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British National Pictures Ltd purchased 50 acres of land on the south side of Shenley Road
and began construction of two large film stages in 1925. The first film produced there was Madame Pompadour in 1927.
British International Pictures Ltd (BIP) took over the studios in 1927 and the second stage was ready for production in 1928. In 1929 Blackmail, the first British talkie to go on release, was produced at the studios. With the death of silent films came the construction of 6 new sound stages on the site and three of these were sold on to the British and Dominions Film Corporation with BIP retaining the remaining stages. BIP were absorbed into the Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC) in the early 1930s. Licence:
In 1946 Warner Brothers acquired a substantial interest in ABPC, appointed a new board and decided to rebuild the stages. The rebuild was completed in 1948 and work began on Man On The Run followed by The Hasty Heart starring Richard Todd and Ronald Reagan. In 1968 Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) bought control of ABPC and the studios were renamed EMI Studios, later Thorn-EMI Studios. In 1985 they were put up for sale. Under Herron-Cannon Group ownership, the studios were used for some very well-known films including the first three Star Wars films, and the Indiana Jones trilogy. At one time during the 1980s, six of the top ten box office hits of all time had been produced at the studios. In 1988, Cannon sold the studios to the leisure and property company Brent Walker plc and much of the backlot was sold off and a Tesco superstore was built.
Hertsmere Borough Council stepped in and bought the remaining studio in February 1996.
The studios were most commonly known for being the home of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and the location of the Big Brother UK house.
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ABPC Elstree Studios
68 Shenley Road 68 Shenley Road was a shop on the corner of Furzehill Road - now disappeared. ABPC Elstree Studios British National Pictures Ltd purchased 50 acres of land on the south side of Shenley Road and began construction of two large film stages in 1925. The first film produced there was Madame Pompadour in 1927. Bullbaiters Farm Bullbaiters Farm near Boreham Wood was originally called Bullbeggar's Farm - Bullbeggar meaning 'hobgoblin' or 'scarecrow'. Neptune House Neptune House, built as part of the ATV studios, is now part of the BBC studios. Albert Square, WD6 Albert Square is the fictional location of the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Ark Avenue, WD6 Ark Avenue has been built on the former Holmshill School site.
Queen’s Park lies between Kilburn and Kensal Green, developed from 1875 onwards and named to honour Queen Victoria.
The north of Queen’s Park formed part of the parish of Willesden and the southern section formed an exclave of the parish of Chelsea, both in the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. In 1889 the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works that included the southern section of Queen’s Park was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London, and in 1900 the anomaly of being administered from Chelsea was removed when the exclave was united with the parish of Paddington. In 1965 both parts of Queen’s Park became part of Greater London: the northern section - Queen’s Park ’proper’ formed part of Brent and the southern section - the Queen’s Park Estate - joined the City of Westminster.
Queen’s Park, like much of Kilburn, was developed by Solomon Barnett. The two-storey terraced houses east of the park, built between 1895 and 1900, typically have clean, classical lines. Those west of the park, built 1900–05, tend to be more Gothic in style. Barnett’s wife was from the West Country, and many of the roads he developed are named either for places she knew (e.g. Torbay, Tiverton, Honiton) or for popular poets of the time (e.g. Tennyson). The first occupants of the area in late Victorian times were typically lower middle class, such as clerks and teachers. Queen’s Park is both demographically and architecturally diverse. The streets around the park at the heart of Queen’s Park are a conservation area.
There is hardly any social housing in the streets around Queens Park itself, and the area was zoned as not suitable for social housing in the 1970s and 1980s as even then house prices were above average for the borough of Brent, which made them unaffordable for local Housing Associations. The main shopping streets of Salusbury Road and Chamberlayne Road have fewer convenience stores and more high-value shops and restaurants. Local schools – some of which struggled to attract the children of wealthier local families in the past – are now over-subscribed. House prices have risen accordingly.
Queen’s Park station was first opened by the London and North Western Railway on 2 June 1879 on the main line from London to Birmingham.
Services on the Bakerloo line were extended from Kilburn Park to Queen’s Park on 11 February 1915. On 10 May 1915 Bakerloo services began to operate north of Queen’s Park as far as Willesden Junction over the recently built Watford DC Line tracks shared with the LNWR.