Friday, 9 September 2011

Wormholt Park - a snake infested wood

The Askew Arms at the turn of the 20th Century
That's where the name comes from you see, which is one of the many things you'll discover on show at tomorrow's centenary celebrations at the Park. You can find a full run down of the many things on offer here, but for this posting I want to concentrate on some of the facts about the Bush you'll pick up if you come.

The picture above is the Askew Arms at the turn of the century - and the one below is the open air lido that used to adjoin Wormholt Park and was only closed in the 1970s. There was a scheme by which you could pay "first class" or "second class" - the former entitling you to two towels as opposed to one!

Shepherd's Bush Lido
And did you know the houses next to the park, along Sawley Road, are sited on top of what used to be a lake? It was drained in the mid nineteenth century and was then mined for clay to make bricks - so many of the houses in W12 are built from local clay.

This and other things are all on show at what is now promised to be a fair and sunny day tomorrow - so get yourselves down there - you'll never see Shepherd's Bush in the same way again.

QPR in the Community were there today putting some local schoolchildren through their paces while there were a reasonable number of locals, such as yours truly, ambling around taking inthe sights.

One of the most impressive things for me, though, is the historical collection they have there which is where these images come from. Did you know the cobbles outside the Princess Victoria pub are there because that's where the horse drawn omnibuses used to turn around and head back the other way?!

Their resident historian, Peter, will be on hand tomorrow and wants to hear your stories about the Bush. If you cant make it but can still contribute your glimpses of Bush gone by email me at and I will pass them on. There's tell of a book in the making, and that's nothing less than an area as rich in history as Shepherd's Bush deserves.

See you tomorrow.


  1. I used to go swimming at the lido when I was a kid. By then you had to take your own towels. The water was freezing! There were a few ponds around and about, a few between Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road that show up on an old map. There is so much history around The Bush. I will be going later and am looking forward to it.


  2. I too used to go swimming at the lido in the summer. Although I think we knew it as White City open air baths. I think Stuie above is right about the water temperature. I've got a recollection that it had 2 pools, although I may be confusing that with Chiswick open air pools which were also a popular haunt in summer. Lime Grove baths in the winter of course. White City baths were of course replaced by what became the Janet Adegoke Leisure Centre, itself now flattened.