August 16, 2003

When Diamond Geezer started writing a series of articles detailing some interesting things about his neigbourhood - I was inspired to do the same about where I live - but it sure was hard work!

I live in Kingsbury - which a suburb in North West London - approximately 10 miles from the Charing Cross (which is considered by London Black Cabs to be the exact centre of London.)

Map of London Boroughs - showing Kingsbury in relation to the centre of London

Kingsbury is in Royal Mail postal district NW9 - and falls within the governance of the London Borough of Brent. According to the data gathered at the time of the 2001 UK National Census - the Office of National Statistics reports some interesting facts:

  • That the average age of people in my neighbourhood is 35.9 (UK average is 38.6)
  • That 62.5% of the population of my neighbourhood are “non-white” - i.e. Asian or Afro-Carribean (UK average is 7.6%)
  • That 48.9% of the local population are Indian-subcontinental in origin (UK average is 4.6%)

The UK Land Registry records that the average price of an average home in my neigbourhood is around 230,000 UK Pounds - which is around 328,00 Euros, 368,000 US Dollars, or around 17M Indian Rupees. (I like the idea of selling my house for Rupees.)

Interestingly - the Acorn Socio-Economic profile for my neighbourhood is labelled “Home Owning Multi-Ethnic Areas, Young Families” - and this type reportedly accounts for only 1.1% of the UK population! Please do read the Acorn profile for my neigbourhood - some of it will make you laugh! For example:

Attitudes: People in this ACORN Type enjoy radio advertising. They are more likely than average to be vegetarian. When they see a new brand they are very likely to buy it and they love buying new gadgets and appliances. They prefer to take their holidays off the beaten track.”

OK - so that’s what my neighbourhood is like today. But what was it like yesterday?

Bronze Age, Romans, Anglo-Saxon and Normans:

Well - it turns out that Kingsbury has quite some history to it - some Bronze Age cremation burials have been found nearby - which would date human settlement in this area to between 2500 and 600 BC. Roman artefacts have also been found. Most of what is definitely known about the earliest history Kingsbury is gathered from the Domesdsay Book - which was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England from France in 1066. Prior to that it was an Anglo Saxon settlement when just before the Norman Conquest, Edward the Confessor gave “all the land at Chealchylle (Chalkhill) [and] every third load of fruits growing in the … forest which lieth towards Kynggesbrig” to Westminster Abbey. At this time much of Kingsbury belonged to Ulward Wit, a Saxon thane. (A “thane” was a man who held land from an English king or other superior by military service.)

Medieval times:

During the Middle Ages (which is the period of a thousand years in European history in between the decline of the Roman empire - around 500 AD and the start of the Renaissance - around 1500 AD) my local neighbourhood was probably a very heavy forest lying between two ancient north-south routes called Watling Street (modern A5 Edgware Road) and Honeypot Lane (which my beloved Route 79 bus travels upon). over time - forests were cleared to make way for farms - and the rural life continued well into 1920s. (only 140 houses were recorded in the year 1900!)


There were six inns in Kingsbury in 1751. These were called The ‘Plough’, ‘Black Horse’, two called ‘Chequers’, King’s Arms, and Red Lion.

At the turn of the 19th century hay and animal farming predominated in Kingsbury. By 1838, 97% of land was under grass. Large numbers of agricultural labourers came from Ireland to work there, and many settled in Kingsbury. There was a Roman Catholic school here from 1865. In 1893 Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar, who had recently returned from India, came to live nearby. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Forces in Ireland two years later.

In the second half of the 19th century (between 1860 and 1865) the Welsh Harp pub and the grounds surrounding the Welsh Harp Reservoir became a popular place of recreation and entertainment. Horse races attracted “thousands of the scum of London” until racing was banned from London’s hinterland in 1878. A Metropolitan Railway station served day-trippers from 1870 to 1903. As late as 1930 Kingsbury was famous for pleasant days out in unspoilt countryside! (The Kingsbury races were also very popular and the Prince of Wales and other famous visitors were among the very many attracted by the pigeon shooting and the opulence of the local inn. The escape of a bear from the Welsh Harp menagerie is recorded as occurring in 1871 to the horror of local residents!)

20th Century:

The location of my neighbourhood close to Hendon aerodrome led to the development of an aircraft industry during the First World War. Many of the workers were women. There were also three aerodromes in Kingsbury itself - one of which was called the De Havilland aerodrome. 20 houses had already been constructed at Stag Lane in 1909-10 and at the end of the war Roe Green Village was built for aircraft workers.

About 100 people had lived in medieval Kingsbury. In 1911 there were 821. Another 1,000 people settled during the First World War. But from 1921 to 1931 Kingsbury experienced the largest population increase of any district in north London, from 1,856 to 16,636 (a rise of 796%)

In the 1960s and 1970s a number of Asian people who had fled East Africa came to Kingsbury. Some of them contributed to the area almost immediately by buying up local shops that would otherwise have closed.

I moved into Kingsbury in 1993 - buying my first home. Previously I lived in a rented apartment in Clapham - and prior to that in a rented studio apartment in Woolwich. Why Kingsbury? Well as this was my first ever house purchase - I found that there were only a few areas in London which were affordable - and Kingsbury was the nicest of them. I bought my first house for 72,000 UK Pounds. (Can you believe that?!)

So - how about some claims to fame for my neighbourhood then:

  • An apparently famous man called Oliver Goldsmith lived nearby from 1771 to 1774. Nobody is absolutely certain what Oliver Goldsmith was famous for - but it is generally accepted that he was a writer and poet. He was certainly in the same crowd as Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and Sir Joshua Reynolds - all of whom visited Goldsmith whilst he lived round here.
  • London’s first greyhound race was held here in 1876! (At the Welsh Harp Reservoir)
  • The De Havilland aircraft factory had it’s first home in Kingsbury. It went on to build a large number of warplanes and civilian aircraft, including the famous Gypsy Moth and the world’s first passenger jet - the Comet. The Gypsy Moth that Amy Johnson and her husband Jim Mollison used on their solo flights to Australia was built and purchased from here!

Amy Johnson’s Gipsy Moth

  • The BACS company is based here. In fact - it exists on the grounds of the old De Havilland aircraft factory due to it being a very suitable location in London to build one of the largest computer halls in Europe. This is because BACS is one of the world’s leading and most successful organisations providing electronic funds transfer - it is owned by the UK banks and handles over 3.7 billion financial transactions a year - around 60 million payments on a peak day - which include Direct Debits, Direct Credits, Standing Orders and other inter-bank payments. Almost every salaried worker in the UK gets paid through the BACS system.
  • Due to rapid expansion of the local population during the late 1920s and early 1930s - there was a desperate need for a Christian Church building. The famous St Andrews church in Wells Street in the West End of London (a few hundred yards from Oxford Circus) was among the best known churches in London, mainly because of the musical and choral performance of the services. Members of the Royal Family regularly worshipped there. This church was built in 1847 and features work by several by famous Victorian architects and artists. As the population of central London shifted to the suburbs - the West End became more commercialised and the church gradually became redundant. The then Bishop of London made a bold decision to move redundant London churches, and the Wells Street church came within this plan. Kingsbury was chosen as its new home, and this became the first and, in fact, the only parish for such an experiment. In 1931, the Wells Street building was dismantled, every stone being numbered to facilitate re-erection (apart from certain planning modifications) at Kingsbury!

St Andrews Church - moved stone by stone from near Oxford Street to Kingsbury

  • The first ever Pizza Hut UK delivery store opened in Kingsbury in 1988.
  • Remember John Logie Baird? He is often remembered as being an inventor of a mechanical television system. The television pioneer created the first televised pictures of objects in motion (1924), the first televised human face (1925) and a year later he televised the first moving object image at the Royal Institution in London. His 1928 trans-atlantic transmission of the image of a human face was a broadcasting milestone. Colour television (1928), stereoscopic television and television by infra-red light were all demonstrated by Baird before 1930. He successfully lobbied for broadcast time with the British Broadcasting Company, the BBC started broadcasting television on the Baird 30-line system in 1929. The first simultaneous sound and vision telecast was broadcast in 1930. However, in 1936 the BBC adopted television service using the rival electronic technology of Baird’s fierce competitors Marconi-EMI - which led to the decline of Baird. Although John Logie Baird has often been disregarded for his achievements - his work had profound influence and has had more cultural impact than any other 20th century invention. Also - in the U.K. today - the telecine equipment for showing movies on television is supplied by Rank Cintel which has built on the expertise of part of the Baird Television Company which it took over in 1940. So next time you watch a movie on TV - remember that it was Baird’s pioneering work that enables you to do that! Oops - I got carried away with the history there - what I really wanted to say was that as for a few years between 1928 and 1931 John Logie Baird participated in a useful collaboration with German companies interested in television broadcast technology - and the first experimental transmissions from Germany were sent from Berlin to a specially built receiving station in the stable block of Kingsbury Manor - which is situated in Roe Green park!

Kingsbury Manor - where Baird received the first TV signals from Germany

  • Neville Shute - a famous writer from Norway worked at the De Havilland aircraft factory and lived in Stag Lane Kingsbury. He wrote 24 novels and an autobiography between 1924 and 1960 - several of which were reproduced as films.
Posted by jag at August 16, 2003 02:20 PM

Fascinating stuff! I’ve always loved researching the towns and cities I’ve lived in. I’ve not really bothered much here since rather a lot has been written about Cambridge (and you only have to ask a punt tote if you want to know some history!), so perhaps I’ll have to think smaller and do some research on my neighbourhood as well. Once upon a time it was a town of its own but it got swallowed up.

Posted by: Lisa on August 16, 2003 04:46 PM

Hey.. great stuff man! I just love this and inspires me to do one on my neighbourhood.

Posted by: Chakra on August 18, 2003 10:00 AM

Could you please send information about Kingsbury nowadays

Posted by: Hannak on February 4, 2004 06:28 PM

Fascinating to read about my town.
A few more interesting and hopefully true claims to fame
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts lived in Grosvenor Crescent, Kingsbury. Urban legend has it, that he used to take his drum kit onto Fryent Way country park to practice, as it was too noisy for his neighbours.
England football star Teddy Sherringham used to go to Roe Green school.
Recent-day hero, gold medalist boxer Audley Harrison lived in Deansbrook Avenue (just off Church Lane in Kingsbury)
Only Fools and Horses star,Tessa Peak Jones, who played Del Boys wife Raquel, was a regular singer in the choir at St. Andrew’s.

Posted by: Gemma on February 8, 2004 12:32 PM

Fascinating to read about my town.
A few more interesting and hopefully true claims to fame
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts lived in Grosvenor Crescent, Kingsbury. Urban legend has it, that he used to take his drum kit onto Fryent Way country park to practice, as it was too noisy for his neighbours.
England football star Teddy Sherringham used to go to Roe Green school.
Recent-day hero, gold medalist boxer Audley Harrison lived in Deansbrook Avenue (just off Church Lane in Kingsbury)
Only Fools and Horses star,Tessa Peak Jones, who played Del Boys wife Raquel, was a regular singer in the choir at St. Andrew’s.

Posted by: Gemma on February 8, 2004 12:32 PM

Nice site- good to no the history of this area, GOOD JOB, next time can you have more photographs.

Posted by: Josh on March 22, 2004 10:19 AM

ive been looking around for sites about london and etc for awhile. i find this site and thought my luck had changed but it had not, for this site did not have the history of things like what the houses were made of back then, what people used for transport, foods and clothing. you didnt even have extremely much information on the entertainment but some information proved useful. please think about this.

Posted by: Rachel on March 25, 2004 09:27 PM

I lived in Kingsbury for half my life, then moved to Hastings - I am fascinated to learn that John Logie-Baird lived in both places. Charlie Watts’s Mum very kindly got autographs for children like me, who knew we had gone to the right place when we saw her, as she was the image of her son. Some fitness guy, perhaps Mr. Motivator, from breakfast TV, lived in Roe Green too.

My Dad once met Paul McCartney on his allotment - we didn’t believe him at first, but Paul had been recording at Wembley Studios and had gone to visit Jane Asher’s family in Salmon Street … and on to the fields, where he impressed a seasoned gardener with his knowledge. It was a most unexpected facet of a pop star’s personality.

James Hanratty, the man hanged for murder, lived near to Charlie Watts.

Kingsbury was a town with a high Jewish population when I was growing up in the 1960s and 70s. I lived in Woodland Close and my first experience of racism was having our porch lights smashed by people assuming we were Jewish, as there was a synagogue at the top of the road. Also, the synagogue itself was repeatedly torched - horrific for a child who has no concept of prejudicial hatred.

Barn Hill area was like being in the countryside - there was a farm near Kingsbury Green School,backing on to the allotments in Slough Lane and the Salmon Street area. Cows grazed there and children had riding lessons.

When I visit my existing family in Kingsbury now my daughters are bewitched by the fabrics in the shops and worn by Asian women, and it is wonderful for a veggie like me to stock up on some exquisite foods that I can’t buy in Lidl-on-Sea.

I loved your website - I searched for some informatin about the name of Kingsbury, and found out so much more. Yours with gratitude, Jackie

Posted by: Jackie on April 23, 2004 06:47 PM


A very popular actor who always played archetypally Jewish characters, Cyril Shapps, lived in one of the big old houses that were demolished in Old Kenton Lane c. 1965, to make way for the existing town houses. His last role was in “The Pianist”. There were also huge detached houses, set way back from the road, in Slough Lane, and many more thatched houses which contributed to the rural feel.

There was an Oliver Goldsmith primary school, near to Holy Innocents’ Church. Oliver Goldsmith was a much-performed playwright of the Restoration period, and is now best known for “She Stoops to Conquer”. It features Mrs. Malaprop, and she has given her name to malapropisms, when people amusingly use the wrong words. This is still performed and I saw it a year or so ago at Bexhill!

Posted by: Jackie on April 23, 2004 08:22 PM

Hi Jackie - first of all: many thanks for your comment!

I never realised that “Mr.Motivator” lived around here. Nor did I realise that Charlie Watts and James Hanratty come from near here either! Well - you learn something new as they say.

Sorry to hear about the victimisation you experienced whilst living here in the 60s and 70s. Not so common now I believe.

Your description of Barn Hill in the Fryent Way area is fascinating. Now cows or riding schools - but is certainly very much a “country park” right now. Slough Lane, Roe Green and the Salmon Street/Pilgrims Way area are still very “village like” today.

Glad that you and your daughters are fascinated by the more recent things like Asian fabrics and foods! I would have to agree that there is plenty more to experience as the times go by!

By the way - as you may know - only a few of the thatched houses in Kingsbury remain - in Slough Lane and on the corner of Kingsbury Road - as well as in Stag Lane - although one of them, rather depressingly, caught fire last year.

And I have to thank you enormously for the information regarding Oliver Goldsmith - I now know more about this character than I did before! It’s amazing how much influence he, and others in his circle, had in those days!

Once again - many, many thanks for your comments Jackie - if you are ever visiting Kingsbury again in the future then I sure would like to “interview” you for your memories - and so further write up on the history of this area. After all - living here for the last 12 years or so - I often feel quite sad that very little about the place has been written down for the historical record.

Wishing you well.

Best regards - Jag (email

Posted by: Jag on April 23, 2004 10:14 PM

Other famous people from Kingsbury. Keith Moon (The Who) and George Michael both came from the area, and attended my school, Kingsbury High School, in Princess Avenue.

Posted by: Alan on April 26, 2004 12:56 PM

Fryent Way. At this time of year, Fryent Way is resplendent with beautiful daffodils, stretching as far as the eye can see at the roadside. But, did you know, that there are plague pits just beneath the surface? During the Great Plague, the bodies of the dead were carried out of the City of London to the countryside (as Kingsbury then was)and buried in pits on either side of Fryent Way. Probably best not to dig too deep in search of local history on that particular road!

Posted by: Alan on April 26, 2004 01:07 PM

Hi Alan - many thanks for your comments. Well - I am never ceased to be amazed by Kingsbury’s secrets! Keith Moon and George Michael eh?

Oh yes - I would have to agree with you re the daffodils on Fryent Way - they are georgeous in the Spring - a blaze of orange/yellow. And it really is amazing to know that underneath it all is an ancient burial ground! Thanks for the historical info!

Posted by: Jag on April 26, 2004 07:58 PM

I’m doing a geo project for school about the town you live in.
I am 14 years old and lived in Kingsbury all my life. I went to Oliver Goldsmith School but im now studying in Harrow.
I found your journal very helpfull in my reserch.
Thank you.

Posted by: Jonny on May 8, 2004 11:09 PM

Hi Jonny - many thanks for your feedback! I’m glad you found it helpful - and I wish you well in your geography project.

Just had a thought: If you are doing your project in electronic form - why don’t you think about sending it me so that I may incorporate it (with credits) on these pages. Or else - if not in electronic form - then you could still think about sending to me - I could scan and convert and publish onto web pages for everyone to see. Anyway - think about it when you’ve completed it.

Posted by: Jag on May 9, 2004 09:55 AM

I read in the local newspaper that two of the girls form the pop group ‘Sugarbabes’ (Keisha and Mutya) lived in Kingsbury and when to Roe Green School and then when on to Kingsbury High.

p.s. Thanks for reply, and i will definatly get back to you on your offer.

Posted by: Jonny on May 10, 2004 09:42 PM


Posted by: Nezza on May 16, 2004 07:06 PM

Very interesting. Have a visitor from Kingsbury staying with us in Australia so I am researching where she lives so i can surprize her with my knowledge. Originally, I came from Dagenham/Barking and hope they have a webpage very much like yours.
Congratulations on putting together your informative webpage.

Posted by: Frank Yeats on July 11, 2004 12:13 AM

Hi Nezza: yes Kingsbury ROX! Thank you for your comment!

Frank: glad you found it useful - thank you! I hope you found some similarly useful info on Dagenham/Barking too!

Posted by: Jag on July 12, 2004 08:26 PM

I lived in Kingsbury for around 24 years but must admit my historical knowledge is very limited. I believe that St. Andrews Church was originally sited elsewhere in London and was moved to its present position stone by stone!
I attended Fryent School during the war years 1940-1946 and remember the headmistress a Miss Titmuss of the infants school and a Mr.Palmer of the Juniors. I lived at 24 Hill Drive, just off Salmon Street, where there were two farms,”Upper Bush Farm”and “Lower Bush Farm”. These two farms farmed the land which bounded Fryent Way and which served as a wonderful adventure playground for us as children.

Posted by: Don Classey on August 24, 2004 12:33 PM

With regard to celebrities from Kingsbury I would mention that James Blades used to live down the road from me in the mid forties (Hill Drive).
He died in 1999 aged 97 years and was a famous percussionist. He was the originator of the V-for-Victory morse code signal broadcast by the BBC during World War 2 and also provided the sound for the Rank Organisation’s famous Gong Man.Additionally he was the mentor to another famous percussionist, Evelyn Glennie and more!!

Posted by: Don Classey on August 25, 2004 05:18 PM

kingbsury is sickkkkk.… i throw water balloons n fireworks on cars. i also squirt dem with my watergun. and we smoke shisha bare!!! kingbsury is da best, get out of my manor!!!!!

Posted by: Kass786 on August 28, 2004 04:13 PM

kingbsury is sickkkkk.… i throw water balloons n fireworks on cars. i also squirt dem with my watergun. and we smoke shisha bare!!! kingbsury is da best!!!!

Posted by: Kass on August 28, 2004 04:14 PM

Great Website - was amazed that there was a website on Kingsbury (I live in Australia now) but spent many year from 1962-1982 in church Lane, Kingsbury. Just telling some friends that Charlie Watts used to live there and went to my school - Tyler’s Croft - maybe called something different now?
so who was Tyler anyway?
Now I find out that not only, Charlie, but also Keith Moon and George Michael used to live in the Kingsbury. I know Christine Keeler hid out in Kingsbury during the infamous Profumo affair.

Posted by: Sandra Lee on September 11, 2004 01:35 AM

Hi Jag - keep your eye out for the video of the latest George Michael single. It heavily features scenes from Kingsbury - where he grew up. I’ve not heard the song yet, but it might well be some kind of ‘retrospective’ - looking back on his early days.
Check it out! Best regards, Alan

Posted by: Alan on September 27, 2004 09:40 AM

Don: Thanks for sharing your childhood memories! And even more thanks for pointing out some more fascinating things about Kingsbury!

Sandra: Thank you for your kind comment. Christine Keeler hid out here? I wonder why? It get’s more and more fascinating!

Alan: Thanks for the tip off - will certainly look out for it!

Posted by: Jag on September 27, 2004 11:31 AM

Do you know who owned 366a Stag Lane prior to September 2003?

Posted by: Nash on October 23, 2004 11:54 AM

Fascinating site.I was born in Kingsbury and lived there between 1950 and 69.
A painting by Charlie Watts of an orchestra used to hang on the wall of a staircase in Tylers Croft school.Two other famous Kingsburians are Shirley Eaton and Courtney Pine.

Posted by: T Walton on November 10, 2004 11:37 AM

Nash: no idea!

Hello T Walton - thank you for your comment. And thank you for your contribution to the search for more famous Kinsburians! Courtney Pine eh: now that’s impressive - esp. since I’ve been a fan of his (ish) for so long!

Posted by: Jag on November 11, 2004 03:22 PM

I was born in Kingsbury (Roe Green Village) 1933, I spent a wonderfull childhood in the village. In the war years we did experience bomb damage in the village, and in Scudamore Lane, one side was so badly damaged they were demolished. Our village green had shelters and a big water tank sited on it. I do believe we had Film Star (a young lad who played Pip in Great Expectations) Anthony Wager, he lived in the first house in Roe End. I was always fascinated by the big house that was opposite where I lived in Stag Lane, I gather it was lived in by Lord Roberts VC, years before the village was built, this house was out of bounds to everyone, but as children we had some wonderfull times there, It had its own swimming pool in the grounds.

Posted by: Tony Smnith on November 12, 2004 04:36 PM

If you go to Grange Museum they have a book on Kingsbury and Wembley which is very interesting.

Posted by: Kathy on November 18, 2004 06:02 PM

Tony: many thanks to you for your comment. Do you know what: I think that house in Stag Lane that you were talking about - it might be the one that caught fire in the last year or so. It had a thatched roof. It’s amazing how you describe how things were way back then. I am now determined to take some pictures of the Roe Green area and put them up here .…

Kathy: Thanks for the tip - I haven’t been the Grange yet - I think that’s the one in the middle of that roundabout at the bottom of Blackbird Hill in Neasden yes?

Posted by: Jag on November 18, 2004 09:12 PM

I lived in kingsbury until i was about 20.I lived at No 6 melbury road behind the ambulance station on the mail just off kingsbury roundabout.I used to go to kingsbury high school in princess ave.Used to frequent kingsbury pool alot in the summer,i found out on the net that it had been bulldozed.Used to go to the prince of wales pub alot and then go on to the band wagon night club next door at weekends.I now live in australia. Great site good to look back on my younger years

Posted by: kevin woollon on November 26, 2004 08:39 AM

I lived in Kingsbury from 1950-1970 and atteded the same schools as T.Walton who was a buddy of mine. He is quite correct about the C.Watts painting, in fact there were two.

Chris Squires of YES fame lived in Salmon St,

Micky Most in Hill Way, Michael Crawford in Kingsmead Ave and Keith Moon lived in Wembley not


Regards Woody.

Posted by: R(woody)Wood on November 26, 2004 01:49 PM

The house I was refering to where Lord Roberts lived (1893-1895) was demolised in the early 1950’s. A special needs school was built on the site, it was not one of the thatched cottages. There are quite a few pictures of early Roe Green Village (1920’s) which can be seen in the shop called (Memories) in Bell Lane, Hendon. I do believe there is a Web site for this shop. I find this site really interesting, keep the good work up.

Posted by: Tony Smith on November 26, 2004 06:32 PM

hello Jag,

I found your wealth of pages via a site, where
you directed somebody to the Aldi store on
Kingsbury’s high street;
may I ask you, whether this shop still exists;
I can no longer find it on Aldi’s internet pages; if it ceased,
could you recommend another London Aldi with
good public transport options

thank you, Gerald

Posted by: Gerald on December 21, 2004 04:58 PM

Hello Gerald - thank you for visiting here. The Aldi in Kingsbury IS still there - I went shopping in it only this Saturday! It is a very busy store! To be honest with you - I do not know off the top of my head where any other Aldi stores are in London. Kingsbury is not too hard to get to - but I’m sure there must be more Aldi stores in better-connected places. But one thing is for sure - the Aldi store in Kingsbury is practically right across the road from Kingsbury tube station. Take the Met Line to Wembley Park and switch onto the Jubilee for one extra stop. Southbound is a bit more problematic due to trains not stopping at Wembley Park southbound - so you will have to travel back on the Jubilee all the way to Finchley Road or Baker Street - which will take a little longer.

Hope that helps!

Posted by: Jag on December 22, 2004 08:30 AM

thank you Jag for your help;

this is good news for me; whenever I am in
London, which is not more than two or three
times a year, I visit the Kingsbury Aldi;
the tube station nearby makes it my choice;

this may seem strange, considered the fact,
that I live in Southern Germany where Aldis
abound; I stock up mostly on Pickles (Patak e.g.) and Asian Sauces,
that are not available or not as
cheap as they are there;
therefor I was a trifle bewildered, that the
Kingsbury Aldi is no longer listed on;
I would have had to rearrange my whole next trip :->

thank you for your help and thank you for your
work on these pages, happy new year, Gerald

Posted by: gerald on December 27, 2004 07:49 AM

apparently Panchal is from kingsbury

Posted by: Steven on December 29, 2004 02:54 PM

Reading everyone’s comments makes me very homesick for the little town where I grew up. It’s heartening to know that others have such fond remembrances and feelings as I. Kingsbury is a long way from downtown Toronto!

Posted by: Alexis on December 31, 2004 02:32 PM

Hi again Jag I have made a posting one or two times in the recent past. Noticed obscene nonsense you had to remove lately, does that occur frequently?
On a different note I think that when I was at school in Kingsbury, ie circa up to late 60’s, half the people I knew lived within very close dominion of your Current address.
I was moved by your posting regarding the disasters this Christmas ,and profoundly hope that everyone has given all they can afford!

Posted by: Tom Walton on January 4, 2005 11:15 PM

Garald: Happy New Year to you too! Hope you managed to stock up on what you wanted at the Kingsbury Aldi!

Steven: Who is “Panchal”?

Alexis: Toronto, like Kingsbury - is just another suburb of London! Thanks for your comment! Hope you find the pages memory-jogging.

Tom: you were right - I had to delete lots of obscene comments - and I have to do that frquently - not just this page - but hundreds of others of mins which are all accessible from the home page hptt:// I take it you prob went to Roe Green schools? Thanks for your feedback regarding the disaster posting - our very own neighbourhood has been touched by it quite a lot - as there are quite a few Sri Lankan and South Indian families with relatives lost in the disaster areas.

Anyway - on a lighter note: for all those who remember Kingsbury and Queensbury - click on the link below to go to a newer posting which includes a downloadable video of cruising through the streets of Kingsbury:

Follow the instructions on that page to download it. I hope you enjoy it!

Posted by: Jag on January 9, 2005 04:00 PM

Hi again Jag.
Had words earlier about location of Asda.
I still have an ancient aunt living in Kingbury,

Off Church Lane. Also my son works in Slough.
Coincidence or what?
Seems a long journey Kingsbury to Slough?

Posted by: Tom on January 12, 2005 09:59 PM

Hi again Tom, I know Church Lane area quite well. Although I hardly ever go down that part - except when taking a shortcut through the Welsh Harp (Kingsbury) reservior road (Cool Oak Lane) to get to West Hendon Broadway. Yes - what a coincidence! Whereabouts in Slough does your son work I wonder?

Yes - it’s a bit of a trek to Slough. I get Route 79 to Alperton - then I switch to Route 83 to get to Ealing Broadway - and then I get a train from Ealing Broadway to Slough. Door to door it takes about 1.5 hours (sometimes 2) to get to Slough in the mornings - and it takes about 1 hour 15mins (sometimes 1.5 hours) to get home the same way back in the evenings. For some reason it’s slightly quicker geting home than getting to work.

Posted by: Jag on January 12, 2005 10:25 PM

Jag my son lives in Twyford,Reading,and works for Lonza,Bath Road,Slough.

Posted by: Tom on January 13, 2005 03:13 PM

Hi…I came across this by accident, as I was looking for my old School Tyler`s Croft Sec Mod for Girls. I used to live in High Meadow Cres (before that Mead Court). The family moved down to Bedfordshire in 1966. All have been back to see the old place, except me.…I prefer to remember it as it was.….I did school at Ollie Gollie…and through FriendsReUnited have contacted several old school chums.…I have one of Oliver Goldsmiths books, The Vicar of Wakefield. One of Ollie Gollie`s former pupils is now a celebrated author, George Szirtes.…I have always loved to write, and have been inspired to write quite a few modern Worship Songs, as a Christian. I could only manage half of the news above, but I will be back!! Good old Kingsbury.…my first love…mods.…beatles.…great times…thank you!! xx

Posted by: Annette on January 19, 2005 10:50 PM

Hi Annette - many thanks for your comment. Glad you found this page useful for memories etc. You are the umpteenth person to mention Tyler’s Croft school - which I think went on to become amalgamated with another school to become Kingsbury High School - on Princes Avenue and/or Bacon Lane. I really need to do some further research on this topic …

Posted by: Jag on January 19, 2005 11:46 PM

Actually: I found this excellent summary of history of Kingsbury High School on the following page:

Posted by: Jag on January 19, 2005 11:48 PM

Hello again Jag
I have had a leisurely opportunity to read through all your pages now, and it has made fascinating reading! Where abouts do you actually live in relation to Buck Lane, as I can only just about remember that area now!
As I was reading about celebs etc from the Kingsbury area, I remembered Julie Rogers, who used to walk up the alleyway alongside our home in High Meadow (No. 30) to her house.…I have her autograph…she was beautiful, with red hair and porcelain skin.…her record `The Wedding` went to No. 1.…
I can`t believe Kingsbury Swimming Pool is no longer!! Happy sunny days spent there for me and my brothers and sisters during the long hot Summer hols…(you could always guarantee long hot Summers in the last 50`s and early 60`s!!).
Thanks for the info re Tylers` Croft…it would appear that my old school is now the Lower School in Bacon Lane…
We used to go to `Saturday morning pictures` in Colindale each Sat morning (to give our mum some peace!!)…we took 1/- I think 6d to get in and 6d for sweets!! (I don`t suppose it`s there now… Great times!!
I have found aerial views of Kingsbury on the Internet and see that there is a big Trading Est there now.…
I was christened at Holy Innocents Church and did Sunday School there.…it is right next to the bottom of Oliver Goldsmith`s School…I would love a pic of the Church from the outside.…?
You have put together some thrilling stuff Jag, and from the feedback I have read…much appreciated…thank you!!
Very best wishes

Posted by: Annette on January 20, 2005 04:15 PM

Hi Annette - I live near the Eton Grove open space. Buck Lane is the road where there’s a house that looks like a castle isn’t it? On a hill? It’s just off Hay Lane - and used to be a shortcut for motorists wanting to get between Kingsbury Road and Stag Lane. I say used to - because Buck Lane is now blocked off at the Kingsbury Road end.

Re the swimming pool - there were plans nearly ten years ago to build a new pool and leisure centre on the site of the old pool - and building work even started - but it was never completed for contractual breach reasons - and the site is still, to this day, derelict.

The trading estate you are probably referring to is the Capitol Way estate - which is between Stag Lane and Edgware Road Colindale. I wouldn’t say it’s BIG - in many ways it’s quite discreet - i.e. not hugely noticable - although one part of it contains a huge ASDA supermarket - an Oriental shopping mall and a couple of furniture type stores.

I’ll try to get you pictures of that Church - I am planning a “kingsbury” section on my flickr pages ( )- watch this space!

Thank you for your feedback!

Posted by: Jag on January 22, 2005 10:34 AM

Also - I’ve trawled through my Journal archives looking for articles wher I might have mentioned Kingsbury - or where I might have put up pictures of things in the area. Try checking out the following: (video) (photo montage) (photo montage) (video) (Roe Green park childrens playground) (The High Street) (Kingsbury Circle) (Queensbury panorama) (Oriental City)

There are some videos of Kingsbury in there - and also a couple of photo montage presnetations that show some images of Kingsbury. Enjoy.

Posted by: Jag on January 22, 2005 11:18 AM

Jag hi and thanks for replying.…
I couldn`t find anything above that even vaguely resembles anywhere that I remember in Kingsbury.…
The thing is, I haven`t been very far since moving down to Bedfordshire.….
Marrying, bringing up 5 children, breeding and showing dogs, and lots of Christian work have kept me pretty much tied to this neck of the woods.….
I was thinking I may come back to the old place, but, perhaps it would be best to leave the memories.….
Could I email you privately please?
Thanks again for such an interesting and entertaining contribution.….
Best Wishes

Posted by: Annette on January 23, 2005 09:13 PM

Hi Annette - I have to agree that sometimes memories are best left untouched by the changes of reality. I will email you directly.

Posted by: Jag on January 23, 2005 10:39 PM

We moved into the Kingsbury/Queensbury area in about 1935. There was virtually nothing there then,even the old Stag Lane aerodrome had only just closed down.from then until 39 Millions opf houses were built right through to neasdon and wembley. Have happy memeories of hours spent in the Kingsbury pool as it was the only one in the area.Often had to queue up for an hour to get in, as there were hourly sessions then they had to clean it. During war it was boarded over and used as a dance floor. Wonderful days.I have lived in Australia for many years but my thoughts often return to “HOME”

good site and thanks for the memory

Posted by: stan on January 26, 2005 08:02 AM

Hi all
Just thought you might like to know that my wifes
Grandfather designed the Kingsbury pool, his name was Williams. In the summer we used to bunk in by
getting a mate inside to pull us up over the wall,
very anti-social I know.
I lived at the other end of Kingsbury up by Cool Oak Lane and therefore Ritz Neasden was our Saterday Flicks via Black Bird Cross on the 52 bus. Most of my buddies would spend time over the Welshy as we called it and we became Mods in mid 60s whith scooters etc.
regards Woody.

Posted by: robert wood on January 26, 2005 04:24 PM

Woody you never told me your Grandad designed the pool.
God mods and Rockers, I guess as a mod you must have been into the Who like me?

Posted by: Tom Walton . on January 26, 2005 10:59 PM

Talking of the Who, with Keith Moon being a local lad. I saw them In very early days at the Starlight at Harrow. And in the 60’s the Syn who were all local schoolkids, at Kingsbury Grammar ,( now Kingsbury high )Steve Nardelli, theres a name to remember.

Posted by: Tom on January 26, 2005 11:55 PM

It was my wifes Grandad who designed the pool.
She came from Wembley not far from where you lived, she attended school with Keith Moon’s sister, who along with Peter Townsend lived just off the Ealing Rd.
Chris Squires of Yes lived in Salmon St at the top of Mallard Way, I was friends with his sister
and so I would listern to them practicing.
There was a Starlight in Greenford as well,My first taste of Cream.

Posted by: Robert Wood on January 27, 2005 07:32 AM

It was my wifes Grandad who designed the pool.
She came from Wembley not far from where you lived, she attended school with Keith Moon’s sister, who along with Peter Townsend lived just off the Ealing Rd.
Chris Squires of Yes lived in Salmon St at the top of Mallard Way, I was friends with his sister
and so I would listern to them practicing.
There was a Starlight in Greenford as well,My first taste of Cream.

Posted by: Robert Wood on January 27, 2005 07:32 AM

Kingsbury - that’s my kind-a town!

Posted by: Big John Peacehaven on February 1, 2005 06:58 PM

The Syn! What a great band! I always wondered what happened to Steve Nardelli, he was such a great singer. He also had every girl in Kingsbury chasing him. Some blokes have all the luck.

Posted by: tommy on February 6, 2005 09:28 PM

Hi Tommy I am also Tom left Kingsbury County in 66 knew Steve an Chris well and also Del their roady

Posted by: Tom on February 6, 2005 10:09 PM

Hi Jag. you mentioned in a recent posting something to do with the 2 schools in Kingsbury. I do hope we are not boring your pants off with this out burst of 60’s music nostalgia.sure you are ok with it as you are such a patient courteous soul.

Posted by: Tom on February 6, 2005 10:16 PM

Tom - no worries at all - you guys just carry on reminiscing! 60’s music is great! And thank you for the compliment!

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 09:22 PM

Does anybody know the REALLY ANCIENT history of Kingsbury? I’ve already heard all the stuff that happened in the Victorian times, even medieval times, but what about the ice age and stone age? What WAS Kingsbury like? Was it swampland like central london? Or was it forest? I would also like to know whether or not early 20th century Kingsbury (pre-1960s, really) was divided into rich and poor areas?

Posted by: siam on February 9, 2005 09:26 PM

By the way, I just thought that I should mention that Kingsbury ISN‘T WHAT IT USED TO BE! Anyone who’s been living outside London for more than 20 years and plans to return to Kingsbury mustn’t expect to see green hills, farmhouses, and kind, sweet children who will gladly obey their elders. NO NO NO. Kingsbury’s changed! The council estates that were built on Old Kenton Lane in 1998 have completely turned Kingsbury around. Old Kenton Lane used to be a sweet, clean road. Now I wouldn’t dream of walking down it at night. Another “plague” that these estates have brought is that of the yobs in their “hoodies”, who wander around the main road, especially near the fast-food restaurant “Sam’s Chicken” from midday till 2pm. Oh and by another way, could any of you tell me: just behind the shops on Kingsbury Road (the central part: Woolworths, Boots etc) there’s a car park. How long has it been there? How long have the flats above the shops BEEN flats? And finally, in the car park, there’s a small alleyway/footpath that leads to Crundale Avenue. How long has THAT been there?

Posted by: Siam on February 9, 2005 09:39 PM

Hello Siam - I can only imagine that Kingsbury in really ancient times was probably like the rest of ancient UK: probably mostly forest.

I know what you mean about the “hoodies” - I have seen them as well. Especially the ones with a rather vicious pit-bull type dog. I have seen them walking down from the council estate opposite Morrisons (formerly Safeway) on Honeypot Lane. I can only guess that there must be high unemployment/truancy in the community that live on that estate. Pity really - because there are so many job opportunities for everyone these days - and there are even not enough immigrants to satisfy the demand.

Siam: you are asking some very specific questions!Just curious as to why really - are you researching for a project? You obviously know Kingsbury very well; do you live here?

I suspect that the flats above the shops have been livign quarters ever since those mansion blocks in the High Street were built - say 1930s? But I’m only guessing. Hope you get the answers you are looking for!

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 09:47 PM

Sorry for all the messages I’m writing, but this is just SUCH A HEAVY WEBSITE!!! (“Heavy” being a very Londoner, maybe even Kingsburian, slang for “excellent”). Anyway, I would just like to know if any of you know someone who CURRENTLY lives in Kingsbury and is NOT Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, English, Irish, Somalian, Ethiopian, Carribbean, Chinese, Polish or ANY OTHER race that is already common in Kingsbury. Are there any gypsies, Scandinavians, South-east Asians (except Malay- I already know plenty of them), Australian aboriginals, Maori, American Indians, Greek (actually, there are quite a lot of them, here), French, Italian, or ANY OTHER RACES THAT ARE NOT familiar in Kingsbury?
(ps: I just thought you’d like to know that I am actually a student at Kingsbury High School, so if there’s anything you’d like to know about my school, just ask me!)

Posted by: Siam on February 9, 2005 09:50 PM

Hey, Jag
Thanks for the reply, and yes I do live in Kingsbury. In fact, I live on Crundale Avenue, and to get to school every morning I walk down the alleyway. I guess it’s the little things (like this alley) which really fascinate me, and every morning, as I go down the alleyway, I think whether it (the alley) has always been here.

Posted by: siam on February 9, 2005 09:55 PM

Hi Siam - no worries about the messages. And thanks for compliment re this website (it is mine!)

But I would like to correct something you said. All those nationalities you listed: they are nationalities - not “races”. I have lived here for 12 years - and Kingsbury is mostly Asian (Indian/Sri-Lankan/Pakistani/Bangladeshi) and also a lot of Eastern European (Kossovan etc.) and Turkish as well as Iraqi and Iranian (Persian). Not that many Afro-Carribean - and not that many English any more - although there is some significant Jewish.

Kingsbury High School - is that the one on Princes Avenue - or the one with the gates in Roe Green park/Stag Lane? Always get confused with that.

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 09:57 PM

This gets everyone confused. Kingsbury High School is actually split into two buildings. Both buildings you mention are Kingsbury High. The one in Roe Green Park is the one for Year 7 to Year 9. The other building is for Year 10 to year 13. That’s why if you ever walk from one school building to the other on a school day, you’ll see many pupils commuting from the junior building to the senior.
Oh and thnx for the correction about “races”.
Now, I don’t want to sound rude, but the question that you asked about the school seem to tell me that you don’t live in Kingsbury. Am I right? Are you also doing research? Feel free to ask me anything else about the school, or even the bizarre slang that I have not heard anywhere else in London.

Posted by: siam on February 9, 2005 10:07 PM

Thanks for the explanation re the school. It makes sense now. And I do live in Kingsbury. Just because I didn’t know about the “split” of the High School doesn’t mean I don’t live here. I am sitting here in my bedroom writing this - and it is most definitely Kingsbury I’m in. How else would I have known about your “hoodie chavs” outside Sams chicken. (Which is a few doors away from Lee Garden Chinese takeaway on one side and Aldi on the other.) I once didn;t have enough cash on me to buy a doughnut at Gregss on the High Street - I was 5p short - and I couldn’t be bothered to use cash machine of the Halifax near the exit of the car park right across from Gayatri Sweet Mart (which I have shopped at for years) - and noticed that I said that this was the car park EXIT - not the entry - which is further down near the Pizza Hut delivery place. Anyway - that day when I needed 5p extra to buy a doughnut at Greegs I walked into that car park at the back of the shops and just looked around on the floor and eventually found a 5p coin - which I used to buy myself a doughnut! I also know the guy who owns the Alpine Wine off-licence on the other side of the road - he happens also to be the owner of the Temptations restaurant on the other side of the road (same side as Boots) which a few years ago used to be a “greasy spoon” place called “Avalanche”. (I miss that place!) - and then there is that wonderful little arcade near Princes Electronics and Flowers by Hilary where you can get a really cheap (but tasty) Dosa and cup of tea in the mornings - the same arcade where the Bombay Hair Salon is.

Now: do you still think I don’t live in Kingsbury? :-)

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 10:20 PM

Also - why not check out all my pages and videos (which you can download) of Kingsbury. You can see links to them above - a few messages up. I am not researching Kingsbury at all. I live here - and I am recording stuff about the place. As well as everywhere else I go. And since I do a lot of daydreaming on the bus (Route 79 - which passes through Kingsbury) these pages are the transcript of my daydreaming. Hope you find them interesting. And spread the word!

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 10:26 PM

You can also visit my flickr photo pages at: to see some photos that I have taken in and around Kingsbury - there is a set called “My Neighbourhood” which you can see on the left hand side (you have to click “more”) at the bottom.

Posted by: Jag on February 9, 2005 10:29 PM

A very interesting site.My ggrandfather George Allan Aylwin and his wife lived around London,Lambeth and other places 1777-1664.


Posted by: Chum Richardson on February 9, 2005 10:59 PM

Hi Jag,
I attended Kingsbury High until 1966, thats the one in Bacon Lane. It was then Tylers Croft Secondary Modern. Boys had the left hand side of the building and Girls the right side. The School with which it merged was Kingsbury County Grammer,
I hope this is of use.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 10, 2005 12:46 PM


Posted by: Siam Van Tranh on February 12, 2005 11:44 AM

There r som mysterius houses around Kingsbury. Could anyone tell me about them? Next to the Kingsbury roundabout (the one at the corner of Roe Green Park,that if you go down one way, you end up at the Green Man Pub or at least that’s what it used to be called), there’s an old, but huge house. It looks like an authentic Tudor house, with some kind of wattle and daub-like walls, and thatched roof. Who lives there? It stand opposite a posh-looking surgery I think it’s called Willow Tree Surgery. Who USED to live in that house? When was it made?
Also, when you walk down Kingsbury Road EASTWARDS (starting from Iceland supermarket and walking all the way down to Hendon), if you take the first road into Roe Green Park, there’s another old house- although this one really looks abandoned and some of its windows are boarded up- who used to live there? When was THIS one made? And finally, who actually LIVES in that Manor House? You don’t have to tell me when THIS was built- just WHO LIVES THERE?

Oh and I just thought you’d like to know that as well as George Michael, James Hanratty and the guy from the Rolling Stones, two girls from “the Sugababes” also come from Kingsbury (Keisha and Mutya - the black one and the oriental one- Mutya’s little sisters still go to Kingsbury High).
Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen the advert about a car, where everyone passes good deeds to one another- in this advert, an old woman goes up a tree to fetch a ball for some schoolkids- if you look behind those kids- it looks familiar- the advert was partly filmed in front of Kingbsury High just last year.
Finally, you may like to know that the small block of “blue” flats (that’s what I call them- it’s not their official name)- the ones just opposite Woolworths, between Manor Close and the park- I heard that they were donated to Kingsbury by a certaion duchess or princess- but I forgot when (sorry!).

Posted by: Siam Van Tranh on February 12, 2005 11:59 AM

to Don Classey, posted on August 24th
You wrote that you had heard that St Andrews Church was originally somewhere else- you were right! It originally stood in central London, and if I remember clearly, I THINK it stood on Wells Street (close to Oxford Circus), and YES it WAS moved stone by stone.

Posted by: Siam Van Tranh on February 12, 2005 12:06 PM

does anybody know anyone famous who lived on Crundale Avenue?
and does anybody know who lived in 61 crundale avenue before 1988?
i used to live there in the 60’s. I even know the man who lives there now, but I don’t know who lived there just before them

Posted by: Fiazza on February 12, 2005 12:34 PM

Hi Jag, I punched in St Andrews’s church Kingsbury and fortunately found your web site. I was born in Winchester as my dad was in the air force stationed at Worthy Down, when I was one year old they transferred him to Uxbridge this was 1935, he was then transferred to Coastal command at Northwood. We lived at 15a Townsend Lane at the time, the next year dad bought the house opposite no 16; I lived there until got married in 1959. Prewar: I can remember as a child of about four being taken to the fair that used to be held at the top (Kingsbury Rd end) of the Silver jubilee Park each year. I can remember my first school day at Fryent and like Don Classey can remember Miss Titmuss and Mr Palmer, but the feared teacher was Mr Hughes. Now my war time memories, it is strange but I have a very good long term memory but my short one has now gone, I am now in the go to the cupboard and wonder what I went there for category. I can vividly remember going to school with my gas mask and plimsol bag (in those days every kid had black plimsoles for PE) we had been told that when the air raid warning went if we were nearer to school to carry on or if nearer home go back, but of course if the siren sounded we always turned back I can remember many times being halfway down the school drive hearing it and all of us running off, instead of going into school we used to go and play down “The Alleys” as we called them, behind the houses in “Sunnymead” and “Meadowbank” roads. There was an Artillery army camp in the park it bordered Kinloch Drive and Townsend Lane and went halfway up Townsend, the gate and guardroom were opposite Meadowbank road in Townsend Lane, they thought the camp was well secured, with barbed wire but us kids soon found that all we need to do to gain entry was lay a sheet of galvanized on it and it would flatten it and we used to creep over and play, that was until we were spotted by the soldiers and then had to make a hasty retreat. This went on through the war and in the end they came to tolerate us and infact used to give us sweets and cake at the guardroom. The houses used to shake and feel like they would fall down when all the guns where firing and that was most nights at the beginning of the war. We had quite a few houses bombed in the area, I can remember one morning on the way to school going up Rannock ave then turning left down the hill in Kinloch looking at a bombsite of one of the bungalows on the right hand side, there was just a massive hole in the ground with rope around it milling with A R P men, the bungalow had vanished. When I did get to school (rather late) and asked why I was late, telling teacher I had been looking at a bombsite, she was not amused. We used to collect shrapnel each day, it was lying all over the place, also black paper with silver foil on one side that the Germans used to drop to jam the radar each length about a metre long. There where air raid shelters outside our house in Rannock ave, but we never used them we had a shared Anderson shelter that my Dad and the man at no 12 had dug into his garden, often when the raids were really bad there used to be three or more families using it. We where packed like sardines, us kids used to amuse ourselves doing French Knitting on cotton reels, we also made tanks from the reels using an elastic band for propulsion and a piece of candle and a match stick, for as you can imagine there where no toys in those days and we had to improvise. School in those days was spent mainly in the shelters, the teacher had a big tin of sweets and she would give each of us one when we got in. The shelters at Fryent school where built under the school playing field and were entered like a submarine conning tower we had to climb down a step ladder, its amazing we ever learnt anything at all due to the time we spent down there, all I can remember doing was passing the pencil, that was the whole class sitting in a circle hands behind our backs passing a pencil round and one kid in the middle trying to guess who had it. Every window in the school had sand bags stacked right to the top of them so you can imagine not much light came into the class rooms. Much of our playtime and we seemed to have plenty of it, was mainly spent up ” The Arp” in other words The “Welsh Harp”. There was a bomb crater at the water edge where we used to catch frogs and tadpoles, another favorite was froggy pond that was half way down Cool Oak lane on the R/H side. At one time the Welsh Harp had steel cables on oil drums stretched at regular intervals from the Kingsbury side to the Neasden side we were told they were to stop seaplanes landing on the water. We had parties in every street for the V/E celebrations and bonfires on any piece of ground that was available, the fires were mountains high and any thing was thrown on, old furniture all the bunks and doors from the shelters. I can remember in Church Lane between Wood lane and Queensbury Road was a massive fire, there used to be huge advertising hoardings between the two roads The first shop on the corner of Queensbury was the sub post office, run by Mr Hawksworth he was always a stern man but
on the night of the fire he was so excited, he was telling us tear down the hoardings and get them on the fire, of course we all obliged him and had a real inferno, lots of people had their fires on the middle of roads and as you can imagine all the tar caught fire, fortunately there were no cars in those days so they had plenty of time to fix the roads again. Well Jag I had better close for now, if any of this is of interest I can
give more.
Regards Brian Mc Elvenny

Posted by: Brian McElvenny on February 12, 2005 08:28 PM

My Dear Jag, if I may call you that. I have made many postings on your site now. There is one question I long to ask you.
How do you , as a working man, find the time to run this ever escalating web site and torrent of mails please answer if you have the time as I am fascinated?

Posted by: Tom on February 12, 2005 11:21 PM

Ps you must run one of the more impressive blog sites in London now my friend and thats fact not compliment
Ever yours Tom

Posted by: Tom on February 12, 2005 11:25 PM

Dear Brian, like many others who have contributed here - your memories are extremely fascinating - and I must say extremely valuable. Thank you for taking out so much time to write some of them down here. I have added Townsend Lane to my “to-do” list of pictures to take whilst out and about in Kingsbury!
Your recollections about the bombsites in nearby streets and the German black silver-foiled paper: absolutely amazing. And I closed my eyes trying to imagine the fires in celebrating V/E. Please fdo continue to share your memories from time to time - there are many of us who like to read about them. There is so much in our heads that is never written down for future generations to hear - and these pages play one small part in that. Thanking you again.

Tom: yes - you may call me Jag! You won’t believe it Tom - but it’s just become a part of daily life now. Actually - my work involves me having to deal with torrent of emails etc - so handling a few outside of work is not too much extra effort. Most of the effort spent in keeping these pages updated is selecting the photos from my camera - and thinking of a “story” to write aroud it! Usually I only spend about half and hour to 45 minutes every time I post up something - which might be every few days. And in this time I try to answer every comment that people leave. And if you look at the timings of my postings and my replies to comments - you will almost certainly spot a pattern there: I do most of the updating just before I go to bed -(about midnight) or at the weekends. Once again Tom - thank you for your kind compliments!

Posted by: Jag on February 13, 2005 10:43 AM

There r som mysterius houses around Kingsbury. Could anyone tell me about them? Next to the Kingsbury roundabout (the one at the corner of Roe Green Park,that if you go down one way, you end up at the Green Man Pub or at least that’s what it used to be called), there’s an old, but huge house. It looks like an authentic Tudor house, with some kind of wattle and daub-like walls, and thatched roof. Who lives there? It stand opposite a posh-looking surgery I think it’s called Willow Tree Surgery. Who USED to live in that house? When was it made?
Also, when you walk down Kingsbury Road EASTWARDS (starting from Iceland supermarket and walking all the way down to Hendon), if you take the first road into Roe Green Park, there’s another old house- although this one really looks abandoned and some of its windows are boarded up- who used to live there? When was THIS one made? And finally, who actually LIVES in that Manor House? You don’t have to tell me when THIS was built- just WHO LIVES THERE?

Oh and I just thought you’d like to know that as well as George Michael, James Hanratty and the guy from the Rolling Stones, two girls from “the Sugababes” also come from Kingsbury (Keisha and Mutya - the black one and the oriental one- Mutya’s little sisters still go to Kingsbury High).
Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen the advert about a car, where everyone passes good deeds to one another- in this advert, an old woman goes up a tree to fetch a ball for some schoolkids- if you look behind those kids- it looks familiar- the advert was partly filmed in front of Kingbsury High just last year.
Finally, you may like to know that the small block of “blue” flats (that’s what I call them- it’s not their official name)- the ones just opposite Woolworths, between Manor Close and the park- I heard that they were donated to Kingsbury by a certaion duchess or princess- but I forgot when (sorry!).

Posted by: Siam Van Tranh on February 13, 2005 07:04 PM

I forgot to mention- remember that thatched Tudor house near the roundabout I asked about? It’s the one whose roof was recently changed- I think I rememer seeing the thatch changed for the first time in ages last year- I guess it was getting old.

Posted by: Siam on February 13, 2005 07:07 PM

Just a quick note for Brian.
I lived at 18 Rannock from 1950 and so I don’t remember The War day’s, but across the road lived
a Lady ARW named Peggy Hopcroft do you remember her or possibly my older brother Clive. I do recall the pig bins at the end of Rannock left over from the war and all the prefabs though.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 14, 2005 10:27 AM

I remember the air raid structures off Townsend Lane used to play in them as a child circles with gun positions and pill boxes ,( I believe thats the correct term )Prefabs and pig bins as Woody said. My Dad was in the R A F and amazingly survived the war. my Grandma who lived on Sunnymead Rd , just off Townsend Lane said they used to watch the dog fights during the Battle of Britain and they used to call it the Cricket scores apparently, [ how terribly English! ]. My Aunt said that German prisoners of war built the present Church Lane Road, whilst she, feeling sorry for them smuggled them food.
Thought this may have been of interest.

Posted by: Tom on February 14, 2005 09:08 PM

A reply to Robert. Robert I can remember the name Wood vaguely in the back of my mind, but am unable to remember faces so well. But as we lived only about nine or ten houses from each other I am certain we
must have passed each other many times on our walks to bus stops and shops. I had two best mates living
close by, Roy Challice who lived at no 5 Rannock and Les Cheers who lived at No 8 Townsend Lane. All the rest lived fairly near in the area. There must have been ten or twelve of us and our main entertainment at that time about 1956 was dancing we all used to go to the Ritz dance hall in Kingsbury Rd it was a little further down, on the opposite side of the road from the swimming pool. It had been the old Drill Hall, Roy Kenton’s band played there, the male crooner was Lennie Angelo. It was always packed jam solid and we had some of the best times of our lives there. In the intervals we all used to go to the Green Man for drinks. Things in those times were very different from today, we were all so naive, not too much swearing no drugs but we all did smoke, I would hate to be youngster these days as anything seems to go. After leaving Fryent school the only school for us dummies was Kingsbury Senior, that was changed to Kingsbury Secondary Modern the second year I was there. It was in the Edgware Road, sited between Grove Park and Hay Lane and opposite Colindale Ave that ran down to Hendon aerodrome. It was a tempoary arrangement as they were building Tylors Croft, I believe it is now a Polytechnic. Tylors Croft was opened the year after I left school. Our head master was Mr Axten, at first it was boys only but in my final year the girls were admitted making it a coed. We had Mr Hunkin for geography and Mr Addams for history and gardening (yes in those days we had gardening as a lesson). The school had big allotments behind the library in Roe Green and we used to walk from the school down grove Park and along Stag Lane to get to it. We wheeled barrows carried spades forks rakes and the like, after working the land and having harvested the crops filling the barrows, we then made our return to school. We then had to wash all the equipment oil it and then put it away in the garden shed, but we enjoyed it and I can remember us singing HI HO, HI HO, as we wended our way along Grove park, I can remember having two outings from the school (not like now days) firstly to see Henry V at the Savoy cinema, we walked there and a coach trip to St Albans to see the wonders of the hypocast. Had better sign off for now.
Regards Brian Mc Elvenny.

Ps. Been here in South Africa since 1972. We live at Umtentweni about 100 kms south of Durban.

Posted by: Brian McElvenny on February 15, 2005 08:17 PM

Brian, I am taking two weeks holiday in Cape Town in March and will be staying at Houtkapperspoort, Constantia for 5 day’s from the 24th if your down that way. My brother in law is going to Durban to look at some property also. Two names from Townsend Lane, Ray Wrigth lived upstairs flat opposite end of Rannock and the Mallet’s third house I think, next door to the window cleaner.
I went to Tylers in1961 and the head was then Mr Flint, the gardening was around the pond by the cycle sheds.
Best wishes.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 16, 2005 07:13 AM

Dear Jag .
Just read your last entry ,ie your cold.
My wife did computer Science in the early 80’s at Bradford University as a mature student and like you has worked in telecomms ever since. marconi so probably long standing supplier to BT.She has had a fairly senior role in all the software that Marconi or GEC Siemens Plessey have sold to BT in the last 18 years.
Any how Bradford in my opinion is the home to the most delicious indian takeouts,[ beats London, Leicester and Brum ], although I must add that most of the places I am thinking of are very Northern Indian in fact Pakistani I guess Kashmir and Punjabi but oh so delicious. One particular restaurant boasts being the oldest Indian in the country,( but again I think it’s actually _Pakistani ). The Kashmir- Opened 1952 so 53 years old and still going, I still have 4 curries in my freezer that I bought there a month ago on my way back from the Lake District, [ always have to divert to Bradford for a curry ]. Get this veg vindaloo including yog chillie dip+ salad and 3 chapatis still just over £3 very ethnic place open about 18 hrs a day and half the Asian population seem to eat there,always a good sign.

Posted by: Tom on February 17, 2005 11:38 PM

Hi again had to respond to your comments about Ealing Road, co’s although I was born and bred in Kingsbury we moved in 1963 to Wembley just off Ealing Road and at that time there was no Asian presence at all the Asian community was down the road at Southall. Ealing Road was cinema ( wembley end and Wimpy bar and Henry Cooper Green Grocer at the top on the left nr old Wembley market.As to Kingsbury last time I was there I was amazed at all the Indin restaurants and I went into I need a curry mode, ( being an addict ,but we wern’t staying so I was deprived Are they any good? name the good ones Tom

Posted by: Tom on February 18, 2005 12:13 AM

Hello Tom, I used to study in Leeds in the late eighties - so used to dive into Bradford quite often and I think I know exactly the place you refer to! And I would have to agree regarding taste and value.

Basically: if you breakdown the British Asian community into mostly Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi - then the spread broadly goes like this:

  • Pakistani community mostly settled in the North of England - specifically coming to work in the textile trade in Yorkshire and Lancs. Hence why such a big Pakistani community in Bradford/Leeds etc.
  • Bangladeshi community mostly settled in East London - specifically because the British merchant ships that docked in East London had Bangladeshi cooks/chefs. These folks started restuarant trade in England - and spread all over the country - so a lot of Indian restaurants up and down the country are actually run by Bangladeshis!
  • Indian community is divided into two parts: 1) Punjabi community - who settled mostly in Southall and Birmingham - although there are pockets everywhere - including Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow etc. and 2) Gujurati community who came here in 1970s after being evicted from East Africa - they mostly settled in Wembley and Leicester.

So - from this you can see that there are a variety of Asian communities here in UK - all coming for different reasons - and all bringing their food and cultures with them! Sicne Pakistani and Punjabi foods are quite similar - being Northern Indian region - then a lot of cuisine in Brum, Bradford, Southall will be similar - whilst Leicester and Wembley is very different type of Indian food.

In recent years though (say the last 10 years) - the Gujurati community in Wembley has migrated to more “gentrified” adjacent areas - like Kingsbury, Harrow, Kenton etc. - and the void has been filled up with immigrant Somalian and Sri Lankan community - the latter of which brings yet another Asian food type over here too!

So - responding to your second comment - it kind of makes sense that in 1963 there were hardly any Asian community in Ealing Road - the evictions from East Africa didn’t happen until the 1970s. Although the Sikhs/Punjabis in Southall will have started to thrive by about this time.

Regarding Kingsbury - if you like Northern Indian style food then you will be disappointed with Kingsbury - there are few places that I know of that do that kind of food around here - most of it is Gujurati vegeterian only - which isn’t at all bad - and a lot of them do Punjabi-style food as well (including South Indian etc.). On the Kingsbury High Street - I would recommend Rose Vegetarian - they have a really good chillie-paneer - and also do some nice South Indian “dosas”. If you are looking for something more meaty - and cooked right in front of you - then look out for “Kebabish” on Queensbury Circle (not the tube station circle - but the roundabout at the top end of Honeypot Lane near Streatfield Road). This place looks like a kebab shop - and I suppose it is - but it’s a North-Indian style kebab shop - not Turkish style - and they do lots of other Punjabi dishes which the cooks make to order right in front of you. The sheekh kebabs there are excellent too. This place gets very crowded with (mostly Indian) people taking away as well as eating in - the prices are good - although prob more expensive than those you are used to in Bradford!

Posted by: Jag on February 20, 2005 09:21 AM

ps Henry cooper ued to live in kinsbury as well

Posted by: anon on February 21, 2005 06:02 AM

henry cooper used to live in the big house at the bottom of toley ave/ledway drive

Posted by: anon on February 21, 2005 06:06 AM

Hi Robert, Yes I do remember the Wright’s. The eldest was Jean then Terry. Ray and Kenny were
twins their dad was a long distance lorry driver. The next house up opposite us was the Taswell’s Georgina the eldest then Linden and the youngest I can’t remember her name, but later she worked for our company J/M in Wembley. I found Jags comments regarding racial distribution percentages in Kingsbury most fascinating. For I can recall just after the war, my friend Roy from Rannock, telling us to go with him quickly as there was a black man in Wood Lane, we all dashed off after him and sure enough, there was this African man. He must have wondered what was going on, having us all stare at him, but as he was the first one we had ever seen in the flesh, couldn’t help ourselves, for we had up until then only seen them in school books. Roy by the way showed us our first banana. Some friend of his elder sister had given it to her; this was just after the war. We were all spellbound with it and he proudly walked about all day showing it off. Another thing that popped into my mind, was a crowd of us walking from street to street in wonderment, seeing the streetlights switched on for the first time after the war. Up until them if you went out at night and there was no moon it was a nightmare, as you could not see your hand in front of your face. Every large tree had a whitewash ring painted round its trunk in an effort to stop people walking into it. Another piece of trivia for you, a well-known Kingsbury person in the 50s was Alan Moss. He and his younger brother Donald lived in Winston Ave. His claim to fame was, he played cricket for Middlesex as a fast bowler and I believe played for England as well, but I can’t be sure.

Regards Brian McElvenny.

Posted by: Brian McElvenny on February 21, 2005 09:07 PM

Hi Brian,
I was not born until 1950, but you may remember my brother Clive from 18 Rannock, he had a Triumph motrbike, or Geoff Leek he used to ride speedway at Wembley. There was a lady ARW in Rannock, her name was Peggy Hopcroft. Was the shop (Lock’s)at the bottom of Sunnymead Rd.
I loved the stuff about the banana,and I remember a similar thing with a Kiwi fruit.
I remember also the name Georgina Taswell, but don’t know why. Do you recall the Tanner’s, father was a Taxi Driver.
Regards Robert.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 22, 2005 11:37 AM

P.S to Brian,
I understand that a similar thing happend just a little north of you, when a few locals checked out the whitemen, was it Rowkes Drift.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 22, 2005 11:46 AM

Hi Robert, Yes the Brits won a couple of V/Cs at Rorke’s Drift. I have just been watching the weather you are having in the U/K at the moment on Sky TV. I wonder if you or your brother Clive remember
Wood Lane in the forties about 1945 /6/7/8 it was like St Moritz in those days and seemed to snow every year and over long periods. I especially remember 1947 as being very cold. There used to be stacks of us
kids sledging in Wood Lane, we started at the highest point, the Townsend Lane end, going down nearly up to Church Drive. We would start early in the morning and continue until the late evening, apart from
nipping home for a quick sandwich, There were no cars at all in those days so we had the road to ourselves Wood lane was like the “Cresta Run” those were the days. You mentioned the corner shop
at Sunnymead Rd it was a real convenience shop we all used it, as it was nearer than going up to Church Lane. A few years after the war John Locks dad who had dairy took it over, John Lock lived in the next house down from us 18 Townsend Lane. I just remembered there was a music teacher just up from us her
name was Mrs Peirce, her husband was a taxi driver she lived at number 10.

Regards Brian Mc Elvenny.

Posted by: Brian Mcelvenny on February 23, 2005 07:06 PM

Hi Brian.
I have been reading your comments with interest.
I am an old pal of Robert we went to primary and secondary school together, but have not met in the flesh since around 1966.
I lived on Sunnymead Road from 1950 untill 54, and then moved 2 streets away to Reeves Avenue.Left there and moved to Wembley in 1964.Finally left London in 1970, and have never returned to live.I used to play in those alleyways too, especially as I was so close, my Grandma used to call them the runrounds, and I believe they are still there as dirt tracks to this day.
The weather is atrocious at the moment, I now live in the midlands and it’s the coldest February wev’e had for a good few years, although as you said not as severe as we used to get in the 50’s and 60’s.
I think Robert has had much worse this year though as he works in Munich.
All the best TOM.

Posted by: Tom Walton. on February 24, 2005 12:52 PM

Hi Brian and Tom,
Yes your right it was minus 15 on Wednesday,here.
We slid down the hill in the 60s dispite the cars.
I helped Mr Lock deliver milk,he only had 5or6 customers locally and we would drive to Willesden,where he had one of those electric milk carts with a handle at the front.(sorry I don’t think you can had ‘electric milk’).
I was told that a seaplane crashed in the Welshy during the war, do you know if it’s true?.We found all kinds of ojects in the Welshy. Tom and I played on the gun site as we called it,looking for frogs in the ammo bunkers and also in the old shelters over by the paddling pool at the Hyde.
I said that the mallet’s lived in Townsend,but I should had said Mellor, did know them.
Regards Robert.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 24, 2005 05:00 PM

Hi Jag Robert and Tom,I can well remeber the electric milk trollies and wonder if you recall the dairy at Kingsbury green, I can never remember if it was the United dairies or the Express. Well for much of my time in Kingsbury the milk was delivered by horse and cart and one of them had the kingsbury green dairy and we used
to go and watch the blacksmith shoeing the horses.We would all be standing as near as possible watching as he pulled off the old shoe, he then would file and rasp the hoof and then when he put on the new shoe the place would fill with the most awful acrid smoke and we would all run out as fast as we could. All the horses had names and as the milk man would from house to house away from the cart he would whistle or shout to the horse and along it would go. when the army pulled out of the camp we went straight in, they left stacks of gear behind, thousands of pairs of oilskin gas gloves and military type gas maskes, we used the gloves for our sledging and played wars wearing the masks. When I got married we moved into a flat in Berkeley Road off the kingsbury road that was in 1959, then in 1961 we bought our first house at Croxley Green. Brand new, warm air central heating costing pounds 2600 From there we bought at Chesham, anew bungalow that was if I remember cheaper, we then came back to Kenton, Kings Hill ave, we then bought a new house again at hazlemere Bucks near High Wycombe
then lastly back to Carlton Ave Kenton in 1968.
I bought that house for pounds 6000 and sold it to come here in 1972 for what I thought an amazing 14600. I realise now that up until the 68 period house prices moved very little they started moving when I sold and have not stopped since and risen much more than they could have in my wildest dreams. Another coincidence my sister inlaw was living near Stuttgart and on our last visit we went to the October beer fest in Munich
that was in 2002 we had a great time, on the way back I got into the car and never woke until we got home at about 2.30am. Athough not to keen on the Germans during the war, I quite got to like them during the 2 years I spent there doing my national service. Well thats enough drivel for one day.
Regards Brian.

Ps. I can remember sitting on the 83 bus, on the front seat with Jimmy Hanratty, coming home from Wembley, he was just an acquaintance, In those days every kid in Kingsbury seemed to know each other at least by sight, and as we seemed to move about quite a bit, what with Saturday morning pictures and the likes, we always seemed to be bumping into each other, We always traveled on either the 52 or 83 bus. I obviously saw him later over the years just a nod here and there. But then one day while I was living at Croxley they announced that they had caught a James Hanratty for the A6 murder, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, I had hoped it was not him but of course when they put up his picture it was obviously him. The final thing for me was during the early 60s, crowds of us used to go to the Honeypot pub in Honeypot Lane on Saturday nights for a sing song. One Saturday night they came around with a petition asking clemency, for him,I did sign it. Brian.

Posted by: Brian McElvenny on February 27, 2005 01:38 PM

Hi Brian,
Talk about coincidence, I’v owned 10 houses now, including Carpenders Park,near Croxley Green,Great Missenden near Chesham, Roberts Ride in Hazlemere and Kenton Lane, Harrow.
I was too young to sign the petition, butI do remember it.
I also remember the big hourse pulling the Express Dairy wagon, My Dad made me collect the dung for the garden, I think Kingsbury Green was Expess, Kingsbury honeypot Lane end was United and junction Edgware Rd and Kingsbury Rd was Co-op.
Rergards Robert.

Posted by: Robert Wood on February 28, 2005 09:18 AM

Hi Guys, Its me again. Robert you said that you lived in Roberts Ride when you lived in Hazlemere.
I am sure it’s the same estate I lived on. I lived at 11. Maurice Mount if I am not mistaken it is off Roberts Ride. We bought the house from Bovis the builders, we did all the signing at their office in Uxbridge. Another coincidence
the house we bought at Croxley was built by Kebble
builders based at Carpenters Park they had built a row of houses along Oxhey Lane. They were were
built from a type of grey brick.

Regards Brian.

Posted by: Brian McElvenny on March 1, 2005 10:07 AM

Brian, Yes it was a Kebble house in Margeholes off
By The Wood, and Maurice Mount was off Roberts Ride. Strange!.
Regards Robert.

Posted by: Robert Wood on March 2, 2005 07:03 AM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?

You MUST preview this comment first!
(Apologies but I'm trying to keep the spam-bots out.)

Powered By: Movable Type | Blog Styles | Love Productions | | SmartyPants | Linux | MT-Blacklist | MySQL | Zeus | Easyspace
© 2002, 2003, 2004 - London (UK). Most Rights Reserved. Syndicate this site (XML)