Ever wonder what stories, secrets and hidden gems lie beyond your front door? Over the coming weeks, residents will be given the opportunity to tour pockets of the borough and uncover the secrets that make our streets so unique.
Starting from Sunday, 19 September and running until late October, the borough’s High Street Task Force will be hosting the Love Ealing, Love Local walking tour series. These walks will set out to introduce ‘passengers’ to areas that they may not be so familiar with and bring to life their culture, heritage, arts and high streets.
The guided tours will highlight Ealing’s silver screen history, Southall’s multicultural heritage, and uncover hidden gems in Perivale, Greenford and Hanwell.
Led by expert guides Mark Conroy, The London Expert and Joanna Dudzinska, founder of Talking and Exploring, the tours aim to entertain, inform and excite you – whether you are familiar or unfamiliar with the areas – and give you more knowledge and understanding than you arrived with.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “These free walking tours are a great way for people to get out and discover the stories behind our high streets and explore parts of the borough that they may have never encountered before. After the walking tour why not head to a local café or eatery and continue to soak up the local atmosphere.”
Ealing’s Silver Screen: This walk will cover a 90-minute circular stroll around the centre of Ealing and explore the town’s silver screen heritage. If you have ever wondered how Ealing’s silver screen legacy and locations hosted the naughty students of St Trinians, Alec Guinness and the Spice Girls, then this is the walk for you.
Southall’s Culture, History and Heritage: This is a 90-minute tour that explores the vibrant culture, heritage and high streets of Southall. Participants will discover the food, the clothes, the festivals, the arts and crafts and the places of worship that are the very heart of the community. Join this tour and encounter a former Bollywood cinema, memorials to victims of racism, the biggest Sikh Temple outside India, a Tudor mansion, the park linked to an infamous criminal and a Hollywood TV star.
Perivale Past and Present: A two-hour exploration of Perivale that focuses on the town’s juxtaposed history between sparse settlement, and the industrial and residential expansions witnessed in the 1930s. This walk takes participants past the former industrial headquarters of big businesses to the Grand Union Canal and then to Bilton Road, the main shopping street for the area. Those feeling energetic may decide to continue the tour afterwards to see the Grade II listed Perivale Station, the volunteer-run library, and perhaps even climb Horsenden Hill, the highest point in the borough, where Iron Age people settled some 2,500 years ago.
Hanwell Heritage: Times have certainly changed since the Stone Age, when local people hunted in the forests where Hanwell now stands. The Hanwell Heritage Tour takes participants on an exploration of how Hanwell is the embodiment of ‘old and new’ with the route passing by churches, the site of a progressive Victorian asylum and an Isambard Kingdom-Brunel masterpiece, with the discussion including Hanwell’s reputation as a hub for creativity, art and music.
Greenford Industry, Inventions and Nature: This tour will whisk participants through the green, shopping and residential areas of Greenford, past churches and a temple, a library and a community hall, a nature reserve and much more. This walk represents an exploration of Greenford’s past, present and future prospects, with industry, invention and music all featuring along the way, too.
How to book
Visit our Eventbrite page for more details about the guided walks and to reserve your space. There will be a limited number of walk-in spaces available for the tours, but it is best to book to ensure you have a spot.
Follow the Ealing’s High Streets Task Force Eventbrite page listing for details of future events as they become available.
Helping the high streets
The walking tours are part of the Love Ealing Love Local cultural events being delivered by Ealing’s High Streets Task Force. The group has been working to bring the bustle back to our high streets and support the borough’s recovery from the pandemic.
There is a full programme of events and experiences for the community lined-up over the coming months. Remember to follow the council on social media for more announcements and updates.
By choosing to support local businesses, residents are supporting local jobs, community businesses also generate money to support local charities and fund our services such as libraries, parks and roads that benefit everyone.
Welcome back funding
The free events are provided thanks to funding Ealing’s High Streets Task Force has received from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund and the Welcome Back Fund from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Greater London Authority is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.
Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.