^ Skip to main content

Celebrating Cricklewood’s High Flying History

February 15, 2022

This half term you are invited to climb aboard, take your seat, and join us on a journey of imagination and escape as we set out to celebrate Cricklewood’s high flying history.

Your host on this flight of fancy is local artist Alistair Lambert, who has been commissioned by the crews at Barnet Council’s Brent Cross Cricklewood Regeneration Team and Brent Cross Town to design a striking mural which is due to touch down in Cricklewood town centre soon.

It’s hard to believe now, but about one hundred years ago huge aeroplanes, like nothing that had been seen before, first took to the air from the grassy fields of Cricklewood Aerodrome. These enormous flyers were built by skilled men and women in the local area who pioneered one of the first ever ticketed passenger flights, which flew from Cricklewood to Paris. It then wasn’t long before Handley Page aeroplanes would fly all the way to Africa and India.

So famous were the Handley Page biplanes that in 1921 an Indian noble commissioned his own private airliner in his favourite colour, pink, with a special lining sewn from matching silk for his passengers.

The new mural takes inspiration from the vibrant history of the area and we want you to be involved. So, prepare for take-off and pick up a free creative worksheet at Ashford Place (60 Ashford Road, NW2) or The Visitor Pavilion (Claremont Way, NW2) and show us how you’d dress up your own personal plane.

You can also download the worksheet here and return it to Ashford Place or The Visitor Pavilion or by email to Transformingbx@barnet.gov.uk

Worksheets should be completed and returned to the venue by Wednesday 23 February so they can be included in Alistair Lambert’s design.

More information about the site of the public art commission

The artwork has been commissioned to cover the palisade fencing and propping that is currently securing the site of the former pharmacy at 164 – 168 Cricklewood Broadway (and the corner of Cricklewood lane) until a permanent use comes forward on the site.

The demolition was needed to make way for the recent highway improvements work which widened the junction, improved the footway, and installed a pedestrian crossing on Cricklewood Lane.

Now the demolition and the highways works are complete, Barnet Council is developing proposals for the future use of that area of land which could include a landscaped area with seating, greenery, and workspace units for local enterprises. In the spring, a community consultation will open to help shape those plans before final proposals are recommended to councillors later in the year.

Until this development comes forward, this public art commission will be installed along the palisade fencing. At the same time final improvement works to the wall behind the propping will be completed which we hope will improve the look of the area.

A final piece of artwork will be designed to cover some of the propping on the building. Due to be in place by early summer, we hope this large design will complement the mural and create a striking piece that everyone will enjoy.

To find out more about the highways improvements works, and the future plans for 164 – 168 Cricklewood Broadway, please visit our southern junctions project pages.