Chalkhill Estate

Estate in/near Kingsbury, existing until now

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Estate · Kingsbury · HA9 · Contributed by The Underground Map
Chalkhill Estate buildings with the estate shops just visible in furthest block (second block from left). In the foreground are three small children, one riding a bicycle.
Credit: John McCann, Courtesy of Brent Archives

Chalkhill Estate was one of three large estates built in the London Borough of Brent. The design was based on that of Park Hill in Sheffield.

Chalkhill Estate was developed as a Metroland estate from 1921 but it was between 1966 and 1970 that the high density, high rise council estate providing flats, shops, a medical centre, car parking and open space was developed. There were low rise two-storey developments such as Buddings Circle and Wellsprings Crescent and 30 high-rise 'Bison' built blocks linked by 'walkways in the sky'.

In total there were about 1900 houses and flats.

Chalkhill Estate also contained a number of recreational facilities for children and the elderly almost at every corner such as slides, seating areas with flower beds, climbing frames and other such things you would expect to find in a public park.

Dwellings on the high-rise estate comprised single-storey one / two bedroom flats and larger two-storey family homes and were located along corridors or walkways affectionately called Goldbeaters Walk, Greenrigg Walk, Redcliffe Walk and Bluebird Walk. The dwellings were all-electric utilizing what was then state-of-the-art technology; central heating was available in all homes and all homes contained what was called a "Garchey", a manually operated waste disposal system located in the kitchen sink.

The architect's vision of contented tenants living in harmony and connected by these 'walkways in the sky' might have seemed like some kind of aerial utopia but the reality was very different. During the mid 1970s those drafty 'walkways in the sky' quickly became convenient escape routes for criminals and Chalkhill Estate was becoming known as a crime hot-spot attracting any number of unsavoury characters from neighbouring areas. Often but not always football hooligans would visit the estate after matches at the nearby Wembley Stadium vandalising property and buildings and attacking local residents. Milkmen who had previously delivered to residents doorsteps using hand-pulled milk-floats via service lifts had restricted their operations due to the high number of robberies. Lifts when they were operational, constantly stank of urine so that it was preferable to walk up dozens of flights of poorly lit concrete stairs. The two high-rise car parks became a hiding place for stolen cars and shady drug-deals. The local shops were regularly robbed.

The recreational facilities due to poor maintenance and vandalism also deteriorated rapidly. Areas like the paddling pool, adjacent to the shops and the sandpit - both of which were popular in the summer as a meeting place for parents and children, became dangerous due to presence of quantities of broken glass. The flower beds and seating ares for the elderly were destroyed as fast as they were repaired. Gradually one by one, these facilities were decommissioned, some removed and replaced by other facilities only to become vandalised once again.

In 1980s, widespread concern about the conditions on the estate including poor quality and crime which led to a number of initiatives that included door entry systems and walkway closures. Years of notoriety and poor living conditions led to a decision of demolition and remediation stages of the final 450 house scheme.

The 1900 houses and flats were eventually demolished and Chalkhill Estate was refurbished early 2000.

Over the years the estate has dramatically tried to shake off its poor image to little avail.

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I visited my grandmother who lived on Tunis Road from Canada in approximately 1967-68. I remember the Rag and Bone man who came down the road with a horse and milk delivered to the door with cream on the top. I also remember having to use an outhouse in the back of the row house. No indoor plumbing. We had to have a bath in a big metal tub (like a horse trough) in the middle of the kitchen filled with boiled water on the stove. Very different from Canada. My moms madin name was Hardcastle. Interesting to see the maps. Google maps also brings the world closer.
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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.


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Wembley Park

Wembley Park is a London Underground station, the nearest Underground station to the Wembley Stadium complex.

Tracks were laid through the area by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan Line) when it extended its services from Willesden Green to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Services to Harrow started on 2 August 1880 although Wembley Park station was not constructed until later.

The station was constructed to serve the pleasure grounds developed by the MR at Wembley Park, a former country estate bought by the company in 1881 as a destination for excursion trips on the company's trains. The station opened for the first time on 14 October 1893 and initially operated to serve only Saturday football matches in the park. It opened fully on 12 May 1894.

Later in the 1890s, the Great Central Railway's (GCR's) London extension was constructed adjacent to the MR's tracks. The tracks pass under the entrance building but the station has never been served by mainline operators.
In 1905 the tracks were electrified and the first electric trains became operational. Between 1913 and 1915, the MR added additional tracks to double the line's capacity.

On 10 December 1932, the MR opened a branch line north from Wembley Park to Stanmore.

Originally, the MR served all stations south from Wembley Park to Baker Street station but the line suffered from congestion due to limited capacity on the tracks heading into Baker Street. Following the combination of the MR and London's other underground railways to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the LPTB took steps to alleviate the congestion by constructing new Bakerloo Line tunnels from Baker Street to connect to the Metropolitan's tracks south of Finchley Road station. From 20 November 1939, the Bakerloo Line then took over the Metropolitan stopping services between Wembley Park and Finchley Road and the Stanmore branch.

To handle the exceptional passenger numbers associated with the 1948 Olympics held at Wembley Stadium, the original station building was extended and given a new ticket hall and additional circulation routes and platform stairs. At the opening of the Jubilee Line on 1 May 1979, the Bakerloo service from Baker Street to Stanmore was transferred to the new line.

When the UEFA European Football Championship was held at Wembley in 1996, a large staircase was constructed leading down from the 1948 extension and under the newly-built Bobby Moore Bridge, which had opened in 1993. This was intended as a temporary structure and remained in its unfinished state until 2004, when extensive work began on the station in conjunction with the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium. Additional facilities were provided to handle event crowds, and the staircase was completed in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2007.

Blackbird Hill Farm:   Blackbird Hill Farm was situated on the corner of Birdbird Hill and Old Church Lane.
Brent Town Hall:   Brent Town Hall (formerly Wembley Town Hall) is a landmark in Brent, a borough in northwest London, England. Pevsner described it as the best of the modern town halls around London, neither fanciful nor drab.
Colindale Park:   
Fryent Country Park:   
Kingsbury:   Kingsbury station was opened on 10 December 1932 as part of the Stanmore branch of the Metropolitan Railway and served by that company’s electric trains.
Rushgrove Park:   
Silver Jubilee Park:   
Uxendon Farm:   Uxendon was once more important than Wembley.
Uxendon Shooting Grounds:   Uxendon Shooting Grounds was the location of the clay pigeon shooting for the 1908 Olympics.

Blackbird Hill (1906):   Blackbird Hill is image in 1906 and then part of Neasden.
Silk Stream (1916):   The Silk Stream was the stream which fed the Welsh Harp reservoir.
The Edgware Road in Colindale:   Looking northwest along the Edgware Road at the junction with Colindale Avenue.

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John Rocque Map of Wembley, Kingsbury, Willesden and Harlesden (1762)
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers an area from Harrow in the northwest to Harlesden in the southeast.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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