Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Ernest Trobridge exhibition now online

 A guest post by local historian Philip Grant



Ernest Trobridge (as depicted on a 1990s pub sign!)


Back in February, I was hoping that many people would be able to enjoy a small exhibition at Kingsbury Library, which I had put together with Brent Museum: Ernest Trobridge – Kingsbury’s Extraordinary Architect.


The Ernest Trobridge display at Kingsbury Library, February 2020.


Unfortunately, with all of the Covid-19 restrictions this year, and the library closed for around four months, then only open on a very limited basis, access to the exhibition was often not possible. Even though Brent Museum kept the display in place until earlier this month, local people, and the visitors we hoped to attract through London Borough of Culture 2020, will not have had the opportunity to discover this architect’s remarkable work, and the ideas behind it.


Although disappointed that many people will have missed the actual display, we have now put all of the information, illustrations and exhibits from it together in a documentary record of the exhibition, which you can read at your leisure by “clicking” on the link. Here are a couple of the images from it, reflecting the story behind Trobridge’s first estate of thatched timber homes, built on a field at the corner of Kingsbury Road and Slough Lane 100 years ago.


A leaflet Trobridge wrote for his show house at the 1920 Ideal Home Exhibition.


Model of a Trobridge thatched timber cottage built in Kingsbury.


I still hope to give the illustrated talk, which was planned to take place at Kingsbury Library in June 2020, in conjunction with the exhibition, at some time during 2021. Illustrated colour versions of the four Trobridge self-guided walk leaflets produced for the exhibition, and other published material about Ernest Trobridge, can be found in the “Buildings and Architecture” section of the online Brent Archives local history documents collection.


The amazing and beautifully designed homes that Ernest Trobridge produced in Kingsbury, and beyond, in the 1920s and 1930s, have been a source of joy and inspiration for me over the years, which is why I try to share my enthusiasm for them with others. I hope that you will take the chance to enjoy them too.


Philip Grant.

1 comment:

Philip Grant said...

The colourful picture I have used above was based on a black and white photograph of Ernest Trobridge in the Brent Archives collection.

Back in the 1990s, Kingsbury's "Green Man" public house, at the corner of Old Kenton Lane and Slough Lane, was owned by the Beefeater pub and restaurant chain.

They liked to name their premises after notable people connected with the local area, and as the thatched house he had lived in, and others, were just across the road, they renamed it "The Trobridge", with this picture on the pub's new sign.

The name only lasted for a few years, before it reverted to the "Green Man" (which it had been since a beer house was built on the site, by 1851). Trobridge's grand-daughter obtained the redundant sign, and allowed me to photograph it.

Although I have a great admiration for Ernest Trobridge and his work, I'm glad that the name was dropped - a Beefeater pub would not be the best memorial for a man who was a lifelong vegetarian, and abstained from alcohol!