1931: 80 Years ago

1931 was a year of massive change for Blackfen. As well as the 1920s cottages which lined the main road, the development of houses by Wade Archer at Boundary/Gordon Roads had already begun. A number of small grocery stores and even a restaurant had already opened up nearby to serve them.

C. R. Leech had just begun the first of his houses and bungalows in the Burnt Oak and Westwood Estates, building on land which had previously been farmland. In 1931 Brig.-Gen. Sir Charles Martel sold his home, Queenswood House, to Leech and it was soon demolished and replaced by Sycamore Avenue and Lime Grove.

Reffells Brewery, owners of the Woodman Inn which had stood in Blackfen since 1845, decided that the growing number of local residents deserved a larger pub in which to meet. The architect was Kenneth Dalgleish and it was erected behind the old one, allowing business to continue before demolition of the original pub. The new Woodman opened on Thursday 1 October 1931.

The Royal Arsenal and Co-operative Society Stores opened on 27 October 1931, the first terrace of shops in the main part of Blackfen, consisting of a grocers, greengrocers, butchers, chemist and tobacconist.

With growing numbers of children living in the area, Days Lane Primary School opened on 2 November 1931 with Mr Watts as headmaster.