Sunday, 23 December 2012

River Brent - Stonebridge


River Brent

The Brent flows south westwards and is joined by the Mitchell Brook from the east

Post to the north Neasden
Post to the east Willesden
Post to the west Tokyngton

Alric Avenue
White Heather Laundry. Opened in 1904 by ‘some young university men’. It is said to have had the deepest artesian well in the UK dug in 1911. It is also said that a source of oil was found while the well was being bored. In 1947 some more serious investigations were undertaken.
Garrard Jewelers in 1915 as part of the war effort formed The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company Ltd and up in the premises the White Heather Laundry. At the end of the war Garrard continued started the production of small lathes and boring tools and motors for gramophones.  The White Heather Laundry wanted its premises back, and Garrard moved to Swindon.
Alric Avenue Day Centre – Brent Council Centre with a number of associated and neighbouring projects. ie: Wise. West Indian Self Effort.  Asian Community Care Services, etc

Artesian Close
Artesian Industrial Estate

Barry Road
Barry Road originally ran all the way south to the Harrow Road
Laundry here in the 1950s
Site of Pathe Freres Pathephone Ltd who made early gramophone records.  They were bought by Columbia in 1928. British Homophone Co. was also based here for a while and are said to have launched their Sterno record label here with Mantovani.  After the Second World War the site was a store for the Office of Works. This site seems to be roughly the area covered now by Mandela Close.

Brentfield Estate
Built 1919-21 and designed by F.Wilkinson Borough Engineer. Willesden Council.  It was influenced by the work of Parker and Unwin in the arrangements of grouped cottages. It was the first municipal housing to be built in the area

Brentfield Road
This was originally known as Dog Lane
Neasden Hospital. This was opened in 1894 by Willesden District Council opened as a fever hospital on an isolated site near the sewage works. The name was later changed to Willesden Municipal Hospital. In 1948 it joined the NHS and the theatre block opened in 1949 had 16 tonsillectomy beds. By 1953 they were treating food poisoning, whooping cough, diphtheria and croup this meant most patients were children but there were also some TB patients and some geriatric beds. It became a specialist centre for the treatment of bulbar poliomyelitis. In 1978 it became a geriatric hospital and closed in 1986.  The site was sold to the Paddington Churches Housing Association for fair rent and shared-ownership homes.
Five Precious Wounds. Roman Catholic Church built 1967
101-103 Eurocar. This is the site of Unity Works of Freestone and Webb. A coach building company who worked for Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Packard and Mercedes-Benz. Founded in 1923 by V.E. Freestone and A.J. Webb. They worked largely on Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, making bout 15 cars per annum. During the Second World War they made aircraft part. Eventually car manufacturers began to make their bodies in house and eventually the company was sold in the 1960s.
105-119 BAPS Shri Swaninarayan Mandir.  First traditional Hindu Mandir outside of India. Built 1995 of 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble and 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and using no iron or steel for £12m raised through donations. It was Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, as distinct from converted secular buildings. The architect was C. B. Sompura and much of the carving was done in a special workshop in the Gujarat.  It is a part of BAPS - Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha and was inaugurated in 1995.  The complex includes: A traditional Hindu temple, a permanent exhibition on ‘Understanding Hinduism’, a cultural centre designed in traditional Gujarati architecture with an assembly hall, gymnasium, bookshop, and offices. The temple and the complex have received many awards.
The Swaminarayan School.  This is Opposite the Mandir and is Europe’s first independent Hindu school. Founded in 1992 it follows the National Curriculum while promoting aspects of Hinduism and Hindu culture. It was previously Sladebrook High School
Sladebrook High School. This opened in 1969 as a comprehensive made up by amalgamating Willesden School of Building, ex Kilburn Polytechnic, with Gibbons Road. School and Wesley Road secondary. Moderns.  This has new buildings but also used the Gibbons Road site. Closed down in 1990.
Gwenneth Rickus Building. Brent Centre for Staff Development and other education services. This is in the buildings of what was Sladebrook School.  Gwenneth Rickus was Brent’s Chief Education officer 1971-84
Gibbons Road School; also called Brentfield Road School. This opened in 1902 as a Board school for boys. Under the 1944 Act it became a secondary modern. The Hall was built in 1959 and the name changed in 1960 to Brentfield School. It merged in 1969 into Sladebrook High School bit continued to use old Gibbons Road buildings.  Badly bombed and partly rebuilt during the Second World War.
New River Mill. British Booklet Matches were set up in the mid-1920s producing patent advertising booklet matches and "disk" matches in boxes made of cardboard instead of wood. The factory was subject to a fire in 1929 but continued until 1967. The facility was north of the canal feeder on the site now covered by the Mandir.  It is marked on maps as a ‘cotton waste’ factory.
Brentfield works
Bridge works. Pendry Plastics 1962
Arkel Works. Robert Hitchen & Co, cotton goods 1960s

Brentfield
Bridge Park Community and Leisure Centre. This has an air-conditioned aerobics studio, fitness studios, sauna and steam rooms as well as badminton, netball courts, and football pitches.
Princess Royal Distribution Centre. Used to be the Royal Mail depot which opened in 1996.  It handles millions of parcels and employs over 400 regular staff. They have road and rail connections. Access is via Blakemore Drive which is south of this square;
New Life Christian Centre International
Tramway Depot. Built as an overhead electric tram depot by Metropolitan Electric Railways, 1906 and then a trolleybus depot from 1938. It was where staff where trained in righting overturned vehicles. Its shed could take 202 buses but that amount of capacity was never needed here.  It was an open fronted three bay building. Very little of the original depot survives except for small sections of wall and some of the roof trusses. Most of it was rebuilt and clad in metal sheet. The layout of the site however mirrors the depot and some ancillary buildings in other uses appear to be original.
War memorial. A memorial to tramway workers who died in the Great War was removed by Brent Council and resited in Sudbury with a new dedication.

Brentfield Open Space
Open area at the back of schools and houses. Said to be of nature interest.

Bridge Road
Our Dumb Friends League Dogs Home. There until the 1950s.

Conduit Way
Centre of Brentfield Estate – it originally met and ran along the canal feeder.

Canal Feeder
Built in 1811. It is now used as a landscape feature through the area

Fawood Avenue
35 Fawood Children’s Centre.  This is a cage steel structure with elliptical coloured lozenges round the outside. It provides family care, education, and health services for children up the age of five. There is a large ground floor space plus facilities for nursing mothers, parents with and learning spaces for both adults and children.

Gibbons Recreation Ground

Gresham Road
Housing for Great Central Railway workers.

Hillside
Stonebridge Estate. Between 1967 and 1978 the council demolished housing along Hillside and elsewhere in the area and built high-rise buildings wiping whole streets off the map. Even before the project was complete, it became notorious. In 1994 it was taken over by the Stonebridge Housing Action Trust, and some of the tower blocks were demolished and new houses built.
Coach House. Flats on the site of the ousHoudCoach and Horses. Opened following building south of Harrow Road by 1770, and shown in a painting of 1792 as 'the angler's alehouse', and later used by another painter, George Morland. It was originally called the Stonebridge Inn.  Described as a very pretty spot in 1817.  Rebuilt to the designs of M T Saunders, reopening in summer 1908. Demolished
Hillside Centre and Cycle King. The building was a music hall attached to the Coach and Horses pub, known as the Palace of Varieties. It may date from as early as 1860, but was in operation from 1901. It was rebuilt with the pub in 1980 and for a while was a cinema. It closed by 1922. The pub was demolished but the hall survived.

Kingfisher Way
Housing on the site of Neasden Hospital.

Leicester Road
Taylors Lane Power Station. This originated in a coal-fired station built in 1903 by Willesden Urban District Council and sold to the North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Co. in 1904. This station closed in 1972 and was demolished along with the cooling towers, etc. The current station was opened in 1979 by the Central Electricity Generating Board and it is now operated by E.On remotely from Grain Power Station

Meadow Garth
This was renamed in the 1970s and had been part of Conduit Way
Brentfield Primary School. This was part of Gibbons Road School but the name was changed to Brentfield in 1959.  The school was rebuilt in 1979.
Shayona, Car Park etc. The congregation had started in Islington but, having outgrown that site, moved to an old truck warehouse off Brentfield Road in 1995. When the Mandir was built they kept the old building and it became Shayona, an Indian grocery shop and vegetarian restaurant.
Akshar IT Centre. On part of the Shayona site this is an adult learning centre providing government-accredited IT course to the public.

North Circular
130 burger bar in the Pantiles Pub
236-238 The Carramore

Rainborough Close
St. Raphael’s Community Centre

Ruby Street
Is this the original line of Barry Street

Russell Close
Appears to be roughly on the site of a gravel pit which stood opposite Stonebridge Farm

Tokyngton Recreation Ground
This is a large park with a pond and the River Brent running through it. It was created to compensate for the loss of parkland when the North Circular Road was widened in the 1980s. It was previously called Monks Park witch comes from the Neeld family who owned land in the Tokyngton area.

Woodyates Road
Great Central Railway Housing.

Wyborne Way
Basin. This is shown on pre-Great War maps on the west side of Wyborne Road slightly north of the junction with Hillside. It appears to lie on a cut either off the Brent or off the canal feeder
Willesden Sewage Works – increased number of filter beds, etc for Willesden works based further north.  Closed when Willesden joined the LCC system
James Dudson Court – roughly on the site of Stonebridge Farm

Sources

British History Online, Willesden
Clunn. The Face of London
Field.  London place names,
Freestone and Webb. Wikipedia Web site
Glazier. London Transport Garages
GLIAS- Newsletter
Graces Guide. Web site.
London Gardens Online. Web site.
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London  
Theatres Trust. Web site
Walford. Village London,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GIBBONS SCHOOL. I was a teacher at Gibbons from 1962-8. It was never called Brentfield Rd School!