January 2015 archive

Kilburn Park

Kilburn Park station was opened on 31 January 1915 as the temporary terminus of the Bakerloo line’s extension from Paddington.

Cannon Hill, NW6

Cannon Hill is a road in Fortune Green, NW6

Broadhurst Gardens, NW6

Broadhurst Gardens may not be a household name, but back in the day it was the home of Decca Recording Studios which rivalled EMI’s Abbey Road Studios as the country’s leading recording facility. Many popular songs and albums were recorded at Decca Studios (for example, John Mayall’s 1968 Blues from Laurel Canyon and five albums …

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Make West-Way Safe!

In January 1937, a march took place over one of the safety crossings on the Westway, protesting against the high speeds on the road and lobbying for a 30mph speed limit. The “Westway” was the colloquial name for that part of the Western Avenue between Western Circus, East Acton and where it reached its terminus …

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The Beatles in Abbey Road

A photographer called Iain Macmillan was a friend of John and Yoko and, during the morning of Friday 8 August 1969 found himself commissioned to take a photo of the Fab Four to adorn their latest studio release, an album called Abbey Road. As the group waited outside the studio for the shoot to begin, …

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The Fascination of Hampstead

Editor’s note: This is a digital reprint of a book from 1902, available as part of the Gutenburg project which has been added to the blog out of interest.   THE FASCINATION OF HAMPSTEAD BY G. E. MITTON EDITED BY SIR WALTER BESANT LONDON ADAM & CHARLES BLACK 1902 Published August, 1902 Reprinted February, 1903 …

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The Great Hollow Elm of Hampstead

The Great Hollow Elm, an amazing old tree, stood at the summit of Hampstead Heath, probably near to the site of Jack Straw’s Castle. In 1653, the celebrated engraver Hollar depicted the “Great Hollow Elm Tree of Hampstead” and the engraving was depicted in Parke’s Hampstead which described the tree as “hollow from the ground …

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The Estates of West Hampstead

Before the builders arrived en masse in the late nineteenth century, West Hampstead was a rural area of large houses, farms and estates, centred around West End Green. Beckfords Estate, belonging to the family of the same name, consisted of 15 acres north of Mill Lane and west of Fortune Green Lane. By the turn …

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1807: Hyett’s hand-drawn map

An interior decorator with royal patronage, Frederick Crace had an intense interest in maps of London. He amassed some 1200 printed and hand-drawn maps charting the development of the city and its immediate vicinity from around 1570 to 1860. One of these maps was produced by William Hyett. Hyett produced an amazingly accurate map of …

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The River Westbourne

The hills of Hampstead Heath provide the source of three lost rivers of London – the Westbourne, Tyburn and Fleet. These rivers were long buried underground and the modern streetscape contains few hints at these former watercourses. Old maps show the routes that these rivers took. The Westbourne rises in two main places in Hampstead …

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