Old Oak Common Lane

Post to the west Acton Main Line

Acton Wells
Acton Wells was on the site of, and to the west of Wells House Road – the sire is now intersected by the West London Line. This was three mineral springs discovered in the 17th. The water is said to have been white, sweet and bitter and was also bottled and sold in London. It became very fashionable in the 18th with people coming to stay and assembly rooms and some pubs were built. There was also a race course. By 1795 they were no longer popular and the assembly rooms were ruined.

Brassie Avenue
Along with many other road names in the area it relates to the golf course previously on the site on which the estate was built. Called the “Golf Links” estate it is on the site of the Acton Golf Club, which was here from 1909 to 1919.
Acton Golf Club. The club was founded in 1896 and laid out on land belonging to the King-Church family.  The clubhouse was "Glendun" a 17th mansion standing in what was then a village. The view would have been one of uninterrupted countryside. In 1907 the course was redesigned and enlarged. It was built on old pasture land, which included ditches and ponds.  In 1919 Acton Urban District Council made a compulsory purchase order for 59 acres of land owned by Major F W King-Church. The area was to be developed for housing.

Braybrook Street
The road faces Old Oak Common
Old Oak Common Children’s Centre and Community Centre

Brunel Road
This is a trading estate which has been used as a base by a larger number of manufacturers. Some of them are:
1-21 Farley. This is a theatrical costume and prop hire business started in 1962 by Joseph and Madalyn Farley.
2 John Broadwood and Sons. This firm of piano makers owned a small factory here under the direction of Captain Evelyn Broadwood.  It opened in 1939.
3 Durion Ltd. specialists in the deposition of hard chrome. They were here 1940s-1950s
15-17 Westway Models Ltd. were from the mid-1960s, manufacturing small-scale aircraft models. 
17 Dictaphone Co. present here 1940s
18-20 Classic Fine Foods. Food supply company dating from 2007
28-32 Eurofins. Eurofins Scientific was founded in 1987 to market a patented analytical method to verify the origin and purity of food and identify fraud. They are a leading provider of analytical services
34-40 Taiko. Supplier of Japanese food to supermarkets
35 Aston Service. This is a dealer for Aston Martin Cars
Wilkinson Sword Co
. The company moved here in 1972 where 40 craftsmen made up to 8,000 swords a year. They closed in 2005 due to loss of army contracts. They had been supplying the British Army since 1772 at various sites in West London.
36 Holman Brothers. In the 1960s this Cornwall based manufacturer of mining equipment had a service and sales centre here
London Linen Supply. This firm was on site here in the 1940s and had been started in 1935 by the Oliver family in Finsbury Park hiring out linen to a small guesthouse. They are now based in Southall and part of a larger group;
Adrema. They made addressing machines for repetitive clerical work

Du Cane Road
Estate. An ‘object lesson in how to design cottages’., Built by the London County Council Architects’ Department, A. S. Soutar was responsible for some of the cottages. This was the last of the pre 1914 LCC Estates on land bought from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and hence road names were all of previous bishops of London.
Railway Bridge. Bowstring arch bridge built for the Ealing and Shepherds Bush railway.

Erconwald Road
East Acton Station.  Opened in 1920 this lies between North Acton and White City on the Central Line. The line was built as what was originally part of a Great Western Railway scheme, the Ealing and Shepherds Bush Railway but eventually opened as part of the Ealing Broadway extension of the Central London Railway, later called the Central line. It served the new LCC Housing Estate. Two tracks were added in 1938 for Great Western Railway freight trains, these closed in 1964 but the overgrown track beds lie north of the station.  The station may originally have been planned as Erconwald Road Halt. It has a small, brick building at street level with an asymmetrical pattern of three windows and two doors.  The platforms still have their original timber waiting rooms
Old Oak Primary School. The school building dates from 1921 and was built to serve the estate.
North Hammersmith Secondary Boys School. This site was also used by this secondary school in the 1950s.

Long Drive
The name relates to the golf course on which the estate was built
John Perryn First and Middle Schools. This opened in 1931. Some of the school has recently been rebuilt.

Old Oak Common
Originally the Common was a stretch of land bordered by what became the Harrow Road, a northern tributary of Stamford Brook, and Wormwood Scrubs. It was reduced in size by the canal and the railways.  The small area of common on this square is bounded by the railway depot, Old Oak Common Lane, Braybrook Street and Wormwood Scrubs. What remains adjacent to the street is a wide area grassland screened by a belt of trees. It is now seen as part of Wormwood Scrubs.

Old Oak Common Lane
Railway Depot - the depot lies mainly in the square to the north. This square covers some sidings and the Great Western Main Line.
Railway bridges
– there are a series of railway bridges in this square crossing Old Oak Common Lane. The stretch of Old Oak Common Lane on this square runs south from the junction of Wells House Road to the junction of Du Cane Road.
Central Line and Chiltern Railway. This is the most northerly bridge crossing the road on this square and is currently carrying the Central Line for London Underground between North Acton and Kensal Green. The line was originally built by the Great Western Railway in 1903 for a line to High Wycombe and Old Oak Halt, which stood here, was opened in 1906. This was part of an agreement for a joint line with the Great Central Railway and continues now described as the Chiltern Main Line. From 1947 it also carried Central Line trains running to Greenford which continue.
Old Oak Lane Halt. 
This lay on Old Oak Common Road south of the bridge which now carries the Central Line and west of the road. It opened in 1906 on the new Great Western Line to High Wycombe for railway staff at the adjacent railway depot.  It closed 1947. A pathway led to it from the road and this, plus a gate, appears to remain but now accessing an electricity installation to the south of the site.
Railway Bridge. This is the second railway bridge running south down Old Oak Common Lane from Acton Wells. It consists of two bridges very close together. This carries the Great West Railway main line to Bristol. It also carries what was the Heathrow Connect stopping service between Paddington and Heathrow Airport. This is now run by Transport for London and will become part of the Crossrail service in due course.  It also carries the Heathrow Express.
Railway Bridge
. This crosses Old Oak Common Lane near the junction with Wulfstan Road. It carries what is now the Central Line to East Acton Station from North Acton originally the Ealing and Shepherds Bush Railway
The Six Elms Public House. This pub dated from 1895, but is now demolished. It stood a short distance from what is now the junction of
Hurricane Room – snooker club
85 Catholic Church of St Aidan of Lindisfarne. The Parish was founded in 1922. The church was built in 1961 designed by John Newton in brick and concrete with an open bell tower. A number of artworks were commissioned by then parish priest which include: Saints carved in limewood by Arthur JJ Ayres, and an altarpiece by Graham Sutherland

This square includes many railway lines, some of which are connected to the Old Oak Depot which is in the squares to the north and east. Running lines – those which are not confine to the depot – are:
Central Line. This is what was the Ealing and Shepherd’s Bush Railway not running as the Central Line between North Acton and East Acton Stations
Great West Railway – the main line from Paddington to Bristol
Chiltern Railway
– originally the Great West Railway – running from Paddington to High Wycombe.
West London Railway, running between Willesden Junction and South Acton at Acton Wells Junction it is met by the Dudding Hill Goods Line.
Dudding Hill Goods line running from Acton Wells Junction to Cricklewood
The Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Connect
– this is now run by Transport for London and will become part of Crossrail when it opens. It runs between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

Taylor's Green
Name relates to the golf course on which the estate was built  - name of a famous golfer but added after the war
The Green. The houses stand round a green with trees and a playground.

Telford Way
Extension of the trading estate based in Brunel Way.

Templemead Close
This appears to have been built on the site of Tennis Courts.

The Bye
Cottages are ‘Homes for Heroes’ experimental cottages built in 1920 for the Ministry of Health. They are of concrete construction and cheap.

The Fairway
Old Oak Methodist Church. The church has been on this site since the 1940 but moved here from the Old Oak Estate where it had been since 1922. The current building was built after a fire in 1977 with the neighbouring sheltered accommodation being put on the site of the old church hall

Well House Road
This housing area is on the site of Wells House. This was the assembly rooms, which later became a school and then a farmhouse. Horse races were run at here in the second half of the 18th.

Acton Parish. Web site
Artway. Web site
British History On line. Acton Web site
Day. London’s Underground
East Acton Golf Links Residents. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Golf’s Missing Links. Web site
Greater London Council. Home Sweet Home
Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Web site
Hidden London. Web site
Jackson. London’s Local Railways
McCarthy. London North of the Thames
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pastscape. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Walford.Village London
Wikipedia. As appropriate


Steve Rees said…

What you describe as the 'Chiltern Main Line' - Paddington to High Wycombe is/was actually the Acton–Northolt line (ANL), historically known as the New North Main Line (NNML). Built between 1903 and 1906, it runs from the Great Western Main Line at Old Oak Common to the Chiltern Main Line at South Ruislip, alongside the West Ruislip branch of the London Underground Central line, for a distance of around 11 miles. At present, it is little used.


Old Oak Lane Halt was indeed the first station on the "New North Main Line" (NNML, present-day Acton–Northolt line) of the Great Western Railway. It served the area between North Acton and Old Oak Common, and was in use between 1906 and 1947.


The NNML was used until the early 2000's daily as a fast route to Birmingham/Wolverhampton/Shrewsbury & Birkenhead including high speed expresses. Following the Beeching era and the curtailment of many of these services it was still used as a busy freight route, diversionary route and had a daily service of fast 'businessmen's' trains into Banbury & Birmingham. This then came to an end in the 2000's and the line has limped on as a now singled and somewhat rickety diversionary route with a few freight runs and a single return parliamentary train that runs virtually empty from Paddington to West Ruislip and is indeed the only Chiltern service to run from Paddington.
An amusing account of it here: https://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2015/02/paddington-to-west-ruislip.html and another here: https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2017/05/08/riding-the-parliamentary-train-out-of-paddington/

A couple of video's here: https://londonist.com/2015/06/is-this-londons-loneliest-train

This one gives you a glimpse of the clump of grass that is now the remains of Old Oak Halt and the (very useful) path, now closed; that connected the station site with North Acton Tube station. I often used to wind my way along this circuitous path and it's rickety wooden bridges as a kid on my way to stare at trains all day!



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