Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Harrow and Wealdstone

This is the Bakerloo line terminus, the 25th and last station. The station has two entrances/exits. The main one leads to Wealdstone High Street whilst the other takes you in the direction of Harrow.

It is a large station building with a clock tower, establishing itself as a building of note.

In October 1952 Britain's worst train crash in peacetime happened here when 112 people were killed and over 300 were injured. A Scottish express train hit the rear of a local train standing at the platform. A few seconds later a northbound  express collided with the wreckage causing further injuries. A memorial plaque on the wall outside the main entrance marks the disaster.
On the bridge alongside the station is the Wealdstone time line and memorial, created by local schoolchildren and youth groups.

Historic Wealdstone police station could be up for sale
(photo from the internet)
The police station built in 1908 is probably the most attractive building on Wealdstone High Street but it has been sold off to developers. With the approval of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, a number of police stations have been sold. No doubt this beautiful building will be demolished and blocks of flats built on the land.

This is the Police station now.

A feature of the town is the War Memorial built in the 1920s in memory of all those men from the local area who lost their lives in the first World War. It was damaged during WW2 but repaired and then restored in 1970.

The Salvatorian College was opened in 1931 and has had buildings added since then. The science college for boys was on one side of the road and the language college was on the other side for the girls. Apparently the nuns counted the boys in and out!

Next to the College is St Joseph's  Roman Catholic church built at the same time as the school in 1931. The sculpture at the front is a later addition in 1952.

Wealdstone High Street.

This is the exit/entrance at the other side of the station on the Harrow side.

This is a modern war memorial outside the Civic Centre. It was erected in 2005 and the inscription reads: In grateful memory of all the citizens of the Borough and from around the world who gave their lives so that others might live in freedom. Let those who come after ensure they are not forgotten.

Harrow Central Mosque, one of the largest in the UK was opened in 2011.

This used to be the Harrow magistrates court which closed in 2011. It was bought by the Jasper Foundation to be converted into a community centre. However the building is a Grade II listed building which means it has historical significance and all work has to be authorised by the council. This didn't happen and as far as I can ascertain the charity are being sued by the council.

The Jaspar Foundation, based in Stanmore, planned to turn the former Harrow Magistrates Court, in Rosslyn Crescent, Wealdstone, into a day care centre and flats but after a visit by councillors and council officers last year it was discovered that it had made unauthorised alterations to the interior of the building, leaving some historical features destroyed altogether. Getwestlondon April 2014

Harrow shopping centre has the usual chain shops, coffee bars and pubs.


This statue caught my attention as something different. Unveiled in 1987, it is called Katie by James Butler. He was inspired by watching his daughter playing in the garden.

315 Station Road is this listed building. Built as a bank in 1915 and unusually still a bank. It is an attractive classical styled building and really stands out.

It has taken almost a year to complete visiting and researching the Bakerloo Line. During that time there has been much discussion about extending the Line further into South London from the Elephant and Castle, the Southern terminus. There is talk of it being extended to Lewisham and then maybe as far as Hayes in Bromley. The timeline for the project is expected to begin in 2025 and be finished in the 2030s. Maybe by that time I will have finished the other Underground stations and can return to this one!

I feel a great sense of satisfaction at finally completing one out of  11 of the underground lines. Although the DLR and the Overground lines are on the iconic underground map, I have excluded them from my challenge as they mainly travel above ground. Of the 265 separate stations on the Underground system I am left with just 240 to visit! So off I go to start on the Central line with its 49 stations!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


At number 24 this is the penultimate station on the Bakerloo Line 
Normally the sign reads 'Mind the Gap' but on these platforms it really is a large step to get on or off the tube.

The station serves both the Underground and the Overground on their way into Euston station.

There are also trains that speed past Kenton on their way into London.

Above ground the station looks very small.

It was quite a long high street with shops on either side of the station. Some of them being quite large establishments.

I walked to the end of the high street passing this building which is a church hall with a sign saying North Wembley Conservative Club but I couldn't help wondering what it used to be. I tried to find out on the internet but didn't get anywhere.

This is Northwick Hospital built from 1962 onwards and looks typical for that era - lots of concrete and little design. However, I was hungry and needed the toilet so this was my lunch stop! Actually  there was a choice of places to eat so I was happy and ready to continue my walk.

Next to the hospital is the School of media, art and design of the University of Westminster previously Harrow Technical college

In 1905 Harrow Public school bought up a lot of this land to prevent development near the famous school and across the road from the hospital it is very green with sports fields and a golf course.

Walking back towards the station so I could explore the other side of the station we passed Harrow High School (NOT the famous public school, Harrow, which is at the top of the hill), this is Michael Portillo's old school.

Typical road around this area but I took this photo because it reminded me of those roads leading to the sea.

This was known as 'The Travellers Rest'. In 1933 it was rebuilt as a pub/hotel and became the largest public house in Middlesex. It is now part of the Premier Inn chain of hotels.

Walking around the back of the High Street I came across Kenton Recreation Ground with its green gym.

It runs alongside the railway line.
Kenton was originally a small hamlet surrounded by open fields called 'Great Little' and 'Gorefield'. In 1930 the urban District Council of Wealdstone purchased Kenton Recreation Ground to ensure that the residents of Kenton always had an area of green open space preserved for them. This land was previously used as a sewage farm for Harrow until 1936 when it was converted into the Recreation Ground.

Whilst admiring the park with its meadows, picnic tables, sports areas as well as allotments I met  Eugene who organises a large group of volunteers to keep this park looking so wonderful. He was so enthusiastic and proud of the park and the part it plays in community life that it was a joy to have met him.

I don't think I've ever seen a park looking so clean without one piece of litter anywhere.

Walking back along the High Street to the station I noticed these flowers adorning the side of the road which made a huge difference to the look of the High Street.