Category Archives: Old School

Kilburn High Road circa 1790

Ed Fordham. You might remember him from such political campaigns as the 2010 General Election, or the unveiling of the AA Milne plaque, or potentially not at all.  What you may not know is that our Ed is also a keen local historian.

On his blog, he frequently uploads bits and bobs from his personal collection. This week, something caught my eye. It’s a map of what is now the A5 (aka Kilburn High Road), drawn in 1790. That is, officially, well old.

What’s especially lovely about this particular map is that it’s marked with ye olde inns; The Black Lion, The Bell, Cricklewood’s The Crown. The wonderfully named Shoot Up Hill even gets a mention.

Also interesting, if you’re that way inclined, is that in the late 18th Century, they spelled it Kilbourn. With an ‘o’, of all things! That’s progress for you.

Anyway, I suggest you check it out by clicking here.


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Kilburn: Plaque to the future

Look, we’ve all seen Mitchell and Webb sauntering up and down the High Road, lording over us with their fame and fortune and everything that goes with it. But did you know that other men- and women-of-note lived in our fair corner of London before them?

Well, you might have guessed. I mean, statistically it’s quite likely.

So you’ll be pleased to learn that there are people out there who want to celebrate this fact, by putting up plaques acknowledging that some pioneer or other once resided in what is now probably a pound-shop or maybe a bookies.

The first of these green plaques – green being the new blue – to go up in Kilburn is to commemorate the fact that AA Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, was born in Henley House.

Unfortunately, Henley House itself is no longer there, but Remsted House stands proudly in its place, and will bear [<— intentional] the plaque in Henley’s honour.

open plaque remsted house kilburn: aa milne

The grand unveiling of the new plaque will take place today, Monday October 11th, at 4pm. AA Milne’s grandaughter Clare will be in attendance, along with Michael Brown, chairman of the Pooh Properties Trust. If you can’t make it along today, then look out for it in future.

Remsted House is on the corner of Kilburn Priory and Mortimer Place.

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The times they are a-changin’

There’s a lot of dross on the internet. This is a well-established fact. Every now and then, however, you can strike gold. Not literally, unfortunately, but you get the idea. Earlier today, I came across a collection of photographs showing locations in West Hampstead and Kilburn as they are today (well, in 2007), and as they once were. It’s amazing to see how much some places have changed, and how entirely recognizable are others. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites for your viewing pleasure.

1. West Hampstead tube station, opened in 1879, can be seen on the left. It was originally part of the Metropolitan line, then the Bakerloo line, and eventually on the Jubilee, as it is today.

2. What is now West Hampstead police station used to be the stately Berridge House.

3. West Hampstead fire station was opened in 1901. The building may not have changed much, but the equipment sure has.

4. On the corner of Quex and Kingsgate Roads there once stood an impressive Wesleyan chapel. It’s now a block of flats.

5. This is a photo of Kilburn High Road station, circa 1906.

6. Emmanuel School on Mill Lane.

7. Some dapper folk waiting for a train at West Hampstead in 1937.

8. Now simply called The Lion, the Old Black Lion public house is shown here as it would have been in 1896.

9. And finally, Finchley Road station in 1903. Not so much traffic back then.

Well, there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed these as much as I have. I’ll continue my internet-searching for other such wonderful nostalgia. If you have any interesting material that you’d like to share with the world, or know of some good sites where it can be found, do let me know!

Click here for the whole collection.


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