Ickenham Then and Now

Forty Years On

Ickenham remains a picturesque village even in the 21st century, but there have been changes over the years which many residents may have forgotten about. In about 1960 or 1961 my father, Gordon Scagell, took some Kodachrome slides of the area which we rediscovered after his death in 2000. I took the equivalent shots in 2001, and present them here with brief captions to help point out the differences, which refer mostly to the old photo. Anyone with comments on the pictures or captions, or with other pictures, is welcome to contact me: robin@galaxypix.com. Pictures of interest to Vyners Old Scholars and those living near Vyners School will find some more photos here.

Long Lane area

1960s                                                                                         2001
Long Lane seen from the village
In the left foreground of the 1960s picture is what is now called Community Close and beyond it is Glebe Avenue. The parade of shops on the corner of Glebe Avenue has yet to be built, and the end wall of what is now Ickenham Motors but was then a chemist’s shop bears the proud motto ‘Surgical Truss and Belt’ in enormous black letters. The library has yet to be built on the patch of waste ground to the left. Long Lane has three lanes, and at the right is an estate agent called Peckham and Partners, which occupied a wooden building on the corner of Almond Avenue, which then had limited access to traffic from Long Lane. A large tree (an elm?) stands where now is the corner of Almond Avenue and Long Lane. Note added 2006 : These days, even the 2001 view looks quaint. Cars and vans are parked all the way along Long Lane, notably by a company named 'Rent-a-Banger', which do nothing to enhance the area.
Long Lane, looking towards the village
The most obvious change is that the houses in the service road at right have mostly yet to be built in 1960. The single house visible is the on the corner of The Paddock. In 2001 the cherry trees have matured, but some on the left have been removed.
Long Lane from outside Ickenham Motors
In the 1960s picture the pavement at right is set farther in from the road, as the service road is not yet constructed. A double-decker bus on what was then Route 98 as I recall was a regular sight – now only seen when there is a rail replacement service in operation, which seems to be quite often these days. You can see that the entrance to Almond Avenue is restricted to a single lane and drop kerb. 

Swakeleys Road

Swakeleys Road from No 143 
In the 1960s shot, taken by an unknown photographer who sold slides, No 143 was a single house, while now there are several in its place with their own service road. Otherwise there are few major changes except that some of the houses on the right have extensions, the laburnum trees in the central reservation have gone and there are now about twice as many streetlamp standards. Streetlighting requirements have increased enormously over 40 years – as witnessed by the strong yellow colour of the night sky these days.
The Almshouses
The buildings remain pretty much the same, except that the chimneypots have now mostly been taken down, presumably because centralheating has been installed. In the 1960s photo, something seems to have happened to the front wall. But notice how the central reservation was once planted with roses, now long gone.

Ickenham Road

Courtyard of Fox and Geese, corner of Austin’s Lane
Many more cherry trees lined Ickenham Road in the 1960s. The Fox and Geese had a decent pub sign – and at the time I took the picture at right, the pub was actually called the ‘Th ox and eese’ as the letters had fallen off. Shortly after I took it, the pub was taken over by new management. The modern building at left, Lynx House, is not a sympathetic addition to the scene.

Village centre

In the 1960 shot the ‘new’ parade of shops at left has yet to be built, though judging by the rubble work is under way. Cherry trees may have gone in 2001, but there are more trees and hedges in the churchyard.

Site hosted at http://www.galaxypix.com/ickenham/40years.html