Hayes, Hillingdon

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Not to be confused with Hayes, Bromley.
EMI Music Archive, Hayes - geograph.org.uk - 815456.jpg
The EMI Music Archive building in Hayes
Hayes is located in Greater London
 Hayes shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ095805
   – Charing Cross 13 mi (21 km)  E
London borough Hillingdon
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HAYES
Postcode district UB3, UB4
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Hayes and Harlington
London Assembly Ealing and Hillingdon
List of places

Coordinates: 51°30′46″N 0°25′16″W / 51.5127°N 0.4211°W / 51.5127; -0.4211

Hayes is a town in west London in the London Borough of Hillingdon once administered by Middlesex County Council. It is a suburban development situated 13 miles (21 km) west of Charing Cross. Hayes was developed in the late 19th and 20th centuries as an industrial locality to which residential districts were later added to house factory workers. Its development was characteristic of the Second Industrial Revolution – the creation of new light-engineering industries on the edge of existing cities. Hayes has a very long history, though, as the place-names of the area indicate.


The place-name Hayes comes from the Anglo-Saxon Hǣs or Hǣse: "(land overgrown with) brushwood". The town's name is spelt Hessee in a 1628 entry in an Inquisition post mortem held at The National Archives.[1]


Until the end of the 19th century, Hayes's key areas of work were agriculture and brickmaking. However, the town's location on the Grand Junction Canal (later called the Grand Union) and the Great Western Railway gave it a number of advantages during the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. It was because of this proximity that the Hayes Development Company offered sites on the north side of the railway, adjacent to the canal.


Hayes has, over the years, been heavily involved with industry, both local and international, having been the home of EMI, Nestlé and H. J. Heinz Company. Past companies include Fairey Aviation (later merged with Westland), and HMV.

An early occupier was the Gramophone Company, later His Master's Voice and latterly EMI. Only the EMI archives and some early reinforced concrete factory buildings (notably one [1912] by Evan Owen Williams, later knighted) remain as The Old Vinyl Factory.

It was here, in the Central Research Laboratories (generally known as "CRL"), that Isaac Shoenberg developed (1934) the all-electronic 405-line television system (called the Marconi-EMI system, used by the BBC from 1936 until closedown of the Crystal Palace 405-line transmissions in 1985).

Alan Blumlein carried out his research into binaural sound and stereophonic gramophone recording here. "Trains at Hayes Station" (1935) and "Walking & Talking" are two notable films Blumlein shot to demonstrate stereo sound on film. These films are held at the Hayes EMI archive.

In 1939, working alongside the electrical firms A.C. Cossor and Pye, a 60 MHz radar was developed, and from 1941 to 1943 the H2S radar system.

During the 1990s, CRL spawned another technology: Sensaura 3D positional audio. In an echo of Blumlein's early stereo recordings, the Sensaura engineers made some of their first 3D audio recordings at Hayes Station.

During the First World War the EMI factories produced aircraft. Charles Richard Fairey was seconded there for a short time, before setting up his own company, Fairey Aviation, which relocated in 1918 to a large new factory across the railway in North Hyde Road. Over 4,500 aircraft were subsequently produced here but Fairey needed an airfield to test these aircraft and in 1928 secured a site in nearby Heathrow. This became the Great West Aerodrome, but was requisitioned by the Air Ministry in 1944, and initially developed as a heavy bomber base intended for Boeing B-29 Superfortresses but when Second World War ended in 1945, it was taken over by the Ministry of Aviation and became Heathrow Airport.

The Nestlé company located its major chocolate and instant coffee works on the canal, adjacent to the railway east of the station, and it was for many years the company's UK headquarters.

Opposite Nestlé on the other side of the canal, the Aeolian Company and its associates manufactured player pianos and rolls from just before World War I until the Great Depression. That, and the increasing sophistication of the gramophone record market, led to its collapse; its facilities were then used by Wall's, a meat processor and ice cream manufacturer.

From the early 1970s to 2003 McAlpine Helicopters Limited and Operational Support Services Limited (later renamed McAlpine Aviation Services Limited) operated from two purpose-built helicopter hangars in Swallowfield Way industrial estate, as the company operated on land already owned by Sir Robert McAlpine. The land on the other side of the Grand Union Canal is called Stockley Park and its buildings were intentionally positioned to allow safe passage for helicopters into the heliport in case of an emergency. Fortunately, this was never used.

Damont Audio was a vinyl pressing plant based in Hayes from the 1970s to 2005. "DAMONT" or "Damont Audio Ltd" is typically inscribed in the run-out groove of vinyl produced at the plant.[2]

Development as a suburb[edit]

Following development, industry became pre-eminent in Hayes. Corresponding provision of housing did not begin until after World War I, with the creation of dwellings of the garden suburb type.

George Orwell, who adopted this pseudonym while living here, lived and worked in 1932-3 as a schoolmaster at The Hawthorns High School for Boys, situated on Church Road. The school has since closed and is now known as The Fountain House Hotel; the hotel bears a plaque commemorating its distinguished former resident. Returning several times to Hayes,[3] Orwell was at the same time characteristically acerbic about his time in the town, camouflaging it lightly as West Bletchley in Coming Up for Air, as Southbridge in A Clergyman's Daughter, and grumbling comically in a letter to author/friend Frank Jellinek:

Hayes . . . is one of the most godforsaken places I have ever struck. The population seems to be entirely made up of clerks who frequent tin-roofed chapels on Sundays and for the rest bolt themselves within doors.[4]

Queen Elizabeth II visited Hayes town centre on 19 May 2006 as part of a programme of visits in celebration of her 80th birthday.[5]


St. Mary's Church, Hayes
St Mary's Church, Hayes, overlooking Barra Hall Park

St Mary's (a.k.a. St Mary the Virgin) Church on Church Road is the oldest building in Hayes. The central portion of the church, the chancel and the nave, was built in the 1200s, the north aisle in the 1400s (as was the tower), and the south aisle in the 1500s, along with the lychgate and the south porch. Hayes's entry in the Domesday Book (1086) makes no mention of a church or chapel, and the name of St Mary suggests a 12th-century dedication as it was at this time that church dedications in this name first appeared in England.[6] Besides the church, the other main building in medieval villages was the manor house. The manor house formerly associated with the church was assigned to Canterbury Cathedral by Christian priest Warherdus as far back as 830 AD.[7] The site of the original manor house is not known, but it is likely to have been on or near the site of the building latterly on Church Road called the Manor House, parts of which dated from the early 16th century. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Archbishop Lanfranc had contacts with the parish. St Mary's has a 12th-century font, and many interesting memorials and brasses. The brass to Robert Lellee, Rector somewhere between 1356 and 1375, is purportedly the oldest brass in Middlesex. Adjacent to it is another to Rector Robert Burgeys (1408–1421). (The first recorded Rector was Peter de Lymonicen [1259]). There are tombs in the church to Walter Grene (1456), Thomas Higate (1576), and Sir Edward Fenner (1611), Judge of the King's Bench. The latter tomb covers earlier tiling on the wall and floors. Some partly uncovered pre-Reformation wall-paintings and a large mural (dating from the 14th century) of Saint Christopher with the infant Child are on the North wall. A brass to Veare Jenyns (1644) relates to the Court of Charles I, while other Jenynses, who were Lords of the Manor, link with Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Judge John Heath, after whom Judge Heath Lane was named, is also buried at St Mary's. Victorian restorers donated a number of windows, and more recent additions include windows to Saints Anselm and Nicholas. The Coronation window is in the north aisle above the Triptych painted by the pre-Raphaelite Edward Fellowes Prynne. His brother George Fellowes Prynne carved the Reredos with St Anselm and St George in the niches. The embossed roof of the Nave reflects the Tudor period with emblems of the crucifixion and the arms of Henry and Aragon (the lands passed to Henry VIII as a consequence of the English Reformation).

St Anselm church, built in 1929 on Station Road in Hayes town centre, is so-named because it is thought that Archbishop (later Saint) Anselm stayed in the manor house of St Mary's church.[8]

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic church was built in 1961, replacing the earlier church built in 1912. It is situated in Hayes town centre, just off Coldharbour Lane/Station Road. The first permanent building to be built was the adjacent primary school, Botwell House, which opened in 1931. The church's picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which measures 5½m x 3m) was painted by Pietro Annigoni (1910–1988) in Florence, and took nine months to complete.


Primary schools in Hayes include: Botwell House, Dr Triplett's, Minet, Pinkwell, William Byrd, Hayes Park, Grange Park and Wood End.

Secondary schools in Hayes include: Barnhill Community High School,[9] Guru Nanak Sikh Academy,[10] Harlington Community School,[11] Hewens College,[12] Rosedale College,[13] and Parkside Studio College.

Uxbridge College has a Hayes Campus, situated on the former Townfield School site, accessible from Coldharbour Lane.[14]



The station in the area is:


London Buses serving Hayes are:

Route Start End Operator
90 Feltham Northolt Metroline
140 Harrow Weald Heathrow Airport Metroline
195 Charville Lane Brentford Metroline
350 Hayes & Harlington Station Heathrow Terminal 5 Abellio London
427 Uxbridge Acton Metroline
607 Uxbridge White City Metroline
696 Bourne Avenue Bishop Ramsey School London United
697 Hayes Lansbury Drive Ickenham London United
698 West Drayton Station Ickenham London United
E6 Bulls Bridge Greenford Metroline
H98 Hayes End Hounslow London United
U4 Prologis Park Uxbridge Metroline
U5 Hayes & Harlington Station Uxbridge Metroline
U7 Hayes Uxbridge Abellio London
N207 Uxbridge Holborn Metroline


The area is close to junctions 3 and 4 of the M4 motorway. The A312 is the main north-south route. The A4020 Uxbridge Road is the main West-East route passing directly through Hayes.


The Grand Union Canal runs through Hayes. Travellers by boat may moor at Hayes and take advantage of its local amenities, such as shops (which include branches of Iceland, Sainsbury's and Tesco) and banks.


The United Kingdom office of China Airlines operates from Hyde Park Hayes 3.[15]

Cloud computing company Rackspace operates its UK offices from Hyde Park Hayes 3.[16]

Dental technicians Image Diagnostic Technology Ltd operate their UK offices from Hyde Park Hayes 3.

Pipeline and mechanical engineering product-supplier Plumbase Industrial (owned by Grafton plc) operates their HQ and inaugural branch from Stewart Quay in Printing House Lane, Hayes.[17]


Bird sculpture at Lake Farm Park

Hayes's Beck Theatre opened in 1977, and offers a wide range of touring shows in a welcoming modern building. The Beck is very much a community theatre, offering one-night concerts, comedy, drama, films, opera, and pantomime.

Hayes's Botwell Green Library is situated in the Botwell Green Leisure Centre (address: East Avenue, UB3 2HW), which in 2010 replaced both the old Hayes Library (opened 1933 on Golden Crescent) and the old swimming baths (opened 1967 on Central Avenue).[18] The old swimming baths building remained derelict following its 2010 closure,[19] until Hillingdon Council demolished it in late 2012 having first given itself planning permission for a housing scheme on the site.[20]

Public houses in Hayes include: The Botwell Inn, The Bootlaces, The Old Crown (Station Road), Ye Olde Crowne (Uxbridge Road), The Adam and Eve (the town's earliest recorded inn, dating from 1665),[21] The Grapes, The Carpenter's Arms, The Angel, and The Wishing Well.

Other cultural amenities include some very good parks and gardens, including: Barra Hall Park, Minet Country Park, the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens, and until 2013 Lake Farm Country Park. Council leader Raymond Puddifoot had in 2011 given a promise that green-belt land in Hillingdon would be safe on his watch: "I can give a categoric assurance that under this adminsitration we will never see a threat to the green belt."[22] In August 2012, however, Mr Puddifoot announced plans to build on green-belt (and longtime common land) site Lake Farm.[23] In January 2013, a GLA report put Hillingdon Council's plan to build on Lake Farm in jeopardy; Transport for London predicted major congestion and bus-service disruption.[24] On Tuesday 5 March 2013, in a stormy council meeting, the Conservative majority of Hillingdon Council's planning committee members dismissed the discontent of residents in the south of the borough and hurriedly rubber-stamped the application to build on Lake Farm Country Park,[25] and in August 2014 Mr Puddifoot proudly demonstrated his volte-face on destroying green-belt land by making a photo opportunity of the former common-land site's final eradication.[26]

Hayes has had six cinemas in its history. (1.) The town's first cinema, in the silent era, opened in 1913, and was named simply The Hayes Cinema. It was situated at 53-55 Station Road, Hayes - now the site of a branch of 99p Stores (formerly Woolworths). The Hayes Cinema was re-named Gem Cinema before its closure in the middle of World War I, in 1916.[27] (2.) The Regent Cinema stood between 1924 and 1938 at 16 Station Road, Hayes - now the site of a branch of Santander bank. The Regent Cinema subsequently became The Regent Theatre (1948-54). Playwright John Osborne was involved with the theatre, and stars including Kenneth Williams, Diana Dors and John Le Mesurier performed there early in their careers.[28] Sylvia Rayman's groundbreaking "all-women play" Women of Twilight (1951) was premiered at Hayes's Regent Theatre.[29] (3.) The Corinth Cinema opened in 1933 at 1040 Uxbridge Road. Re-named The Essoldo in 1949, it was the first cinema in the area to be equipped with CinemaScope and stereophonic sound. After purchasing an alternative building nearby in 1957 (infra), the Essoldo chain closed this cinema in 1961. The address is now the site of the town's Point West Building.[30] (4.) The Ambassador Theatre existed between 1938 and 1961 on the area of East Avenue, Hayes which is now occupied by the British Telecommunications Centre (formerly a GPO telephone exchange). Actress Valerie Hobson made a personal appearance on the occasion of the Ambassador Theatre's opening on 19 December 1938.[31] (5.) The Savoy Cinema existed from 1939 to 1957 at 466 Uxbridge Road, Hayes. The building was designed by noted cinema architect George Coles. Some famous artists performed on stage at Hayes's Savoy Cinema over the years - Max Miller, Josephine Baker and Adam Faith among them. The Essoldo chain bought the Savoy in 1957, re-naming it The Essoldo in 1962 (after closing its nearby namesake in 1961). This incarnation of the Essoldo closed in 1967. The building is now a branch of Mecca Bingo.[32] (6.) The Classic Cinema (1972-1986) was located above a Waitrose supermarket, at 502 Uxbridge Road, Hayes. Subsequently demolished, its entrance was immediately to the left of the building now occupied by Mecca Bingo.[33]

Hayes FM (91.8 FM) is the town's community-focused, non-commercial local radio station. The station provides a platform for discussion of local matters, and besides playing popular music caters musically to a variety of tastes and genres, including indie rock and urban music. Since "Hayes, Middlesex" is famously present on the reverse of the Beatles' 1960s LPs (which were manufactured at the town's Old Vinyl Factory), it is appropriate that Hayes FM should also boast Europe's longest running Beatles-themed radio show.[34]


Hayes & Yeading United F.C.'s former Church Road ground

Hayes & Yeading United F.C. formed on 18 May 2007, following a merger of the former Hayes F.C. and Yeading F.C. Hayes & Yeading presently play at the Kingfield Stadium in Woking, Surrey (GU22 9AA), having agreed a groundshare with Woking F.C.

The former Hayes F.C. started out as Botwell Mission in 1909, taking the name Hayes F.C. in 1929. The team's home stadium was on Church Road, Hayes. The Church Road stadium continued in May 2007 as Hayes & Yeading's ground until 19 April 2011, when the team played at Church Road for the last time, beating Gateshead 3–1. The former Church Road ground was demolished in 2011, and is now the site of housing. The Church Road ground saw the start of the career of a number of players who went on to play at higher levels, among them Les Ferdinand and Cyrille Regis.

Hayes has a second Non-League football team, A.F.C. Hayes; they were known until 2007 as Brook House F.C.

Notable people[edit]

Nearest places[edit]


  1. ^ Calendar of Inquisitions Post-Mortem; National Archives; C 142/737/191; for Francis Awsiter, a wealthy landowner in the area; (in Latin): line 17 of document: "Hayes als. Hessee"
  2. ^ "Damont Audio". Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "George Orwell – Teaching"
  4. ^ Homage to Catalonia, p. 2, and the letter to Frank Jellinek of 20 December 1938, Collected Essays I, pp. 363–7.
  5. ^ "Queen visits Hayes, Middlesex UK, 2006". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Catherine Kelter, Hayes: A Concise History (Hillingdon Borough Libraries, 1988), 9 & 18.
  7. ^ St Mary's information 1
  8. ^ St Mary's information 2
  9. ^ "Barnhill Community High." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Guru Nanak Sikh Academy." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Harlington Community School." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Mellow Lane High School." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Rosedale College." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Uxbridge College (Hayes Campus)." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  15. ^ "Europe and Middle East." China Airlines. Retrieved on 30 August 2011. "The United Kingdom 3rd Floor, West Wing, Hyde Park Hayes 3 (HPH3), 11 Millington Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 4AZ"
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ http://www.plumbaseindustrial.co.uk
  18. ^ "Hayes Library." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved on 27 June 2010.
  19. ^ Griffith, Jack (17 April 2012). "Hayes Pool building to be demolished". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  20. ^ Griffith, Jack (5 July 2012). "Hayes pool set for £152k demolition". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  21. ^ Kelter, Catherine (1988). Hayes: A Concise History. Hillingdon: Hillingdon Borough Libraries. p. 26. 
  22. ^ Cracknell, James (1 August 2011). "Council going ahead with Green Belt school plan". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  23. ^ Griffith, Jack (22 August 2012). "Lake Farm school plans 'due within weeks'". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  24. ^ Griffith, Jack (30 January 2013). "Boris throws future of Lake Farm into doubt". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  25. ^ Griffith, Jack (6 March 2013). "Fury as Hillingdon Council approves green belt school at Lake Farm". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  26. ^ Drewett, Zoe (8 August 2014). "Final bricks are laid at new sustainable school in Hayes". Get West London. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  27. ^ Ken Roe. "Gem Cinema". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  28. ^ Ken Roe. "Regent Theatre". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  29. ^ Rigby, Jonathan (April 2014). "Rediscovering A Lost Classic". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  30. ^ Ken Roe. "Essoldo Hayes (1)". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  31. ^ Ken Roe. "Ambassador Theatre". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  32. ^ Ken Roe. "Essoldo Hayes (2)". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  33. ^ Ken Roe. "Classic Hayes". Cinema Treaures. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  34. ^ "Pete Dicks". Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  35. ^ Amaldi, Edoardo (2012). The Adventurous Life of Friedrich Georg Houtermans, Physicist (1903–1966). Heidelberg: Springer. p. 33. ISBN 3642328547. 
  36. ^ "Former TUC leader Norman Willis dies at 81". BBC. 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  37. ^ Geoffrey Goodman (2014). "Norman Willis obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 

External links[edit]