Greenford

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Coordinates: 51°31′48″N 0°21′46″W / 51.5299°N 0.3628°W / 51.5299; -0.3628

Greenford
Greenford-Ruislip Road.JPG
Ruislip Road in Greenford
Greenford is located in Greater London
Greenford
Greenford
 Greenford shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ135825
London borough Ealing
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GREENFORD
Postcode district UB6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Ealing North
London Assembly Ealing and Hillingdon
List of places
UK
England
London

Greenford is a large suburb in the London Borough of Ealing in west London, UK. It was historically an ancient parish in the former county of Middlesex. The most prominent landmarks in the suburb are Horsenden Hill, 85 metres (279 ft) above sea level; the small Parish Church of Holy Cross (14th century); and Betham House, built by Edward Betham (c. 1780). Greenford is known as 'the product of legends'.

Toponymy[edit]

The name is first recorded in 848 as Grenan forda. It is formed from the Old English 'grēne' and 'ford' and means 'place at the green ford'. Greenford was known as Great Greenford in order to distinguish it from Little Greenford, which is now known as Perivale. The affixes 'Magna' and 'Parva' have also been used to denote the difference.[1]

History[edit]

Industrial[edit]

Greenford is considered to be birthplace of the modern organic chemical industry, as it was at William Perkin's chemical factory in North Greenford, by the Grand Union Canal, that the world's first aniline dye was discovered in March 1856. Perkin called his amazing discovery 'mauveine'. Today there is a blue plaque marking the spot in Oldfield Lane North, just south of the Black Horse Public House. Greenford is home to the Hovis factory. The former Rockware glassworks on the canal is commemorated by Rockware Avenue. Greenford formed part of Greenford Urban District from 1894 to 1926 and was then absorbed by the Municipal Borough of Ealing.

J. Lyons and Co.[edit]

A modern view of the Grand Union Canal through Greenford, with the former J.Lyons & Co. factory in the background

Post World War I, tea blender and food manufacturer J. Lyons and Co. were looking for a secondary site on which to expand production beyond Cadby Hall, Hammersmith. In 1921 they bought the first piece of an eventual 63 acres (25 ha) site, due to its location close to good transport links from both the Grand Union Canal and the Great Western Railway's Great Western Main Line, and the West Coast Main Line and onwards to the Midlands at Willesden Junction.

The factory officially opened in July 1921, with the first single-storey buildings known as "Zig-Zag" due to their northern light aligned windows allowing maximum light into the production area. There were steam and electrical power plants on site, which powered both the plant as well as the staff canteen and medical facilities, accessible to all plant employees and their dependents.[2] Transport docks and a canal basin had been developed, allowing shipment of tea and coffee directly from London Docks into HM Customs excise controlled bonded warehouses. The extensive onsite railway infrastructure allowed precise positioning of heavy raw goods into the factory, as well as the extraction of finished product. Lyons bought their own steam shunters to move wagons between the GWR exchange sidings and the factory system.[2]

Lyons quickly became Greenford's biggest employer. A later pioneer in electronic machines and computing, Lyons deployed the latest factory automation technology, making Greenford a show place that was regularly visited by the media, academics, competitors and royalty, with more than one visit by King George V and Queen Mary. In the 1950s, the site developed the breakfast ceral Ready Brek.[2] Areas of the site not initially developed for factory use were landscaped, with many trees planted. As the factory developed these diminished, particularly after the development of the Lyons Maid Bridge Park factory in the 1950s, and the new administration block in 1971.[2]

After the merger of Lyons with Allied Bakeries in the 1980s, and the focus of the new Allied Domecq business to focus on spirits, with the sell off of the businesses associated with the factory, the need for the facility dwindled. Redeveloped from 1998, today it is known as Lyon Way Industrial Estate.[2]

Art and culture[edit]

Five hundred yards north east from William Perkin's dye factory was a triangular field in which he kept horses. On this ground was built the Oldfield Tavern public house, which became a popular venue for a rock group called the Detours, who met a drummer there called Keith Moon. On Thursday 20 February 1964 they were introduced to the audience of the Oldfield Tavern as The Who.[3][4] (The Tavern has not survived, however, and has since been replaced by a small block of flats and a Texaco petrol station.) Andy Locke, Dave Kerr-Clemenson and Wal Scott, were all in Edison Lighthouse, with chart topping Love Grows all came from Greenford.

Expansion[edit]

Greenford (parish) population
1881 538
1891 545
1901 672
1911 843
1921 1,199
Absorbed by Ealing parish
source: UK census

Education[edit]