Friday, July 28, 2017

Ruislip Gardens

The tracks through the station were laid in 1906, 30 years before there was a station here. They were laid for the railway and not for the Underground. Central line services didn't start from here until November 1948 having been delayed due to the war.

I am now at the 48th station out of 49 stations on this line.
Station entrance on West End Road

As you can see from the map of the area the station is very close to RAF Northolt.
The airfield which opened in 1915 is older than the RAF as the Royal Air Force did not come into existence until 1st April 1918.

This is the main entrance to the base. I think that is a spitfire on display but not sure.

Seeing the open gates at the other entrance I thought I would wander in and take a few photos. However a notice telling me that non pass holders would be arrested stopped me walking any further. All other photos were taken from the road through the fence!

The airfield first became operational in June 1915 when BE2c aircraft flew defensive patrols against Zeppelin raids. The BE2 was a single engine, two seater bi-plane which was flown by the Royal Flying Corps from 1912 until the end of WW1. The Officers' Mess built around 1920 is still in use as is one of the hangars. RAF Northolt was the first airbase to operate the Hurricane and during the Battle of Britain in WW2 it was home to a number of allied and British Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons, including a complete Polish Wing.

The British Forces Post Office moved to the airbase in 2008 as part of a reorganisation of services which involved the closure of RAF Bentley priory and RAF Uxbridge. By 2010 the RAF Central Band, the Queen's Colour squadron and various other units moved into new or refurbished facilities at Northolt. In more recent times RAF Northolt played a leading role in ensuring the safety of London during the 2012 Olympic Games. It was the base for Typhoon fast jets  which formed part of the security plan for the Games.

I walked back towards South Ruislip station. Almost opposite the station is the boundary of the Ministry of Defence ground which surrounds RAF Northolt. Running alongside is Yeading Brook which emerges from under the road across from the station.

The Brook is a 16 mile tributary of the River Crane, a tributary of the River Thames.

It was an unexpected delightful walk  taking me through woodland and into a meadow but I turned back after a mile as I was wandering too far away from South Ruislip station.

I returned to West End Lane through a housing estate bringing me out near the bridge which takes the Tube trains to their final destination.
Just beyond the Bridge is the Bell Inn,built in the 1930s,it  then became a small hotel in 2015 with just 5 rooms to let. It was due to be demolished when HS2 was coming through but that's now going to be tunneled under Ruislip. The HS2 is a new high speed rail link from London to Birmingham and then on to Manchester and Leeds. There has been a lot of controversy about the exact route of the line and its effect on those living near it.

On either side of the road are shops with the majority being takeaway food outlets.

My next stop is the terminus for the Central Line


  1. How to say it nicely? The station and the area look very functional. The Bell Inn looks older than 1930. Sometimes it is very hard to guess the age of British buildings.

  2. I think you have still a lot of tubes to do ! I like the Bell Inn !

  3. I think it was fortunate there was a nice walk to be had nearby ;)

  4. wow imagine how much hard work went into laying those lines in the beginning!

  5. Given some recent political events in the UK I think the information about the Polish fighter pilots is rather ironic and very, very sad.

    I suspect that the plane outside the base is a Hurricane - I used to know about that kind of thing as a lad!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  6. Very fortuitous that your exploration finished at the Bell Inn. A handy spot after a tiring walk. Interesting commentary and pictures again.

  7. Very ambitious travels and great post and photos ~ thanks for sharing all the history as well ~ ^_^

    A SHUTTERBUG EXPLORES ~ Happy Week to you ~^_^

  8. The Bell Inn is a pretty building with interesting history and I'm glad it will not be demolished.... I always wonder how far you walk on your explorations and here you said you were getting too far away from the station... for you I am sure that is quite a lot further than 'too far' would be for more ordinary (out-of-shape) mortals like me. When you turn this all into a book (and you know I think you should), I think you'll need to add that information )!!

  9. Looks quite modern, and nice to see some leafy areas.

  10. Your dedication to this project is to be commended. You really have detailed these many stations with great photos and commentary. I agree with Sallie that when you finish all the stops, on all the lines, you should see if it can be published as a book one day.

  11. I can't say that it looks an inspiring place.Although your stroll through the woods was nice and the Inn is quaint. Fast food outlets doesn't say a lot about the community.

  12. A mixture of styles and buildings.


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