Bedford Park 'Pictures From The Past'

A compilation of images from the early days of the garden suburb to the mid 20th century


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

As part of its 50th birthday celebrations the Bedford Park Society has published Bedford Park Pictures From The Past. This is a compilation of photographs, drawings, paintings, maps and postcards dating from the first garden suburb’s earliest days to the mid-20th century.

Put together by local historian David Budworth and committee member Sandra Grant, the book shows buildings, street scenes and interiors as well as some of the early residents. Extensive captions explain the history and background to each image.

The earliest are photos taken in 1878 – just three years after Jonathan Carr began his development near Turnham Green station – by Bedford Lemere, an eminent Victorian photographer. There are also coloured lithographs from a set commissioned in 1882 from local artists by Carr to promote his new suburb.

Other 19th century pictures include black and white architectural drawings published in Building News, whose editor, Maurice B Adams, lived in Bedford Park and who designed some of its houses.

One of the first inhabitants was American pastor Moncure Conway, founder of London’s Conway Hall. Illustrations from the enthusiastic articles he wrote about the haven of greenery and red-brick houses he had found in Bedford Park are also in the book.

Street scenes of life in Victorian and Edwardian times, and between the wars, show how the trees grew and traffic increased.

By the 1950s Bedford Park was known as Poverty Park, with most houses divided into flats or bedsits. These sad days were recorded by local architect Roderick Gradidge and Tom Greeves, co-founder of the Bedford Park Society.

The book will be available at Foster’s bookstore on Chiswick High Road, price £25, or direct from the Bedford Park Society, Flat 12, Bedford Park Mansions, The Orchard, London W4 1JY. If you are ordering from the Society please send your name, address and telephone number, adding £5 for post and packing, and make out cheques to the Bedford Park Society.

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 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 half of Bedford Park an outstanding conservation area.

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

For further information visit the Society’s web-site,


June 26, 2013

Bookmark and Share