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Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service

Uxbridge Past and Present

1992
35m 36s
Colour
Sound

Description

Film taken c1968-1973 of Uxbridge redevelopment and new film of 1991.

The first film 'Uxbridge Panorama' looks at the Borough of Uxbridge, then in the County of Middlesex on the eve of redevelopment. Scenes shots around the town take in the canal, Western Avenue, the clock tower and High Street, and Tudor wood frame buildings. Some wintry scenes show ice and snow floating on the canal. Still images giving artist's impressions of a modern development, and film of a scale model of the plans indicate a possible future for the town. The model is marked with signs indicating 'Stage One' and 'Stage Two'. The cameraman's reflection appears in a window as he films a sign behind it reading 'London Borough of Hillingdon, Uxbridge Central Area Redevelopment, Starting May 1968'. Some more views around the centre of town take in local shops including Burton tailoring (menswear), Dolcis (shoes), Civic, and Hepworth's. The filmmaker goes on to record some of alleys and residential streets facing demolition or change in the new plans, including parts of Vine Street. Demolition work is seen commencing with a man standing precariously on a chimney as he smashes away at its brick structure with a sledgehammer and pickaxe. Elsewhere part demolished buildings are boarded up. A letting agents sign announces new shop and office space to rent, to be completed in early 1970 with an artist's impression of the new buildings. The film moves on to the construction site itself with tall cranes moving materials, men and machines at work and a steel and concrete structure taking shape. This activity is contrasted with quiet residential streets of terrace and semi-dethatched housing. The canal side building of 'F.A. Sedgwick & Co. Brewers of Watford stands next to construction vehicles and equipment. The Wellington Public House and a row of part demolished shops and houses. An elderly woman is filmed standing on the balcony of a brick apartment building. More shots of the construction site are contextualised with a street map showing the areas being developed in the context of New Windsor Street, the High Street, Windsor Street and Vine Street. Shots of the public houses The Railway Arms and the Eight Bells precede more views of partly demolished housing and shops. At the construction site, work has progressed, with windows in the tower block of offices and finishes and fascias in place. At some point later, the new centre has opened and people walk amongst the buildings, while traffic travels on the new relief road. The centralised pedestrian area includes a re-established outdoor market. The filmmaker counterpoints elements of old Uxbridge, the clock tower, an old gas lamp, a church steeple with the cranes raising up the new. These pieces of film are followed by a video sequence entitled 'Uxbridge Panorama 1992'; by J.B. Productions. The video begins at the St. Andrew's Gate of Uxbridge's RAF Station, with views of the gatepost, sentry men and buildings (on screen date indicates it was shot on 13th November 1992). The video then moves through the town centre taking in a branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Regal Cinema, Midland Bank, Randalls department store, Mahjacks Corner, the War memorial, The Metropolitan Public House, The Queens Head Tavern, a public water fountain, The Three Tuns, Uxbridge tube station, The Pavilions shopping mall, the relief road, The Crown and Treaty pub, the Swan & Bottle, the Old Meeting Congregational Church, Christ Church, and the White Horse. The video maker seeks to pick out evidence of the past amongst the modern buildings, which now longer possess the utopian aura surrounding their original design. An onscreen titles proclaims 'The New Uxbridge of the 90's'; and records new glass fronted office blocks of Harman House, the Sainsbury's superstore and car park, the bus garage, the offices of AIB, Wellington House, as well as a new branch of Royal Bank of Scotland, the new library and archives building. Views along and around the High Street take in Lloyd's Bank, the Odeon Cinema, and the offices of BP. Another title announces 'Uxbridge Forward into the Twenty-First Century' before another 'The End'

Further information

Compilation of films shot c.1967-1973 and a new video made in 1992

This film is part of the following gallery:
Hillingdon

Comments


We'd especially love to hear from you if you know something about this film
or the people or places in it.




On 11 October 2018, Bruce Hanson said:
Being part of an old Uxbridge family there is something rather sad in watching this film as it reminds me of the Uxbridge before the developers got hold of it and knocked all the character out of the town ( they did more damage than the Luftwaffe during the second world war ). There were medieval buildings destroyed such as those in Cross Street, beautiful old pubs like The Eight Bells demolished, such a shame. All in the name of "Progress" and now replaced with monolithic characterless glass,steel and concrete edifices which would not look out of place in New York or Chicago. The Uxbridge I grew up in during the 50's and 60's with the old cobbled yards with their gas lights, Fassnidge gardens running down to the River Frays, small local shops such as Constables the Bakers, Nicholls the butchers and Peddle ironmongers and everybody knowing everybody else , gone forever. As I reflect on all this I wonder if that development took place today then there would have been preservation orders placed on many of the buildings so ruthlessly , and shamefully sacrificed on the altar of change.
On 2 August 2018, Phil Bullock said:
I was brought up in Uxbridge in the 50's and have fond memories of it. It is now an eyesore and if I never go back there I won't be sorry.
On 11 April 2018, Jeff Smith said:
Uxbridge was a lovely little town before the developers got hold of it. I worked at King & Hutchings in Cricketfield Road (behind Randalls) in 1969 and would stroll around the cricket field at lunch time. I would use the Eight Bells pub and remember the landlord. Sad to see the destruction to create a monstrosity of a civic centre.
On 16 January 2018, Sandy said:
Incredible video. I was born in 1993, Uxbridge born and raised.

My memory is hazy of the time before the Chimes came in. It's nice to see how my hometown looked like before i had memories of it. So much of it looks identical today. I have some great memories from this place.

Does anyone here have any further insight that grew up during the 70s, 80s or 90s in Uxbridge? What has changed upon returning? Favourite thing about this place? I personally loved the town centre late on a Sunday night (1am), so peaceful and quiet where you can just breathe in the history.
On 16 September 2017, Bruce Hanson said:
1960's architects and developers did more damage to our towns than the German Luftwaffe did during the war and Uxbridge is a case in point. What a lovely town it was prior to the redevelopment which knocked the stuffing and all character out of it in the name of "progress" some of those buildings were of Tudor origin and it was a crime that old buildings such as those in Cross Street were obliterated. I was a schoolboy attending The Greenway School at the time and even then was appalled at the destruction of so many fine streets,pubs and buildings ( The Eight Bells at St Andrews). It led on to Uxbridge becoming just another soulless town , a bland concrete jungle. As Cher would sing "if I could turn back time".
On 22 August 2017, Charlie Dorman said:
I am trying to find photographs of the Pavilions Shopping Centre or the Peacock Pub which used to be where the shopping centre now is... any leads much appreciated.
On 25 May 2017, graham alexander said:
I am trying to find out more about two mensware shops on
Uxbridge High Street. One called Selwyns the other called
Maxwells - they may even have been the same premises.
Does anyone know?
On 2 May 2017, Margaret Brayne nee Ward said:
I loved the film but I am heart broken. Our shop (Wards') in Cross Street gone my old church Provident gone. Crown Wallpapers where I worked, Burtons' where I spent many happy Saturdays. It is very sad that more of the Heritage was not saved.
On 17 March 2017, Jill Hayward said:
Loved this film, brought back so many memories. I lived in Uxbridge as a child, learnt to walk in Fassnidge Park. Worked at King and Hutchings where I met my husband, and then moved back to live there in 1967 when I got married. I remember being in Burtons at a dance when we received the news of President Kennedys assassination.
On 13 February 2017, Geoff Parish said:
I worked at the Stage 1 Uxbridge Central Area Redevelopment from 1968 to 1969 when the contractor Tersons went bust and was taken over by Robert McAlpine. The project manager was Adrian Langley. We
had touble fitting the project into the space available - at one stage it jutted out into the High Street. It was eventually sorted out but a corner was close to the Catholic church at the back and we ended up cutting off the existing road access around the church. We removed a road running from the high street back to the church and put a 4 ft 6 inch piling auger through the telephone connections running under the road. GPO engineers spent weeks putting the telphone wires together which ran through the 'Golden Manhole', it had that name. It apparently was part of the connection between Whitehall and High Wycombe where the government would go if nuclear war broke out between the US and the USSR - Happy Days
On 2 November 2016, Tobias Summers said:
Interesting to see what it was like before the pavilions came along and ruined the character of the area. I can imagine it gained quite a lot of controversy at the time due to the unsightly and to some extent ugly brutalist architecture of the pavilions
On 3 March 2016, Alan Peacock said:
I lived twice at raf uxbridge and was amazed at the history of the unit. I was living on the camp when the IRA bomb exploded in a barrack block. I also remember that repairs to that barrack block were carried out because it was a listed construction. Does either that barrack block or the wo's and sgt's mess still stand or do armed service listed buildings importance fluctuate when commercial interests means lots of money to whom makes these decisions. I am attempting to find out what happened to raf uxbridge's wos and sgts mess that was the oldest mess in the RAF and surely a listed building?
On 22 October 2015, Terry said:
This film took me back
Was nice to see old days before the Pavilions

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Location

United Kingdom; England; London; Hillingdon; Uxbridge

Credits

Director: J. Bramhill

Formats

Archive name Format LSA ID Archive's identifier Sound
Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service VHS LSA3114 12132137 V6 Unknown
Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service DVD LSA3114 12132137 V6 Unknown
Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service AVI master digital file LSA3114 12132137 V6 Unknown
Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service MPEG-4 LSA3114 12132137 V6 Unknown
Available from Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service in 4 different formats
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