EPW061272 ENGLAND (1939). The Kingsbury Lido, Kingsbury, 1939

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Title [EPW061272] The Kingsbury Lido, Kingsbury, 1939
Reference EPW061272
Date 31-May-1939
Place name KINGSBURY
Easting / Northing 520070, 188807
Longitude / Latitude -0.2667563737495, 51.584837587219
National Grid Reference TQ201888


This block of seven shops with flats above was built in 1934/35 by Marrable Brothers for the London Co-operative Society, which opened a department store covering four of the units (518 to 524 Kingsbury Road) in May 1935 (see photograph attached, showing its grand opening). The Co-op had moved from Kingsbury Road by the 1980's, and the lease of the ground floor of Nos. 520-524 was taken over by Brent Council. It was used at first as the borough's northern arwa Housing Office, but in 2007/08 was converted to provide a more central location for Kingsbury Library.

Tuesday 17th of September 2013 07:04:08 PM
Valley Farm was built around 1870, originally as a dairy farm. By the First World War the farmer was William White, who also owned a small chain of butchers shops, and the farm had been turned over to meat production, with its own slaughterhouse. By 1930, with plans to build a branch line of the Metropolitan Railway through Kingsbury to Stanmore, including a station nearby along Kingsbury Road, White sold off his fields to developer George Cloke, who had moved in next door at Kingsbury Manor. White continued to live in the farmhouse, which can be seen on the attached extract from the 1935 edition 25" to one mile O.S. map (Middlesex, sheet XI.5). When a detachment of the Local Defence Volunteers (Home Guard) was formed in Kingsbury in 1940, they used the empty farm buildings as a base and training ground, until a proper drill hall was constructed for them. The farmhouse survived until the late 1950's, when a block of Wembley Borough Council flats, Sutherland Court (named after the Duchess) with old peoples' bungalows behind was built on the site.

Friday 30th of August 2013 07:38:45 PM
This building is the Victoria Hall, a social club which at the time of this photograph was owned and run by Jimmy Upton. He called it the "Victoria" because he had won the Victoria Cross for gallantry while fighting as a corporal in the Sherwood Foresters regiment in France in 1915. The hall was originally built in 1930 by local entrepreneur, Henry Higinbottom, as the club house for the Kingsbury Midget Golf Club (the remains of the miniature golf course can be seen in the photograph on the land at either side of the hall), where members could play indoor putting during the winter months, hold dances, play billiards or drink in the bar. During the Second World War the hall was used for a time by local coachbuilding company Vanden Plas, as extra workshop space for making wings for Mosquito aircraft, and at the end of 1945 the land around the hall was requisitioned by Wembley Council for building nine pre-fab homes. By the 1950's the hall was known as the Ritz Ballroom, a very popular dance hall with a live band playing at least four nights a week. The attached photograph, taken in 1963 by Wembley History Society member Arthur Murgatroyd and now part of the Society's collection at Brent Archives, shows the building just before it was demolished to make way for a block of Council flats (Westcroft Court).

Thursday 29th of August 2013 11:31:33 AM
I have fond memories of this dance hall in the early 1960's. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, and Shane Fenton and the Fentones were groups I recall seeing there. Shane later reinvented himself as Alvin Stardust. The Kingsbury Lido was my preferred swimming pool of the local options. It was certainly a very popular meeting place in the summer. Strange how we didn't worry about the water temperature in the unheated pool.

Sunday 1st of September 2013 05:12:41 PM
Kingsbury Manor, built in 1899 for the Duchess of Sutherland.

Chris Luck
Saturday 24th of August 2013 03:36:50 PM
The name Kingsbury Manor was given to the house by George Cloke, a haulage contractor and property developer, when he bought it in 1929. It had originally been named "The Cottage" by the Duchess of Sutherland (who by 1899 was married to her third husband, Sir Albert Rollitt MP), and was lived in by her daughter Irene, Countess Bubna, from around 1902 until at least 1912

Friday 30th of August 2013 07:09:17 PM
Kingsbury Manor Lodge.

Chris Luck
Saturday 24th of August 2013 03:06:42 AM
Originally, Kingsbury Manor Coach House. Rented by John Logie Baird in 1928 for his television experiments, known then as Kingsbury Manor Studio. Now used by the Kingsbury Veterans Club.

Chris Luck
Saturday 24th of August 2013 02:55:48 AM
One of two 80 foot aerial masts erected by J. L. Baird to receive experimental TV images from Germany in 1929. The masts were removed at the start of WWII, just a few months after this image was taken. The concrete bases remain today.

Chris Luck
Saturday 24th of August 2013 02:53:21 AM

User Comment Contributions

I learn to swim here with my then current school in about 1946.

Monday 18th of July 2016 01:37:43 PM
Now we expand our remit to Kingsbury and my preferred swimming pool in the area. Burnt Oak is joined at the hip with Kingsbury, the old district boundary bisecting the Canada Park estate across Vancover Road and the Chase. As a teenager I made good friends with many Kingsbury lads as some of my Burnt Oak friends were at school in Kingsbury.

Saturday 14th of December 2013 07:32:42 PM
What a wonderful image of Kingsbury Swimming Pool in its first season!

Wembley Urban District Council approved a proposal to build an open air swimming pool, on land that it was in the process of acquiring for a park, in March 1935. The "Olympic size" pool, 55 yards long by 25 yards wide and with a capacity of 458,000 gallons, was designed by the Council's Engineer and Surveyor, Cecil S. Trapp.

Construction began in April 1938, with Commercial Structures Ltd of Leyton as the main contractor. The pool, which had cost around £40,000, was opened to the public with a grand ceremony on 13 May 1939. Its season ran from May to September each year, with the pool open from 6.30am to 9.30 or 10pm. Daily tickets cost 6d for adults and 4d for children, with school children charged just 2d during the school summer holidays.

Sunday 25th of August 2013 12:06:28 PM