News

Rota the Lion

Rota the Lion  

Pinner had it’s own lion in the late 1930’s.

George Thompson, a Pinner resident, kept Rota in his back garden in a purpose built cage. Rota’s presence was know not only by local publicity but by him roaring!

He did cause some concern to neighbors but never escaped.

George acquired him purportedly as a result of a bet when Rota was still a cub.  He was named Rota and his owner was a director of the firm Roatary.

With the onset of World War 2 he presented difficulty to his owner with the onset of rationing, as insufficient meat was available, So George donated him to the Zoological Society who have an excellent painted portrait of him.

There is a film clip of Rota, Click Here

 

Aug 2019

Secret Pinner

Secret Pinner a New Publication

Pinner is now part of Greater London, but for most of its history it was an agricultural backwater, though one which experienced great changes. Pinner’s past has many fascinating aspects. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s huge manor of Harrow, and Headstone Manor and Pinner Park Farm preserve relics from this time. By the early nineteenth century Pinner had its own workhouse, toll gate and a stagecoach service to London. The railways brought prosperous Victorian and Edwardian commuters, whose families made Pinner their rural idyll. As others followed, the area was transformed with new stations, shopping centres and residential areas. Famous people associated with Pinner include Mrs Beeton and names associated with the arts and comedy such as William Heath Robinson and Ronnie Barker.

Secret Pinner explores lesser-known episodes in Pinner’s history including its first policemen, suffragettes and the family of agricultural labourers who gave their name to Rayners Lane. With tales of remarkable people, unusual events and tucked-away historical buildings, it will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this London suburb.

Pinner is now part of Greater London, but for most of its history it was an agricultural backwater, though one which experienced great changes. Pinner’s past has many fascinating aspects. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s huge manor of Harrow, and Headstone Manor and Pinner Park Farm preserve relics from this time. By the early nineteenth century Pinner had its own workhouse, toll gate and a stagecoach service to London. The railways brought prosperous Victorian and Edwardian commuters, whose families made Pinner their rural idyll. As others followed, the area was transformed with new stations, shopping centres and residential areas. Famous people associated with Pinner include Mrs Beeton and names associated with the arts and comedy such as William Heath Robinson and Ronnie Barker.

Secret Pinner explores lesser-known episodes in Pinner’s history including its first policemen, suffragettes and the family of agricultural labourers who gave their name to Rayners Lane. With tales of remarkable people, unusual events and tucked-away historical buildings, it will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this London suburb.

Pinner is now part of Greater London, but for most of its history it was an agricultural backwater, though one which experienced great changes. Pinner’s past has many fascinating aspects. In the Middle Ages it was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s huge manor of Harrow, and Headstone Manor and Pinner Park Farm preserve relics from this time. By the early nineteenth century Pinner had its own workhouse, toll gate and a stagecoach service to London. The railways brought prosperous Victorian and Edwardian commuters, whose families made Pinner their rural idyll. As others followed, the area was transformed with new stations, shopping centres and residential areas. Famous people associated with Pinner include Mrs Beeton and names associated with the arts and comedy such as William Heath Robinson and Ronnie Barker.

Secret Pinner explores lesser-known episodes in Pinner’s history including its first policemen, suffragettes and the family of agricultural labourers who gave their name to Rayners Lane. With tales of remarkable people, unusual events and tucked-away historical buildings, it will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this London suburb.

 

This will be available at the man meeting the 6th September and is also on line from Amberely the publisher.

 

Pinner Police

Sgt John Moore 68X 1st Sgt at Pinner

Pinner Police station was built in 1899 by Fassnidge & Sons of Uxbridge.   Prior to this there were police officers stationed in Pinner.

The first Station Sergeant was John Moore, who lived upstairs in the new station with his wife, Kate and their three sons. He retired after 25 years service in 1903.

The station had cells to detain prisoners and they are still there although not used for that purpose now.

The first occupant of the cells was a Charles Wilkson who was arrested at Headstone races for pick pocketing in 1899.

Acknowledgement : Neil Watson, sometime Constable at Pinner, kindly supplied the photographs and narrative

17/4/2015

Post Office

PO 1

The first post office opened in Pinner during the 1820s and occupied at least four shops in the High Street before moving to the one above, 23 High Street,now Bishops Walk, in 1903. Pinner’s first telephone exchange was established there at the same time. Both were at 16 High Street, now incorporating Barters Walk, from 1910 to 1932, when a purpose-built post office was erected in Bridge Street and a purpose-built exchange was erected in Marsh Road.

See also: The Telephone in Pinner, by D Perry, and The Post Offices of Pinner, by P Clarke, both in The Pinn, No. 2 (PLHS 1986).

September 2105

Cocoa Tree

Cocoa Tree s 1055

 

The building still stands in Pinner High Street, beside the ancient church. An early 19th century house on a much older site, it was bought by Edward Barber, and part of it rebuilt as a temperance tavern n 1878, with the new name of Ye Cocoa Tree.

The ground floor had a coffee room and a kitchen where customers could have their on food cooked, while the room above was a club room for local workmen, on payment of a subscription. Though the original purposes do not seem to have enjoyed much success, ‘Ye Cocoa Tree’ became a flourishing tea-room, very popular as a venue for day outings for individuals and organisations from London and nearby villages.

It closed about 1930 and the buildings was taken over by the Pinner Conservative Club. In the 1960s the premises were adapted for commercial use, as which they have remained, under the name of Elthorne Gate.

In late Victorian and Edwardian times the Cocoa Tree was frequently the venue for public meetings, occasional lectures such as penny readings, and meetings and dinners for local organisations. The premises were first managed by William Pendry, a local man, then by outsiders Henry Hickman, followed by Henry Malley Albert Cross, probably the fourth manager, came 1890-91, and managed it until sometime between 1902-06.

The last date is approximate because it depends on street directories published only every four years (1902 and 1906). Albert Cross printed a brochure for the Cocoa Tree, not dated. (the name Norwar/Nowar should be Nower.)

In those days Pinner was still a country village, although linked to London by the Metropolitan line of the underground from 1885. Royal celebrations such as jubilees and coronations were marked by parades, sports and school activities, well supported by local traders.

By 1901 Cross was renting a local mansion called Pinner Place in what is now Marsh Road. It’s not known when he left, but he was not there at the census of 1911. We have no further details about him. Pinner Place was demolished just after World War Two, having been derelict for some decades.

See also Pinner in the Vale, by E.M. ware (1955)

PC 2019