Guest post by local historian Philip Grant
Title slide from the talk.
Back in February 2020, I wrote about an exhibition of this name which had opened at Kingsbury Library. I was meant to give a talk in conjunction with that display, but then Covid happened! Three years later, and I’m finally able to resume giving free local history talks for Brent Libraries, and at last local residents will have the chance to see my illustrated presentation about Ernest Trobridge, and his remarkable legacy of architectural designs.
3 & 5 Buck Lane, Kingsbury.
Who else would have thought the answer to providing comfortable and affordable “homes for heroes” after the First World War was to construct them of local timber, and give them thatched roofs? Trobridge didn’t just think it, he developed and patented a method of doing so, and built them.
Then, in the 1930s, he took the idea that “an Englishman’s home is his castle” to new dimensions. But as well as helping the occupants of his castle flats to feel protected, he gave them comfortable homes with a variety of convenient features. The central turret of this “castle”, at the corner of Buck Lane and Highfield Avenue, conceals the chimneys from bedroom fireplaces, while the battlements to either side are part of the deckchair cupboards on their roof gardens!
The front entrance to the upstairs flats at Highfort Court, Kingsbury.
My talk will take place at a Kingsbury Library Coffee Morning, on Tuesday 28 March from 11am to 12noon. This is a free event, but if you would like to attend, Brent Culture Service ask you to book on their Eventbrite page for “Ernest Trobridge – Kingsbury’s Extraordinary Architect” (I think this is so that they know how many people they need to provide coffee, or tea, and biscuits for!)
I’ve been looking forward to sharing this talk with local residents for more than three years (although I have been lucky enough to have had some extra pictures from 100 years ago shared with me in the meantime, which have found their way into the 2023 version). If you are interested in discovering more about the man behind Kingsbury’s cottages and castles, I look forward to you joining me for the talk on 28 March.