Chalkhill Estate

Estate in/near Wembley Park, existing until now

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Chalkhill Estate

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Estate · Wembley Park · ·
July
13
2013

Chalkhill Estate was one of three large estates built in the London Borough of Brent. The design was based on that of Park Hill in Sheffield.

Chalkhill Estate was developed as a Metroland estate from 1921 but it was between 1966 and 1970 that the high density, high rise council estate providing flats, shops, a medical centre, car parking and open space was developed. There were low rise two-storey developments such as Buddings Circle and Wellsprings Crescent and 30 high-rise 'Bison' built blocks linked by 'walkways in the sky'.

In total there were about 1900 houses and flats.

Chalkhill Estate also contained a number of recreational facilities for children and the elderly almost at every corner such as slides, seating areas with flower beds, climbing frames and other such things you would expect to find in a public park.

Dwellings on the high-rise estate comprised single-storey one / two bedroom flats and larger two-storey family homes and were located along corridors or walkways affectionately called Goldbeaters Walk, Greenrigg Walk, Redcliffe Walk and Bluebird Walk. The dwellings were all-electric utilizing what was then state-of-the-art technology; central heating was available in all homes and all homes contained what was called a "Garchey", a manually operated waste disposal system located in the kitchen sink.

The architect's vision of contented tenants living in harmony and connected by these 'walkways in the sky' might have seemed like some kind of aerial utopia but the reality was very different. During the mid 1970s those drafty 'walkways in the sky' quickly became convenient escape routes for criminals and Chalkhill Estate was becoming known as a crime hot-spot attracting any number of unsavoury characters from neighbouring areas. Often but not always football hooligans would visit the estate after matches at the nearby Wembley Stadium vandalising property and buildings and attacking local residents. Milkmen who had previously delivered to residents doorsteps using hand-pulled milk-floats via service lifts had restricted their operations due to the high number of robberies. Lifts when they were operational, constantly stank of urine so that it was preferable to walk up dozens of flights of poorly lit concrete stairs. The two high-rise car parks became a hiding place for stolen cars and shady drug-deals. The local shops were regularly robbed.

The recreational facilities due to poor maintenance and vandalism also deteriorated rapidly. Areas like the paddling pool, adjacent to the shops and the sandpit - both of which were popular in the summer as a meeting place for parents and children, became dangerous due to presence of quantities of broken glass. The flower beds and seating ares for the elderly were destroyed as fast as they were repaired. Gradually one by one, these facilities were decommissioned, some removed and replaced by other facilities only to become vandalised once again.

In 1980s, widespread concern about the conditions on the estate including poor quality and crime which led to a number of initiatives that included door entry systems and walkway closures. Years of notoriety and poor living conditions led to a decision of demolition and remediation stages of the final 450 house scheme.

The 1900 houses and flats were eventually demolished and Chalkhill Estate was refurbished early 2000.

Over the years the estate has dramatically tried to shake off its poor image to little avail.


Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence


Chalkhill Estate buildings with the estate shops just visible in furthest block (second block from left). In the foreground are three small children, one riding a bicycle.

Chalkhill Estate buildings with the estate shops just visible in furthest block (second block from left). In the foreground are three small children, one riding a bicycle.
John McCann, Courtesy of Brent Archives

NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Blackbird Hill (1906) Blackbird Hill is image in 1906 and then part of Neasden.
Blackbird Hill Farm Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane.

NEARBY STREETS
Albion Way, HA9 Albion Way is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Anton Place, HA9 Anton Place is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Barnes Wallis Court, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Barnhill Cottages, HA9 Barnhill Cottages is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Bilsby Lodge, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Blackbird Hill, NW9 The route of Blackbird Hill has been in existence since the Domesday Book.
Bowater Road, HA9 Bowater Road is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Boyles House, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Bruno Place, NW9 Bruno Place is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Buddings Circle, HA9 Buddings Circle is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Cambridge Close, NW10 Cambridge Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Chalkhill Road, HA9 A few wealthy people lived in Kingsbury, one of whom being John Chalkhill, an Elizabethan poet.
Chalklands, HA9 Chalklands is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Daisy Close, NW9 Daisy Close is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Danes Court, HA9 Danes Court is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Demeta Close, HA9 Demeta Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Dugolly Avenue, HA9 Dugolly Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Farnborough Close, HA9 Farnborough Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Forty Avenue Grand Parade, HA9 Forty Avenue Grand Parade is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Gervase Close, HA9 Gervase Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Grand Parade, HA9 Grand Parade is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Greenhill Way, HA9 Greenhill Way is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Harrington Close, NW10 Harrington Close is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Havenwood, HA9 Havenwood is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Kings Court, HA9 Kings Court is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Kings Drive, HA9 Kings Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Kingsgate, HA9 Kingsgate is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Lawrence Way, NW10 Lawrence Way is a road in the NW10 postcode area
Mount Drive, HA9 Mount Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
North End Road, HA9 North End Road is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Page Avenue, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Peace Grove, HA9 Peace Grove is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Poplar Grove, HA9 Poplar Grove is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Rawlings Crescent, HA9 Rawlings Crescent is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Rook Close, HA9 Rook Close is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Saint Davids Close, HA9 Saint Davids Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Saxon Road, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
St. Davids Close, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
The Close, HA9 The Close is a road in the HA9 postcode area
The Drive, HA9 The Drive is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
The Leadings, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
The Mount, HA9 The Mount is a road in the HA9 postcode area
The Paddocks, HA9 The Paddocks is one of the streets in the Barn Hill area of Wembley.
Tudor Close, NW9 Tudor Close is a road in the NW9 postcode area
Tudor Gardens, NW9 Tudor Gardens is a street in Kingsbury.
Walton Avenue, HA9 Walton Avenue is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Watkin Road, HA9 Watkin Road is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Welford Centre, HA9 A street within the HA9 postcode
Wellspring Crescent, HA9 Wellspring Crescent is a road in the HA9 postcode area
Wembley Park Business Centre, HA9 Wembley Park Business Centre is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.
Windsor Crescent, HA9 Windsor Crescent is one of the streets in the Harrow postal district of Middlesex.


Wembley Park

Wembley Park is a London Underground station, the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium complex.

Tracks were laid through the area by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan Line) when it extended its services from Willesden Green to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Services to Harrow started on 2 August 1880 although Wembley Park station was not constructed until later.

The station was constructed to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the MR at Wembley Park, a former country estate bought by the company in 1881 as a destination for excursion trips on the company’s trains. The station opened for the first time on 14 October 1893 and initially operated to serve only Saturday football matches in the park. It opened fully on 12 May 1894.

Later in the 1890s, the Great Central Railway’s (GCR’s) London extension was constructed adjacent to the MR’s tracks. The tracks pass under the entrance building but the station has never been served by mainline operators. In 1905 the tracks were electrified and the first electric trains became operational. Between 1913 and 1915, the MR added additional tracks to double the line’s capacity.

On 10 December 1932, the MR opened a branch line north from Wembley Park to Stanmore.

Originally, the MR served all stations south from Wembley Park to Baker Street station but the line suffered from congestion due to limited capacity on the tracks heading into Baker Street. Following the combination of the MR and London’s other underground railways to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the LPTB took steps to alleviate the congestion by constructing new Bakerloo Line tunnels from Baker Street to connect to the Metropolitan’s tracks south of Finchley Road station. From 20 November 1939, the Bakerloo Line then took over the Metropolitan stopping services between Wembley Park and Finchley Road and the Stanmore branch.

To handle the exceptional passenger numbers associated with the 1948 Olympics held at Wembley Stadium, the original station building was extended and given a new ticket hall and additional circulation routes and platform stairs. At the opening of the Jubilee Line on 1 May 1979, the Bakerloo service from Baker Street to Stanmore was transferred to the new line.

When the UEFA European Football Championship was held at Wembley in 1996, a large staircase was constructed leading down from the 1948 extension and under the newly-built Bobby Moore Bridge, which had opened in 1993. This was intended as a temporary structure and remained in its unfinished state until 2004, when extensive work began on the station in conjunction with the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. Additional facilities were provided to handle event crowds, and the staircase was completed in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2007.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Brent Town Hall
TUM image id: 1106
Blackbird Hill (1906)
TUM image id: 3117
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