Wealdstone

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Wealdstone
War memorial and clock tower, Wealdstone - geograph.org.uk - 4446283.jpg
Wealdstone war memorial and clock alongside a parade in the northern part of High Street
Wealdstone is located in Greater London
Wealdstone
Wealdstone
Location within Greater London
Population11,394 (2011 Census. Ward)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ155895
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHARROW
Postcode districtHA3
Dialling code020
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
UK
England
London
51°35′45″N 0°20′07″W / 51.595697°N 0.335190°W / 51.595697; -0.335190Coordinates: 51°35′45″N 0°20′07″W / 51.595697°N 0.335190°W / 51.595697; -0.335190

Wealdstone (/ˈwldstn/) is a district located in the centre of the London Borough of Harrow, England. It is located just north of Harrow town centre and is south of Harrow Weald, west of Belmont and Kenton, and east of Headstone.

The area accommodates most of Harrow's industrial and business designated land. As the blue-collar part of the borough, Wealdstone is perhaps best known for the Kodak Harrow plant, which closed down in 2016.[2] Wealdstone is centred on the High Street, and much traffic is bypassed from here by the George Gange Way flyover built in 1996.[3][4] Its western boundary is formed by the Harrow View, across which the Headstone Manor lies, whereas on the east is Byron Park and the Belmont Trail. Harrow & Wealdstone station and the council offices are located at its southern end.

Etmyology[edit]

The eponymous Weald Stone is a sarsen stone, positioned to mark the then boundary between the parishes of Harrow and Harrow Weald. It is located outside the Bombay Central restaurant,[5] which was built as a public house (previously known as the Weald Stone Inn and prior to that, the Red Lion), outside 328 High Road, Harrow Weald.[6]

History[edit]

Wealdstone Urban District was created under the Local Government Act 1894 in 1894, and absorbed by Harrow Urban District in 1934.

Much of the housing stock in central Wealdstone consist of older Victorian and Edwardian terraces along with new flatted developments in High Street and George Gange Way.[7]

The former Eastman Kodak factory on Headstone Drive, Wealdstone. It was Kodak's first outside the U.S., opened in 1891 and closed 2016, now demolished.

The Kodak Harrow factory was located in Wealdstone until closure in 2016. This, along with nearby factories of Winsor & Newton (closed 2010[8]), Whitefriars Glass and Hamilton Brush Works,[9] turned Wealdstone into Harrow's industrial centre. Waverley Industrial Estate still contains industry today. A Her Majesty's Stationery Office factory in the area was demolished in 1996 and now replaced by Harrow Crown Court.[10]

At the junction of Graham Road with High Street was located the former Herga Cinema which opened in 1939 but closed in 1951.[11] The building was variously used throughout its later lifetime as commercial premises until Harrow Council confirmed in 2018 that the building was to be demolished and replaced by flats.[12]

The bypass of Wealdstone High Street was completed in late 1996. In 1997 supermarket chain Asda announced a grand scheme for a superstore in Wealdstone involving a massive redevelopment of the town centre, including demolishing 60 small businesses. Due to its controversy and dividing opinion it was scrapped and revived again later that year with a more modest scheme.[13][14][15] Following lengthy negotiations and consultations, Asda dropped the plan in 1999 blaming Harrow Council.[16] Local traders were reportedly "beleaguered" by the high street's decline since the opening of the bypass and the abandonment of Sainsbury's promising to built a supermarket in 2001, which traders hoped would help revitalise Wealdstone.[17][18] Later that year Harrow Council secured funding for a community centre including a library at the site of a former Safeway.[19][20] It opened in 2004 as the Wealdstone Centre. Asda eventually opened a smaller supermarket on the high street in 2015.[21]

A mural of Queen Victoria on the sidewalls of Harrow & Wealdstone station

A mural commemorating Queen Victoria was painted on the railway bridge in 2004 by local children.[22]

Police Station[edit]

Wealdstone Police Station in 2017
High Street showing police station on the right in 2006

Likely the most prominent building in Wealdstone is the former Police Station in the high street. The site was built in 1909 and has been Grade II listed since 1998.[23] It is noted for its distinctive style and features.[24]

In 2003, plans by the met to close Wealdstone police station was met with widespread protest and opposition within the community. A petition against the closure received 200 signatures.[25] The station eventually remained open, but the issue arose again in 2008 and 2011 amid police plans to sell the building. While the station was no longer open to the public, it still housed the Anti-Social Behaviour Partnership team.[26]

In May 2011, Navin Shah representing Brent and Harrow in the London Assembly asked then-Mayor Boris Johnson about his thoughts on the closure. Johnson responded:

Let's be clear - the closing of a police station is always a very difficult decision. People understandably are reassured by the physical presence of a corner police station. But the Met's real estate portfolio is ageing, and modern policing is these days more reliant on resources other than just bricks and mortar.[27]

Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, launched a petition to save the station.[28] However the prevention was unsuccessful and the station closed down. [29]

Sport[edit]

The Harrow Leisure Centre [1] is located in Wealdstone and facilities include swimming, badminton, snooker, martial arts and a gym run by Harper's Fitness. One of the country's oldest remaining skate parks, Harrow Skate Park, is next to the leisure centre. The park is a major centre of the British skateboarding scene and draws visitors from all over the country.

Wealdstone FC have a long association with the town. In 1903 they played at the College Farm ground situated in Locket Road, then later played in Belmont Road before moving in 1922 to Lower Mead, which was located behind the ABC Cinema (now the Safari Cinema) on Station Road, prior to its controversial sale to Tesco for retail development in 1991. After many years of without a home stadium of their own, Wealdstone FC is now based nearby in Ruislip, having currently abandoned plans to relocate within the borough of Harrow at Prince Edward Fields, Canons Park, now the home stadium of Barnet FC. Famous former players include Stuart Pearce, Vinnie Jones and Jermaine Beckford.

Demography[edit]

Wealdstone High Street (2006)

Wealdstone is the youngest ward in the borough of Harrow.[30] It is also the most deprived part of the borough.[31][32]

2011 census results show the largest ethnic group in Wealdstone ward is White British (25%), followed by 20% Indian and 13% Other Asian.[33] Marlborough ward (which covers southern parts of Wealdstone) was 24% Indian, 23% White British, 11% Other Asian and 10% Other White.[34]

Wealdstone used to have the highest crime rate in the borough, as the town suffered from antisocial behaviour and drug crime, higher than the borough's average. However, the Wealdstone Antisocial Behaviour Partnership (WASP), started by the Metropolitan Police to tackle crime in the town in 2010, has seen impressive results with crime figures now below the average in the borough. Wealdstone was one of only four Harrow wards to show a fall in reported Crime from April 2015 to March 2016.[35]

Governance[edit]

Wealdstone ward is within the Harrow West constituency, currently represented by Labour MP Gareth Thomas. However smaller parts of the district west of High Street and north of Locket Road are in the Harrow Weald ward, which is in Harrow East constituency and represented by Conservative MP Bob Blackman.

Other amenities[edit]

Holy Trinity, Wealdstone

The Holy Trinity Church of England was built in Gothic style in 1882.[36]

Schools include: Salvatorian College and Sacred Heart Language College.

Transport[edit]

Tube/Trains[edit]

There is one station in the district:

Bus routes[edit]

Seven London Buses routes run during day, as well as a school bus (640). There are two night routes serving Wealdstone: 140 and N18.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harrow Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  2. ^ https://www2.harrow.gov.uk/documents/s108616/HarrowandWealdstoneAreaActionPlan.pdf
  3. ^ https://www.theundergroundmap.com/article.html?id=45229
  4. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6518586.that-was-1997-that-was/
  5. ^ "Agenda item - Application for a new premises licence in respect of Mumbai Central, 328 High Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA3 6HS". 1 December 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. ^ T F T Baker, J S Cockburn, R B Pugh (eds.) (1971). "Harrow, including Pinner: Introduction". A History of the County of Middlesex: volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 169–172. Retrieved 29 November 2009.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ https://www2.harrow.gov.uk/documents/s152635/Ward%20boundary%20-%20Appendix%20B.pdf
  8. ^ https://www.mylondon.news/news/local-news/colart-groups-close-wealdstone-art-5994438
  9. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/1upC0mKBRgydCbnYm6u4Hw
  10. ^ https://www.dtels.org/html/cce_harrow5.html
  11. ^ http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/17998
  12. ^ https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/16186322.wealdstone-metro-land-cinema-site-to-become-flats/
  13. ^ "Asda: We still want to build Wealdstone store", Pinner Observer, p. 16, 25 September 1997
  14. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6518586.that-was-1997-that-was/
  15. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6518391.public-divided-over-asda-plan/
  16. ^ "Asda lashes out as it drops store plan", Pinner Observer, p. 4, 13 May 1999
  17. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6395035.towns-hopes-for-revival-are-dashed/
  18. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6407131.future-bleak-as-sainsburys-turns-its-back-on-wealdstone/
  19. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6382047.a-new-centre-of-hope/
  20. ^ https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/481608.name-new-community-centre/
  21. ^ https://www.retail-week.com/grocery/store-gallery-asda-opens-its-first-high-street-store-in-wealdstone/5076525.article
  22. ^ https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/533515.wealdstone-mural-finished/
  23. ^ https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/heritage-at-risk/search-register/list-entry/213016
  24. ^ https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/8927209.wealdstone-police-station-could-close-under-metropolitan-police-authority-mpa-plans/
  25. ^ https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/6247809.protests-grow-over-threat-to-wealdstone-police-station/
  26. ^ https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/8927209.wealdstone-police-station-could-close-under-metropolitan-police-authority-mpa-plans/
  27. ^ https://www.london.gov.uk/questions/2011/1407
  28. ^ https://www.mylondon.news/news/local-news/save-wealdstone-police-station-petition-5984918
  29. ^ https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/harrow/17967517.former-wealdstone-police-station-become-flats-cafe/
  30. ^ https://www.harrow.gov.uk/downloads/file/23432/2011-census-second-release-a-look-at-harrow-s-wards
  31. ^ http://harrowgiving.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Harrow-Council-Background-Paper-Needs-Analysis.pdf
  32. ^ https://www.harrow.gov.uk/downloads/file/26921/deprivation
  33. ^ http://www.ukcensusdata.com/wealdstone-e05000304
  34. ^ http://www.ukcensusdata.com/marlborough-e05000296
  35. ^ http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/8205307.New_police_team_to_tackle_problems_of_Wealdstone/
  36. ^ https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol4/pp257-260

External links[edit]