two cakes, jam, and a cup of tea
Event

Free event tomorrow!

Don’t forget to join us at the Side Door Café, Ashford Place this Friday for fun and memory sharing.

The young Scouts, and especially their leaders Nick and Noura, have been working hard planning and bringing everything together for the events.

Local residents are invited to come and share their memories of Cricklewood, whether that’s 10, 20, or even 50 years ago! The young people will be asking questions and recording people who’d like to share their memories.

For anyone camera shy, there will be plenty of cake to keep you busy!

So come along, meet new people, and enjoy a lovely afternoon at Ashford Place with the Scouts.

2pm – 4pm, Friday 31 August @ Side Door Café, Ashford Place, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

Nomad Scouts logo of a camel
Event

Tea & Scouts…

… and cake & memories!

Next week, Friday 31 August, sees the launch of an exciting series of events led by the Nomad Explorer Scouts, as part of the Generations of Learning project.

The free afternoon events will combine memory-sharing, speed-dating games with free afternoon tea and a chance to meet new people.

Bringing young and old together to celebrate local history, the young Scouts will be asking questions and recording the memories of people from the local area.

So, whether you came here 5 years ago or 50, whether you lived in Cricklewood, Dollis Hill, Harlesden or a little further afield, come along and share an afternoon with lovely people!

The first event is being hosted by Ashford Place in the new Side Door Café. All are welcome. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

People sitting in a patio garden

Join us from 2pm – 4pm:

Friday 31 August @ Side Door Café, Ashford Place, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU
Saturday 15 September @ Learie Constantine Centre, 43-47 Dudden Hill Lane, NW10 2ET
Saturday 29 September @ The Crown Hotel, 142 Cricklewood Broadway NW2 3ED

Any questions? Please get in touch:

 

 

 

People sitting in a patio garden
Event

Free Fun!

Don’t forget to pop in tomorrow for family arts & craft fun in the new café at Ashford Place , decorating memory boxes and sharing stories. Join us:

Wednesday 8 August, 11am – 1pm, Side Door Café, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

There will be paint and sticky stuff, so wear clothes that you can be comfortable in. Disposable aprons will be provided.

This is a drop in session, no booking needed, but we may have to turn people away if we get too busy, so try not to come late.

Fruit and squash will be provided free, and fancy coffees will be available to buy. This event will take place in the lovely Side Door Café gardens.

Events are free and all ages & backgrounds are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

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Photo of a messy table with arts and crafts supplies and paints
Event, News

Come Young, Come Old!

The Generations of Learning summer programme launches next week, celebrating the stories collected during our Cricklewood migration heritage project.

Come along to one of the FREE events and celebrate your local story.

Get Messy!

Join us for family arts & craft fun in the new café at Ashford Place, decorating memory boxes and sharing stories. Drop in on:

Wednesday 8 August, 11am – 1pm, Community Café, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

Photo of a messy table with arts and crafts supplies and paints

Get Walking!

Come and explore the hidden stories of the Pakistani and Irish communities in and around Cricklewood. Tours are led by LivingLondon and start at 11am at Willesden Green tube station, ending in Gladstone Park at 2pm

Saturday 11 August | Sunday 19 August | Saturday 25 August

[Booking not essential but places are limited to 20 people per tour. Reserve a spot at: www.golheritage.com/events ]

Living London logo

Get Talking!

Enjoy some fun with the Nomad Scouts. Swap stories in a memory-sharing speed date, put your memories on the map. From 2pm-4pm, including free refreshments

Friday 31 August @ Community Cafe, Ashford Place, 60 Ashford Road NW2 6TU

Saturday 15 September @ Learie Constantine Centre, 43-47 Dudden Hill Lane, NW10 2ET

Saturday 29 September @ The Crown Hotel, 142 Cricklewood Broadway NW2 3ED

Nomad Scouts logo of a camel

Get Inspired!

We are currently working with young actors from 360Arts on performances based on the Elders stories.

We are planning pop-up performances around Cricklewood in the coming months, so watch this space!

 

Events are free and all ages & backgrounds are welcome – the tour may not be suitable for small children. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 

News

Memories Made!

Thanks to everyone who came to share fun and memories at the Cricklewood Garden Festival.

And well done to everyone on the Town Team committee for putting together an great day celebrating the town green.

As well as sharing the heritage of Irish and Pakistani communities in Cricklewood, we heard stories from people who’ve come from around the world to live in NW2.

We made beautiful bags with people from:

Bulgaria | Sudan | Pakistan | Japan | Ireland | Morocco | Algeria | China | Australia | Dominica | Costa Rica | Jamaica | England | Eritrea | The Philippines | Nigeria | Bangladesh

Check out some of their creative designs:

Keep an eye out for more events details of Events over the summer. Our project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, so our events are FREE.

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WWI style recruiting poster, with picture of soldier pointing and the caption 'Your heritage project needs you'
News, Volunteer

Remember memorabilia

April was a month of doing on the project.

We have been busy filming, recording, and photographing Elders telling their stories with the project.

These stories will be presented in an exhibition, travelling around Cricklewood and Brent over the Summer. They will also be collected into a formal archive that will become a resource for future generations.

The archive will be made up of audio recordings of the Elders sharing their memories.

We are also hoping to collect photos and memorabilia relating to the Irish and Pakistani communities in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Do you have anything you could share with us?

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Perhaps this is an old photograph, or a newspaper clipping. Maybe you have an old ticket to a dance at the Galtymore or to the showing of a Bollywood hit at the State cinema.

If you have a programme from a sporting event, such as when the Pakistan cricket team visited London, or the Gaelic football was played at Wembley in 1965, we would love to see it.

You might even have held on to your tickets or boarding passes when you first came to the UK – if so, you’ve done a better job that the government might have done!

If you would be willing to give, loan, or let us take copies of your memorabilia, this will help us preserve and share the stories of the post-war migration generation.

Please get in touch with us below.

We are continuing to record the stories of Pakistani and Irish migrants who have memories of the Cricklewood area in the 1950s and 1960s, so drop us a line if you’d like to talk.

 

Image of a bowl of trifle
Event, News

No trifle matter…

Last week the Generations of Learning project was lucky enough to be invited to speak to the ladies group at the Pakistani Community Centre in Willesden.

Many of those present had stories of coming to the Cricklewood area to join husbands who’d come in the 1960s.

In the 1950s and 1960s, it was common for young Irish men and women to come on their own, or with friends or siblings to being their new life in London. Many couples recall meeting and falling in love in the youth clubs and dance halls, with the popular refrain being that many marriages were started in the Galtymore.

For the Pakistani men, many of whom expected to return home, they often left their families in Pakistani, often only reuniting with them after several years. While their children and husbands were able to more easily integrate into their new lives, through work and school, it wasn’t as easy for the women when they arrived in London.

 

Image of a bowl of trifleComing together as a group to learn English and study the Quran was an important way to build a sense of community. The ladies remembered cooking together for events at the PCC was a chance to share jokes and news, and they still come together every week to share a meal. In a perfect blend of their old homes in Pakistan and their new home in Britain, we were treated to a delicious dahl and homemade trifle.

We will be interviewing some of the ladies and discovering more of their stories in the coming weeks.We will also be holding an informal reminiscence session at the PCC on 23 March. Visit our Events page for more details.

If you are part of the Irish or Pakistani community and have a story to share of coming to Cricklewood, please drop us a line below.

A small grouop of young men and women pose for a photograph inside a nightclub.
Migration History

I remember it used to be bigger…

Until 1870, when the new railway station opened, Cricklewood was a small village, with a number of large mansion houses on the outskirts.

The Cricklewood area was identified as a London postal district including Cricklewood, Dollis Hill, Childs Hill, parts of Golders Green and Brent Cross, Willesden (north), and Neasden (north). (This only changed after the borough re-organisations in 1965, but the area is still covered by the familiar NW2 postcode.)

In 1879, a second station opened at Willesden Green. As commuting into central London to work became possible, the area began to develop, with thousands of new homes being built between 1880 – 1930. The ‘tree roads’ – Pine, Larch, Ivy, Olive and our own Ashford Road – were part of the Cricklewood Park development constructed between 1893-1900.

Local amenities included the well-known Crown Hotel, rebuilt in 1889, and the shops along Cricklewood Broadway built between 1910 and 1914. There was a new school and a cinema and skating rink for entertainment. Three synagogues were built for the new Jewish communities. Several churches were built for the growing population, including St Agnes Roman Catholic Church, built in 1883 to cater to the growing number of Catholics, many of whom were Irish migrants.

Gladstone Park was completed in 1901 and the swimming pool was opened in the park in 1903. Elders we have interviewed as part of the Generations of Learning project have fond memories of swimming there in the summer.

 

In the years following the start of the First World War in 1914, light industry grew, with factories making use of the transport links along the A5 (aka Cricklewood Broadway). One of the best known factories was Smiths Industries, which opened in 1915. By the 1960s the company employed some 8,000 people. This and other factories attracted many migrants into the area. In the years after the end of the Second World War in 1945, people from the former British Empire colonies were invited to help rebuild the UK. Elders speaking as part of the project recall the Ascot Gas Water Heaters company had a notably large number of workers from Pakistan.

 

As England’s close neighbour, migration from Ireland had been long established, and in the 1950s and ’60s, thousands of young men and women came to build new lives. Many enjoyed the freedom of the big city after quiet lives in the rural countryside, and Cricklewood was famed for its ballrooms; the Galtymore and Burtons.

A small grouop of young men and women pose for a photograph inside a nightclub.
Young Irish enjoy themselves at the Galtymore in the late 1960s.

Migrants from Pakistan also came from the rural areas, many coming to Cricklewood from the Punjab, which had strong links with Great Britain.

A Punjabi man in uniform with an ornate turban and long row of medals on his chest
Punjabi First World War veteran whose children later migrated to Cricklewood.

 

The Punjab was a key recruitment area for the British army in pre-Partition India and many Punjabi men fought for Britain in the First and Second World Wars. Those who came to Britain in the 1950s and ’60s often left families at home, thinking they would only stay a few years before returning themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have memories of Cricklewood in the 1950s or 1960s as part of the Irish or Pakistani community, we would love to hear from you! Please call Sorcha on 020 8208 8590.

 

A table covered in paint and craft materials
News

Memories Made!

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Memory Box events over the half term.

The workshops aimed to encourage different generations to share family stories, to ‘catch’ them in the memory boxes for the future.

This echoes the aim of our project, to capture the memories of Elder migrants, to ensure their stories are preserved for future generations of historians.

We had families from the Philippines, Brazil, England, India, Romania, Cameroon and more. There were all sorts of stories and some wonderful art works created.

We are busy planning more events to celebrate the migrant stories for the Easter holidays so keep an eye out.

 

News

Punjab to Cricklewood

A man being interviewed

Our interviews with the Pakistani community got off to a great start as Mr Tariq Dar spent the morning sharing his memories of his life in Cricklewood.

The young Tariq came to Cricklewood from the Punjab in 1965. He joined his father and his uncle who had been working in London since the 1950s. Tariq recalled his days at John Kelly Technical College (now Crest Boy’s Academy), playing cricket in Gladstone Park, and watching movies at the State Cinema in Kilburn. The cinema had special weekend showings, often on a Sunday, of the hit movies from Pakistan and India. Films were often shown alongside newsreels from home, and the wrestling results were eagerly awaited.

As an adult, Mr Dar has made a significant contribution both to the Pakistani community and the wider Cricklewood community, from supporting fund-raising for the first purpose-built mosque in the area, to tree planting in the park he played in as a boy, to improve the environment for future generations.

The interview was filmed at the Pakistan Community Centre, next door to the Central Mosque of Brent. The centre developed from the workers organisations of the 1950s, set up to support the early migrant workers who came to Cricklewood from Pakistan. It now hosts everything from women’s meetings to community events.

During the interview, Tariq recalled: “The way the community works has changed. We are thinking more outside the box now. We still do cultural events in the community, but we are well integrated into British society. We are part and parcel of the community.”

We are looking forward to organising some fun events with the PCC over the summer, so keep an eye on our events page!

Mr Dar’s interview will feature in the Generations of Learning exhibition this summer, and will be given to Brent Museum and Archives to form part of the permanent archive. We are continuing to interview people to capture their stories. If you came to London from Pakistan or Ireland and have memories of Cricklewood in the 1950s or 1960s, we would love to hear from you.