BT Tower, W1W

Block in/near Fitzrovia, existing between 1964 and now

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2021

The BT Tower is a communications tower, previously known as the GPO Tower, the Post Office Tower and the Telecom Tower.

The main tower structure is 177 metres high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 191 metres. The building was designed by the architects of the Ministry of Public Building and Works: Eric Bedford and G. R. Yeats.

The structure was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) and its primary purpose was to support the microwave aerials then used to carry telecommunications traffic from London to the rest of the country. It replaced a much shorter tower which had been built on the roof of the neighbouring Museum telephone exchange to provide a television link between London and Birmingham. The taller structure was required to protect the radio links’ line of sight against some of the tall buildings in London then in the planning stage.


Post Office Tower under construction
(click image to enlarge)

The narrow cylindrical shape was chosen because of the requirements of the communications aerials: the building shifts no more than 25 centimetres in high wind speeds. Initially, the first 16 floors were for technical equipment and power. Above that was a 35-metre section for the microwave aerials, and above that were six floors of suites, kitchens, technical equipment, a revolving restaurant on the 34th floor and finally a cantilevered steel lattice tower. To prevent heat build-up, the glass cladding was of a special tint. The construction cost was £2.5 million. As well as the revolving restaurant (The Top of the Tower and operated by Butlins), the tower used to host viewing galleries - almost an essential family day out in the 1960s - and a souvenir shop.

The tower was topped out on 15 July 1964, and officially opened by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson on 8 October 1965. In its first year the Tower hosted nearly one million visitors and over 100 000 diners ate in the restaurant.

Due to its importance to the national communications network, information about the tower was designated an official secret. In 1978, the journalist Duncan Campbell was tried for collecting information about secret locations, and during the trial the judge ordered that the sites could not be identified by name; the Post Office Tower could only be referred to as ’Location 23’.

A bomb exploded in the roof of the men’s toilets at the Top of the Tower restaurant on 31 October 1971. Responsibility for the bomb was claimed both by the IRA and the Angry Brigade, an anarchist collective. The bomb resulted in the tower being largely closed to the general public and public access to the building ceased completely in 1981.


Youngsters play on the corner of Clipstone Street and Great Titchfield Street, in front of the Post Office Tower in 1965. Entry to the viewing gallery cost four shillings and was half price for children (Getty Images)
(click image to enlarge)

Upon completion the Post Office Tower overtook the Millbank Tower to become the tallest building in both London and the United Kingdom, titles it held until 1980, when it in turn was overtaken by the NatWest Tower.

The tower is still in use, and is the site of a major UK communications hub. Microwave links have been replaced by subterranean optical fibre links for most mainstream purposes, but the former are still in use at the tower. The second floor of the base of the tower contains the TV Network Switching Centre which carries broadcasting traffic and relays signals between television broadcasters, production companies, advertisers, international satellite services and uplink companies. The outside broadcast control is located above the former revolving restaurant.

A renovation in the early 2000s introduced a 360° coloured lighting display at the top of the tower. Seven colours were programmed to vary constantly at night and intended to appear as a rotating globe to reflect BT’s "connected world" corporate styling. The coloured lights give the tower a conspicuous presence on the London skyline at night.

In October 2009, a 360° full-colour LED-based display system was installed at the top of the tower, wrapped around the 36th and 37th floors. This comprises 529 750 LEDs arranged in 177 vertical strips, spaced around the tower.

In April 2019, the display spent almost a day displaying a Windows 7 error message.




Main source: Wikipedia
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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY



The Underground Map   
Added: 8 Dec 2020 00:24 GMT   

Othello takes a bow
On 1 November 1604, William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello was presented for the first time, at The Palace of Whitehall. The palace was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698. Seven years to the day, Shakespeare’s romantic comedy The Tempest was also presented for the first time, and also at the Palace of Whitehall.

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Comment
Linda Webb   
Added: 27 Sep 2021 05:51 GMT   

Hungerford Stairs
In 1794 my ancestor, George Webb, Clay Pipe Maker, lived in Hungerford Stairs, Strand. Source: Wakefields Merchant & Tradesmens General Directory London Westminster 1794

Source: Hungerford Stairs

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Reg Carr   
Added: 10 Feb 2021 12:11 GMT   

Campbellite Meeting
In 1848 the Campbellites (Disciples of Christ) met in Elstree Street, where their congregation was presided over by a pastor named John Black. Their appointed evangelist at the time was called David King, who later became the Editor of the British Millennial Harbinger. The meeting room was visited in July 1848 by Dr John Thomas, who spoke there twice on his two-year ’mission’ to Britain.

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Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

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Lived here
Julian    
Added: 23 Mar 2021 10:11 GMT   

Dennis Potter
Author Dennis Potter lived in Collingwood House in the 1970’s

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Comment
Jessie Doring   
Added: 22 Feb 2021 04:33 GMT   

Tisbury Court Jazz Bar
Jazz Bar opened in Tisbury Court by 2 Australians. Situated in underground basement. Can not remember how long it opened for.

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Lived here
Richard Roques   
Added: 21 Jan 2021 16:53 GMT   

Buckingham Street residents
Here in Buckingham Street lived Samuel Pepys the diarist, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling

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Justin Russ   
Added: 15 Feb 2021 20:25 GMT   

Binney Street, W1K
Binney St was previously named Thomas Street before the 1950’s. Before the 1840’s (approx.) it was named Bird St both above and below Oxford St.

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Comment
Jude Allen   
Added: 29 Jul 2021 07:53 GMT   

Bra top
I jave a jewelled item of clothong worn by a revie girl.
It is red with diamante straps. Inside it jas a label Bermans Revue 16 Orange Street but I cannot find any info online about the revue only that 16 Orange Street used to be a theatre. Does any one know about the revue. I would be intesrested to imagine the wearer of the article and her London life.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
John Neill   
Added: 25 Nov 2021 11:30 GMT   

Sandringham Road, E10 (1937 - 1966)
I lived at No. 61 with my parents during these years. I went to Canterbury Road school (now Barclay Primary) and sang as a boy soprano (treble) in the church choir at St Andrew’s church, on the corner of Forest Glade.
Opposite us lived the Burgess family. Their son Russell also sang in my choir as a tenor. He later became a well-known musician and the choirmaster at Wandsworth Boys’ School.
Just at the end of WW2 a German rocket (V2) landed in the grounds of Whipps Cross Hospital, damaging many of the houses in Sandringham Road, including ours.

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Tim Stevenson   
Added: 16 Nov 2021 18:03 GMT   

Pub still open
The Bohemia survived the 2020/21 lockdowns and is still a thriving local social resource.

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STEPHEN JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:25 GMT   

Fellows Court, E2
my family moved into the tower block 13th floor (maisonette), in 1967 after our street Lenthall rd e8 was demolished, we were one of the first families in the new block. A number of families from our street were rehoused in this and the adjoining flats. Inside toilet and central heating, all very modern at the time, plus eventually a tarmac football pitch in the grounds,(the cage), with a goal painted by the kids on the brick wall of the railway.

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STEPHEN ARTHUR JACKSON   
Added: 14 Nov 2021 17:12 GMT   

Lynedoch Street, E2
my father Arthur Jackson was born in lynedoch street in 1929 and lived with mm grandparents and siblings, until they were relocated to Pamela house Haggerston rd when the street was to be demolished

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Sir Walter Besant   
Added: 11 Nov 2021 18:47 GMT   

Sir Walter adds....
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.

Source: London: South of the Thames - Chapter XX by Sir Walter Besant (1912)

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Comment
   
Added: 6 Nov 2021 15:03 GMT   

Old Nichol Street, E2
Information about my grandfather’s tobacconist shop

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tom   
Added: 3 Nov 2021 05:16 GMT   

I met
someone here 6 years ago

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Comment
Fion Anderson   
Added: 2 Nov 2021 12:55 GMT   

Elstree not Borehamwood
Home of the UK film industry

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
All Souls Church All Souls Church is an evangelical Anglican church situated at the north end of Regent Street.
Fairyland During the period leading up to and during the First World War, 92 Tottenham Court Road was the location of a shooting range called Fairyland.
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Scala Theatre Scala Theatre was a theatre in London, sited on Charlotte Street, off Tottenham Court Road. The first theatre on the site opened in 1772, and was demolished in 1969, after being destroyed by fire.

NEARBY STREETS
Albany Terrace, NW1 Albany Terrace was named after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, brother of the Prince Regent (George IV).
Alfred Mews, WC1E Alfred Mews is situated off Tottenham Court Road, running behind the gardens of North Crescent.
Alfred Place, WC1E Alfred Place was built in 1806 by a Marylebone stonemason called John Waddilove who named it after his son Alfred.
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Bourlet Close, W1W Bourlet Close is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Bromley Place, W1T Bromley Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Byng Place, WC1E Byng Place is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Bywell Place, W1W Bywell Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Candover Street, W1W Candover Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Capper Street, WC1E Capper Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Carburton Street, W1W Carburton Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Cavendish Place, W1G Cavendish Place is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Chandos Street, W1G Chandos Street is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Charlotte Mews, W1T Charlotte Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Charlotte Place, W1T Charlotte Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Charlotte Street, W1T Charlotte Street was laid out in the mid 18th century on open fields.
Chenies Mews, WC1E Chenies Mews is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Chenies Street, WC1E Chenies Street takes its name from the Buckinghamshire village where since 1556 members of the Russell family have been buried.
Chitty Street, W1T Chitty Street runs between Charlotte Street and Whitfield Street.
Cleveland Street, W1T Cleveland Street is a location in London.
Cleveland Street, W1W Cleveland Street maybe dates from before 1632 when its name was recorded as Wrastling Lane.
Clipstone Mews, W1T Clipstone Mews is a road in the W1T postcode area
Clipstone Street, W1W Clipstone Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Coach Road, W1T Coach Road is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Collingwood House, W1W Residential block
Colville Place, W1T Colville Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Conway Mews, W1T Conway Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Conway Street, W1T Conway Street runs from the Euston Road in the north to Fitzroy Square in the south.
Darwin Walk, WC1E Darwin Walk is a road in the WC1E postcode area
De Walden Court, W1W De Walden Court is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Dean’s Mews, W1G This is a street in the W1G postcode area
Deans Mews, W1G Deans Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Devonshire Close, W1G Devonshire Close is a road in the W1G postcode area
Devonshire Row Mews, W1B Devonshire Row Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Devonshire Street, W1B Devonshire Street is a road in the W1B postcode area
Devonshire Street, W1W Devonshire Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Duchess Mews, W1B Duchess Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Duchess Street, W1B Duchess Street is a road in the W1B postcode area
Duchess Street, W1W Duchess Street runs from Mansfield Street to Hallam Street, across Portland Place.
Euston Road, W1T Euston Road is a road in the W1T postcode area
Fair Road, W1B Fair Road is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
First Floor, W1T First Floor is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Fitzroy Court, W1T Fitzroy Court is a road in the W1T postcode area
Fitzroy Mews, W1T Fitzroy Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Fitzroy Square, W1T Fitzroy Square is one of the Georgian squares of London.
Fitzroy Street, W1T Fitzroy Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Foley Street, W1W Foley Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Goodge Place, W1T Goodge Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Goodge Street, W1T Goodge Street was named after John Goodge a carpenter who along with his two nephews developed Crab Tree Fields to form Goodge Street in 1740.
Gordon Mansions, WC1E Gordon Mansions is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Gosfield Street, W1W Gosfield Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Gower Street, WC1E Gower Street is named after Gertrude Leveson-Gower, the wife of John Russell, the 4th Duke of Bedford.
Grafton Mews, W1T Grafton Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Grafton Way, W1T Grafton Way is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Grafton Way, WC1E Grafton Way was formerly Grafton Street.
Great Portland Street, W1W Great Portland Street forms the boundary between Fitzrovia to the east and Marylebone to the west.
Great Titchfield Street, W1W Great Titchfield Street is one of the streets of London in the W1 postal area.
Great Titchfield Street, W1W Great Titchfield Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Greenwell Street, W1T Greenwell Street is a road in the W1T postcode area
Greenwell Street, W1W Greenwell Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Gresse Street, W1T Gresse Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Hallam Street, W1W Hallam Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Hanson Street, W1W Hanson Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Harmont House, W1G Residential block
Howland Street, W1T Howland Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Huntley Street, WC1E Huntley Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Kent House, W1B Residential block
Langham House, W1B Residential block
Langham Place, W1B Langham Place is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Langham Street, W1W Langham Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Little Portland Street, W1W Little Portland Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Little Titchen Street, W1W Little Titchen Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Little Titchfield Street, W1W Little Titchfield Street is a road in the W1W postcode area
Malet Place, WC1E Malet Place is a road in the WC1E postcode area
Mansfield Street, W1G Mansfield Street connects New Cavendish Street and Queen Anne Street.
Maple Street, W1T Maple Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Maple Street, W1T This is a street in the 92103 postcode area
Middleton Buildings, W1W Middleton Buildings is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Middleton Place, W1W Middleton Place is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Midford Place, W1T Midford Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Milford House, W1G Residential block
Morley House, W1W Residential block
Mortimer Market, WC1E Mortimer Market is a road in the W1T postcode area
Mortimer Street, W1T Mortimer Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Mortimer Street, W1T A street within the W1W postcode
Mortimer Street, W1W Mortimer Street is one of the streets of London in the W1 postal area.
Mortimer Street, W1W Mortimer Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Morwell Street, WC1B Morwell Street is a road in the WC1B postcode area
Nassau Street, W1W Nassau Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
New Cavendish Street, W1B New Cavendish Street is one of the streets of London in the W1 postal area.
New Cavendish Street, W1W New Cavendish Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Newman Passage, W1T Newman Passage is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Newman Street, W1T Newman Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
North Crescent, WC1E North Crescent is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Ogle Street, W1W Ogle Street is one of the streets of London in the W1W postal area.
Park Crescent, W1B Park Crescent is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Park Square East, NW1 Park Square East lies north of Park Crescent and Marylebone Road.
Percy Street, WC1B Percy Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Peto Place, NW1 Peto Place is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Portland Place, W1B Portland Place is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Portland Place, W1B This is a street in the W1A postcode area
Quadrant Arcade, W1B Quadrant Arcade is one of the streets of London in the W1B postal area.
Queen Anne Mews, W1G Queen Anne Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1G postal area.
Queen’s Yard, W1T Queen’s Yard is a road in the W1T postcode area
Rathbone Square, W1T Rathbone Square is a location in London.
Rathbone Street, W1T Rathbone Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Ridgmount Gardens, WC1E Ridgmount Gardens is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Ridgmount Street, WC1E Ridgmount Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Riding House Street, W1W Riding House Street commemorates a riding house and barracks of the First Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards.
Salt Yard, W1T A street within the W1T postcode
Scala Street, W1T Scala Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
South Cloisters, WC1H South Cloisters is a road in the WC1H postcode area
Stephen Mews, W1T Stephen Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Stephen Street, W1T Stephen Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Store Street, WC1E Store Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Third Floor, WC1E Third Floor is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
Torrington Place, WC1E Torrington Place was developed by James Sim in partnership with his two sons.
Tottenham Court Road, W1T Tottenham Court Road is a major road running from the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, north to Euston Road - a distance of about three-quarters of a mile.
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Tottenham Street, W1T Tottenham Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Triton Street, NW1 Triton Street is a road in the NW1 postcode area
Union Street, W1W The easternmost section of Riding House Street was previously known as Union Street.
University Street, WC1E University Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1E postal area.
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Warren Mews, W1T Warren Mews is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
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Weymouth Street, W1B Weymouth Street is a road in the W1B postcode area
Whitfield Place, W1T Whitfield Place is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.
Whitfield Street, W1T Whitfield Street runs from Warren Street in the north to Windmill Street in the south.
Windmill Street, W1T Windmill Street is one of the streets of London in the W1T postal area.

NEARBY PUBS
Bap and Pickle Smugglers Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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Newman Arms The Newman Arms has been a Fitzrovia fixture for centuries.
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Northumberland Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
One Tun This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Prince Of Wales Feathers This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Reverend J W Simpson This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Rising Sun This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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Spearmint Rhino This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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The Albany This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Bar at TCR This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Carpenters Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The College Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Court This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Fitzrovia This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The George This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The George & Dragon This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Hope This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The King & Queen This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
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The Lukin This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Slice Bar (Cupola House) This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Wheatsheaf This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Tower Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Unknown as yet This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Vault 139 This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Yorkshire Grey This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park lies between Kilburn and Kensal Green, developed from 1875 onwards and named to honour Queen Victoria.

The north of Queen’s Park formed part of the parish of Willesden and the southern section formed an exclave of the parish of Chelsea, both in the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. In 1889 the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works that included the southern section of Queen’s Park was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London, and in 1900 the anomaly of being administered from Chelsea was removed when the exclave was united with the parish of Paddington. In 1965 both parts of Queen’s Park became part of Greater London: the northern section - Queen’s Park ’proper’ formed part of Brent and the southern section - the Queen’s Park Estate - joined the City of Westminster.

Queen’s Park, like much of Kilburn, was developed by Solomon Barnett. The two-storey terraced houses east of the park, built between 1895 and 1900, typically have clean, classical lines. Those west of the park, built 190005, tend to be more Gothic in style. Barnett’s wife was from the West Country, and many of the roads he developed are named either for places she knew (e.g. Torbay, Tiverton, Honiton) or for popular poets of the time (e.g. Tennyson). The first occupants of the area in late Victorian times were typically lower middle class, such as clerks and teachers. Queen’s Park is both demographically and architecturally diverse. The streets around the park at the heart of Queen’s Park are a conservation area.

There is hardly any social housing in the streets around Queens Park itself, and the area was zoned as not suitable for social housing in the 1970s and 1980s as even then house prices were above average for the borough of Brent, which made them unaffordable for local Housing Associations. The main shopping streets of Salusbury Road and Chamberlayne Road have fewer convenience stores and more high-value shops and restaurants. Local schools some of which struggled to attract the children of wealthier local families in the past are now over-subscribed. House prices have risen accordingly.

Queen’s Park station was first opened by the London and North Western Railway on 2 June 1879 on the main line from London to Birmingham.

Services on the Bakerloo line were extended from Kilburn Park to Queen’s Park on 11 February 1915. On 10 May 1915 Bakerloo services began to operate north of Queen’s Park as far as Willesden Junction over the recently built Watford DC Line tracks shared with the LNWR.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Transmission
TUM image id: 1509553463
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Tottenham Court Road (1927)
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Tottenham Court Road, W1T
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Bilingual Wardour Street
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In the neighbourhood...

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The Prince of Wales Theatre in 1903 shortly before its demolition for the building of the Scala Theatre in 1904.
Credit: Caroline Blomfield
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Fairyland, 92 Tottenham Court Road London circa 1905
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Transmission
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10 Gower Street, Bloomsbury
Credit: Spudgun67
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Tottenham Court Road, W1T
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The March Of The Guards To Finchley - outside the Adam and Eve Tea Rooms.
Credit: William Hogarth
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Wells Street, W1
Credit: The Underground Map
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