Greenford was once a leafy suburb famed for it's industry and at its vibrant town centre boasting two cinemas. The Granada (now a Tesco Metro) hosted The Rolling Stones in their early days. The second cinema was the Playhouse in Ruislip Road East. Greenford's residential areas of tree lined avenues are now sliced by the thunderous A40 joining London to the motorway network. In the 60's the A40, then aptly named the Western Avenue, had a grassed centre reservation with crossing gaps, and roundabouts again with grass and trees. This rapidly gave way to concrete flyovers and underpasses to effectively allow commuting traffic to travel 24 hours a day over ever increasing distances. Because of this Greenford is now a split community gradually merging into the Greater London's anonymous urban sprawl.This page takes a selective look at Greenford's bygone era and will be of interest to Baby-Boomers of the area and maybe even those who hale from over the border in Perivale not to mention those who may have been born in the Perivale Maternity hospital!Old LandmarksThe Playhouse cinema was not as well known as the Granada because it closed in the late 1950s and the site cleared for development into the NCR office block.Opposite the 1960s Taylor Woodrow office site, the NCR building has since been redeveloped again into the Central West complex.The Greenford Red Lion is now no more, having been replaced by a building including a Costa CoffeeGreenford's industry has been replaced by warehousing, logistics, medicine and, as with most of Britain, the service sector. It's famous landmarks are also disappearing. For example Rockware Glass gave way to the WestWay retail park and who would have thought that all would be left of Lyons & Co, once the area’s biggest employers, are the pair of rusty old entrance gates! Creamery Fare ice cream parlour in Greenford RoadBetham School
The Flower Stall
NCR site of the Playhouse
Red Lion Pub (Image from Facebook)
Aladdin Tower A40
Perivale Maternity Hospital
J. Lyons & Company
Click for cinematreasures.org
Creamery Fare (click for link) Picture c1965 from Facebook
Betham School (click for link)
(Click for info.)
Architecture of the 1930s
Images of 30s buildings from Facebook
Greenford Granada was luxurious in its day built to show films on the Sidney Bernstein theatres circuit. Concerts featured Billy J Kramer, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, the Fourmost, the Hollies and, of course, that support act the Rolling Stones!
The planners of today also seem to dislike the brick ‘Art Deco’ buildings of the 1930s. The original Greenford Grammar School has gone and the Glaxo building is being redeveloped in a housing scheme also involving the Lyons site.
Edward Betham Church of England School in Oldfield Lane South educated many of the babyboomers in the local area. Click for the secret life of 4 and 5 year olds.
Greenford Granada Cinema and Concert Venue
A highlight for children of all ages was the visit to Creamery Fare, especially after Saturday morning pictures at the Granada Cinema nearby!