Posts Tagged ‘Brent’

Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade

Brent is the London Borough with the largest Irish population and there are also significant numbers in the neighbouring boroughs of Camden and Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham, with Kilburn and Willesden Green being the in particular having large populations of Irish descent,

Brent St Patrick's Day Parade
St Patrick, Willeden Green, 2007

So it was hardly surprising that Willesden Green for some years had its own St Patrick’s Day procession, held on the day itself, March 17th, as well as the London celebration begun in 2002 when Ken Livingstone was Mayor on the nearest Sunday. Labour Brent also celebrated days for some of its other communities until recently cuts in funding from a Tory dominated central government made this no longer possible.

Willeden Green, 2007

The parade in Brent was on a smaller and friendlier scale than the London parade, and far more a community festival on the street, with others as well as the Irish joining in and having a good time.

St Patrick, Willesden Green, 2008

The multi-cultural nature of Brent was clear in that the parade began outside an Islamic Cultural Centre and those taking part included many local school-children from a whole mix of heritages. Brent as well as St Patrick’s Day also then celebrated Diwali, Eid, Christmas, Chanukah and Navrati, and Holocaust Memorial Day, along with a black history programme, its own ‘Respect’ festival and a world food and music festival.

Willesden Green, 2008

St Patrick blesses the photographer, Willesden Green, 2009

But it was very clearly an Irish event, with Irish people from all across London coming to watch and take part, both in the parade and in the various pubs and bars along the route.

Willesden Green, 2009

Some of the floats in the parade were also in the main London St Patrick’s Day parade, but the atmosphere here was much more relaxed. Here are a few pictures that I made from 2009-2013.

Willesden Green, 2009
Willesden Green, 2010
Willesden Green, 2010
Willesden Green, 2010
Willesden Green, 2010
Willesden Green, 2011
Willesden Green, 2012
Two St Patricks, Willesden Green, 2012
Willesden Green, 2012
Willesden Green, 2013

In 2013, the event was much smaller as council funding had been cut, thanks to Tory austerity policies. And because St Patricks Day that year was on the Sunday, the celebration in Brent was held a day earlier so not to clash with the London parade.

I think this was the last St Patrick’s Day Parade in Brent – certainly it was the last I photographed. You can see many other pictures from Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade on My London Diary

Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2007 (scroll down the page)
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2008
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2009
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2010
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2011
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2012
Brent St Patrick’s Day Parade 2013


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Willesden Walk and Wassail 2017

Saturday, February 12th, 2022

Willesden Walk and Wassail 2017

Willesden isn’t a part of London I visit very often, though I sometimes change trains on my way elsewhere at Willesden Junction. But even that isn’t in Willesden but in its neighbour Harlesden – just as Clapham Junction isn’t in Clapham but in Battersea, the railway companies choosing a more reputable nearby settlement to name their station.

I hadn’t intended to go for a walk from Kensal Rise to Willesden Green on Sunday 12th February, but the Transport for London web site had misled me, telling me there were no trains running from my station that day, but a much slower rail replacement bus service. But there was a train just about to leave when I bought my ticket, and I jumped on it.

Good though this was, it meant I arrived at Kensal Rise over an hour before anticipated for the short bus ride to my destination. It was a cold winter day with a bitter east wind, far too cold to stand around waiting on the street so I had a decision to make. I could have sat inside a pub or café, but decided I would keep warm enough if I walked around to make my way to my destination.

Willesden Green Library – where the Wassail would later end

A direct route would not have taken me long enough, but the only map I had was Google Maps on my phone as I was outside the small central London atlas that has a permanent place in my camera bag. While paper maps keep north at the top, on my phone at least the map seems to turn around pretty randomly and at one junction I got confused, turning in the opposite direction to that I intended.

But even with getting a little lost and walking over 3 miles I still arrived 20 minutes before the event I was attending began, but the walking had kept me reasonably warm.

Willesden Green Wassail

I’d been invited in 2014 to photograph the Willesden Green Wassail by its leader and organiser Rachel Rose Reid, and was returning three years later for the 7th Community Wassail there “to invoke successful growth and resilience in the neighbourhood, celebrating community initiatives and the shopkeepers who contribute to making the neighbourhood a friendly and happy place.”

Cricklewood Community Singers

The wassailers, with the Cricklewood Community Singers performed a version of the traditional wassail song, and their were performances by local poets, storytellers and other singers as we called on various shops and other places, slowly making our way to the crab apple trees behind Willesden Green Library.

Rachel Rose Reid

At the shops we stopped at, the shopkeepers came out and told us a little about their businesses and thanked us for the good wishes and our wassailing.

The crab apples having been wassailed, people let off party poppers, which proved to be very difficult to photograph, a reminder to me of the difference between the way the camera and our eyes see things. We can both see the overall scene and concentrate on details, while a still image has to select its angle of view and treats all within that equally. Of course you can take more than one picture, but that doesn’t really deliver with a rapidly changing scene. I would have been better switching to recording a movie of this part of the event.

After this the group walked back to a local coffee shop where there were to be more performances, as well as hot drinks. But by then it was time for me to start my journey home to get back in time for dinner. This time I took the bus back to Kensal Rise.

Many more pictures both from the walk (enough to work out my route in the unlikely event you should wish to do so) and also from the Wassail on My London Diary:
Willesden Green Wassail
Kensal Rise to Willesden Green


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Kilburn Again – 1988

Saturday, November 27th, 2021

St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03-positive_2400
St Lawrence Mansions, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-03

I continued my walk along Kilburn High Road, photographing again some of the buildings I had photographed on my previous walk in Kilburn, and going down Priory Park Road to take a couple of pictures of St Lawrence Mansions, Victorian flats. These were used for some years by Brent Council to house homeless families, and applications by the owners to demolish them were turned down in 2012. In 2017 they were in used to house over 200 asylum seekers in desperately poor and overcrowded conditions in a hostel run by run by Clearsprings Ready Homes, a company that has been criticised in media reports about this and other asylum hostels.

Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61-positive_2400
Locksmiths, Willesden Lane, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-61

I’ve always been interested in trade signs and liked the large keyhole of this locksmith’s,on Willesden Lane, close to its junction with Kilburn High Rd.

Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-62-positive_2400

Taken just a few yards closer to Kilburn High Rd, with Kilburn State Cinema tower visible. The large sign for Brondesbury Garage above Brondesbury Mews entrance has now gone, the Gentlemen’s convenience has disappeared, the billboards have gone and Biddy Mulligans is now a betting shop, but the view is still much the same.

Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63-positive_2400
Kilburn State, cinema, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1998 88-6d-63

Grade II* listing has protected the Gaumont State Theatre, a splendid art deco building withh opened in 1937, seating over 4,000. Since 2007 it has been a church and still contains one of the largest fully functioning Wurlitzer organs in Britain.

The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65-positive_2400
The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Camden, 1998 88-6d-65

The National Club is another building I’ve previously photographed and written about in my post To Kilburn High Rd 1988 – and like the Kilburn State is now also a church. The boundary between Brent and Camden runs down the Kilburn High Road, with properties on the east side being in the LB Camden.

Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66-positive_2400
Wallace, chemists, Infected, graffiti, Netherwood St, Kilburn, Camden, 1998 88-6d-66

Wallace Manufacturing Chemists Ltd is still active according to Companies House, but no longer in Netherwood St. Its business is described as ‘Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products’ with a registered office in Brentwood and I think is now a part of the Alinter Group based in Abingdon. Perhaps the graffitied ‘INFECTION’ was a mildly humourous comment on the closure of the premises making medicines – Histergan cream and tablets, Ironorm drops and Malarivon and Vigranon-B syrups.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

These pictures show the doorway at 15 Quex Rd, on the corner with Mazenod Avenue, part of a set of mansions at 9-15 Quex Rd, just a few yards from Kilburn High Rd. I’ve called it Kilburn, but certainly for estate agents this is West Hampstead.

The road was built on a large estate on both sides of West End Lane which had been inherited in 1813 by John Powell Roberts following the death of his brother who fell from a horse. His brother had previously inherited this and a large house a Quex Park in Birchington, Kent under a trust following the death of his uncle, and the terms of that trust meant changing his surname to Powell, and John Powell Roberts became John Powell Powell. When he died in 1849 the various estates held by the trust passed to his nephew, Col Henry Perry Cotton.

Quex Road, named after the Powell-Cotton family seat, was at the heart of plans for the development of the estate made in 1866, which included a Roman Catholic church and Wesleyan Methodist and Unitarian chapels on Quex Rd built in 1868-9 and the street was more or less fully developed by 1885.

Eugene de Mazenod was a leading French Catholic bishop in the nineteenth century and founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who became missionaries across the world and founded the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Kilburn in 1866, though their temporary building was replaced by one designed by E W Pugin and built after his death from 1875-1899.

Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-46-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-6d-45

Click on any image to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.


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Around Kilburn Square – 1988

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-21

My next visit to Kilburn came in June 1988 and I began my walk from Kilburn Park station on the Bakerloo line. I took a couple of pictures in Cambridge Ave, but nothing exciting and then walked up Kilburn High Road to Kilburn Square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-22

Kilburn Square was built in the 1960s for Willesden Municipal Borough Council with a 17 storey high rise with 85 flats and four low rise blocks with a shopping centre and market area in a wide pavement in front of them on Kilburn High Rd. Work began on the tower block in 1961. The estate replaced Victorian terraced houses in the square.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-25

These pictures are from the front block of the estate, the shops fronting Kilburn High Rd. It was designed to have shops on the first floor, but these were never very successful. They could be reached by steps or a long slope. This shows the tower on the estate behind the shops.

Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26-positive_2400
Kilburn Square, Kilburn High Rd, Brondesbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-26

The management of the estate behind the shops passed to a Tenant Management Organisation in 1994 following the Right to Manage Legislation. Currently Brent Council is still consulting on plans to add infill housing to the estate, and appears to be taking some of the residents views into consideration. Although it’s sad to lose green space, if infill is done sensitively its better than the comprehensive demoltion of many estates across London which always result in a loss of social housing.

Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11-positive_2400
The Cock Tavern, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-11

The Cock Tavern at 125 Kilburn High Road has a plaque stating it was licenced in 1486 and rebuilt in 1900 and was a Truman pub. It was later owned by Greene King and from 2009-11 was also home to a theatre on the first floor, but this had to close as the staircase was found to be unsafe. It was sold in 2016 and closed in 2019, reopening in January 2020 as The Juniper. The building is locally listed by Brent Council.

Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400
Quex Rd, Camden, 1988 88-6c-13-positive_2400

This estate office in Quex Road appeared have something of an obstacle course to enter, apparently designed to eliminate access for any disabled clients. I think there was probably a slope down behind the front gates then two sets of steps to the entrance.

The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15-positive_2400
The Earl Derby, Priory Park Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-6c-15

The Earl of Derby dates from around 1869 at 155 Kilburn High Road. Having been called the Golden Egg for some years it reopened in 2013 and was described as a gastro pub under a shorter version of its original name, simply Earl Derby. It claims to be home to the cheapest pint in London, and in 2020 some beers were £2.00 a pint.

The side of the pub shown is on Priory Park Rd, and the block further down the road is Ryde House, designed by Willesden Borough Council Architect’s Department and built in 1964.

Sadly the wrought iron entrance at the left of the pub has been lost in alterations to the side of the pub. I hope it has been preserved somewhere.

Click on any image to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the other images in the album.


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Kilburn to Maida Vale

Monday, October 25th, 2021

My walk around Kilburn ended by going down Kiburn High Road with a small slight deviations to catch the tube at Maida Vale.

Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-63-positive_2400
Bingo Hall, Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn State, Odeon, Kilburn, 1988 88-5m-63

The Kilburn State Theatre was built on grounds formerly occupied by houses and since the 1890s by a furniture factory, The Palmerston Works. From 1916 to 1926 it was the home of the Central Aircraft Company which built cheap wooden aircraft and also gave flying courses and joy rides from Northolt Airport. The flights were a great success but although the planes only cost £250 sales were poor and the factory returned to making furniture.

The site was bought by Gaumont and opened in 1937 as the Gaumont State Cinema, designed by George Coles and this now Grade II* listed Art Deco masterpiece has a tower inspired by the Empire State Building in New York and when built had seating for over 4000, making it the largest purpose-built cinema in Europe. You can read much more about it in The Kilburn State Cinema.

Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd,  Kilburn,  Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64-positive_2400
Gascony Avenue, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, Brent, 1988 88-5m-64

This wall on the corner of Gascony Avenue and Kilburn High Road was almost totally covered with advertising and branding, including three giant posters for the Invalid Children’s Aid Nationwide, (I CAN), founded in 1888 as the Invalid Children’s Aid Association by Allen Dowdeswell Graham to help poor children in London’s East End who were either seriously ill or handicapped. It is now a national charity for children with speech and language difficulties.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 198888-5m-51-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-51

Walking along the Kilburn High Road with a camera (or possibly two) around my neck attracted the attention of several groups of people on the street, who demanded I take their pictures.

People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66-positive_2400
People, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden, 1988 88-5m-66

And I was happy to do so. They were all in a good mood, possibly in some cases helped by a little exposure to Guiness. I think all had good Irish accents.

Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent,  Camden,1988 88-5m-53-positive_2400
Posters, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, Camden,1988 88-5m-53

And flyposters on several buildings advertised Irish events in London.

Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 198888-5m-54-positive_2400
Kilburn Banks Ltd, Springfield Joinery, off Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5m-54

I think the Springfield Joinery was probably at 1Springfield Lane, but no trace of this building remains. Possibly it was where the beer garden of the Old Bell Inn now is. If so it was in the LB Camden.

The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46-positive_2400
The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-46

Animals, particularly horses, dogs, carrier pigeons and donkeys, but also many other species played an important role in the FIrst World War, and many were killed carrying out their duties. After the war the RSPCA proposed a memorial to them, and plans were drawn up for one at Hyde Park Corner but this was never built – though many years later in 2004 one was unveiled on Park Lane. The RSPCA changed its plans and decided on a more practical project, buying this site in Kilburn for The Animal War Memorial Dispensary in 1931.

There are two memorial inscriptions, one on each side of the door, but too small to read in my photograph. They are given in full on the Imperial War Museum web site.

LEFT: THIS BUILDING IS DEDICATED AS A MEMORIAL TO THE COUNTLESS/ THOUSANDS OF GOD’S HUMBLE CREATURES WHO SUFFERED AND/ PERISHED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1918 KNOWING NOTHING OF THE/ CAUSE. LOOKING FORWARD TO NO FINAL VICTORY. FILLED ONLY WITH/ LOVE FAITH AND LOYALTY THEY ENDURED MUCH AND DIED FOR US./ MAY WE ALL REMEMBER THEM WITH GRATITUDE AND IN THE FUTURE/ COMMEMORATE THEIR SUFFERING AND DEATH BY SHOWING MORE/ KINDNESS AND CONSIDERATION TO LIVING ANIMALS.

RIGHT: 1914 – 1918 THIS TABLET RECORDS THE DEATH BY ENEMY ACTION/ DISEASE OR ACCIDENT OF 484,143 HORSES MULES CAMELS AND/ BULLOCKS AND OF MANY HUNDREDS OF DOGS CARRIER PIGEONS AND/ OTHER CREATURES ON THE VARIOUS FRONTS DURING THE GREAT WAR/ IT ALSO RECORDS THE FACT THAT IN FRANCE ALONE 725,216 SICK AND/ WOUNDED ANIMALS WERE TREATED IN VETERINARY HOSPITALS/ PROVIDED BY THE RSPCA.

Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55-positive_2400
Bas-relief, The Animals War Memorial Dispensary, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-55

The Grade II listed dispensary is a converted mid-nineteenth century house memorial plaque above the door on the facade of the building is by Frederick Brook Hitch of Hertford who won the competition for the design. The dispensary continued in use until a RSPCA reorganisation in 2016.

TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44-positive_2400
TS Bicester, Sea Cadets, Tin Tabernacle, Cambridge Ave, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5m-44

Next door to the dispensary is Kilburn’s ‘Tin Tabernacle’, Grade II listed as Cambridge Hall and erected as St James’s Episcopalian Church in 1863. Active as a church until the 1920s it became an “Air Raid Precautions store during the Second World War, and was later known as the Lord Lloyd of Dolobran Memorial Hall. The building was taken over by the Sea Cadets in about 1949, and from then on was known as Training Ship Bicester“. In the 1950s they remodelled the interior as a mock-up of a Ton-Class Minesweeper. It had been built with a spire which was apparently stolen in the 1980s before this picture was taken.

Maida Vale, St John's Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34-positive_2400
74 Maida Vale, St John’s Wood, Westminster, 1988 88-5m-34

The pineapple was a symbol of wealth and found a place on many gateposts, but 74 Maida Vale is unusual in also having three on the parapet wall. I think the house probably dates from some time between 1829-1840 and that the rooms behind those upper pineapples are a later addition, but have found no specific information about this particular house; although several others on the block are listed this is not.


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To Kilburn High Rd 1988

Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

West Kilburn Baptist Church, Carlton Vale, West Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-33-positive_2400
West Kilburn Baptist Church, Carlton Vale, West Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-33

My wanderings around Kilburn Park had taken me back through the South Kilburn Estate to Carlton Vale and this fine example of a Baptist Church, built for the Rev Thomas Hall in 1865. Money was tight, but his brother who was an architect worked on the plans without payment. According to the Commemoration Booklet issued for its centenary the foundation stone was laid on ‘Several coins of the Realm bearing the portrait of her most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria – one shilling, one sixpence, one halfpenny‘ and ‘the text, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).’ Six years later, the church still owed £380 of the £1250 it cost to build.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-21-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-21

From Carlton Vale I continued northwest up Salusbury Road then turned right along The Avenue in Brondesbury to reach Willesden Lane opposite this house which is numbered as 66 Cavendish Rd, although this frontage is on Willesden Lane. This house struck me as having a intriguing individuality, although certainly not great architecture, incorporating several distinct variations of style and a rather oddly situated small window. Currently divided into around 13 small flats a planning application has been submitted to demolish it and use the site with its long garden along Willesden Lane to build a new 5 to 6 storey building with 21 flats.

Lawrence & Aitken, Albion Works, Kimberely Rd, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-23-positive_2400
Lawrence & Aitken, Albion Works, Kimberely Rd, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-23

Lawrence & Aitken , incorporated in 1927 but founded earlier and now dissolved, filed its last accounts in 1990. It gave the nature of its business as “Manufacture of other articles of paper and paperboard n.e.c. -” and was said to employ five people. The works date from 1904 and were built for cardboard makers Lawrence & Aitken under an agreement with the Simms Manufacturing Company Limited which is reproduced (but very hard to read) on the RAC website. The works is still there, though the building on the right has been replaced by housing called Kimberley Court.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-24-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-24

In one of those mysteries that I’ve sometimes come across, the extension at left to J Green’s shop at 136 Willesden Lane has grown to the same height as the rest and the building is now wider, having four windows at first and second floor levels and a new floor on top while retaining the Graeco-Egyptian style of the original.

Both 134 and 136 were built for John Cramb, monumental mason supplying many monuments in the cemetery opposite, 134 in 1896 designed by George Neal and 136 by F C Dare in 1883-1884 . Both are locally listed.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-26-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-26

These shops are still there but I think all now different businesses. So many flats and shops were for sale in 1988.

Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-12-positive_2400
Willesden Lane, Brondesbury, Brent, 1988 88-5l-12

Missing ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘B’ and ‘G’ perhaps made this frontage more interesting.

The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-13-positive_2400
The National Club, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5l-13

In 1910 after the death of its owner, The Grange, a large house with extensive grounds on Kilburn High Road was sold to Oswald Stoll, the owner of the London Coliseum, who began building a theatre here. By the time it opened in 1914 his plans had changed and it became the Grange Cinema, with over 2,000 seats.

The cinema closed in 1975 and was opened as Butty’s Club and Dance Hall by Kilburn Irish publican Michael ‘Butty’ Sugrue, and later in 1976 also became the Kilburn National Club, owned by three local brothers who were builders, originally from Tipperary. The club was a major music venue, where stars including Johnny Cash and David Bowie played (there is a longer list here, along with more detailed information about the site.)

Applications to demolish the building were turned down in 1991 as English Heritage had listed it earlier in the year, as was another application in 1993. After the National Club closed in 1999 the building remained empty until it became the Victory Christian Centre in 2001 – but the church was closed in 2002 by the Charity Commission who didn’t approve of Pastor Goodman’s extravagances on expensive holidays and cars and a house in Northants. In 2003 it became a site of the worldwide Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The Secondhand Furniture Shop, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-15-positive_2400
The Secondhand Furniture Shop, Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-15

An interesting example of a window display.

Loveridge Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 198888-5l-16-positive_2400
Loveridge Rd, Kilburn, Camden, 1988 88-5l-16

A few yards east of Kilburn High Rd the Underground – here decidely overground – goes across Loveridge Rd. I liked the washing hanging over Loveridge Mews, not something often found across a London street.

Confusingly, the boundary between the London Boroughs of Camden and Brent runs down the Kilburn High Road, splitting Kilburn in two. I’m sure there are still some pictures in the album where I’ve indicated the wrong borough.


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Kilburn Park 1988

Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26-positive_2400
Carlton Vale, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-26

My next walk at the end of May 1988 took me to Kilburn Park and Kilburn, and again in this post I have put the pictures in the order of my walk rather than the somewhat random order they have in the Flickr album 1988 London Photos. The church in the picture of Carlton Vale is St Augustine, Kilburn, and the large block of flats on the corner of Carlton Vale and Kilburn Park Rd was demolished in 2018-9, though I think the overhead walkway went many years earlier.

Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15-positive_2400
Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5k-15

These lower blocks of flats were a part of the same South Kilburn estate and I think close to the corner of Carlton Vale and Cambridge Rd. The estate of high-density housing in low-rise flats and 11 tower blocks was begun in 1959 and further developed in the 1960s and 70s. Brent embarked on a comprehensive redevelopment in 2014, which is resulting in a considerable loss of social housing.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-61

Unsurprisingly Oxford Road runs parallel with Cambridge Ave up to the Kilburn High Rd. These streets were two of those developed by local builder James Bailey in the 1860s, developing the area he called Kilburn Park. The name was given to the first underground station in Kilburn which opened in 1915 in Cambridge Ave.

Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64-positive_2400
Oxford Rd, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-64

These are typical houses of the era and were probably built from published designs in architectural pattern books. My grandather, who built a few houses on a much less grand scale had owned at least one of these and as children we were sometimes allowed to look at this beautifully illustrated volume.

Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66-positive_2400
Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, Brent, 1988 88-5l-66

At its southern end Cambridge Avenue leads to both Cambridge Road and the rather posher Cambridge Gardens.

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors, Canterbury House, Canterbury Rd, Kilburn, Brent 1988 88-5l-52-positive_2400

Central Motors in Canterbury Rd still looks much the same, but Canterbury House, although retaining the facade had two extra storeys added in 2015-6 with luxury flats and penthouses. It as built in 1862 when this was still a part of Kilburn Lane as a railway signal factory for Saxby & Farmer who became one of the largest employers in the area but moved out around 1906.

South Kilburn Estate, Crone Court, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53-positive_2400
Crone Court, South Kilburn Estate, Rupert Road, Brent, 1988 88-5l-53

Crone Court is on the corner of Rupert Rd and Denmark Rd on the South Kilburn Estate and is due for redevelopment in the next few years. The 12 storey block, 32m tall, was completed in 1964.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-55-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-55

Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium & Cycleworks was definitely in Malvern Rd, West Kilburn as it had a street sign higher up on the building. It had a remarkable window display and I took far too many pictures – a few of them here.

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-56

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-41

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-45

Joe's Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 198888-5l-31-positive_2400
Joe’s Used Ballbearing Emporium, Malvern Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-5l-31

Click on any of the images to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos from where you can browse the rest of the album.


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Nine years ago: 6 Oct 2012

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Proposals to close Accident and Emergency services at four of the nine hospitals in North West London provoked fury among local residents and opposition from local councils as they would mean slow journeys over heavily congested roads for those living in much of northwest London. The proposals seemed to be motivated simply by cost savings with no regard to the consequences.

This protest was one of a number that I photographed, particularly about the closure of A&E and some other services at both Charing Cross Hospital (which is in Hammersmith) and Ealing Hospital. The previous month I had photographed a http://mylondondiary.co.uk/2012/09/sep.htm#hospitals large march from Southall Park to Ealing Hospital against the closure plan and there was another march to Central Middlesex Hospital taking place that same day.

These large and widespread protests and legal actions taken by the protesters were almost certainly a major factor behind the decision in March 2019 by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock to finally scrap the plans for what was the biggest hospital closure programme in the history of the NHS. The campaigners welcomed the decision but said it should have come much earlier rather than after seven years of the Dept of Health supporting the plans, which would have involved demolishing Charing Cross Hospital and selling off most the site.

I photographed as people gathered for the march in Shepherds Bush but had to leave as the march was setting off for Hammersmith and a rally in Fulham to go to Westminster.

Britain First, a far-right anti-Muslim movement (it describes itself as “a modern, responsible patriotic political movement”) was protesting at Downing St against what they described as ‘Britain’s secret shame – Muslim Grooming’ and were joined on their protest by members of other extremist groups including the English Defence League. After protesting for around an hour at Downing St they marched the short distance to Parliament Square where they tried to burn an Islamic flag. It proved to be rather fire-resistant.

A few yards away, thousand of Muslims packed Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament in a peaceful protest against an Anti-Muslim film made in the USA. They called for laws to protect religious figures.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, a crude video made by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakoula_Basseley_Nakoula Egyptian-born American writer Mark Basseley Youssef had already prompted violent anti-American protests in various Muslim countries. Youssef was then in jail in Los Angeles for violations of a probation order which, among other things included making false statements regarding his role in the film, and his use of the alias “Sam Bacile”. He had a previous conviction for in 1997 for intent to manufacture methamphetamine and was under probation following release in June 2011 from being jailed in 2010 for his part in a bank fraud.

Youssef, under his alias Bacile, falsely claimed that the anti-Islamic film had been funded by $5 million from 100 Jewish donors and that he was an Israeli Jew. An Egyptian court tried him and others in absentia and sentenced them to death for defaming Islam in November 2012. He was released from prison in 2013 to serve the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house in Californinia followed by 4 years of probabation.

Finally I travelled to Kilburn for a march and rally demanding Brent council rehouse the Counihan family from South Kilburn. Two years earlier, Anthony Counihan, a London bus driver inherited a few acres of poor land in Galway on the death of his father. Rented out, it brings an income of £18 a week.

He reported this to Brent Council, who responded with an eviction order and a demand for repayment of £70,000 of housing benefit, later telling him he should move back with his family to Ireland where he was born – while continuing to drive a bus from Cricklewood Depot. His wife Isabel and five children were all born in Brent.

The case was complicated by the fact that the family had moved out of a council property to go back to Ireland for a year to look after his sick father, and had signed away their lease as the council had not told them they could sublet for the year, and by their treatment by the council after their return, when they were unable to find accomodation they could afford on a bus-drivers salary. Brent decided they had made themselves “intentionally homeless” and were refusing their statutory duty to rehouse the family.

More on all at:
Rehouse the Counihans
Muslims against Anti-Muslim Film
Britain First – Muslim Grooming
Save Our Hospitals – Shepherds Bush


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More from Brent 1988

Friday, June 11th, 2021

Church of God of Prophecy, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 1988 88-3c-41-positive_2400
Church of God of Prophecy, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-41

One of our better selling ‘newpapers’ recently published yet another sensationalist feature about no-go areas in some of our cities, where white men fear to tread. Back in the 1980s it wasn’t Muslim fundamentalists that were alleged to make our sity streets unsafe, but largley Caribbean and African gangs that were supposed to be roaming the streets in certain areas of the city, and one of those that people used to warn me about was Harlesden. But as in other such areas, although I was walking the streets with aroun £10,000 pounds worth of photographic gear in a bag on my shoulder I met with no problems.

High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-51-positive_2400
High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-51

Partly of course I had little or no trouble becuase of the time of day I usually worked, seldom in the evenings whe there are more people who might be a threat on many streets. And if I saw people dealing in drugs or other illegal activities I might cross the steer. And I certianly avoided dark alleys. But I can’t recall any such things being necessary in Harlsden. Often people would ask me why I was taking pictures, and I’d make an effort both in general terms and about the specific scene. And while they might not have always appreciated what I was saying it did sometimes make them see the scene at least partly as I did – perhaps with the rather odd game of noughts and cosses iin the picture above.

The Creole Organisation, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-52-positive_2400
The Creole Organisation, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-52

I don’t know what The Creole Organisation at186 High St Harlesden did, but Harlesden was a leading centre of Creole Music back at this time, and the record label Creole Records used an identical logo on some releases of its ‘Harlesenden Sounds’. It was based at 91-93 High Street, Harlesden. More recently it has been a solicitor’s and estate agents, but I think it is now a private house.

Harlesden Tyres, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-53-positive_2400
Harlesden Tyres, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-53

Harlesden Tyres on the corner of Nightingale St and the High St caught my attention becuase of its signage, and in particular the two Michelin Men.

Tejal Motors, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-54-positive_2400
Tejal Motors, High St, Harlesden, Brent, 1988 88-3c-54

While across Nightingale Rd, Tejal motors had a good selection of arrows in three different styles an a long list of repairs it could do while you wait.

Marshall Bros, Kilburn Lane, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-3d-02-positive_2400
Marshall Bros, Kilburn Lane, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988 88-3d-02

Given my name it would have been difficult to walk past Marbro House, home to Marshall Bros, Builders Merchants at 266a Kilburn Lane. It clearly appeared to have been built for some other purpose, and before becoming a Builder’s merchants was a Methodist Chapel. It has now lost these steps and doorway on Kilburn Lane and has been converted into flats with an entrance around the corner in Herries St. I think it is just across the border in the City of Westminster.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


West Kilburn 1988

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Droop St, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-36-positive_2400
Droop St, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

William Austin’s first job was apparently as a scarecrow at 1d per day, but he left the farm and came to London to find work as a labourer. Although illiterate, unlike most navvies he prospered and became a drainage contractor at a time when London was rapidly expanding, his success probably in no small part due to his espousal of the temperance movement.

First Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-41-positive_2400
First Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

There is surprisingly little information about Austin on the web other than that he became a philanthropist and founded the Artizans, Labourers and General Dwellings Company in 1867, and that he left the company in 1870. Almost certainly this lack of information reflects his humble origins.

Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-42-positive_2400
Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

At first the company built houses in the provinces, but after Austin left turned their attention to London, and between 1872-7 developed the Shaftesbury Park estate in Battersea with around 1,200 working class homes.

Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-43-positive_2400
Harrow Rd, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

Also in 1973 the company bought 80 acres north of the Grand Union Canal and the Harrow Road in what was then a detached part of the parish of Chelsea. The area was developed on a grid pattern with north-south roads called First Avenue, Second etc up to Sixth Avenue and the east-west streets being simply named with the letters of the alphabet, A-P.

Second Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-44-positive_2400
Second Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

Later these street names were expanded to fuller names starting with these letters, though I have no idea what possessed someone to make D Street into Droop Street, surely one of the more depressing street names in London.

Fourth Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988  88-3b-45-positive_2400
Fourth Ave, West Kilburn, Westminster, 1988

The architect of the estate with its then fashionable gothic touches was self-taught Robert Austin (perhaps a son of the founder?) with later work by Roland Plumbe. There are 53 properties on the estate which are Grade II listed. During the development in 1877 most of the company managers were charged with mismanagement and corruption, the entire board of directors replaced, the manager and chairman of the board jailed and Austin sacked.

Queens Park Hall, Artizans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company, Harrow Rd, Westminster, 1988 88-3b-54-positive_2400
Queens Park Hall, Artizans, Labourers & General Dwellings Company, Harrow Rd, Westminster, 1988

The company recovered and finished the job, going on to build other estates around London, including Noel Park in Wood Green and Leigham Court in Streatham. The Queen’s Park estate along with most of their other estates was transferred to the respective local authority in 1966. Most is in Westminster with a smaller part in Brent.

Kilburn Spring Co, Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988 88-3c-12-positive_2400
Kilburn Spring Co, Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, Brent, 1988

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.