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Mar 12 2011

Welldon Park School 1910-1985 Celebration (Part II)

Part two in our ongoing series on Welldon Park School…

WELLDON PARK SCHOOL

LOOKING BACK OVER SEVENTY FIVE YEARS

RURAL ROXETH

Can you imagine a long country lane with tall hedges on each side covered with ivy, honeysuckle and dog rose? Can you imagine just here and there to the left and right a fans house with chicken, pecking in the farmyard, cattle grating in the field by the side of the house and other fields being well stocked with hayricks’ This is how Miss Dorcas Baggaley describes the Northolt Road as she remembers it at the turn of the century when it led from the village of Roxeth to the quaint old village of Northolt.

How different is the Northolt Road of 1985 with its congested traffic – red double decker buses, vans, cars, lorries and juggernauts – pushing its way through crowded shopping centre. I wonder how people living in 1900 or thereabouts would react to our large Sainsbury’s supermarket standing where once stood Barnett’s, Farm – an attractive house with a well kept garden in front. By the side of the farm there was a lane called Back Lane or Gypsy Lane. Gypsies frequently camped here making their wooden, carved pegs which they sold locally. A little lower down the road was another farm, The Paddocks, which belonged to a family named Champnies. This was a favourite spot for Sunday School treats, many coming from London districts. Some of Welldon Park’s earliest Sports Days were held at the ‘Paddocks’ by kind permission of Mr Champnies. (The farmland was later sold to the Council to make Alexandra Park, and Paddocks Close marks the site of the farmhouse, The Paddocks.)

Miss Baggaley lived at the corner of Northolt Road and Eastcote Lane (then known as the Long Mile) at St Hilda’s Nursery. She was the grand-daughter of James Naylor who owned St Hilda.’s. She recalls hot houses containing beautiful plants including orchids. She remembers an orchard at the side of the house which made a perfect setting when the trees were in full bloom. This was Temple’s Orchard, now Beechwood Avenue. It is thought that St Hilda’s had at one time been used by monks and the ceilings in some of the rooms were decorated with sacred pictures.

 

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