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THE SUBURB THAT NEVER WAS!

"An unspoiled beauty spot only 25 miles from London - served by the new South Harefield Station". This is how developers of the Harefield Place Estate described their project for large houses in their own grounds along Harvil Road. There were even to be shops but, despite the signs shown here, the purchasers never materialised.

The halt opened as Harefield Halt on 24th September 1928, with 40 trains calling there a day. Then the name changed to South Harefield in September 1931, finally closing on 30th September 1931.

In 1936, London Transport planned to take the Central Line through to Denham and there was to have been a station here called "Harefield Road".

The Metroland building boom comes to Ickenham! In 1921 the Gilbey Family left Swakeleys, and the ancient social order in Ickenham was changed forever.

Swakeleys House and the 429-acre park and estate were put up for sale by auction. The estate was broken into small lots in order that the tenants could buy the property in which they lived. Most of the farmers bought the farms which they occupied, and a number of the cottage tenants bought their homes.

The house and park were bought by Mr. Richard Cross (farmer) of Little Manor Farm, Ruislip, and Mr. Frank Stedman (land agent) of Guildford Street, London. They sold the house and immediate parkland to Humphrey Talbot, who had help from the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings. In 1927, after some refurbishment, Humphrey Talbot sold the house and grounds to the Sports Association of the Foreign Office, with the condition that he retained the first floor as a tenant.

Cross & Stedman laid out new roads across the park - Warren Road, Swakeleys Drive (the old drive from Long Lane), Court Road, Milton Road, Ivy House Road, The Avenue (along the former drive from Back Lane), and Park Road (later Thornhill Road). Building plots were sold along the new roads and Swakeleys Road.

Stedman bought out Cross in 1924 and entered into a planning agreement with Uxbridge U.D.C. on 5th December 1924. Land along the River Pinn was to be conveyed to the Council five years after the date of the agreement, to be preserved as public open space. Only dwelling houses were to be built, except for areas designated for shops at the bottom end of Swakeleys Road, and on either side of the proposed Western Avenue, which was part of Hercies Farm in Hillingdon. The average density of housing, spread over the whole area, was to be six to the acre.

The West Middlesex Development Co. entered into an agreement with Uxbridge U.D.C. in 1927 to develop the Ivy House Farm estate in accordance with the principles of a Town Planning Scheme then being prepared by the Council. Housing density was to be six to the acre along Swakeleys Road, and 12 to the acre elsewhere. Hoylake Crescent, Wallasey Crescent, Bushey Road, etc., were laid out.

The first private housing built in Ickenham was along the High Road - the Drummond Estate of the Greenway, Oak Avenue and Parkfield Road. It was residents in these roads who helped to form the original Ickenham Residents' Association in March 1924. The first meeting was held in the Old Schools in the High Road. The first social housing was built in Glebe Avenue in the late 1920s.

In 1922 the platforms at Ickenham Station were lengthened - to deal with larger trains for the growing population.

 

Shops were built in Swakeleys Road, and on 8th January 1927, the Village Hall was officially opened by Princess Victoria, sister of King George V. The Hall was used as a school in its early years, and during World War II it served as a British restaurant.

In & Around Ickenham

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