Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Goldhawk Road

Goldhawk Road is the 34th out of 35 stations on the Circle Line that I have visited. 
It is just a few minutes walk from the previous station, Shepherd's Bush Market and is situated less than ten minutes from Shepherd's Bush station. Consequently I have covered most of this area with the other stations.

Across the road from the station is Shepherd's Bush Market. There is a tube station at either end of the market.

You can see the railway lines running above the market.

Next to the market is this alley way which I followed to have a look at the Old Laundry Yard. It opened a year ago with lots of interest. It was advertised as offering the best of West London's street food and community space for workshops and events.

When I visited it was a Friday lunchtime.
It doesn't look like a thriving enterprise to me! The laundry still looks fresh though!

I  came back through the market onto Goldhawk Road.  I was very surprised at the number of fabric shops I walked past. The displays in the windows were enticing.

I noticed in a couple of shops they were selling Liberty silk fabrics at greatly reduced prices. No doubt the fabrics will be 'seconds' but nevertheless it's the place to visit if you're looking for fabrics.

I walked to Shepherd's Bush Green  at the end of Goldhawk Road. This is where the shepherds would rest their flocks before taking them on to Smithfields Market. This area was rural until the late 18th century when large semi-detached houses started to be built along the main roads.   I then walked round onto Shepherd's Bush Road  to have a look at the roads behind Goldhawk Road. Very residential.

I also came across this row of lovely railway cottages.
Went down this alley by the side of the cottages which led me back onto Wells Road, the road which runs down the side of the tube station.

Also on Wells Road is this Grade II listed bus garage .
I walked past the side entrance to the tube and walked left along Goldhawk Road.

Passing  the Shepherd and Flock pub built in 1869.
I noticed that there seemed to be much more social, affordable housing in this area

Sycamore House is  sheltered housing for the over 55s run by Hammersmith United charities. It apparently has an excellent private garden at the back with numerous features including raised beds for residents to do their own garden if they so wish. 

Lime Grove runs between Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road. I am familiar with this road for a couple of reasons. In the early 70s I used to teach at a school in Hammersmith and each week would take classes of children to Lime Grove swimming pool. I believe the baths closed in the early 80s when a new Hammersmith Swimming Pool was opened. Lime Grove baths opened in 1907.

A report from the Medical officer for Hammersmith Borough in 1964 described the baths as follows:
The public wash house and baths in Lime Grove provide facilities for bathing, swimming and laundry work. For bathing there are  private hot baths or shower cubicles; and towels, soap, bath cubes and shampoo are supplied at a small cost. There are concession rates for children and for old age pensioners free baths on certain days. In the public wash-houses, fully automatic machinery is provided for washing and spin drying. There are also hand irons.
There are two swimming baths at Lime Grove, the smaller  being open all year round. The larger one is available in the summer months only, as during the winter season it is converted into a public hall which may be hired for meetings, concerts, wrestling etc., and certain periods are set aside for badminton and indoor bowls.

Across the road from the baths I remember there were the Lime Grove BBC studios. The studios were built in 1915 for the film industry and were used by some of the biggest names in the British film industry at that time - Alfred Hitchcock and David Lean. The BBC took over the studios in 1949 as a 'temporary measure' before the TV centre at Wood Lane was built. Programmes produced there included Blue Peter, Steptoe and Son, Doctor Who, Panorama and many others. In 1992 the studios were closed and were later demolished. There is now a new housing estate on the site.

I returned to Goldhawk Road station. The ticket hall is at ground level with stairs leading up to the platforms.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Shepherd's Bush Market

Just a one minute ride from Wood Lane tube station is Shepherd's Bush Market . This station serves both the Circle and Hammersmith and City line. It used to be called Shepherd's Bush station meaning there were two stations with the same name. The other one is on the Central Line. There remained two stations with the same name for 108 years but in 2008 when the London Overground Shepherd's Bush station opened on the West London Line, it was decided that three stations with the same name was far too confusing. It was decided to change the name of this one as it was not close enough to the other two stations to be interchangeable.

As you step outside the station the first thing you see is the market  which runs parallel to the railway line. The market opened in 1914  with stalls leased from Transport for London, which owns the land.
There is a wide range of goods on sale from fresh produce, household goods, fashion and jewellery.

Next door to the market is the Bush Theatre which reopened in 2017 after major refurbishment. It is housed in the former Shepherd's Bush Library and was first opened in 1972.

It is a theatre which encourages new writers and involves the local community with numerous projects such as youth theatre, young writers group and a reading group.
The theatre also has a very welcoming cafe/bar with indoor and outdoor seating as well as a script library.

If you want to read more scripts visit the toilets which are decorated with them.

The White Horse pub has been around since 1802. Now it has retreated to the saloon bar with the rest of the building converted into a supermarket.

The station, market and theatre are all on the very busy, heavily congested Uxbridge Road.

The road is lined with numerous restaurants and food shops from around the world.

Built in the Gothic revival style, St Stephen's was consecrated in 1850. The church tower originally supported four stone pinnacles and a 150ft high spire but they were severely damaged in a bombing raid in 1940. When the church was restored after the war the pinnacles and spire were not replaced. Today  St Stephen's is very much part of the multi cultural community it serves. The church is used not just for worship but for other events such as concerts, meetings and school assemblies. 
In the church hall there is a weekly film club where 70 - 100 homeless and hostel residents watch a film and enjoy a hot meal.

Many of the roads leading off the Uxbridge Road have large Victorian houses built in the last quarter of the 19th century.

On the opposite side of Uxbridge Road from the church is the police station. More functional than stylish.

In 1897 this impressive looking building was a Church Army home for 'destitute and fallen women'. They had 38 places for women between the ages of 16-40. The Church Army was founded in 1882 as an evangelistic mission for the Church of England, working in the slum areas of London and other cities. The army's social department aimed to raise 'the hopeless outcasts of society' by providing labour, rescue and lodging. By the early 1900s the organisation was dealing with about 400,000 cases of men, women and boys per year. The building is now split into residential flats.

Bush Hall was built in 1904 by a publisher. He built three dance halls, one for each of his daughters.This is the only one that remains. Although built as a dance hall it has been used as a soup kitchen during WW2, a bingo hall, a rehearsal place during the 50s and 60s for performers such as Cliff Richard and The Who. Then in the 80s and 90s it became a snooker and social club. But in 2001 its new owners restored it to its former glory as a music hall and it now showcases comedy acts, new musicians, cabaret shows and a number of other events.

Time to go home. Looks like I just missed the tube but luckily they are very frequent. I will only have to wait a couple of minutes for another one.