It’s about the apples and pears: more history of West Ealing street names

Local historian David Shailes continues his look at the history of West Ealing’s street names.

It should come as no surprise that many of our names have royal connections, partly for patriotic reasons but also reflective of the fact that Duke of of Kent (1767 -1820) Edward Augustus, father of Queen Victoria lived at Castle Hill Lodge from 1801-12. A replacement house was built in 1845 and a small part still exists and is now occupied by St David’s Home. So we have Kent Gardens, Regina Road/Terrace and Victoria Road/ Cumberland Road in W5/W7.

Continue reading “It’s about the apples and pears: more history of West Ealing street names”

The Grim Reaper could soon be in charge of Ealing’s heritage

Last night I attended the first Ealing Council LDF Advisory Committee Meeting. The Local Development Framework is our National Government’s ‘vehicle’ for Local Authorities to define their preferred use of land within their borders for the next 15 years.

Attendees attending the meeting who were allowed to speak were seven Councillors and a handful of Council Officers. I was one of a precious, small group of residents who were invited to attend as observers. It reminded me of attending a lap dancing club where you could watch the girls ‘dance’, but you were not allowed to touch them.

Chairing the meeting was Leader of the Council Councillor Julian Bell. He was on his first day of holiday from his day job at The Houses of Parliament.

Continue reading “The Grim Reaper could soon be in charge of Ealing’s heritage”

Local listing can help save West Ealing’s heritage

As part of conceiving Ealing’s Local Development Framework (LDF), Ealing Council has the opportunity to review its designated Local Listed buildings and open spaces. Local listing status does not guarantee protection from demolition or new development but it affords the lowest level of protection against it. (Much greater protection is provided by Conservation Area status and National Listing status). If St Helena’s Home at 51 Drayton Green, for example, had been Locally Listed it would have been much more difficult for Notting Hill Housing Trust to demolish it.

These local buildings and open spaces we want preserved need to be identified and reasons given as to why we like them and if there is a relevant historical associations to state what these are. Ealing Civic Society has taken on the role of collecting what they call ‘Local Gems’. WEN has agreed to collect details on West Ealing local gems and then pass them on to ECS, who will then merge them with gems from all over the borough and then submit them all to Ealing Council by 21 July, 2011. This is the date of the inaugural Ealing Council LDF Advisory Committee.

West Ealing Neighbours has published at the list of existing locally listed buildings and open spaces. Select the ‘Heritage’ button on the left hand Home Page menu. We have begun the process of identifying these buildings and open spaces and we’ve listed them below. If you would like to add to this list please email details ideally before 14 July to

You might live in a locally listed building! Click here to check our list.

Identified below are some new candidates for Local Listing:

1. The Foresters Public House, 2, Leighton Road, W13 9EP

A fine example of suburban pub building erected in 1909 to designs by T.H. Nowell Parr for the Royal Brewery of Brentford. Parr was a famous Brentford architect who also designed The Kent pub, Brentford Public Library and Brentford Fire Station. The Foresters boasts notable columned porticos, green-glazed brickwork and prominent gables. Internally are a number of Tudor arches, original fireplaces, and delightful floral Art Nouveau-style stained glass panels in the windows. CAMRA claim that the pub’s historic bell-pushes for waiter service are the only remaining ones to be found in any pub in London.


2.  156 Broadway W13

This Art Deco building is one of two remaining such buildings in West Ealing centre.

3.  96 to 100 Broadway W13

This second remaining Art Deco building in the centre of West Ealing and was for many decades the site of Woolworths.

4.  Northfield Avenue Allotments W13

These allotments are well used and were first established in 1832.

5.  14 Sutherland Road W13

This is the only remaining unaltered residential building of a group of four, four-storey, slim, elegant  Victorian Villas on Sutherland Road.

6.  91 to 97 Broadway W13

An elegent Victorian residential terrace with shops at ground level. Attractive Cape Dutch style gables, original stained glass windows and handsome chimneys.




The history of Northfields station


Northfield Avenue in 1903 with a cart going south towards the bridge over the railway line

In his second post on local history David Shailes gives a brief history of  Northfields station.

The stretch of line from Acton Town (then called Mill Hill Park) to Hounslow was opened in 1883 by the Hounslow and Metropolitan Railway. The motivation behind its opening was property speculation in the Spring Grove area of Isleworth and the line passed through open countryside. At the time what we know as Northfields was farm land, so no station was provided and the nearest being at South Ealing and Boston Road (Boston Manor).

The line was a sleepy steam-hauled branch line, which was electrified in June 1905 as part of the modernisation of the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR). By the time a station was provided in April 1908 housing development in Northfields had been underway for some time. In 1911 it was renamed Northfields & Little Ealing. The station was on the opposite side of the road to the current station and at platform level the canopies and fixtures were of a similar style to those that remain at Boston Manor today.

By now the MDR was part of the Underground Group (UG) and the District Line with its many branches was becoming severely taxed in terms of line capacity. So the UG resolved to extend the Piccadilly line from Hammersmith to Acton Town and for the Hounslow and South Harrow services to be transferred to the Piccadilly Line. This was funded by a cheap loan provided in 1929 by the Government for the purpose of alleviating unemployment.

Northfields was chosen as the site of a ‘Car Shed’ which required considerable earth moving. Work started in 1931 and the four tracks from Acton Town to Northfields along with the new Northfields Station, in the handsome ‘Adams, Holden & Pearson’ style on its current site, opened in December 1932. Piccadilly Line trains had reached Hounslow West in February 1932 and took over all services (sharing peak hours with the District) in March 1933. As part of further service changes in October 1964 the last District Line train ran to Hounslow West and the line became exclusively used by the Piccadilly services.

David Shailes

Origins of some West Ealing street names

Local historian David Shailes writes that when the streets of Ealing were originally laid out the landowners and property developer got to choose the names, so the reasons for their choices are generally not recorded and are lost in the mist of time. Researching street names is interesting for lots of reasons as some have names of local historical interest, others have no local connections and some are linked to events in history.

The length of this article (published in our May newsletter) means that we can only scratch the surface of the 200 odd roads that have a W13 post code.

A set of my personal favourites are the Australian named roads: Adelaide Road, Brisbane Road, Sydney Road and Melbourne Avenue and these were all on land developed by the Steel family and it is known that Charles Steel whose market garden at one stage made him the largest rate payer in Ealing, went to Australia to see how they did things down under. So this may be the reason they have such names.

Loveday Road takes it name from William Lockyer Loveday, who owned land in Ealing, but lived in Devon, which he left in 1860 to start a new life in the State of Illinos in the USA. His son eventually became the owner of what was called the Loveday Estates and these were sold in 1896 for £60,000, a considerable sum of money. The St Kilda and Marder Estates, have also given their names to two roads.

Horticulture gave us Leeland Road andTerrace, as these stand on part of the land that once was part of Charles Lee & son’s Ealing nursery, they had other nurseries in Hammersmith (The Olympia Exhibition hall stands on the site), Feltham, Isleworth and Hounslow. They used the site to grow fruit trees, roses and shrubs.

As a child I lived in Green Avenue and never gave the street name a second thought as there are no other streets named after colours nearby. It appears that the name relates to a H.C. Green who was the very first mayor of the Borough of Ealing in 1901/2. Next to this road is Cranmer Avenue that runs up to St Paul’s Church and on the opposite side is Ridley Avenue, which take their names from two Protestant Martyrs burnt at the stake by Mary Tudor (Queen 1553 to 1558).

The 1777 parish map reveals that North Field Lane (now Northfield Avenue) and Mattock Lane have been with us for over 200 years. My mother who lived in Ealing right up until her death in 1983 always referred to going shopping as up the “lane” meaning Northfield Avenue. Drayton Green existed as a small community on this map, which gave its names to several nearby roads.

Green Man Lane took its name from an old coaching inn on the Uxbridge Road, the second world war damaged pub being rebuilt in the 1950’s was demolished in 1981 and replaced by the block which Iceland is now in. The inn existed on the 1777 map and was an important stabling facility for over 100 horses on the London to Oxford road and on further west to Fishguard  (No A40 in those days!).

(to be continued)

David Shailes

There are more articles about West Ealing’s history in our bi-monthly newsletters. You will get these automatically emailed to you if you become a member of WEN. It’s free to join and details of how to join are on our website. Or visit our website and you’ll find links to the last few newsletters on our home page –


Cinema comes back to Ealing but not as we know it…

city lights postermetropolis posterCharlie Chaplin? Metropolis? Ivan the Terrible? They’re classic films and deservedly great -best of all you see them locally at Ealing town hall on a Friday night. Put City Lghts in your diary for Friday May 13th, Metropolis for May 20th and Ivan the Terrible for May 27th – 7pm Ealing Town Hall, £7.50. You need to be a member so for membership and information : 020 8579 4925

Wanton destruction of a piece of West Ealing’s social history

Eric Leach reports on the demolition of a local landmark.

Here you can view the on-going demolition of St Helena’s Home, which overlooks Drayton Green. Built in 1896 the home was a refuge for fallen women, run by Protestant nuns, for over 50 years. The women, many of them single mothers and prostitutes, worked hard in the home’s laundry and were effectively incarcerated. However the home must clearly have saved and extended the lives of many women who for one reason or another were excluded from society.

Ironically the organisation which is demolishing the building was founded by a Protestant vicar – Rev Bruce Kendrick – in 1963. He founded Notting Hill Housing (NHH) to help squatters find places to live with improved security of tenure.  NHH is now a property development company whose Chief Executive according to ‘Private Eye’ earns £146,000  a year.

NHH refused to re-use the building and convert it into flats. It wanted to demolish it and build a block of 26 flats in its place. Planning permission has not been granted for NHH to build its legoland architecture residential block – but it’s smashing St Helena’s Home to pieces anyway.

Eric Leach

21 April, 2011

PS There’s a more background to the story of 51 Drayton Green in our July 2010 newsletter here.

What’s the story of the murals on the front of Sainsbury’s?

Anyone know about this mural?

Chair of WEN, David Highton examines the history of some interesting artwork in the centre of West Ealing

When we first moved here in 1978 there was a small Sainsbury’s in the Uxbridge Road not far from the current one. And I well remember this Sainsbury’s being built on the site of what used to be the library but I can’t for the life of me remember or find out anything about the five panels on the front of the shop. I’ve been to the Central Library and looked through back copies of the Ealing Gazette. I’ve even tried ploughing through pages of Council meeting minutes of the early 1980s but nowhere can I find any reference to these panels and who the artist was.

Sadly, it’s all too easy to forget these panels even exist as they seem poorly maintained. They all show children playing but much of the detail is now hard to see. It’s such a shame for them to go unnoticed. Does anyone know anything about them?

David Highton