Formal Handover Of Bedford Park Society's New Information Sign

Giving important historical and architectural details about the first 'garden suburb'

 Bedford Park Society Celebrates Fifty Years



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Dozens of local residents attended the formal hand-over of a new information sign erected by the Bedford Park Society on the triangle of land to the west of St Michael and All Angels Church on Saturday June 21st.

The sign includes a 19th Century line drawing of the Church and a map of the first garden suburb, as well as notes on the architecture and history of the neighbourhood and how the Society continues to protect it.

Dep-Chairman of Bedford Park Society, Peter Murray addresses the crowd, watched by Ted Holloway (in cap), one of the Society's earliest members.

The Society’s president, Nigel Woolner and deputy chairman Peter Murray, who jointly masterminded the project, welcomed Cecilia Powell, daughter of one of the donors, and invited Cllr Steve Curran, leader of Hounslow Council, to accept responsibility for the care and upkeep of the sign. Guests included Ted Holloway, one of the earliest members of the Bedford Park Society; Father Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael & All Angels; and Cllr Gerald McGregor of Hounslow Council.

Afterwards, there was a drinks reception in St Michael & All Angels Parish Hall.

The Society has paid the £12,000 cost of purchase and installation. Funding came from a bequest from its late vice-president and former chairman Leonard Darke, Cecilia Powell's father, and from the trust set up by Tom Greeves, the Society’s late co-founder.

The elegant, modern design in metal and enamel, was created by Legible London for historic sites all round the capital. It has been customised in Bedford Park green, with a map of the first garden suburb, plus notes on the architecture and history and how the Society continues to protect the neighbourhood.

(l to r) Cllr Steve Curran (leader, Hounslow Council); Peter Eversden (chairman, Bedford Park Society); Nigel Woolner (president, Bedford Park Society), Cllr Gerald McGregor.

Local architect John Scott helped with the design, and it was manufactured by Woodhouse, who make all the Legible London signs.

Peter Murray, commented: “The new sign is located in the heart of the conservation area, by a path used by many local residents and visitors. We hope it will give them all a better understanding of how special and important Bedford Park is.”

Bedford Park was developed as the world’s first garden suburb between 1875 and 1886 on just under 100 acres of land near Turnham Green station on the borders of Acton and Chiswick, West London. At its core are some 360 Grade II listed houses, designed by such eminent Victorian architects as Richard Norman Shaw, Edward W Godwin, Maurice B Adams, and Edward John May.

The Bedford Park Society was founded by Tom Greeves and Harry Taylor in 1963 in response to threatened demolition and inappropriate developments. In 1967, following the first Bedford Park Festival, it achieved Grade II listing for 356 properties, and by 1970 it had persuaded the London boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow to each declare its respective half of Bedford Park a conservation area.

The Society, which has some 500 members, monitors planning applications in both boroughs with the aim of conserving the neighbourhood’s buildings and green spaces and protecting them from inappropriate development.

Torin Douglas

Picture courtesy of David Budworth

The Society's web-site is

June 24, 2014

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