The Broadway in West Ealing
West Ealing shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Ealing Southall|
|London Assembly||Ealing and Hillingdon|
West Ealing in its present form is less than 100 years old.
In 1234 there was a hamlet called West Ealing. This name though appears to have been replaced by the name Ealing Dean at some time. West Ealing station, for example, began life in 1871 being called something else - Castle Hill & Ealing Dean Station. The Ealing Dean name is possibly derived from 'valley' or 'denu' and the earliest reference to it goes back to 1456. It appears on a Parish map of Ealing dated 1777. Most of what is now West Ealing at this time was open countryside and fields. Houses in the area were only to be found at Ealing Dean, Drayton Green and Castle Bear Hill (now called Castlebar Hill).
In 1387, Drayton Green was called Drayton and later Drayton in Ealing. The late 19th century saw Drayton develop as a hamlet with eight householders. The area around Drayton Green Lane was later called Steven's Town with more than 40 cottages.
There was an important road running east/west through the area which later became known as the Uxbridge Road. The Uxbridge Road was a well used route for stagecoaches during the 19th century and the London to Banbury and Oxford coach called at the ‘Halfway House' pub in West Ealing. The pub is still there but is now called The Broadwalk Hotel. The now defunct ‘Green Man' pub in West Ealing - now Iceland - was a carters' stopping place with stabling, reputedly, for a hundred horses.
In the 19th century much of the land from the Uxbridge Road south to Windmill Road, east to Northfield Avenue and west to Boston Road was given over to market gardens and orchards. Along with a few streets named after varieties of apples, almost the last remaining evidence of this is old Steel's Fruit Packing Warehouse on the corner of Northfield Road and Northcroft Road. The basic look of this old fruit warehouse has changed surprisingly little over time
On the eastern boundary of these market gardens and orchards were allotments which date back to the year of the Poor relief Act of 1832, when the area called Ealing Dean Common (then both sides of Northfield Avenue) was given to the poor of West Ealing by the Bishop of London. There are still allotments on the eastern side of Northfield Avenue, but the ones to the west were built on in the early 1980s.
Ealing Dean's major claim to fame in the 1800s was as the site of regular pony/donkey races. These races, on what was then called Jackass Common and now Dean Gardens, ceased in 1880 when the local council stopped them because of complaints about the 'evil they encouraged'.
In 1882, Ealing Lawn Tennis Club began life on land which abounded St. Leonards Road and the Great Western Railway (GWR). The club quickly became the most successful ladies lawn tennis club in the world. Three Ealing-born club members - Blanche Bingley, Charlotte Cooper and Dorothea Douglass - between them won 13 Wimbledon Singles titles between 1886 and 1906. In 1906 the club relocated to Creffield Road in Ealing Common.
In the 1890s, the centre had shops that were less pretentious and more informal than those in the centre of Ealing. There was no regular street market in central Ealing, but there were then (and now) fruit and vegetable stalls in West Ealing. If there was a golden age for West Ealing centre it was in the mid-20th century when draper, house furnisher, clothier and outfitters FH Rowse, and draper and fashion house WJ Daniel & Co were both flourishing, along with Marks and Spencer, British Home Stores, Woolworth, Sainsbury's and WHSmith. In later years, more heavyweights arrived in the shape of Waitrose, McDonalds, and latterly Blockbuster Video.
The West Ealing Library is on Melbourne Avenue just to the south of the Uxbridge Road. Its old location, opened in 1903, was between Melbourne Avenue and St James's Avenue, where Sainsbury's is currently located.
West Ealing boasted its own large cinema at the Uxbridge Road end of Northfield Avenue, which started life as the Kinema in 1913 - replacing Ealing Dean Cottage Hospital. The cinema was rebuilt in 1928 and became the Lido. Because film-going attendances shrank, it was divided into two small cinemas and renamed Studio 1 and Studio 2; it also opened a bingo hall in the main hall. Another change of ownership and it became Cannon 1 & 2. The bingo hall closed and reopened as a snooker hall. It changed hands again and opened briefly as the Gosai, which was an Indian cinema devoted to mostly Bollywood films. It then closed and remained so, until it was demolished in 2005. The site has now been redeveloped in partnership between the Dominion Housing Group and the Ealing Community and Voluntary Service. The new building is known as the Lido Centre and opened in 2007. It is home to Ealing's volunteer centre. Above the workspace provided for the different voluntary organisation there are a number of small utility flats, intended for social housing use.
Some of the spurts in residential building booms in the area can be attributed to the GWR railway station opening at Ealing Dean in 1871 and the later extension from the station to Greenford via Castle Bar Park railway station and Drayton Green railway station; the London United Tramways Company line opening between Ealing and Southall in 1901; and the District Railway "halt" opening at Northfields in 1907.
In the 1920s, many houses were built on the Argyle Park Estate (stretching from the Argyle Road to the Greenford GWR railway line), and along Kent Avenue. Later housing developments replaced the allotments to the west of Northfield Avenue, others created flats in Langham Gardens off Gordon Road in 1970 and another in 1977 created the Green Man Lane Estate. In the early 1980s, the Berners Drive/Coleridge Square estate was built alongside a rebuilt West Middlesex Lawn Tennis club immediately west of Drayton Green.
Since World War II, there has been rebuilding in West Ealing and many Victorian houses have been converted into flats. FH Rowse's has now gone and so has WHSmith, Marks and Spencer, Woolworth and McDonalds. Recent arrivals include Wilkinson (pictured). The old Daniel's store has been demolished and replaced by a large gym with a block of flats on top. Waitrose knocked down its store after its short 16-year life and replaced it with a much bigger one.
Recent history has been a story of a gentle decline in West Ealing shopping and cultural facilities. One bright spot was the establishment in 2001 of London's only street market dedicated to farm produce.
West Ealing is made up of three electoral wards for local council elections: Cleveland, Elthorne and Walpole; it is also served by small parts of Northfields ward and Ealing Broadway. These wards each elect three councillors to Ealing Council. Recent elections have seen seats changing hands, and as of the 2014 election the area has mainly Labour representation, with Labour councillors in Elthorne and Walpole wards and two Labour and one Conservative councillor in Cleveland ward.
West Ealing was in the parliamentary constituency of Ealing Southall (represented since 2007 by Labour Member of Parliament Virendra Sharma) until boundary changes for the 2010 general election moved Walpole into the newly formed Ealing Central and Acton constituency (represented since 2010 by Conservative MP Angie Bray).
West Ealing is in the London Assembly constituency of Ealing and Hillingdon which has one assembly member: Onkar Sahota (Labour), who was elected in May 2012, overturning a majority of more than 20,000 to unseat Richard Barnes.
- Castle Bar Station (First Great Western)
- Drayton Green Station (First Great Western)
- West Ealing Station (First Great Western)
- The original name of Halfway House is still visible in the semicircle above the top floor windows
- It has since been rehoused in a modern building. Storytime is held on Tuesdays from 10.30am -11am. Events are organised for children throughout the school holidays. Open: Tues, Wed and Thurs 9am-7.45pm; Fri and Sat 9am-5pm; Sun and Mon closed. There is wheelchair access to the library. For more information visit Ealing Council web site in External links (below)
- Ealing and Brentford: Public services', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7: Acton, Chiswick, Ealing and Brentford, West Twyford, Willesden (1982), pp. 147-49,(fn 68). Date accessed: 14 May 2007.
- Ealing Volunteer Centre. Volunteering England Organisation. Accessed 2007-05-14
- Called Ealing Farmer's Market it is part of London Farmers' Markets. Trading on Saturdays. Hours: 9 am - 1 pm. Location: Leeland Road, West Ealing, W13. See also: External links section (below)
- Hounsell, Peter (1991) Ealing and Hanwell Past, London : Historical Publ., ISBN 0-948667-13-3
- Neaves, Cyril M. (1971 ) A history of Greater Ealing, Local history reprint series, 2nd Ed, Wakefield : S.R. Publishers [Facsimile reprint of 2nd ed., Brentford: Brentford Printing], ISBN 0-85409-679-5
- West Ealing Neighbours
- Ealing Dean Allotment Society
- West Middlesex Lawn Tennis Club. Accessed 2007-14-05-14
- Contact details for Cleveland councillors Ian Gibb, John Popham and Gregory Stafford (all Con)
- Contact details for Elthorne councillors Julia Clemments Elliot (Lab), Amit Kapoor (Con) & Jonathan Oxley (Con)