Roxeth Gas


Many books have been produced over the years on the history of Roxeth now unfortunately mostly known as South Harrow . Some have a few photos, some have some old, some have more recent and a few have both but as far as we know no collection has been produced where as far as possible locations photographed in the old days have been compared with the scene today. In this publication we have attempted to do just that, and we are grateful from the outset to Paul Turner who without exception has attempted to photograph the “now” photos from exactly the same position as the originals. Please bear in mind that modern cameras and the risks associated with standing in the middle of today's roads does not always make this possible!

The greatest transformation of the area from rural farmlands with a cluster of houses and shops spreading down from Harrow Hill started with the coming of the railways and peaked in the 1920s up to just before the war and this is graphically illustrated by comparing the Ordnance Survey map of 1916 with that of 1940 which are reproduced after this. Whilst there were plenty of photographs of the more prominent areas of Roxeth taken since the discovery of photography there are unfortunately none of the more rural outskirts.

With this in mind following the then and now photos we have included a selection titled “Landmarks” which features prominent building and locations which in the early days of the area's development quickly became part of the landscape as we know it today.

During the course of our research we discovered that in the last 50 years but mainly in the last 20-30 years nearly forty new roads have been created or completely redeveloped, so we include some of these.

Finally in our collection is a small selection devoted to the reconstruction of Petts Hill Bridge . This new “entrance” to the area is certainly the most major civil engineering work in the area since the coming of the railways and the building of the roads as we know them today.

We hope you enjoy our “photo” trip round the area.

Acknowledgments and Thanks

To Paul Turner for the time and patience readily given to try as far as possible to take the “now” photographs from similar positions as the “then” and for all the other 2011 photographs. Paul is a lifelong resident of the area fortunately with an interest in local history. His main interest however, is the Scout Movement and he is current the Group Scout Leader of the 1 st Roxeth Group at South Harrow Baptist Church as well as being an Assistant District Commissioner in the Harrow and Wealdstone Scout District. His excellent photographic skills developed from his days in the Cubs when he learned about “pin hole” cameras moving over the years into digital technology with the excellent results shown in this presentation.

The Authors have endeavoured to contact all contributors of photographs etc. for permission to reproduce. This is acknowledged throughout. Should any owner or copyright holder of any photograph, where permission to use or acknowledgment is not shown , object to their inclusion they should contact Syd Dean as below and I will arrange acknowledgement or removal .


Paul Turner holds the copyright (except where otherwise indicated) of the NOW photographs throughout this publication.

I am very sorry to say my Friend Ian Jones who collaborated with me on this website passed away in 2014.

©Syd Dean