Acton, London

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Acton
Actontownhall2.jpg
Acton Town Hall, built for Acton Urban District and opened 10 March 1910
Acton is located in Greater London
Acton
Acton
 Acton shown within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ205805
   – Charing Cross6.1 mi (9.8 km)  W
London boroughEaling
Ceremonial countyGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtW3,W4
Postcode districtNW10
Dialling code020
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK ParliamentEaling Central and Acton
London AssemblyEaling and Hillingdon
List of places
UK
England
London
 
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Acton
Actontownhall2.jpg
Acton Town Hall, built for Acton Urban District and opened 10 March 1910
Acton is located in Greater London
Acton
Acton
 Acton shown within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ205805
   – Charing Cross6.1 mi (9.8 km)  W
London boroughEaling
Ceremonial countyGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtW3,W4
Postcode districtNW10
Dialling code020
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK ParliamentEaling Central and Acton
London AssemblyEaling and Hillingdon
List of places
UK
England
London

Coordinates: 51°30′49″N 0°16′14″W / 51.513519°N 0.270661°W / 51.513519; -0.270661

Acton is a district of west London, England, located in the London Borough of Ealing. It is situated 6.1 miles (10 km) west of Charing Cross.

At the time of the 2001 census, Acton, comprising the wards of East Acton, Acton Central, South Acton and Southfield, had a population of 53,689 people.[1] North Acton, West Acton, East Acton, South Acton, Acton Green, Acton Town, Acton Vale and Acton Central are all parts of Acton.

Acton means "oak farm" or "farm by oak trees", and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ac (oak) and tun (farm).[2] Originally an ancient village, as London expanded, Acton became absorbed into the city. Nowadays, Acton lies predominantly in the London Borough of Ealing, although some of East Acton lies within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and a small portion of South Acton within the London Borough of Hounslow. Acton is home to more railway stations than any other area of London; seven stations in the locality feature Acton in their name.

Central Acton lies on the former main road between London and Oxford (the Uxbridge Road) and several inns along it date back several centuries as stopping places for travellers. Nowadays, the principal route linking London and Oxford (the A40 dual carriageway) bypasses central Acton, but passes through East Acton and North Acton.

History[edit]

St Mary's Church, King Street, Acton Central

Towards the end of the 17th century several springs were found on the north-east side of Acton and, for a time, they became health spas. As a result of the local soft water Acton became famous for its laundries and at the end of the 19th century there were around 170 establishments in South Acton. These laundries would serve hotels and the rich in London's West End, leading to the nickname "Soapsuds Island" or "Soap Sud City". At least 600 different laundries operated within South Acton; the last laundry closed in the late 1970s and is now a low redbrick block of flats.[3]

The parish of Acton formed a local board of health in 1865 and became an urban district in 1894. The town was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Acton in 1921. This authority combined with the municipal boroughs of Ealing and Southall to form the London Borough of Ealing, within Greater London, in 1965.

Acton Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1896. The club and course closed in 1920 and the area was developed for housing.[4]

Development[edit]

Acton formed an urban district and, later, municipal borough of Middlesex from 1894 to 1965. Its former area was used to form part of the London Borough of Ealing in 1965.

During the 20th century Acton was a major industrial centre employing tens of thousands of people, particularly in the motor vehicles and components industries. The industries of North Acton merged with the great industrial concentrations of Park Royal and Harlesden. Further south Acton Vale had famous names including Napier & Son (engines), H. Bronnley & Co (Soaps), Evershed & Vignoles (electrical equipment), Lucas CAV (automotive electrical), Vandervell Products (bearings), T. Wall & Son (Wall's Sausages and Wall's Ice Cream) and Wilkinson Sword (swords and razors). Acton is now principally residential, though it maintains some light industry, particularly in the northeast Park Royal area, and the south near the border with Chiswick. Waitrose started in Acton, as Waite, Rose and Taylor - on the High Street near the police station - with its second branch opening in Churchfield Road in 1913.[5]

The South Acton estate

Acton is home to the largest housing estate in West London, the South Acton estate, with approximately 2,000 homes and 5,800 residents.[6] This area is currently in the Phase 2 of a major 15-year phased regeneration which includes near-total demolition of the existing residential units, and the construction of new and more numerous residential units.

Since World War II, Acton has had a small but notable population of Polish immigrants. In recent years, a number of Antipodean immigrants have settled there; there are several Australian and South African pubs concentrated in a small area. A Japanese school has also attracted a Japanese community to West Acton. The Somali community is concentrated around Church Road, and there are two mosques near the High Street. In addition, the Irish community has diminished somewhat in recent years, but there are still a number of well-supported Irish pubs in the area.

Acton will host the starting point of the 25 kilometre Thames Tideway Tunnel (also known as the "Super Sewer") at the Acton Storm Tanks in Canham Road. This will be built to avoid the discharge of sewage from Combined Sewer Overflow into the River Thames.[7]

Leisure[edit]

The Acton High Street has a range of pubs which vary in theme and clientele.

Pilot of Acton Farmers' Market, December 2006

The recently refurbished 'Mount' on Acton High Street hosts a Market on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Visitors can shop at stalls selling a range of produce, many stalls offering food to eat there or take away and many offering fruit, clothes, books and gifts.

Acton's library, swimming baths (built in 1904) and Town Hall are examples of tall Victorian municipal buildings that can be found along the High Street. Acton Swimming Baths closed in December 2011 for a three year development project, replacing the existing pools with a 25m 8-lane pool and a smaller teaching pool. The site will reopen in spring 2014.

On the east end of Acton High Street is Acton Park, which features bowls facilities, a children’s play area, tennis courts, a basket/football court, a pond and an art block. There is a cafe next to the bowling green selling meals as well as tea/coffee and cakes and ice cream.

Education[edit]

Secondary schools[edit]

Acton has three state-funded secondary high schools, Acton High School, Twyford Church of England High School and The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, and an independent school, the Barbara Speake Stage School. Acton was also once home to another independent school, Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls before it changed its site to Elstree, the Acton site becoming the Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic High School.

Acton also hosts the King Fahad Academy - an independent Muslim school.

Also John Perryn secondary Modern school[citation needed]

International schools[edit]

The Japanese School in London is located in Acton.[8]

Acton in popular culture[edit]

Transport[edit]

Tube/Rail[edit]

Stations in the area are:

Acton is the only place in London to have seven railway stations bearing its name, and the only place name in the United Kingdom with that distinction, other than London itself. Acton is also the only place in London to have stations named after all four of the cardinal points, north, south, east, and west. The widespread provision of train services reflects a long railway history, particularly associated (historically) with London Transport and the Great Western Railway.

North Acton has a large Great Western Railway housing estate (now privately owned), and the Old Oak Common TMD railway depot is located nearby. Acton Main Line station has a busy freight yard (operating ballast and container trains). Acton is also the location of the London Transport Museum Depot which houses an extensive collection of historic and heritage rolling stock.

Buses[edit]

London Buses routes 7, 70, 72, 94, 95, 207, 228, 260, 266, 272, 283, 427, 440, 487, 607, E3, N7, N11 and N207 serve Acton.

Shelved tram proposals[edit]

Transport for London, led by then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, proposed to build a West London Tram between Shepherd's Bush and Uxbridge town centre. It would have run along the A4020, the Uxbridge Road, through Acton, Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall and Hayes End. This proposed scheme was highly controversial and resulted in strong differences in opinion between TfL, who supported the scheme, and local councils throughout the proposed route, who all took a 'no tram' stance.

The West London Tram was finally scrapped when former Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed that the long-awaited Crossrail would go ahead in October 2007. Acton Main Line railway station is to be part of the Crossrail network once it is completed.

Neighbouring places[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ealing.gov.uk[dead link]
  2. ^ Room, Adrian: “Dictionary of Place-Names in the British Isles”, Bloomsbury, 1988
  3. ^ Laundry details, and number of sites, cited at the Acton History website.
  4. ^ “Acton Golf Club, London”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  5. ^ Waitrose: seeking to attain perfection by Janet Appleyard-Hobbs 2009 Acton History Society
  6. ^ "South Acton Residents Action Group". Sarag.org. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  7. ^ "Thames Tunnel | Creating a cleaner, healthier River Thames". Thamestunnelconsultation.co.uk. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  8. ^ "Home." Japanese School in London. Retrieved on 1 January 2014. "所在地:87 CREFFIELD ROAD, ACTON, LONDON, W3 9PU, U.K."
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/search/title?locations=Harlech%20Tower,%20Park%20Road,%20Acton,%20London,%20England,%20UK
  10. ^ The Bob Rogers Show, Radio 2CH, 10:31:30 AEST 31 July 2008.
  11. ^ jno (2013-02-01). "Minder Locations". Minder.org. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  12. ^ jno (2013-02-01). "Minder Locations". Minder.org. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  13. ^ jno (2013-07-24). "Minder Locations". Minder.org. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 

External links[edit]