I’m afraid I’m going to indulge myself in a little nostalgic local history now. I live in Ealing, now a suburb of greater London, but previously a small town in its own right. These images are from a book of old photographs of Ealing and Northfields in a series called Britain in Old Photographs, which covers many areas of the country. I tried to take these photos from roughly the same positions as in the old ones, although it was pretty difficult as the roads were clearly empty then, so unlike me the photographer was able to stand in the middle of the road without getting killed. I apologise if this doesn’t interest you, but I’ve always found it interesting to compare old photographs to those of today and see how things have changed, even with places I don’t know.
Ealing Town Hall was designed by Charles Jones and cost £16,000 to build. It was opened by Edward, Prince of Wales (future king Edward VII) on 15th December 1888. Not a great deal has changed, except the tree has grown substantially and the old lampposts and tramlines have been replaced by heavy traffic.
This photo, taken on 10th July 1901, is of the opening of the electric tramway in Ealing outside the town hall. You can see how the tree covered spaces beside the town hall are now full of taller buildings and the area has certainly lost any feeling of the countryside it once had. Also, we now have many more lampposts and a nice advertisement directing us to the McDonalds round the corner – great! ( :