The Silk Stream flows east and south
Industrial and trading area around the old airfield, with its Museum and other public facilities
Post to the west Colindale
Post to the south West Hendon
An extension of Colindale Avenue. Built by German prisoners
of war during the Great War to serve
aircraft hangars for Grahame-White Aviation. From 1909 it was a showcase for flying, In 1914 the Grahame White factory was requisitioned as a Royal Naval Air School and an AAP and operated as a defensive airfield until 1916. Many storage sheds were built and in 1925 it became a Royal Airforce Fighter Station until 1949. Since 1963 it as been the RAF Museum. Many original structures remain.
Sheds were established by the London Aerodrome Co.
along the southern boundary of the airfield in 1910 and erected by Smith &
Co. of Stratford. By 1911 it was owned by Claude Grahame-White. The sheds continued to be used by a number
of small flying schools – The Blackburn School, The Temple School, the
Deperdussin School, The Ewen School, Breuget Manufacturing Co. Later, in the
early years of the Great War, flying schools there included the Beatty School,
the Handley Page School, London and Provincial Aviation Co. By 1917 they had all been relocated.
Aeronautical Syndicate founded by Horatio
Barber making Valkyrie canard monoplanes in one of the original 1911 sheds. He gave four of these to the government. They
built Viking bi-planes in 1912. In 1912 they were taken over and became AIRCO
and eventually became part of Handley Page.
The Blériot School was in one of the
original 1911 sheds staffed by Pierre Prier, and Norbert Chereau. Frank Hedges
Butler was their first pupil.
Graham-White Flying School moved here from
Brooklands in 1911, and included workshops moved here from Walham Green. He
manufactured an American Burgess plane as Grahame-White Baby.
Chanter Flying School. In one of the sheds
in 1911. The owner was also the instructor and pupil. Left later in 1911 and
went to Shoreham.
Little Hendon. On the south side of the road
and used by the Graham-White school from 1917
No. 2 Aircraft Acceptance Park. 14 Storage
sheds were erected on the south east corner of the airfield to accommodate the
aeroplanes bought from America during the Great War. The R.F.C. then started
flying from Hendon from February to May 1916.
Hangars on the north side if the road became
Grahame-White's small car, aircraft and furniture business 1919- 1925. By 1920
over they were producing 100 cars per week. Two of these sheds became the first
General Motors assembly building.
Skywriting Corporation, based there from
1922 with smoke-generator. Skywriting - writing a message with smoke from an
aircraft, began in England after World War I by John C. Savage, RAF at Epsom
Downs, in 1922. This was taken to the US and the Corporation was an American
W.C. Gaunt & Co. motor car
manufacturers, and Packard dealers. Billy Gaunt was a ‘colourful entrepreneur’
from Bradford. Becoming a multi-millionaire in the wool trade, a London theatre
owner and much else, he died the owner of just a small petrol station.
Delco-Light Co., electrical dealers on site
here in 1923, The Delco-Lights was an American firm developed in 1916 and consisted of
complete electric power systems for farms and other remote buildings. It
consisted of a generator which fueled a battery. By the early 1920s they had a
huge factory in Dayton Ohio. By the mid-1920s they had also developed and were
making the first Frigidaire refrigerators and had become part of General
Tylor Engineering Company Ltd, engine
manufacturers on site here in 1923. The firm dated from 1906 when they were at
Belle Isle. They supplied engines for tanks and buses and some of their engines
exist and are restored. The firm was a subsidiary of an old established brass
founder and in the early 1920s this engine building works was moved to a
purpose built site in New Southgate designed by Wallis Gilbert. Tylors moved to
Hendon in the early 1920s because of financial difficulties and the New Southgate
factory eventually became Standard Telegraphs and Cables works
Aerofilms Ltd, aerial photographers. This
was the first British commercial aerial photography company, founded in 1919 by Francis Wills and
Claude Grahame White. Initially they
used aircraft of the London Flying School from Stag Lane but later from AIRCO.
In the 1920s they carried out vertical photography for survey purposes and
later pioneered mapping from aerial photographs, with the Ordnance Survey as a
client. From In 1925they were based at Hendon. In the Second World War they formed
the Allied Photographic Interpretation Unit at Medmenham. Post-war work with Hunting
Surveys Ltd has resulted in a huge library of historic aerial pictures and their
library has been sold to English Heritage by their current Norwegian owners,
Angus Sanderson Ltd. In site here in 1923.
The car was intended to be mass produced as Ford had done so successfully. It
used an engine from Tylor. They made about 3000 until they were undercut by
Morris. They went out of business in 1927.
Western Electric Company Ltd. This was the manufacturing
branch of the American Bell Telephone Company which had come to Europe in 1882
and London in 1883. This eventually became Standard Telephones and Cables. The
company bought the New Southgate site built by Tylor in 1922. This was not
enough however and in 1925-26 they took on premises at the north side of
Aerodrome Road where radio transmitters and receivers were made; laboratories
were set up in the former London Country Club. It was here they began to
develop polyethene. The site closed in
the early 1930s and became part of the Police College. The Alderman Cafe from
the 1924-25 Wembley Exhibition site had been re-erected at Hendon and was
transferred to New Southgate as an early self-service cafeteria.
Government Lymph Establishment. In 1881 the
Local Government Board established an Animal Vaccine Station to supply lymph
for vaccination. In 1907 three units were amalgamated to form the Government
Lymph Establishment at Hendon. It was tasked to have sufficient vaccine to meet
epidemic emergencies, and undertake research. In 1919 it was taken over by the
Ministry of Health and it was closed in 1946
Franco-British Electrical Co. Illuminated Signs. Established here in 1922. They had made the lights for the Franco
British Exhibition of 1908 and later installed the neon signs for which
Piccadilly was famous from the 1920s.
statue of Sir Robert Peel, by William Behnes.
When Peel died suddenly the Cities of London, Leeds and Bradford
commissioned this statue. It was erected in 1855 on the site of what is now St.
Paul’s Station. Because of traffic it was supposed to be moved to the Bank of
England, but was taken down and not put up.
In 1951 it was put into Postman’s Park and in 1974 went to the Police
College. It is now standing in the public area of a private estate there.
Aircraft factory, for Hendon Aerodrome. This
was built for the Grahame-White Aviation Company by Herbert William Matthews. Between
1915-1916. The Aerodrome Road elevation is red brick single storey with a
"GW" monogram cover the central door. More lies behind some of which
has been moved.
Metropolitan Police College. The college was opened in
1934 in the buildings of Hendon Country Club which had been used previously as
laboratories of the Standard Telephones and Cables. The original idea was for a
military-style cadet establishment to train college graduates entering the
service as officers. The college was
closed during the Second World War and reopened as a College for all police
entrants. In 1960 the Police rebuilt the college, as the new Peel Centre, named
after Sir Robert Peel
Hendon Country Club, Claude Grahame-White
established what he saw as a gentleman’s flying club at Hendon in 1919 when he
established the London Flying Club with its own separate airfield on the
southern side of Aerodrome Road. It has a with a flying school, a sixty-room
red brick clubhouse with London’s best ballroom and fifty accommodation rooms,
thirty tennis courts, two polo fields and plans for an 18 hole golf course. Grahame-White
used golf architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie to design the golf course. In 1920 the name was changed to the London
Country Club. Unfortunately in 1922 the Northern Line extension went through
the planned golf course which meant it has to be compressing between the
railway line and Aerodrome Road. In 1925 Grahame-White was forced to close the
London Country Club, and the clubhouse. The tennis courts and polo grounds had
been closed, but the golf course was kept open. It had closed by 1930
This development is on the site of RAF East
Camp. After the Second World War this became home to the RAF stores computer
Control tower from the Hendon Aerodrome
site. This was probably the first control tower in Britain - although its
function was not known because it is not clear what 'control' meant then beyond
hanging out flags. Grahame White's office remained underneath. Built by architect Herbert Matthews with a
Neo-Georgian show front, workshops behind, and the belvedere or 'control tower'
above built in 1911. Demolished after 99 years by the
RAF Museum and rebuilt in a location closer to the museum
Grahame White Company offices and factory.
Drawing offices between the control tower and the watch office. Originally flanked by attached hangars,
subsequently demolished. The building was unoccupied since at least 1987 when
the RAF moved out.
Office for Duty
Pilot, 2072/26 demolished 1989
Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture is part of Middlesex University
and has a collection of 19th- and 20th home decorations. This includes
collections of Wallpaper including the Crown Wallpaper Archive.
Mess. Now a Middlesex University Hall of Residence. It is a Neo-Tudor building
from 1917 which was later called formerly the 'London Aerodrome Hotel'. This
was built as a black and white timbered
hotel for VIPs despite wartime shortages. It was probably designed by Herbert
William Matthews in brick with roughcast and timber cladding.
Colindale Primary School. In the 1930s new
houses were built in the area and the school was built to cater for the new
population. The wings on the old school logo symbolised Hendon Aerodrome. Until
the 1960s there were bomb shelters on the playing fields used during the Second
World War. The school was rebuilt in 2011 on the original school playing
Colin Park Estate
built in 1927 for F.H. Stucke & Co., 'artistic' house builders, by E. G.
Footpath – this ran from the bottom of Hay
Lane, under a railway bridge, to the first aerodrome hangars.
144 A. Garstin and Co. Factory,
This was described as a trunk factory. Garstin made leather goods – cases,
watch straps etc. etc.
'Leatherville', thirty dwellings for workers at Garston's trunk factory,
established here in 1901.
Brent Works, Tilley Lamps Co. The Lamp derives from
John Tilley’s invention of the hydro-pneumatic blowpipe in 1813. The company
was in Stoke Newington and Shoreditch in the 19th and moved to
Hendon in 1915. . In the 1960s they moved to Belfast
The Gee Tee Co., manufacturers of tissue paper
products – paper handkerchiefs, sanitary towels. They had opened in King's
Cross, 1926, and moved here in 1931. In 1935 they moved to Cumberland Road.
116 Colindale Paper Co Ltd. 1950-58.
They made toilet paper - Luxury, Colinco, Papcol rolls
Crepe Paper Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Colindale Hospital. Colindale Hospital. In 1890 there were
concerns to expand the overcrowded Cleveland Street Infirmary of the Central
London Sick Asylum District. It was decided to move somewhere cheaper and the
new infirmary was built by by John Giles, Gough & Tros and opened in 1900. Initially it had 274 beds in a central
block with a house for the Medical Superintendent and a Nurses' Home. There
were also children’s and isolation wards, an operating theatre, mortuary, etc.
In 1913 It was renamed the Hendon Infirmary and in 1920 was reopened as a
tuberculosis hospice. In 1930 it passed to the London County Council and in 1948
joined the NHS as the Colindale Hospital. As treatment for TB succeeded, it
became a general hospital. It closed in
1996 and the site is due to be redeveloped for housing. The façade of the main block
of the hospital has been refurbished as part of the new development
Blood Transfusion Centre, building of 1990 by the Design Team Partnership. .
Protection Agency. This is an independent organisation set up in 2003 to protect the
public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental
Colindale Station. Opened in 1924 it lies between Burnt Oak and Hendon
Central on the Northern Line. It was
originally built on the Charing Cross,
Euston and Hampstead Railway and designed by S. A. Heaps with 250' long
platforms and in the style of a rural station. In 1940 it was bombed and destroyed and in in 1962 a new building was
erected incorporating shops
British Library Newspaper Library. Built in 1900-3 as
the British Museum Repository and enlarged 1930-2 by J.H. Markham of the Office
of Works, with storage on six floors. An
extension of 1956-7 replaced the 1903 building, which had been destroyed in
1940. The superintendent's house of 1903
survives. The 1930s building is of
brick, very austere yet with a few simplified classical trimmings. Later additions 1969-71 microfilm building
and 1972 reading room. The library is being digitized and then will move to
Pillar box outside the post office. Constructed
by A. Handyside & Co. Ltd.at their Britannia Foundry and Engineering
Works. It has a V.R. cypher 1887 - 1899
Shed in a field at the end of the lane where
it now joins Aerodrome Road. This was the shed used by Everett and Edgecumbe to
house their first monoplane which effectively founded Hendon Aerodrome. It was later converted in 1911 to become the
first offices of C.Grahame-White & Co.
Colindale Park, A small grassland wedge with
a footpath through to the station. There is a play area, trees and apparently
wild life interest.
once called Hendon path said in 1593 to be an 'ancient highway ‘and as late as
1863 it was sometimes called Ancient Street.
Four groups flanking Court Way, with tile hanging alternating with
half-timbering, and Trobridge's typically emphatic star-shaped chimneystack.
Stream Bridge. This is stone with parapets. There was a ford here until 18256
when a footbridge was built. A weir slightly upstream of the bridge is a
measuring point for flood data
Rushgrove Park. Previously called Colindeep
Open Space. The Silk Stream flows through the Park, which is made up of flood
prone open space which remained when all the housing was built in the 1930s. It
was laid out as a recreation ground by the mid-1950s, with winding paths, a
pond and tennis courts. Among the trees are gingko, catalpa and conifers, but
the pond has been removed and is now covered over.
Safetex Safety Glass, formed in 1925 to
manufacture reinforced glass for motor vehicles. The company operated from a
factory here and went in receivership i1932.
Odeon Cinema. This was built and operated by Oscar Deutsch and opened in
1935. It was designed by Arthur Starkey like his earlier cinemas for the
circuit. It has low facade with cream faience tiles and shop units on either
side or flats above. There was a car park behind. It was closed by the Rank
Organisation in 1960 and remained empty until 1967 when it opened as the Curzon
Cinema. In 1972 it was re-named Classic Cinema and a second screen was
installed in the balcony and called the Tatler Film Club screening uncensored
sex films. It closed in 1981 and in 1986 became a snooker club.
Hyde United Reform Church. The Chinese Church
in London. Chapel of the Churches of Christ. Presbyterian. Congregational
Moon Under Water Pub. Wetherspoons pub opened in 1990. This was
built as a Woolworth’s store
Modern pub in new build
Titanine Paint Factory. In 1881, German Holzapel brothers
founded the Holzapfel Compositions
Company Ltd., producing marine coatings in Felling, where they
remain. In 1915 they developed Titanine, an aeroplane dope as the British
Aeroplane Varnish Co. Ltd., and 1,000,000 gallons of titanine were manufactured
during the Great War. .
Wikipedia web site
Park. Web site
listed buildings. Web site
Treasures. Web site
The Face of London
Dave. Web site
London Place Names
Guide. Web site
Borough of Barnet. Web site
Gardens Online. Web site
Hospitals of London. Web site
Police College. Wikipedia web site
Archives. Web site
Osborne. Defending London
and Cherry. London North
Form and Fancy
Basin Archaeology Group. Report