Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Grove Park

Post to the west Hither Green
Post to the east Mottingham

Amblecote Meadow
Gated housing development on the site of railway sidings.

Amblecote Road
Entrance to Chinbrook Meadows
Chinbrook Meadows. The majority of this park is in the square to the east and south east. London Borough of Lewisham Park opened in 1929. It has a wide open grassy area. There is a new sports pavilion, tennis courts, a multi-use pitch for 5 a side football and basketball and a new children's playground. Grass playing fields are also on offer for football and cricket. There are also tennis courts. The site was part of the land of Chinbrook Farm.

Balder Rise
Marvels Lane Boys Club.  This appears to have been used by an amateur boxing club since the 1950s.  They may or may not still be there – the site may have been sold by the owners, London Youth.

Ballymore Road
72 Knights Templar Grove. Knights Haberdashers Aske’s Academy. This is a primary school, now an ‘academy’, administered under the Haberdashers Company, Haberdashers Aske group of schools. This was previously Ballamore Primary School, later Merlin Primary School.   This was a London County Council school opened in 1927.
The Green. Patch of open hillside between Ballamore Road and Downham Way. Maps of the 1960s show a ‘hall’ alongside the road here.

Baring Road,
Called after family of Earl of Northbrook, biggest local landowners. Was previously Bromley Road. It was built at the end of the 18th century by Sir Francis Baring, who decided to improve an old farm track.  It become Baring Road in 1902
269 Ringway Community Centre. The Ringway Centre is on the site of ‘The Three Gables’ where Edith Nesbit lived for five-years in the1890s.  The site was later designated for the proposed Ringway 2 motorway box and the local wide verges result from this.  In 1983 the Grove Park Community Group opened the Ringway Community Centre here, named as such to remind the community of the victory over the Ringway 2 development that would have drastically changed the area in the 1970. The centre hosts and organises community activities and events. It publishes a newsletter and works closely with local organisations
Green space behind the Ringway Centre. This includes a Community Garden, Cox’s Wood, Camp Nesbit and a footpath linking the Community Centre site with Grove Park Nature Reserve. The Centre has a weekly 3-hour drop-in cafe with live music, hosts local groups and "Clay at the Ringway" venture, with a pottery kiln and classes
Ringway 2 in the 1960s the Greater London Council (GLC) announced plans to create a new highway called Ringway 2 which was to replace the South Circular Road. It would have meant the demolition of the Grove Park Library and a number of homes on Coopers Lane, Baring Road and Somertrees Avenue, and then gone in a cutting through the Downham estate. . The plans were opposed and the plans were cancelled in 1972.
255 Woodstock From 1923 the house was used as a factory making Gripfix adhesive. It was later been used by both the British Legion, and the Grove Park Society Club, known as the 255 Club. In 1937 the 329th Company Royal Engineers moved in as Napier House was not ready. Later used by the Southern Railway Home Guard..
61 Napier House .TA Centre. Current use by the Royal Artillery 265 (Home Counties) Air Assault Battery 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery and Regimental Headquarters 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery. It was built in 1938 on the site of three houses. It was opened in 1939 by the Lord Mayor of London guided there by 16 searchlights.  Napier was a 19th Royal Engineer. It was built to house 600 men in two anti-aircraft searchlight units, the 329th and 330th, in the City of London Battalion. In June 1940, the 330th were first Searchlight Company to shoot down an enemy aircraft. It is the biggest Territorial Army building in the country.  Later land behind the site was acquired and used for training. IN 1940 a Home Guard unit was based here Heavy Anti Aircraft.
St.Augustine. Gothic ragstone church, Buil in 1885-6 by Charles Bell in Kentish rag. Nave and aisles built in 1912 by P. Leeds. A Greet War memorial chapel was added in 1926. In the early 1990s St Augustine’s Church suffered significant structural damage to the apse which was demolished. It was not replaced until 2007 following fund ain Archbishop Desmond Tutu attended the church during the years he lived in Grove Park in the 1970s and also assisted with services
Vicarage. This is alongside the church and there are three Halls at the back. In 1942 a large underground shelter was built here with accommodation for 400.
Grove Park Nature Reserve. Following the building of the line from New Cross to Chislehurst and is upgrading in 1904, a wide corridor of land was left. .. Some of the site was the garden of a large house. The western edge of the reserve is on the bank of a cutting which has remained undisturbed since the railway was built. It became a nature reserve in 1984, under a licence from British Rail and after the community organisation acquired the freehold in 1987. It provides an area for local schools to engage in forest school activities as well as public access. It is accessed via the Railway Children Walk,
Bus garage. This was opened in 1949 on railway land and was supposed to make the transition from trams to buses easier as part of the Tram Replacement Programme. It is a small open site, all built at street level. The only building is the former canteen which has remained locked and out of use since privatisation. The turn around point for the trams was here and LCC wanted to extend them but this never happened. It now handles 8 bus routes.
368 Baring Hall Hotel. 1880s pub on a corner. It was originally built as part of the Earl of Northbrook's estate in 1882 and is an early design by architect Ernest Newton. There was a fire in the early 2000s and then planning applications to demolish it in 2011 and 2012. It is locally, but tot nationally listed, but it was given Asset of Community Value status for 5 years from 2013. It re-opened as a pub by Antic in December 2014.  It seems now to be shut
Grove Park station opened 1871. It lies Between Elmstead Woods and Hither Green. Later became the terminus of the line from Sundridge Park. Built by the South Eastern Railway it was named after nearby Grove Farm It was provided at the request of a local landowner, opened later than the Tonbridge cut-off line of 1868,. The main station building, on the ‘’up’’ side, was clapboard single-storey with an ornate platform canopy and an identical canopy on down side. Linking the two platforms was a lattice footbridge, installed ten years later. In 1878, the 1½-mile long Bromley North SER joined here. A signal box was added by Saxby & Farmer. In 1899, the ‘’South Eastern & Chatham Dover Railway was set up an they upgraded the line  with four-track running from 1905, which meant the  original Grove Park station vanished. The revised layout had two covered lattice footbridges, plus six platforms. All surfaces were protected by ornate canopies and crème brick platform waiting rooms. There was a high-level entrance in red crème brick, lying across the tracks at the northern ends of the platforms with a clapboard extension on its side! There was a triple-track connection with the Bromley branch. Electric services began under the Southern Railway with Third rail from Orpington, and in 1926 to Bromley North. From 1938 there as an impressive mechanical signal box constituted with sixty levers, nearly double the number of the pre-1938 arrangement. In 1961 the Bromley North branch eastern platform was blocked off with a prefabricated concrete barricade. In 1967 there was a major railway disaster with a Hastings train derailed killing 49 and injuring 7
In 1976 signalling came from the London Bridge Panel.
Goods yard. This was full f rolling stock storage tracks. This was shut in 1961. Sidings were originally used to store made up business trains during the day. 
Nursery gardens Following World War Two, demand for housing continued to rise resulting in a new six acre development behind the railway station in 1947. Prior the land ad been was used as nursery gardens, which was then developed into municipal housing.
333-335 Grove Park Adult Learning Centre

Baring Close
Site of pre-Second World War tennis courts and allotments

Burnt Ash Hill
Triangle. Amenity green space
Baring Primary School. This was a temporary school closed in 1958

Chinbrook Road
Rifle Range. In the 1860s a rifle range ran south east from the junction with Baring Road.

Coopers Lane
This is an old farm lane. The wide verges result from the Ringway 2 plans

Downham Way
This was the main axis of the London County Council's Downham Estate, with 7000 houses it the 1920s.
The tram line was provided in 1928. It eventually terminated Grove Park having come from Bromley Road.
Kings Church.  Downham Family Church is a federation of churches called Kings Church based in Catford. It was previously a Baptist church

Luffman Road
Amoa chemical factory located off of Marvels  This Lane. 1936 Emulsions for the textile trade. the works had started in a garage here.

Marvels Lane
Was once known as Claypit Lane 
Grove Park Hospital. This had originally been a workhouse built by the Board of Guardians of the Greenwich Union after they had been refused permission to expand their Vanbrugh Hill site. Spicers Meadow, was purchased in 1896 for an 'overspill' workhouse. It was completed in 1902 but changes in the poor relief system meant admission to workhouses fell dramatically, and it was empty until 1904.  In 1914 it workhouse was requisitioned by the Army Service Corps and used as a mobilisation training camp. From 1919 it was used as a hospital for TB patients but not until 1926, when it was renamed Grove Park Hospital.  In 1930 the Hospital it passed to the LCC, who added a Nurses' Home. In the Second World War it served as a first aid post and auxiliary fire station but in 1940 it was bombed.  Two nurses were awarded the George Medal for rescuing patients. It joined the NHS in 1948 with 393 beds for TB and chest cases.  In 1968 a geriatric ward was opened but it remained a TB and chest hospital until 1977, when it chanted to take mentally handicapped patients.  It closed in 1994 and the site was sold for housing. Many buildings were demolished but some along Marvels Lane survive. The entrance way has two domed turrets attached to porters’ houses behind, all of which are red brick. The building behind is also in red brick and has a large central archway for. The building has seven bays plus Dutch gables and a central clock below a cupola.

Pragnell Road
Coopers Lane Primary School. Built by the LCC in 1936 as a secondary co-educational school with every facility and convenience possible at the time.  It was also used for adult education . It closed in the 1950s and the premises used by what had been the Burnt Ash Primary school.

Pullman Mews
Housing built on site of old railway sidings
South Eastern Railway Transformer building

Railway Children Walk
Footpath from Baring Road to Reigate Road which is named for Edith Bland (Nesbit) and her book the Railway Children Walk. Her house as on the corner with Baring Road. There are two pedestrian bridges are caged to prevent access to the tracks and in a poor state of repair.  This is part of the Green Chain Walk and also the Capital Ring Walk.

Bromley Direct Railway left Grove Park in 1878 and curved south on an embankment for a mile.
Hither Green Marshalling yard. The majority of the yard is in the square to the north west but elements run south along the railway line north of Grove Park Station. And there is also a large depot. The enabling Act of Parliament was passed in 1900 for the purchase of about 100 acres for this use. In 1959 a large shed for amenity use of trains was opened on this stretch,

Reigate Road
Railway Children walk and Capital Ring Walk go along here for a short stretch.
Children’s playground

Roundtable Road
Drumbeat School. School for children with the highest level of autism. The building dates from 2013.
Downham Elementary School No 6 later Pendragon School. It Became a special needs school by the late 1950s.as a secondary school, with Humanities College status that caters for students with a range of additional needs: moderate learning, speech, language and communication, autism, complex needs

Somertrees Avenue
Was originally called The Avenue.  Grove Farm was about ha way down on the west was in these areas in the 18th Together with a brick works. The farm closed about 1860 but the very large farm house continued as Grove House.
122 St. Joseph’s Convent. Dr Barnardo's children’s  Home.. The building was originally Meredith House, : handsome with a 1940s extension. 1945-1964. There is now housing on the site
Grove Park Library. This dates from 1953. But was threatened with demolition for the Ringway. It is now volunteer staffed.

Thomas Dinwiddy Road
Dinwiddy was the architect for the workhouse building.

Green Chain Walk 4
Grove Park Community Association. Web site
Ideal Homes. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
King, John. Grove Park. Its History Revisited
Lewisham Local History Journal. 9/87
London Borough of Bromley. Web site
London Borough of Lewisham. Web site
London Parks and Gardens. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London South
Smythe. Citywildspace,
Spurgeon, Darrell.  Discover Eltham

Sunday, 29 March 2020


Post to the south Greenford

Allington Close
Built on the site of sidings. These sidings ran west and then turned to factories to the south including the British Bath Company and led eventually to the Aladdin factory in Western Avenue. They closed in the 1990s.

Birkbeck Avenue
West London Marathon playing fields. This was Birkbeck College Sports Ground and included Birkbeck College Cricket Ground. , Middlesex Second XI Trophy Matches played here. Built on farmland in 1925 it was also once Queens Park Rangers' training ground, 1970s - 1980s.
Greenford Park Trotting Track. This was a pioneer speedway venue 1928–1930. On the south side of Birkbeck Avenue

Community Road
Site of Coston HouseCoston House was the home of O.Mosley. Later was a film processing laboratory.

Courthope Road
Area of Greenford Farm until the late 1930s
Conservative Club. This is on the site of Greenford Farm and some of the buildings remain with a weather boarded stable block although the main part of the club is recent

Ferrymead Gardens
Holy Cross Church.  This old church was rebuilt in the 15th or 16th although it dates originally from around 1157 and is one of the three oldest buildings in the borough. It is said that relic of the true cross was placed in the building when it was first consecrated. The porch is from around 1500, the wooden tower is 16th but the outside walls are faced in 19th flint. It has medieval bells, an 18th font, and heraldic glass.  Glass with Royal Arms of Mary and Philip of Spain and some from King's College, Cambridge. It escaped demolition in 1951 and was re-opened in 1956 having been restored but is not now in regular use.
Holy Cross new church.  “One of London’s finest, austere inside”. It dates from the early 1940s and stands at right angles to the old building on land formerly used for burials. It is, a largely timber building designed by Sir Albert Richardson.
Churchyard. This has headstones dating from the early 16th.  One commemorates Edward Betham, rector 1769-83 who founded the local school. There are also ornamental trees including a monkey puzzle and an ash tree, as well as yew, conifers, oak and ivy. There is an area for cremated remains and a garden of rest with seating flower beds and an avenue of lime trees.
Rectory. This is next to the churchyard to the north and dates from 1875. On the site of a previous 16th building.

Greenford Road
This is a main road that covers four miles connecting Southall to Greenford and Sudbury. It was built as part of the Arterial Roads Programme and opened in 1928.  This is shown by its consistent width of 60 feet with broad pavements and it is capable of carrying four lanes of traffic.
485 Redwood College. The building is for the tuition of vocational courses in carpentry, plumbing, bicycle maintenance and repair, IT skills and hair and beauty. It is on the same site as current temporary buildings the college was using. It has a steel frame construction clad in Durable Board, and a Euroclad metal vaulted roof. The college also includes courses for pupils from Springhallow School.;
Roundabout. The road passes under the A40 Western Avenue with a grade separated roundabout.
Bridge Hotel. Opened originally in 1937 as a smart roadhouse one of two pubs built by the same developer. It was bought by Young’s in 1959 and a 68 bedroom hotel was added in 1989. The bar retains much of its Tudor style 1930s ambiance. The former off licence is now a function room. There are ceramic rams on the exterior of the building.
Railway bridges. Where the Central Line crosses the road, the arched viaduct is newer than the road. There is a bench mark on the bridge

Jeymer Avenue
On the site of the site of the Greenford Park trotting track, opened in 1919 by the London Trotting Club. It closed in 1935.

Leaver Gardens
John Leaver was a solicitor who managed land sales to developers here.

Legion Road
William Perkin Centre for Youth Sports Development. This is part of William Perkin School and was part of the planning agreement following consent for the school to be built on the former Glaxo sports ground

Oldfield Farm Gardens
Site of Oldfield Farm. This was the sole remaining farm here in 1938 and cultivated over 150 acres but by 1959 it had disappeared.

Oldfield Lane North
Greenford Station opened 1st October 1904.  Between Northolt and Perivale on the Central Line. Terminus of First Great Western Line from South Greenford. Originally opened by the Great Western Railway in 1904 on the joint "New North Main Line". The District Railway came here in 1888 as part of the Richmond Extension Railway which meant they could run to Barnes without building another line. The Loop line from West Ealing joined here came in 1903 and was used for the Royal Agricultural Show and for rural type' services from 1908. The Central Line opened here in June 1947 as part of the New Works programme with a new station designed by Brian Lewis and completed by Frederick Curtis.  It had platforms high above street level and an Escalator was provided to take people up the 33ft to the platforms – it was the first ‘up’ escalator on the underground – and remained as the lat wooden treaded escalator until 2014.  Subsequently use of the original main-line station was reduced and it was closed in 1963. The site of the old station for the New North Main Line is said to b visible from Central line trains. A bay platform serves the line to Great Western Line.
Signal Box. One of the few remaining semaphore signalling installations in London is on the New North Main Line controlled by Greenford East signal box controls.
North Greenford Shopping Parade. This has a central passage leading to an inner courtyard.
Telephone exchange
Oldfield Recreation Ground. Small area of green open space for informal recreation. Formerly used farmland
William Perkin Church of England High School. This is an ‘academy ‘’belonging’ to the ‘Twyford Academies Trust’.  Opened in 2013 on the site of the GLAXO playing fields. He school uniform was been designed with William Perkin's Mauveine dye in mind. Ada Lovelace Church of England High School shares some of the space
Glaxo Smith Kline Sports ground. Now the site of a school. This comprised a brick building and a small area for car parking. There was a cricket pavilion, playing fields, cricket pitch and cricket square,  two football pitches, two five a side football pitches, Four tennis courts; a bowling green, and a one netball court
Oldfield Primary School.

Oldfield Lane South
Royal British Legion Club. The Royal British Legion Greenford Branch was formed in 1935.They meet in club premises.

Western Avenue
Begun in 1921 it brought a whole impetus to the area. The road was first proposed in 1912 as a bypass road. Construction continued throughout the 1920s and 30s. It was completed to Denham in 1943 A flyover was built at the Greenford Roundabout to take Western Avenue over Greenford Road the A4127

Day. London Underground
Ealing CAMRA. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Historic England. Web site
Holy Cross Church. Web site
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex CC .History of Middlesex
Middlesex Cricket. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Roads. Web site
Smythe. Citywildspace,
Stevenson. Middlesex
Walford. Village London