Monday, June 8, 2015

Willesden Junction

This is not only an underground station but also a major British  Rail station and an Overground station. Consequently it is a large station with platforms on a high and a low level. It also has toilets on the platform, very useful for the tube traveller.

This is the path from the railway station. I was walking along it at midday but there is no way I would walk there at night. It felt desolate and threatening. The steps at the end of the pathway take you to Harlesden town Centre. I was surprised thinking that I as I had just arrived at Willesden Junction I would be in Willesden but no I am in Harlesden.

Harlesden started life as a rural village but with the coming of the railways and 3 stations within close proximity to one another it soon grew and in the Victorian times became part of the ever growing London conurbation. In 1999 Harlesden had the highest murder rate in the UK. but things have improved over recent years. Walking along the high street there were a number of fresh food shops including this fishmongers and its wonderful display.

There are far more hairdressers and hair shops than I have ever seen on other High Streets.This one had a huge number of  wigs on display.

Harlesden is an ethnically diverse community. In the 60s many Irish and Afro - Caribbeans arrived to work on the railways and in the McVities biscuit factory. More recently Brazilians, Portuguese, Afghan, Polish and Somalian communities have settled in the area.

The Royal Oak built in 1892 although there has been a building on the site since 1757

The salvation Army Hall which offers Christian services as well as children's play groups and other community activities.

On the front of this building is a blue plaque celebrating the formation of the UKs first Reggae band.

In the centre of the town is the Jubilee clock to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee erected in 1887

On the right is the  old Willesden Junction  station. Across the road from the old station is Le Junction a gastro pub which was once the  Willesden Junction Hotel.

Walking from the present  Willesden Junction station in the opposite direction to Harlesden Town Centre it looks very different. 

You can now see the houses that were built for the railway workers.

The alleyways that run between the backs of the terraced houses are no longer the back yards that would house the lavatory but bijou patios with potted plants.

Just past this group of railway houses we come to the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal

Looked picturesque from the bridge but down on the tow path it is not so pleasant with rubbish strewn in the undergrowth along its banks.
Looking closer, this isn't discarded rubbish but is where someone has been living.

Following the canal it takes me to the next station on the Bakerloo line - Harlesden.


  1. So many fascinating buildings - and so many different people. Great photos and thanks for sharing.

  2. looks like a bit of a busy railway station, I think what would interest me would be the fish shops and the wig shop, those are my sort of things :-)

  3. I thought the area may be quite uninteresting but not at all and the blue skies add to the photos.

  4. I always enjoy seeing different parts of London in your posts.

  5. Another great stop on the railway. The buildings and stores could be seen here in the city. The homeless scene by the canal is striking. Great series of photo, have a happy week!

  6. Fortunately Harlesden has changed, the highest murder rate is not a good publicity. I have never heard of Harlesden. BTW I started my work as tourist guide, if you want to see my uniform it's on my Monday post !

  7. Beautiful posts and gorgeous photos ~ love the mannequin head one ~ You are doing wonderfully with your project ~ How many is this? Great!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  8. What a diverse area! And that canal is so pretty.

  9. I really enjoyed this tour and I'm glad that Harlesden has lost it's place as the murder capital of the UK. It is only too bad the walk into town from the station isn't very pretty.

  10. The good the bad and the ugly. Like any City. I appreciate it all and admire what you are doing.

  11. This railwaysystem looks very complicated. Thanks for sharing and explaining your photos.
    Wil, ABCW team

  12. Very interesting - so many different styles of buildings and all suggestive of the people that lived there many years ago - and now such an ethnically diverse population. Thanks for sharing.

  13. love the wigs and the railway cottages sign I once had a girlfriend who lived near Willesden Junction for a short time.

  14. Quite an interesting tour with such varied subjects. I hope the fishmonger sells them all before they go bad! Just thinking that the reign of the present Queen has surpassed that of Victoria.


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