Kilburn Kensal Green collage

Events

For 2022, we are offering a programme of local history walks, online events and meetings in-person.

Virtual talks will start at 7.30 pm. 

If you are a current member of the WLHS, you will receive an email from us with Zoom meeting details prior to each meeting. Please make sure that we have the current email address for you and check your spam folder for messages from us, if you do not receive an email from WLHS by about a week prior to the event.

For more free guided walks in Willesden and Brent, visit www.brent-heritage.co.uk

The recordings of some of the online talks are available in the Archive section of the website.

January
Brent at Stonebridge

The River Brent at Stonebridge

Guided walk for the members of the WLHS.

Saturday, 22 January, 11 am

Margaret Pratt will lead a New Year walk at Stonebridge, showing us the site of the original Stone Bridge, and exploring the River Brent and its restored meanders in Tokyngton Recreation Ground.

Meet at Bridge Park Sports Centre, (the old Stonebridge Tram Depot) on Harrow Road.

Free for the WLHS members, non-members are asked for donation of £3 (payable at the event).

February
Message from The Deat

Messages from the Dead

Talk on Zoom by Lorraine Evans. 

Wednesday, 16 February, 7.30 pm. 

Lorraine, the author of the book Burying the Dead: An Archaeological History of Burial Grounds, Graveyards and Cemeteries, explores the rich social history of the architecture and monuments of the cemeteries in Willesden.

Members will receive an invitation link and reminders by email. If you are not a member, please buy tickets here

March
I’m a Firestarter - the amazing story of Leopold Harris

Dick Weindling. “I’m a Firestarter – the amazing story of Leopold Harris”

Talk on Zoom by Dick Weindling

Wednesday, 16 March, 7.30 pm

In July 1933 the trial of Leopold Harris, who lived in Mapesbury Road Brondesbury, was a newspaper sensation. Harris was a major fire insurance assessor, but he was also the leader of a gang who set fires for the owners of commercial properties and took a portion of the insurance money. Dick will talk about how he was finally tracked down by the remarkable skills of William Crocker working for the insurance companies

Members will receive an invitation link and reminders by email. If you are not a member, please buy tickets here.

April
Bus, Trains and Signs

Buses, Trains and Signs

2- hour guided tour of the London Transport Museum Depot at Acton by Tom Cavanagh

Tuesday 19th April, 11 am.

 Free for Members. Visitors, £5. This tour has limited numbers, so please let us know if you are coming, as soon as you can. Meet at Acton Town Station.

May
Postcards of Old Willesden

Postcards of Old Willesden

Presentation by Irina Porter – our first Face to Face meeting since Lockdown! 

Wednesday, 18th May, 7.30 pm at St.Mary’s Parish Centre, Neasden

 Postcards were the ‘mass communications media’ at the turn of the 20th century. We look at the history of the postcard, its key figures and their connections to Willesden, and how the postcard mania left us a visual record of what Willesden was like all those years ago.

Free for members, we ask visitors for £3 donation payable at the event

June
Old St.Mary's Church, Willesden

Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 15th June, 7.30 pm at St.Mary’s Parish Centre, Neasden

Join us for the Annual General Meeting to hear about the work of the Society and the Committee

July
Roundwood Park to Willesden Bus Garage Walk

Roundwood Park to Willesden Bus Garage

Guided walk by Irina Porter

Wednesday, 20 July, 6 pm.

After a short exploration of this first municipal park in Willesden, we will stroll down Robson Avenue and Pound Lane, revealing the secrets behind the street names and the places of historic interest – past and present. Meet at entrance to the Roundwood Park Café.

Free for Members. Visitors, £3.  

Past events

Kensal Rise Kensal Green

Exploring Kensal Green and Kensal Rise. Part 1. Kensal Green

Wednesday, 20 January, 7.30 pm.

Harry Brown and Margaret Pratt offer a description of the history to be found on a journey from St. John’s Church, travelling in a westerly direction along the Harrow Road, to Wrottesley Road.

Recording is available in the Archive

Exploring Kensal Green and Kensal Rise. Part 2. Kensal Rise, February 2021

Exploring Kensal Green and Kensal Rise. Part 2. Kensal Rise

Wednesday, 17 February, 7.30 pm.

Harry Brown and Margaret Pratt offer a description of the history to be found on a journey beginning at St. John’s Church, travelling north along Kilburn Lane and Chamberlayne Road.

Recording is available in the Archive

Wembley Robbery Squad

The Supergrass.

Wednesday, 17th March, 7.30 pm 

Historian Dick Weindling presents an illustrated online talk about Britain’s first Supergrass and the Wembley Robbery Squad. Bertie Smalls gave evidence about 22 bank raids in North West London during the 1970s, which resulted in long prison sentences for 32 of his fellow criminals.

Recording is available in the Archive

July
Willesden Jewish Cemetery

Guided tour of the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

Sunday, 25 July, 2.30 p.m.

Guided walk for the members of the WLHS. We will look at the rich history and customs of this prestigious burial place for Victorian Jews, which is still in use today.

The cemetery was opened in 1873 on former sheep grazing land that was bought by the United Synagogue, a union of five Jewish congregations in the City of London. The cemetery was its first joint project. A place of great tranquillity, the cemetery charts the development of London’s Jewish community over 150 years.

The graves and memorials are rich in social history.

The cemetery is the last resting place of Jews from all walks of life, and is still in use today, following orthodox Jewish custom.

Meet at the entrance to the cemetery at 2.30 pm. Free for the WLHS members, non-members are asked for donation to the Willesden Jewish Cemetery of £5 (payable at the event).

September
Victorian gas holders at Ladbroke Grove

Ladbroke Grove Canal Walk.

Saturday, 4 September, 2 pm. 

In April we produce a leaflet for a self-guided walk, as it was not possible to do this in person. We home that this time we will be able to lead the actual walk, looking at the site of the now demolished Victorian Gas Holders, the history of the local area, as well as the wild life which can be seen there. 

Meet on the Canal bridge at Ladbroke Grove.  The walk should take about 1 hour. Free for the WLHS members, we ask non-members for a donation of £3, payable on the day.

September
Kilburn Schools

St Paul’s Church Kilburn Sq, Kilburn Polytechnic & Grammar School.

15 September, 7.30 pm, online

Alan Hovell will share his local knowledge on these subjects, including Dr Bonavia Hunt – linking all 3 institutions. Family recollections of Kilburn education & churches of the Hovells and Griffiths.

Members will receive an invitation link and reminders by email. If you are not a member, please buy tickets here.

October
1920s General Strike in Willesden

The General Strike in the 1920s.
Chris Coates.

20 October, 7.30 pm online

The General Strike, a nation-wide workers’ protest against low wages and poor working conditions, was called by the T.U.C. and began on 3rd May, 1926. Chris will describe how our area was affected during the 9 days of strike action.

Members will receive an invitation link and reminders by email. If you are not a member, please buy tickets here.

November
Gladstone Park - a Garden History

Gladstone Park – a Garden History.
Antonia Couling

17 November, 7.30 pm online

Landscape designer Antonia Couling looks at the gardens at Dollis Hill House in Gladstone Park from the point of view of garden and landscape history. The park came into existence in 1900, when the District Council bought the land from the Finch family and the District Council Surveyor Oliver Claude Robson planned it out, making the best of its “original and natural beauty”.

Members will receive an invitation link and reminders by email. If you are not a member, please buy tickets here.

December
Old St.Mary's Church, Willesden

Christmas event.

15 December. 

Christmas get together at the Mason’s Arms pub. This is for members only, and the members will receive details by email.