Day when trams ruled the road

One of 17,000 pho­tos in our ar­chive

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Mort Smith mort.smith@trin­i­tymir­

WITH new build­ings sprout­ing up all over the area, it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber what our towns and vil­lages looked like a month ago, let alone a few decades back.

But the Gazette has a so­lu­tion for that prob­lem – in the shape of pic­tures taken by our pho­tog­ra­phers over the years and re­cently res­cued from dusty ob­scu­rity in the base­ment store­room of Hilling­don Civic Cen­tre in Uxbridge High Street.

To be fair, it was be­cause of the far-sight­ed­ness of Hilling­don Coun­cil that th­ese pho­tos still ex­ist.

They were all taken on glass plate nega­tives – about 17,000 of them – and when the Gazette made one of its of­fice moves the coun­cil stepped in to pro­vide stor­age for them.

Now, they are be­ing slowly trans­ferred to the huge Trin­ity Mir­ror ar­chive in Wat­ford, which houses up­wards of 20 mil­lion photographs and nega­tives.

We’ll be run­ning a reg­u­lar slot in fu­ture edi­tions look­ing back at some of th­ese unique views of our com­mu­nity, and invit­ing our read­ers who might have their mem­o­ries jogged by th­ese pic­tures to con­trib­ute their own com­ments and, in­deed, other images.

Here is a good one to start with: a tram from Uxbridge to Shep­herd’s Bush pass­ing along Uxbridge High Street with what looks like a po­lice con­sta­ble walk­ing to­wards it and sev­eral passers-by.

The pic­ture was taken in 1929. How many read­ers re­mem­ber the days when trams were a common sight in the town?

The Gazette will be pub­lish­ing a steady stream of won­der­ful old pic­tures such as this, thanks to the ef­forts of Trin­ity Mir­ror ar­chive, both in print an on­line, but in the mean­time, for a larger se­lec­tion of old pic­tures please go to www. g e t w e s t l o n d o n . c o. u k / back­in­time/

They were taken on glass plates and

when the Gazette made one of its of­fice moves, they might have been thrown away, had not the coun­cil stepped in to pro­vide stor­age for


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