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Development or Disaster? Favourite Shops face Demolition under New Plans for Yiewsley High Street

Book Cover Books
Several local history books have been written but the only one that now seems to be readily available is James Skinner's archive photos book, pictured right, details below. Select the title or the cover image to find the book at Amazon; select the publisher to go to the publisher's site.

Yiewsley and West Drayton Official Guide James Skinner, West Drayton and Yiewsley (Images of England Series)
ISBN 0752428411 (9780752428413), Tempus Publishing 2003, £12.99

The Yiewsley and West Drayton Official Guide, British Publishing Company Ltd c.1963, cover shown on the left courtesy of Justin Nailard, is out of print.

• Move your mouse over the cover to zoom in on the crest.


Old Chapel House Buildings
If you can tear your eyes away from the bright lights and the shop fronts, Yiewsley's High Street reveals some remarkable buildings. Look around, look up and be amazed.

Key House The Old Chapel House (152-156 High Street), pictured on the right, is now home to a firm of solicitors, Martin Murray & Associates.

Key House — the old Town Hall on the corner of Fairfield Road and High Street, shown on the left — is now the home of Hillingdon's Voluntary Sector Resource Centre.




Grand Union Canal passing beneath Yiewsley High Street Canal
The Grand Union Canal, which connects London to the Midlands, runs through Yiewsley. Heading north towards the Midlands it passes underneath the High Street at the junction with Horton Road then runs alongside St Stephen's Road before sweeping its way past the Slough Arm Junction and Packet Boat Marina (pictured further below) towards Uxbridge.

Colham Avenue 2002, photograph copyright Justin Naillard A branch of the canal known as Otter Dock - where Colham Avenue, pictured on the left, now is - was cut between Yiewsley and West Drayton during the years 1876 to 1879 to service Yiewsley's brickworks. Some 5 million bricks moulded and fired in the Hillingdon Brickfields every year were thus transported by canal to a yard near South Wharf Basin, Paddington. The last brickfield at Starveal (Stockley Bridge area) disappeared in 1935 and Otter Dock was filled in around that time. The chestnut and beech trees along Colham Avenue were planted soon afterwards. [1, 2] [Map]
The Yiewsley Swan, photograph copyright Mike Stevens, Easter 1999. Used by permission.
Access to the towpath is via Horton Road — where the swan, shown on the right, graces the towpath wall — St Stephen's Road, Trout Road and other side roads off the High Street.

The swan picture was designed by a pupil at a local Special School and installed here in 1999 as part of British Waterways' refurbishment of the area [3]. Mooring bollards for visiting boats are also provided here, the closest access point to the High Street shops. Visiting boaters should be wary about leaving their boats unattended here for any length of time.

Packet Boat Marina Our nearest Marina, shown here on the right, is Packet Boat Marina, Cowley, at the Slough Arm Junction. The marina is operated by British Waterways Marinas Ltd and offers moorings, waterways information and holiday hire boats from Alvechurch Waterway Holidays.

Move your mouse over the photo for a different view.


Churches
St Matthew's Church St Matthew's, Yiewsley
• From A Brief History of St Matthew's Church
In the early part of the 19th Century Yiewsley was a small outlying district of the great parish of St John the Baptist, Hillingdon, and although some Yiewsley people may have attended St Martin's Church, West Drayton, for Sunday Services, they all had to go to St John's for weddings, baptisms and funerals.

It was a long walk to the Parish Church and, after the coming of the Great Western Railway and the population increasing owing to the brickfields being opened in the district, the inhabitants of Hillingdon set to work to provide for the building of a Mission Church (also referred to as a Chapel of Ease) capable of holding 280 people for the district of Yiewsley... Read More

• From Reordering St Matthew's
St Matthew's, situated in Yiewsley High Street (until recently the main route north from Heathrow Airport), was originally a village church and school within a larger parish. Built in 1859 in revived Gothic style by Sir George Gilbert Scott, it had only a small Chancel and a single Nave with about 100 seats. The vestry block was added a short while later.

Being close to the Grand Union Canal and the main line of the Great Western Railway, the village grew quickly and in 1898 the church was greatly enlarged by the addition of a new larger Nave and Chancel on the south flank. The old Chancel became the Lady Chapel and the old Nave, now behind a row of columns, has ever since been semi-redundant. The additions, which we still call the New Church, dwarf the Old Church and it seems the architect disdained the older building, as about 2 metres width was lopped from the south side of the Nave, placing the original aisle, chancel arch and large west window off-centre... Read More
War Memorial
Yiewsley's War Memorial, in the grounds of St Matthew's Church, was unveiled on Saturday 28th May 1921 in honour of the men of Yiewsley who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. A Remembrance Service with laying of wreathes is held at St Matthew's each year on the nearest Sunday to November 11th: all are welcome to attend.

St Martin's Church, West Drayton. Courtesy of Justin Naillard.St Martin's, West Drayton
A history of the Church in West Drayton may be found at British History Online


West Drayton Station, January 2006 Railway
The Great Western Railway (GWR), engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) arrived in 1838, with West Drayton being the first stop out of Paddington on the line to Bristol. Branch lines were built to Uxbridge (1856) and Staines (1884) but both lines closed to passengers following Lord Beeching's cuts in the early 1960s. [1, 4]

The most comprehensive history of the line through West Drayton is probably Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith's Branch Lines of West London (Middleton Press, 2000)

The first West Drayton station has long since vanished, demolished in 1884, and replaced by the current station — shown on the right as it is now — in that same year.

Train services are currently provided by First Great Western.




Links
British History Online: Yiewsley
Hillingdon Family History Society
Justin Nailard West Drayton and Yiewsley Local History and Pictures Page
Vision of Britain: an overview of Yiewsley and West Drayton from 1801 to 2001, including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.





Footnotes
1. Information and photographs courtesy of Justin Nailard.
2. Further info courtesy of HillingdonChat.com: Colham Avenue in Yiewsley
3. Information and swan photograph courtesy of Mike Stevens.
4. Information about the railway found in the booklet Yiewsley Town Trail: Teachers' Notes, Mathematics & Science Teachers' Centre 1978.


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