What’s happened this fortnight the 16th December 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…… and Christmas trees have certainly taken over outside Kilburn tube station. And we’re loving the light decorations on this house opposite the tube.

The Kilburn History walk led by Alan was attended by more than 40 people and took us from St Cuthbert’s to St Augustine’s. Do not miss the next one!

Please do go and visit the wonderful interiors of St Augustine’s, the Cathedral of North London. Here are the opening times for this month. Continue reading

What’s happened this fortnight 2nd December 2018

In news this fortnight we were incredibly saddened to hear that a man died in a fire along with his pets in a flat in the Sidings Estate.

A child, who is a pupil at Kingsgate school, was also hit by a car last week. Will Camden council do anything to make our roads safer?

And in final bad news, a pensioner was taken to hospital after trying to tackle a thief in the EE store.

Kilburn used to be called the music mile. Our local historian, Dick Weindling, has been trying to compile a full history of 234 Kilburn High Road. With acts as famous as Bowie, Nirvana, the Pogues, it would be great if you could send us a list of acts you have seen there and pictures of programmes or tickets to complete the events record of one of Kilburn’s musical landmark.

Grange Cinema in 1930’s

Continue reading

234 Kilburn High Road, Grange Cinema, Kilburn National Club by Dick Weindling

Kilburn National Club

This popular music venue was at 234 Kilburn High Road, on the corner of Messina Avenue. Many famous musicians including Johnny Cash and David Bowie played there. We look at the original building which was the Grange Cinema, and what happened when the National closed and was taken over by two different church groups.

Grange Cinema

The Grange was a large mansion standing in grounds of nine and a half acres and with a frontage to Kilburn High Road. It was the home of Ada Peters the widow of a wealthy coach builder who made coaches for Queen Victoria. Following Ada’s death in 1910, the property was sold. The new owner was Oswald Stoll, a major name in the entertainment world who had already built the London Coliseum in St Martin’s Lane, near Leicester Square. Stoll wanted to erect another Coliseum theatre in Kilburn. In fact, progress overtook him and instead of a theatre, the 2,028 seat Grange cinema opened on 30 July 1914. This remained the biggest cinema in Kilburn until the huge Gaumont State opened in December 1937 with over 4,000 seats making it the largest cinema in Europe. The Grange cinema finally closed on 14 June 1975.

Grange Cinema in 1930’s

Butty’s Club and Dance Hall

Michael ‘Butty’ Sugrue, who ran the Admiral Nelson pub in Carlton Vale Kilburn and the Wellington in Shepherd’s Bush, opened his club in the old Grange Cinema on 23 Feb 1976. As a Kerry man he particularly catered for the Irish community. He was a wrestler, circus performer and was known as ‘Ireland’s Strongest Man’, able to lift four 56lb weights attached to a cart axle and dragging a cart filled with ten men using a rope clenched between his teeth. Butty was also an entrepreneur and a great publicist, and he persuaded Muhammad Ali to go to Dublin to fight his sparring partner, Alvin ‘Blue’ Lewis in July 1972. Closer to home, he persuaded Mick Meaney a barman at the Admiral Nelson, to break the world record for being buried alive. In April 1968 journalists joined huge crowds to watch as Mick emerged after 61 days underground. There are video clips of Butty on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX6whnRdH7E

Butty’s club ran until at least 1980 and so overlapped with the National Club.

Kilburn National Ballroom, or the Kilburn National Club

Continue reading