Monday, 17 December 2012

River Brent - Neasden

River Brent
The Brent flows south and is joined by the Wealdstone Brook from the west

Post to the north Neasden
Post to the south Stonebridge

Besant Way
Estate boiler house now in other use as an office.

Canal Feeder
This is a feeder canal to the Grand Union Canal built around 1811 taking water from the River Brent to the main canal in what is now Park Royal. It was gravity fed and followed the natural contours. After the Brent Reservoir was built in 1835 the feeder was supplied through a tunnel in the dam. Having run underground for some distance through the railway works and industrial sites the feeder runs in the open alongside the IKEA store

Fourth Way
British Empire Exhibition. Amusement Park. This ran down between Fourth Way and the boundary having also been along the northern boundary. It featured among other things:
Tut’s Tomb - a reconstruction of the then recently discovered Tomb of Tutankhamen at Luxor.  This was in the amusement section because Egypt was not in the Empire – and allegedly Carter was not amused.
Golden Glide.  Sponsored by Pears Soap. Cars shaped like soap tablets travelled through an English lavender garden, into a cave-of-soap and to the brink of a waterfall cascading at the rate of 35,000 gallons an hour.
Safety Racer, a double-track mountain railway switchback ride
Scenic Railway – this was built by Thompson & Iliffe. After the exhibition closed it was moved to Manchester’s Belle Vue Park and remained in use there into the 1970s. It was demolished in 1979
Pyramid House and the Brent Car Pound
Hallmark Trading Estate.  Hallmark was the trade name of refrigeration equipment shown at the exhibition by J. & E Hall of Dartford. Engineering works can’t read 1950s

Great Central Way
The road goes through an area of industry and trading sites. It appears to have been built since the 1950s through an area used as sidings by the Great Central Railway.
Neasden Freight terminal lay north of the road. It was closed in 1965

Gresham Road
The Great Central Railway built houses for its workers here

Hannah Close
Industrial and trading area, including waste processing and heavy haulage 

Hardie Close
St Patrick’s RC church
St, Patrick’s Community Centre
Vernon House Special School

Neasden Works
Metropolitan Railway Works.  In the1880s the Metropolitan Railway Co. built a new depot and repair shops here which would employ 500 men and replace its works in Marylebone. The original shed rebuilt for two lines was brought here from Harrow in 1893 and replaced by a roundhouse in 1898 which was itself demolished in 1909. Then a three line corrugated iron shed was built and also used for carriage cleaning and that closed in 1936.   A brick built replacement for two lines closed in 1971 but is still there. There was a gas works on site.  Locomotives and coaching stock were also manufactured here for the Metropolitan Railway. The final locomotive produced at the works was in 1898. The depot was later extensively rebuilt and became one of the main London Transport works. It is now the largest on the London Underground system, maintaining stock on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, and Circle lines. The steam shed is now used as a training centre,
The Great Central Railway established its depot south of the line, they had a six line shed built of brick which was there until closure in 1962. 
Neasden Power Station.  Coal fired generating station built by the Metropolitan Railway as part of their electrification programme. It opened in 1904 and was adjacent to their depot. Power was fed to a network of sub stations around the Metropolitan’s area.  The station later contributed to the general underground power supply after the setting up of London Transport. It ceased production in 1968.

North Circular Road
Radiation House. Office block built 1962 the factory was opened in 1924 and known for making Ascot Gas Water Heaters. The firm was founded by a German called Dr Bernard Friedman and sold heaters made by Junkers of Germany. In 1933 it became Ascot Gas Water Heaters. It went through several take overs becoming part of Radiation in 1958. Radiation.  Based in Birmingham but had a factory here in 1937 From GracesGuide
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IKEA. The store, on the site of the Ascot works, dates from the mid-1970s.  Scandinavian home wares

Railway Lines
Chiltern Railways. In 1905 the Great Central railway opened a route for freight trains between Neasden and Northolt. It was used for passenger services from Marylebone from 1906, serving stations to Northolt Junction,
Metropolitan Line. This line was laid as an extension to Harrow by the Metropolitan Railway in 1880. The line is now paralleled through this section by the Jubilee Line to Stanmore.

St.Raphael Estate.
 Built in 1965 for the London Borough of  Brent
Willesden Sewage works – in the area covered by new housing and north of St. Raphael Way. By 1875 some drainage works had been constructed at Stonebridge Park and in 1880 the Local Board bought land for a sewage outfall near the Brent at Stonebridge. A sewage farm at Stonebridge was built in 1886 and a new one was built in 1904.

Village Way
New housing, initially for railway workers, was built by the Metropolitan Railway with all the streets named after their Metropolitan stations in Buckinghamshire

Woodheyes Road
Cottages 1899 for Great Central Railway

Sources
British History.  Middlesex, Willesden. Web site
Field. London place names
GLIAS Newsletter
Graces Guide, Web site
Jackson. London Metropolitan Railways
London Encyclopaedia
London Railway Record
McCarthy. London North of the Thames
Metroland
Metropolitan Railway. Wikipedia Web site.
Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report
Walford. Village London

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