Bedford Park - The First Garden Suburb

Revised and updated version of Tom Greeves’s definitive book

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The Bedford Park Society has published a completely revised and updated version of Tom Greeves’s definitive book "Bedford Park - the first garden suburb".

Printed in a new format with striking specially commissioned colour photos by local resident Ellen Rooney and incorporating the latest research on Bedford Park, the book was an instant best-seller at the Society’s stall on Green Day, June 12, which marks the start of the annual Bedford Park Festival.

First published in 1975, with a revised second edition in 1999, it is the only full account of the first garden suburb, built near Turnham Green Station, West London. As an architect and co-founder of the Bedford Park Society, Tom Greeves had an unrivalled knowledge of Bedford Park, including its history and development.

His original black and white photos are complemented in the new edition by Ellen Rooney’s pictures, which appear alongside a selection of old photos taken shortly after the suburb was built in 1875. Other illustrations include maps, drawings and architectural plans.

There are also profiles of the top Victorian architects ¬notably R Norman Shaw ¬ who designed houses for the estate’s developer, Jonathan Carr. Notes on some of the celebrities of the day who lived in Bedford Park include artists, writers such as poet W B Yeats, and even a resident anarchist.

Peter Murray, the Society’s deputy chairman, who compiled the new edition and contributed an update on its history, said: “This is a worthy successor to Tom¹s original book. Bedford Park started the trend for suburban estates where families could live in a leafy environment yet close to the city.

“We hope the book will encourage understanding of why such architecturally important neighbourhoods need to be preserved.”

The book is now available at Waterstones, the Building Centre Bookshop or from the Society’s web-site, price £19.95 plus £2 p&p.

June 24, 2010