Elstree and Boreham Wood in old picture postcards

Elstree and Boreham Wood in old picture postcards

Author
:   Paul Welsh
Municipality
:  
Province
:   Hertfordshire
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-3013-4
Pages
:   80
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2 - 3 working days ((subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.

   


Fragments from the book 'Elstree and Boreham Wood in old picture postcards'

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49. A scene from the film 'Champagne' made by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock at EIstree Studios in 1928. A year later Hitchcock embarked upon the production of what is usually acknowledged as Britain's first talking picture - 'Blackmail', which was also made at Elstree. The famous director became a farniliar figure around the parish during the late 1920's and early 1930's. Later he departed for Hollywood but returned in the late 1940's to direct 'Under Capricorn' with Ingrid Bergman and 'Stage Fright' with Mariene Dietrich.

50. Station Parade in Shenley Road. The building in the left foreground was the National Provincial Bank opened in 1928 and is now a solicitors office. Just out of view at the top of the Parade stands a white building, now a turf accountants, which opened on 11th September 1928 as the Westminster Bank. The public telephone was sited in the second shop on the Parade. All of the buildings remain today but the old gas street lighting columns disappeared over fifty years ago.

51. The postcard shows what was then called New Road, Deacons Hili EIstree but today is better known as Deacons Hill Road. The road itself dates from 1881 when the Gibbs family, who had a large residence at the top of the hili, decided they wanted easier access to the railway station. lt must have been a difficult journey for horse-drawn carriages as the road becomes very steep towards the junction with Barnet Lane. The stage and screen star Dame Anna Neagle and her film director husband Herbert Wilcox used to live in a house at the top of Deacons Hili. lt was from there that they watched Wilcox's film studio in Shenley Road burn to the ground in 1936.

52. Another photograph identified by the long time resident and local historian, Mr. William Brooks. He calculates that the picture was taken in about 1922 and shows an assorted group of local football players and supporters. The team members included Fred Parker, Charlie Smith, Jack Starck, Arthur Willetts, Fred Winters, Percy and Cyril Cronk and Wilfred De' Ath.

53. The labourers are seen here building the second railway tunnel at EIstree in 1895. It was decided by the Midland Railway to increase the capacity from two lines to four lines as the number of trains increased on the line to St. Pancras in London. A labourer employed on such a task was often referred to as a 'navvy'. This was a shortened version of the word navigator and was fust used to describe similar workers building the canals a century earlier.

54. Another 1920's view of EIstree High Street looking towards the crossroads. Many of the buildings in view have now been demolished. Today the same photograph would show a considerable number of cars, buses and heavy vehic1es as this is part of Watling Street. It has been an important highway between London, St. Albans and onwards since Roman times.

55. Whitehouse Avenue in Boreham Wood photographed in about 1928. On the far right can be seen the stages of the British International Pictures Studio built in 1925-26. The studio, now much altered and modernised, remains in operation and in recent years has been responsible for such mms as 'Star Wars' and 'Raiders of The Lost Ark'. Whitehouse Avenue takes its name from the fact that it is built on farmland onee owned by Whitehouse Reetory Farm. The land was sold off in lots during the 1920's.

56. EIstree Railway Station was opened last century by the Midland Railway Company and was built on land originally owned by the church. E1stree was then connected by train service to St. Pancras Station in the heart of London. This was to have a significant effect on the area's development in later years. This photograph was taken at the turn of the century after the addition of an extra platform and two extra lines in 1895. The station remained unaltered until recent years and was featured in a number of motion pictures made at the nearby studios.

57. The bottom half of Allum Lane is shown in this postcard of about 1930. Originally the road was much straighter but encroachment by landowners altered the course slightly. Allum Lane is mentioned as far back as 1437 but at that time was known as Alwynlane. Following the Enelosure Act of 1776, which divided up the Boreham Wood Common, roads such as this were improved from what originally would have been simple dirt tracks.

58. A view opposite the junction of Shenley Road and Furzehill Road taken in about 1905. The shops in the foreground remain today but the four villas were demolished in 1964. The gap between the two sets of buildings was originally a site on which panama hats from a nearby factory were staked out to bleach. Later it was occupied by the Centra! Garage and is now a row of modern shops.

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