeaker".  In 1910 Sydney George Brown formed the company to make telephone equipment. In  1906 he formed the Telegraph Condenser Co to manufacture and market his inventions. By 1914 he was employinf  over a thousand people.Many thousands of type-A headphones were made being for use during in the Great War.Later they made crystal receivers and, later, valve receivers. They moved here in 1915. Brown also made compasses. Through the 1930s The Telegraph Condenser Co expanded; the business was turned into a public company the Browns retaining control but they were replaced by the Admitality in the Second World War. In the 1980s Racal Electronics acquired S. G. Brown

British History. Online. Acton. Web site.
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Day. London Underground
Field. London Place Names
Grace’s Guide. Web site 
Imperial College. Web site
Knights. A brief history of electricity in Acton 
Kingston Zodiac
Landrys and Gyr. Web site
Life in London. Web site
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Parks and Gardens. Online. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Middlesex Churches
National Archives. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London 
Robertson Memorials. Web site
Shamrock Club. Web site
Skinner. Form and Fancy
Stevenson. Middlesex
Univ. Middlesex. Info
Walford. Village London, 
Wikipedia. Web site. As appropriate


Unknown said…
Regarding cotton avenue. I can remember visiting someone who lived in a prefab just off the western avenue near gypsy corner in the late 50s. Think it might be cotton avenue.

Popular posts from this blog

Bromley by Bow

South Norwood

River Lea/Bow Creek Canning Town