Harlesden Stonebridge

Post to the west Park Royal
Post to the north Stonebridge

Acton Lane
Old substation.  This appears to be a railway electrification related building. Now in use by small business
Harlesden Station This opened in 1912 and lies between Stonebridge Park and Willesden Junction on the Bakerloo Line and also on London Overground into Euston. London North West Railway. The story is however more complicated than that. The first railway station nearby – about 50 yards away – was called Willesden and it was opened in 1841 by the London and Birmingham Railway on what became their main line to Birmingham and beyond. It had wooden platforms beside two tracks, a small wooden ticket office and a coal siding. It closed, reopened in 1844 and closed finally when Willesden Junction station opened half a mile away in 1866. On 15 June 1912 the London North West Railway opened a new station here called Harleston. This was on a ‘new line’ opened between Euston Station and Watford. Five years later the Bakerloo Line also began to use the new line tracks with trains coming from Queens Park as their Watford Extension.  These services run parallel with the West Coast Main line services into Euston.  The station buildings remain as those built in 1912 for the railway service – this is not a station with the styling of much of the London Underground. - Red brick blocks with long station canopies.
Road bridge - a long road bridge   carries Acton Lane across multiple railway tracks
National Grid site.  There are a number of installations on this site which is basically that of the demolished Acton Power Station.
Willesden Substation Site. This is a complex with a deep cable tunnel south to Fulham and a northern tunnel to Gibbons Road. The site supplies a London Underground traction substation and three Network Rail trackside supply points. It is the connection point for the Taylors Lane gas turbine power station
Switchboard. This was built for the now demolished power station in 1965.
Acton Power Station. The first 'A' station was built by the Metropolitan Electric Supply Company in 1899 on a nine acre site. It supplied a wide local area. From 1903 pulverised coal was used. In 1925 it was taken over by the London Power Company.  It had three vertical compound marine type steam engines which drove two-phase 1.5 MW alternators producing electricity at 500 volts, 60Hz.  . Coal was supplied by rail to sidings from the adjacent railway Water from the canal was used in the cooling cycle and then being pumped back. Ownership was transferred to the London Power Company in 1927 and following installation of new plant the final capacity of the station was 155.MW by the time it closed in 1964.    Acton Lane 'B' station, setup in 1950, had three cooling towers which would have been unnecessary at the Thameside sites. .  The turbine-hall had a precast ferroconcrete frame rather than steel which was expensive at the time of construction.  It was one of the last CEGB stations to retain steam railway locomotives to handle incoming coal.  The station closed on 1983 with a generating capacity of 150 MW. One locomotive was preserved at the Foxfield Light Railway, near Stoke-on-Trent called Little Barford it is said to e now at the North Norfolk Railway
The Grange and Grange Farm.  Large house and associated farm, probably l9th century. Eventually taken over by sports facilities and United Biscuits. The farm was the original Lower Place Farm.
Grand Junction Arms. Pub with canal side terrace and a stopping place for passing boats with moorings available. Was a Wells & Young's house, formerly Wells Bought by Young’s in 1939 after leasing since the 19th. .Now says it is the Ram Pub Co.  (i.e. Young’s). What had been a beer house became the ‘Grand Junction and Railway Inn’ in 1861 also sometimes called The Junction Arms.
Canal Bridge. Known locally as ‘The Red Bridge’.
Lancashire Dynamo & Crypto. The Crypto Electrical Company was formed in 1904 and made electrical motors in Bermondsey but by 1908 had moved to Acton Lane, London in 1912. They became associated with the Manchester based  The Lancashire Dynamo and Motor Company in 1919 and in 1932 they  merged as Lancashire Dynamo & Crypto Ltd, They then set up in Axton a works to manufacture and sell food preparation machinery and equipment..By 1967 they were part of AEI. The Acton works was still extant in the 1960s.
141 Anthony Ward Thomas. Removals firm on a very large site. They were set up in the 1980s and remain in business
192 Kings Kitchens. Kitchen planners. Large building here and still in business
194 Beckett Laycock & Watkinson Limited. They were there in the 1930s and were Makers of windows and door fittings for railways, ships, and road vehicles.  As Beclawat Windows the company still exists in Canada.
196 New Screw Works. H. G. W. Newey, Manufacturers of precision turned brass. This firm appears to have been in Acton Lane, probably from the 1930s until at least the 1970s.  The site is now under a trading estate.
186 Polarisers. They made windows, goggles etc incorporating ‘Polaroid – light polarising material’. The current occupants of 186 are Park Royal Office Furniture – but the building could well have been that present in the 1950s when Polarisers were there
184 Utilitas. This was a cleaning works present in the 1930s .Their building is now Frigo.
182 Trevor Howsam. Theatrical costume supplies.
182 Transatlantic Records. This was a British independent record label.  It had been established in 1961, to import of American folk, blues and jazz records. Later they recorded an eclectic mix of British artists. They appear to have been there since at least the 1970s
180 Machine Shop. This is a special effects company Established originally in Acton Vale in 1993
180 Maya Cosmetics. This was Maya House in the 1980s. They seem have made nail varnish.

Barrett’s Green Road
This was originally Acton Lane in the 1890s, but the route of Acton Lane was straightened, by 1915 leaving this as a loop off it.  Barretts Green was a green space on the original line of the road
Lower Place house was a 15th house owned by Sir John Elrington originally Lower Place Farm beside Barrett's Green. Maybe the site of a chapel built by Sir John where Thomas More’s daughters were married in 1525.   Farm land cut by the canal and then the railway. By the end of the 19th century a farm in Acton had become known as Lower Place Farm
Medivance Instruments Ltd. Velopex Medical equipment suppliers, this s a dental equipment specialist company offering dental diagnostic solutions, patient treatment equipment, veterinary diagnostics and portable dentistry products
Park Royal Studios. Photographic Studio Hire & Services
Swan Works Mabie, Todd and Co. manufactured the Swan pen here but were eventually bombed and the works badly damaged
Ambulance Depot. This had links to the Central Middlesex Hospital.
11 Park Lane Group. Shoe manufacturers. Footwear & accessories designed in London since 2000
Lower Place School. Constructed by the local authority in 1915 on a site next to the temporary school. In the 1930s it included a Lower Place School for Mothers. It closed 1977 and was apparently demolished in 1997.
Lower Place Temporary School. This opened in 1902 as a board school and was closed in 1915.
Houses. These were on the south side of the road in 1930s. They were demolished from the 1970s following decisions to- turn the road into an industrial area only
Steps down to the canal towpath from a green area alongside a restaurant near to the junction with Acton Lane.

This is the Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm. The Grand Union starts in London and ends in Birmingham with arms to places like Leicester, Slough, Aylesbury, and Northampton.  The Paddington branch runs to Paddington in central London leaving the main line of the canal at Bull's Bridge in Hayes. It is a long level pound of 27 miles without locks and is fed by water from the Brent Reservoir (the Welsh Harp, Hendon).
CEGB cable. There is an electric grid cable concealed beneath the concrete slabs of the tow path. It begins at the old power station site here and runs to the East End. The Central Electricity Generating Board used the canal for laying the cable ducts as it provided the most direct route across London as well as easier access for maintenance. The canal water is used in the process of keeping the cable cool.
Waxlow Road Pipe Bridge – this crosses the canal from the area of the McVitie factory
Feeder. Underneath a small bridge, is the canal feeder from the Brent Reservoir,
Harlesden Winding Hole. This is where the feeder stream joins the canal. A winding hole is a place where canal boats could turn round.
Grand Junction Arms Pub. Visitor Moorings
Lower Place Bridge No 9.this carries Acton Lane over the canal and is known locally as ‘The Red Bridge”
Acton Lane Power Station Bridge No 9A
Acton Lane Power Station Bridge No 9B
Transformer station. The Canal bisects the transformer site with associated high level bridges required for cross site cables.
Towpath – this is continuous along the south bank with moored vessels, seating and graffiti.  There are a set of fairly grand steps from Barretts Green road to the tow path. There is also a junction with
Steele Road

Blakemore DrivePrincess Royal Distribution Centre on a long central sidings. One of seven Royal Mail distribution centres which are responsible for handling customer sorted products such as Business Mail. It is the central hub in London for the transport of mail by road and rail. In 1999 there were around 20 train arrivals and departures and about 500 road vehicle trips, and it was handling 12 to 16 million items of post daily. However, although Originally built to integrate the movement of mail between road and rail, it is now mostly used as a road hub

Craven Road
Harlesden Station. This was opened in 1875 by the Midland Railway and was first called as ‘Harrow Road for Stonebridge Park and West Willesden’. . It was built when the road has been straightened in 1855 which meant that it was built fewer than two roads with the same name. It was on the super outer circle; this stretch of which is now the Dudding Hill line.  In 1876 it became Harrow Road for Stonebridge Park and Harlesden; in 1880; with variants in succeeding yeas. It closed in 1888 but was reopened in 1893 and in 1901 it was renamed Harlesden for West Willesden and Stonebridge Park. It closed to passengers in 1902 but the street level station buildings were not demolished until 1960s.  Some platform edges remain, although most were removed when the railway embankment was pinned to stop slippage in 2001. The Platform itself could be seen from Craven Road until the 1960s. The Booking office was used as a car park office.  The Dudding Hill Line remains in use as a goods only line.
Goods sidings.  These were slightly down Craven Road and remained in use for coal deliveries until the 1960s. The former goods office remained until 2010 despite a fire in 2009.

Disraeli Road
All houses pre-Second World War, after the war this road became purely industrial
Premier House.  Luxcrete with a glass bricked head office frontage Timber merchants.
Drakeglen House, Custom fabric and paper print – design it yourself.
Mission of the Good Shepherd. This opened in 1890. It was on the north side of the road, later taken over by Mission Engineering.
Disraeli Road Baths. Built by Willesden Borough Council

This is a continuation of Harrow Road and in the past has been known as such.
St Michael and All Angels. Church of England set up from 1876 when mission meetings were held in rented rooms with a permanent Mission room in 1879. The London Diocesan Home Mission provided a new building in 1885 which eventually became a Parish church. Te church was but in 1891 in red brick in late 13th style by Goldie and Child. Various extensions have been made since. The church continues to flourish
Sun Disc. Sculpture on the corner with Brentfield Road. Desi
gned by Guy Paterson and Geraldine Konya. It is a steel circle cut out to show all sorts of shapes, people, animals etc. Installed in 1994
Stonebridge Evangelical Centre.  Originally set up by London City Mission who had had various buildings in the area since 1903. All were replaced in 1972 by a new chapel ere
32 Orange Tree Pub. Closed and demolished. This was a laree double fronted half timbered building.
Bridge Park Hotel. This was the Stonebridge Park Hotel and appears to be closed. It is a mid 19th public house.
Canal feeder.  This waterway crosses the road to the west of the Stonebridge Park hotel.
177 Coach and Horses, The pub included a gymnasium. Rebuilt to the designs of M T Saunders, in brick, render and half timber reopening in summer 1908. Demolished in 2002
Palace of Varieties. In a separate but adjacent building to the Coach and Horses. A building may have been in use as early as 1860, but it opened 1901.  It was rebuilt with the pub in 1908. By 1909 it was a cinema. It was closed by 1922 and was altered later. Later it suffered subdivision, the demolition of the dressing rooms and an alteration to the front. It is now part of a garage, but some elements of the theatre remain to the rear
Stonebridge Recreation Ground.  This opened in 1902 on land that was part of the District Council's Sewage Farm. By 1906 most of the sewage farm belonged to the Council and was laid out for cricket and football plus a playground. During the Second World War a honeycomb of air raid shelters under the ground protected several thousand people. Later entertainments for children were provided and in 1957 an open air theatre was built. Recently New gates designed by local children as part of a summer workshop commemorated community leader, Yetunde Bolaji.
The Pavilion. With National Lottery funding it offers sports hall, artificial grass pitch and floodlit sports pitches.

Lower Place
This is a name for what is now part of Park Royal.  It was named from a large house – or a farm - probably he manor house of East Twyford and marked on maps in the late 18th and early. The name appears to refer to the low-lying situation on marshy ground in the flood plain of the River Brent.

McNichol Drive
Coriander House. Charlie Bingham’s –this is posh ready-meals founded in 1996.
Concept House – this is a site for offices and small business. The gate into the site has a design of hares and shields – was it salvaged from somewhere else?

Milton Avenue
Housing at the west end covers the site of an engineering and other works present until at least the 1880s
Small grass patch with a seat, railings and a view of rubbish bins, apparently managed by London and Quadrant.
W.J.Bond, Cabinet makers – making ‘gramophone’ cabinets. They had been on site since 1920 and remained into the 1940s.
G.Blunt, Library furniture manufacture. 1920s.
Canal feeder. This stream crosses the road from the west side of Johnson Road and runs to the railway over a section of landscaped grass
The western end of the road continues as a footpath to Stonebridge Recreation Ground.  It passes alongside school buildings

Mordaunt Road
This area redeveloped since 1994 recreating the street pattern of the original early 20th housing on the site. This had been replaced by the 1960s Stonebridge Estate, now demolished

Morlands Gardens
Altamira. This is a 19th rustic villa in the Italianate style by Henry Edward Kendall Jr built in 1876. After the Great War it was too big for a family home. By 1926 it was the Services Rendered Club (aka the Altamira Working Man’s Club), with ground floor extensions to enlarge the bar and other facilities. In 1994 it became the Stonebridge Centre for Adult Education, and now Brent Start. There are plans to demolish it and build flats and a smaller education centre.

Oliver Road
This road contains a large gated trading estate which appears to have been built on land which was allotments until at least the 1970s.

Railway lines
London and Birmingham Railway. This opened here in 1837 from Euston.  The route from Euston is currently the southern section of the West Coast main line.  The first station at the site was called Willesden and was opened in 1841 and closed in 1866.  This important line connects London with many major cities of England, Wales and Scotland. It is one of the busiest railway routes in Europe carrying both intercity and suburban passengers and freight.  It is the main rail freight corridor linking to the Channel Tunnel and is thus a strategic European route
London and North Western Railway. This line opened here in 1912. It is currently managed by the Bakerloo Line on London Underground. Originally new electrified tracks were built alongside its existing main line between Watford and Kilburn by what was by then the London and North West Railway. The lines between Willesden Junction and Watford opened 1912 - 1913, together with new stations including Harlesden. Bakerloo Tube services were extended there to Willesden in 1915 and from 1917; the tube service was extended to Watford Junction using these lines.
Princess Royal distribution Centre on long central sidings
Willesden Brent sidings are a marshalling yard and stabling on the eastern side of the West Coast Main Line between Stonebridge Park and Harlesden Stations on the Watford and Bakerloo Lines. London and North Western Railway sidings, built between 1873 and 1894. Willesden F sidings to the south
Siding to McVities factory off to the south and a siding to what was Acton Power Station.
Dudding Hill Line.  This runs north/south on the eastern edge of this square and is not connected to the through east/west lines or to Harlesden Station. A previous Harlesden Station on the line is ling closed. The line runs between Acton and Cricklewood. It has no scheduled passenger service, no stations, and is not electrified. It is used for freight only. It opened in 1868 as the Midland and South Western Junction Railway. There was a sidings to Acton power station

Shakespeare Avenue
Stonebridge Primary School, this is an early 20th board school, in a Queen Anne style.  There have been some additions since and there are also small workshop outbuildings.  It was also once known as Stonebridge County Primary School. It opened in 1900 as a board school for boys, girls and infants. It was reorganised in 1932 and again in. 1955. The building were modernised and extended in 1978.
Day Centre to the main school
London Welsh School. Ysgol Gymraeg Llundain. The London Welsh School's origins were language classes in 1955 for which a dedicated school was set up two years later. In 2000 the London Welsh School was to leave the Welsh Chapel in Willesden but were relocated in the annex of a primary school. In 2015 the school moved to Hanwell.

Stonebridge Park Estate
Developed by the architect H.E. Kendall Jr. between 1872 and 1876, to provide “smart new villas for City men”.  About sixty villas were built around the nearby station n Craven Park, on the Midland and South-Western Junction railway, which opened in 1875.

Steele Road
At the northern end of the road it joins the canal towpath.
Lower Place Business Centre
Children’s home built c.1915

Stonebridge Park,
Canal side Industrial Estate.  Many of the factories bordering on the canal have canal side terraces.

Waxlow Road
Mcvities. McVitie's is owned by United Biscuits. The name derives from the original Scottish biscuit maker, McVitie & Price, established in 1830 in Edinburgh. They later developed large manufacturing plants south of the border, including Harlesden opened in 1902 and originally called the Edinburgh Biscuit Works. McVitie's produces chocolate digestives, Hobnobs, Rich tea.  All three were originally created in 1925 in McVitie’s Harlesden factory. In 2014, United Biscuits became owned by Turkish company Yildiz. Harlesden works is the biggest biscuit factory in Europe – bakes 125,000 tonnes of biscuit and snacks every year, and around one sixth is exported. a single storey brick fronted unit with saw tooth north lights in the roof survives from the 1930s as does also as brick building parallel to the canal.
Heinz. Henry John Heinz sold horseradish sauce in Pittsburgh from 1869. A British subsidiary was established to manage Heinz imports from America in 1886. In 1914 Salad Cream was introduced the first product that Heinz created for the UK market. Heinz UK sales quadrupled between 1919 and 1927. And a 22 acre Greenfield site was opened in Harlesden, London in 1925. The works was on the canal side with private rail sidings. In the first year, 125 workers produced 100,000 tons of food and it became one of the largest employers in the area. In 1924 they used 8 railway wagons of Welsh coal every day for the boilers and converted 8,000 gallons of water to steam every hour. There was a unit converting Welsh plate into tins. In the 1920s tinplate came by rail and they distributed soup from the sidings.  The factory had a long water frontage and sported the number '57'. They used the canal as a supply route to bring in beans and raw materials from the London Docks and for the transport of canned products until the 1960's. Closed in 2000 it is now the Premier Park Trading Estate
Townsend Industrial Estate
Canal feeder. This passes across the road slightly to the west of the fire station
Park Royal Fire Station. Built in 1958 to the 'Middlesex' design, this is a 2-storey fire station with bays for two fire appliances. It has a 4-storey drill tower in the yard, which is a landmark through much of the area,
Gormley House. This belonged to Gormley Stone Marble Granite Ltd. It is now a general office block

Wesley Road
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School. This opened in 1973 as a voluntary aided Roma Catholic school for boys and girls. They were inn part of the building formerly occupied by Wesley Road School
Wesley Road School. Opened in 1910 as local authority school for boys and girls. Reorganised in 1932. After the 1944 Act it became a secondary modern and new buildings where provided in 1956.  It closed in 1969.

Winchelsea Road
Taylor and Tucker, art metal works. They made ornate metal work domestic item – grates, bath taps, light fittings, etc. in the 1890s. They had a Soho office and showrooms.  Following a fire they went out of business

Acton electricity
British History online. Willesden. Website
Canal Plan. Web site
Canal walks
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Disused Stations. Web site
Field. London place names, 
Firth, Bill notes 
GLIAS Newsletter
Grace’s Guide, Web site
Greater London Authority. Web site
London Borough of Brent. Website
London Encyclopaedia
McCarthy.  Railways. London North of the Thames 
McVtie. Web site
Middlesex Churches, 
National Grid. Website
NW10 Moonies. Web site
Open House. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London
Walford.  Village London 
Wikipedia. Web site. As appropriate


Melony said…
Hi, I see your sentence about Harper Twelvetrees says he was an American. He wasn't: he was born in Biggleswade in 1823.

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