Thursday, April 27, 2017


The Great Western railway opened Perivale Hall station in May 1904 but it was closed when this underground station opened in June 1947, completion being delayed because of WW2.

The station opened in 1904 but the village still had fewer than 100 inhabitants by the time of the next census in 1911.

A planned tower and extended wing were never built leaving the station smaller than planned. In 2011 the station became a Grade II listed building.

Across the road from the station was this large open space, the Ealing Central sports ground.  This was just one of a number of open spaces or sports grounds in the Borough.

From the station I turned left towards the Great Western Road to see the Hoover building. in the 1911 census there were 100 inhabitants listed for the village of Perivale. After 1930 the purchase of open land became available and manufacturers built factories on Western Avenue including Hoover (vacuum cleaners) and Sanderson's (wallpaper). Residential estates followed and by 1951 the population had grown  from 100 in 1911 to 10,000.


This beautiful art deco building was designed by Wallis, Gilbert and partners and due to its prominent position on Western Avenue is a well known London building.

The Hoover factory opened in 1933 and work on various extensions continued for the next few years. Vacuum cleaner production ceased in 1982 and the Hoover factory closed. But ten years later it reopened, having been restored with the ground floor converted into a Tesco superstore with the entrance at the back of the building.
Inside the store it unfortunately looks like any other store with no art deco features at all.

 I walked back to the Great Western Road and noticed another art deco building which is a newsagents 

On the other side of the Great Western Road is this Grade 1 listed church of St Mary the Virgin. With parts of the building dating back to the 12th C this is one of the oldest churches in Middlesex. The church closed for worship in 1972 and it is now looked after by a group of volunteers who organise  orchestral concerts here.

It was like two worlds colliding. Standing in the ancient graveyard of a 12thC church whilst 10 metres away 6 lanes of traffic thundered past.

On the other side of the church is the River Brent and Ealing Golf Club.

Walking from the station in the other direction takes you up Hosenden Hill

Before you get to the hill, the road takes you over the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal. It is about an 8 mile walk into London on the tow path.

Horsenden Hill is the highest natural point in Ealing standing at 84 metres. It is made up of woodland, meadows and wetland. The site also has historical importance where archaeological digs have discovered activity back to Neolithic times.

There is also a Gruffalo trail which I didn't follow but did come across the snake! At the other side of the hill is the Ballot Box pub.

The Ballot Box pub was so named because canal workers known as bargees used the building as a polling station. Built around 1867, it was demolished and rebuilt in 1943 but the entrance is original.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hanger Lane

This is station number 43 on my journey along the Central Line. The name of the station has been taken from the nearby Hanger Hill. The word 'Hanger' comes from the Anglo-Saxon word hangra meaning wooded slope. Although the hill still exists it can no longer be described as a wooded slope.

                                                                               I enjoyed looking at  the list of stations on the Central line, knowing I had visited all the stations Eastbound and just have seven to visit Westbound.

The circular ticket hall is spacious and light. This station has been in my mind for a while after a comment from Wendy 'Definitely another really interesting post. Can't wait to see what you find at Hanger Lane though. on St Paul's '  Once I left the station I could see what she meant.

From the outside the building reminded me of a Gondolier's straw hat. The station is in the centre of a very large roundabout.

The morning traffic report wouldn't be complete without a mention of problems at the Hanger Lane Gyratory System. It is too large and has too many lanes to just be called a roundabout hence the word Gyratory. It is not a junction for the inexperienced or nervous driver. If you get into the wrong lane then hard luck as there is no chance whatsoever of someone allowing you to move into the correct lane. In some sections there are seven lanes to negotiate. At  rush hour it carries 10.000 vehicles an hour. In December 2007 it was named Britain's scariest junction.

So in the midst of this roundabout is  the Hanger Lane Underground station and a small nature reserve.

Crossing the roads above ground is impossible so there is a large subway system. I left the busy roundabout and walked south on Hanger Lane which took me to the top of Hanger Hill. Here there was a park with a pitch and putt course, nature reserve and children's playground. Being in the park you are immediately removed from the traffic thundering along outside. It was a gloriously sunny but cold day and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk through the park.

I exited the park on Hillcrest Road and continued on to Park View Road to have a look at 'The White House'.

This building is called The White House, for obvious reasons. It has an interesting history as it is based on a palace in Poland. The palace was owned by Prince John Zylinski's grandmother. During WW2 she was expelled from the palace by the Communist Government who then burnt it to the ground. Her young grandson promised her that he would rebuild the palace. Prince John kept his promise and built this house in 2002. It took seven years to complete. Unfortunately the house was hidden by the scaffolding so I couldn't see any of its features other than the entrance arch.

I did find this photo on Wikipedia just to give you an idea of the grandeur of the building.

 On the same road is the  Barclays Bank sports ground. There seemed to be a number of green spaces in this area.

The area around the tube station is a residential one. These houses are part of the Brentham Garden Suburb. The suburb was designed by the leading garden city architects with the houses built mostly in the Arts and Crafts style. Although small at  680 houses and flats it was the first garden suburb to be built on 'co-partnership' principles and made its mark on town planning and domestic architecture. In 1969 the Brentham Garden Suburb was designated a conservation area.

When the estate was built, this building, The Bentham Club, was the heart of the community. It is still very much used today

Continuing down Bruswick lane you come to Pitshanger Village with its wide range of shops.

Just off Pittshanger Lane is the park.and golf course.
I walked through the park and crossed over the North Circular Road via a footbridge and made my way back to the tube station.

Just around the corner from the station is the Fox and Goose Public House on Hanger Lane. Built in the 18th Cent as a coaching Inn it was originally surrounded by woodland. Towards the end ofthe 19th Cent most of the building was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt and has not changed very much since then other than a skittle alley was converted into a music hall where The Who performed in the 60s. In 1998 on land behind the pub, Fullers, who own the property, built a 45 bedroomed hotel.

On my way back to the Hanger Lane roundabout I had a good view of the Wembley stadium arch. I wanted to have a look down Twyford Abbey Road which meant crossing over the roundabout or rather going under the roundabout via the subway.

This is  the new church of St Mary's Church

This is Twyford Abbey. Currently visible only from the back of St Mary's Church. Built in the middle ages this was the manor house for the local lords of West Twyford. It was given the name of Twyford Abbey by its owner in the 1800s who wanted his home to have a pseudo monastic name. In 1902 the building was bought by a Catholic religious order and was used as a nursing home.

The old St Mary's Church (which you can see at the back of the new church) was disused when the nursing home opened and was reopened for weekly services in 1907.

The nursing home closed in 1988 and the building has been left to deteriorate. But looking at the building today it looks as though work has started on the grounds but there is high fencing up so you can't see what is happening. The house is a Grade II listed building and when it was bought by property developers a number of years ago, requests for planning permission to convert the building into a hotel and to build properties on the grounds wasn't granted. I'm not sure what is happening now.

Back to the roundabout. This is one of the entrances into the subway.

I'm pleased to say that Hanger Lane turned out to be more interesting than I imagined.