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The Ealing Walk of Fame

Ealing might not have the star status of Hollywood but there are many famous names who have walked our leafy streets and we’d like to celebrate them. So what better way to commemorate our famous past and present residents, than an Ealing Walk of Fame.

 

We’ve taken the liberty of pairing the celebrity landmarks with some of our favourite Ealing venues, so you can devise your own route with a little guidance from the treats we’ve paired the locations with. Please share your route with us and as always, let us know if we’ve missed any world famous Ealing names.

 

The Walk of Fame

Fred Perry The Brentham Club

Fred Perry
The Brentham Club

Brentham Garden Suburb

Tennis star and former Tennis World Number 1, Fred Perry moved to Brentham Estate in Ealing aged eleven. Fortunately for British tennis, this leafy estate had its very own sports club, The Brentham Club that included tennis courts, which were soon regularly frequented by a young Fred. The Brentham Club has since been commemorated with a green plaque to mark its most famous player. Along with a blue plaque at 223 Pitshanger Lane, Perry’s home during his Wimbledon triumphs. Pay homage to this sporting pro by visiting The Brentham Club. Reminisce over his victories with a coffee in the ‘Fred Perry Coffee Shop’ or make a toast to the sporting legend in the recently refurbished bar. If you’d prefer a more energetic homage, the club offers tennis, football, cricket and bowls, or the slightly more laid-back sports of snooker, darts or bridge.

 
Hồ Chí Minh The Drayton Court

Hồ Chí Minh
The Drayton Court

The Drayton Court Pub

Ealing is not generally associated with Communist revolutionary leaders… so it might be a surprise that is is claimed that Hồ Chí Minh briefly lived in West Ealing and reportedly worked in the kitchen at the Drayton Court Hotel in 1914. We’ve got no reason to doubt Wikipedia this time… and it gives us a chance to direct you to the Drayton Court Hotel / Pub / Restaurant / Music venue (whichever takes your fancy).

 
Margot Fonteyn The Avenue

Margot Fonteyn
The Avenue

Waldeck Road

Back when she was known as Peggy Hookham, future Prima Ballerina Assoluta Margot Fonteyn lived in Ealing. During her younger years Margot resided at 44 Waldeck Road (off The Avenue) & 3 Elm Grove Road (Ealing Common). At the age of 4 she began ballet lessons in Ealing and it was on the polished oak staircase of her house in Waldeck Road that Margot claims to have had an experience of flying. While you’re in the area, time it to coincide with The Avenue Vintage and Antique’s Market, which takes place on the last Saturday of every month.

 

St Anne’s Convent School — Dusty Springfield

Peer through the gates of the now closed School, located on the bend of Little Ealing Lane. There are many Ealing locals who proudly claim to have been to the same school as the Late, great Dusty Springfield. We’re sure she honed her legendary singing skills within these walls. However, as there’s not much to see through the security gates, we recommend chatting all things Dusty from the warmth of The Plough Pub opposite. Which as an aside, was interestingly called The Dick Turpin in a former incarnation, due to a tunnel from the school to the pub (formerly a private house) which he was said to have used.

Ealing Studios — Various

No need for an introduction, Ealing’s World famous studios are the borough’s ultimate claim to fame. It is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world, opening in 1902 as a base for film making, and still going from strength to strength today. Past Ealing Studios productions include The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets; with more recent productions including Shaun of the Dead, The Theory of Everything and Downton Abbey. Links to Ealing Studios are scattered around Ealing (they could have a guide of their own) from the pub dedicated to Sir Michael Balcon, Ealing Village which was intended to house the studio’s stars and countless locations which appeared in the studio’s iconic productions. The studios occasionally open their doors for tours, but if you can only gazed upon the iconic White Lodge, we recommend extending your visit to include a trip to The Red Lion for a pint paired with arguably Ealing’s most famous pizza from Santa Maria. It’s likely you might even come across some real stars here on their filming breaks so be sure you keep your head out of Ealing Studio’s Wikipedia and start star-spotting.

www.ealingmusicandfilmfestival.org/node/48

Gunnersbury Avenue — Sid James

British comedy icon and Carry On veteran Sid James, lived and worked in Ealing. A claim to fame that’s commemorated with a blue plaque on his former home at 35 Gunnersbury Avenue, near Ealing Common. While you’re in the area, take a walk around Gunnersbury Park to take in this open space and assess the regeneration taking place. Return home for a Carry On Constable DVD night where you can appreciate this iconic comic at work, while spotting countless Ealing locations. Pair the movie night with a pizza delivery from Ealing’s pizza star and winner of Time Out’s Love London award for Ealing’s best restaurant 2016, L’Oro di Napoli.

The Bridge Cafe — The Apprentice

No it’s not located in the heart of The City, The Bridge Cafe, (or the Apprentice’s loser’s cafe if you’re a fan of the TV series) is tucked away in Acton, just a stone’s throw from the studio where they film the Boardroom scenes…. sorry to ruin any illusions! This no nonsense greasy spoon offers fry-ups, an eclectic mix of clientele and the chance to have an Apprentice themed gossip with the friendly owners. Once you’ve had time to digest the food and conversation, pop around the corner to Oxygen Trampoline Park and bounce away to your hearts delight to burn off some of those excess calories!

Pitshanger Village — Peter Crouch

Ealing’s very own football star grew up in Pitshanger Village and attended North Ealing Primary and Drayton Manor High School (as did film maker and artist, Steve McQueen which is worth a mention!). In homage to this sporting pro, why not kick a ball about in the lovely Pitshanger Park to unleash your inner football skills. Then pop in to Harrisons on your way home to stock up on food and wine that’s worthy of any celebrity’s kitchen.

Image courtesy of Carl Lender

Image courtesy of Carl Lender

UWL — Freddie Mercury

The University of West London is your next landmark on the tour, giving a chance to reminisce over the famous ex-students who once studied there. The University was then known as Ealing Art College, and it was here Freddie Mercury earned a diploma in Art and Graphic Design. Other famous former pupils include Pete Townsend, Ronnie Wood and writer, Robert Rankin. Plus Jay Kay in the university’s TVU days. No need to loiter in the foyer to do your reminiscing, visit Pillars Restaurant housed within the University building and enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a side of nostalgia.

The Ealing Club — Various

The Ealing Club’s current incarnation, The Red Room, has been host to countless stars in its varied history. Opened by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies in 1962, it has been hailed as the birthplace of British Rhythm and Blues. Its most famous performers include The Rolling Stones (who met and formed the band in this very venue) and The Who. This basement haunt also earned the less attractive accelade of the nickname “Moist Hoist” on account of the condensation running down the walls during crowded gigs. We can thank this iconic venue for many of Ealing’s Jazz and Blues events that still take place today, with the most famous being the annual Jazz & Blues Festival in Walpole Park. Whether you choose to visit the nightclub, or prefer to admire the blue plaque outside is completely at your discretion. Either way, we recommend pairing this visit with a trip to Electric Coffee Co. For day-time visits, grab one of the best coffee’s in London, and if you’re more of a night-owl, treat yourself to a dinner by @bocaface at Electric Lates.

www.ealingclub.com/
Events Link: www.ealingclub.com/event/

Hanwell — Charlie Chaplin

The iconic actor, filmmaker and composer Charlie Chaplin boarded and attended the Central London District School from 1896 - 1898. Also known as the Cuckoo School (after the nearby Cuckoo Farm located near the river Brent), it accommodated children from impoverished backgrounds. Take a walk through the Cuckoo Estate, built on the site of this former school and visit what remains of it; the imposing main building which is now Hanwell Community Centre at Westcott Crescent. Here there is a plaque commemorating Chaplin and within the unusually shaped Cuckoo Park (entrances on Cuckoo Avenue or Little John Road), visit the small statue of Charlie Chaplin. While we’re talking history, Hanwell Community Centre is also steeped in rock music history. It was here that Deep Purple Mk2 began their rehearsals and wrote much of their hard rock masterpiece Deep Purple In Rock. The Who also rehearsed here prior to their 1969 US Tour. If you fancy lunch after this celebrity overload, take a short walk to The Twins Healthy Habitat for a delicious healthy bite to eat.

Hanwell — Marshall Amps “The Father of Loud”

Marshall Amps founder, Jim Marshall, sold his very first amps from a shop on what used to be No. 76 Uxbridge Road (Amp No. 1 was conceived and built just down the road). To commemorate this iconic location, there’s a plaque which was unveiled at the Hanwell Hootie’s inaugural festival in 2013, a year after Jim’s death. We recommend pre-selecting a Marshall worthy rock playlist on your music player, grab some chips from the Golden Fish opposite and rock on to your next location on the tour with good food and excellent musical company.

The Farnell Factory — Winnie-the-Pooh

Take a walk down the Uxbridge Road towards Acton, to the site of The Farnell Factory, which manufactured Britain’s first teddy bears, including Winnie-the-Pooh. Although the factory has since been demolished, you’ll find a Green Plaque commemorating Pooh’s unlikely birthplace on The Elms on Twyford Crescent; a Georgian house owned by the Farnell family. The bear was one of a batch produced in 1921 and sent from Farnell’s factory to Harrods, where Daphne Milne, Christopher Robin’s mother, bought him for her son’s first birthday present. While you’re in the area, why not go on an adventure of your own and enter the Aeronaut. You never know what delights you might encounter in there!


Parakeets

End your whirlwind start-spotting tour of Ealing celebrities with a walk through your nearest Ealing park with the hope of glimpsing West London’s famous non-native parakeets. Their origins are mysterious, but the one we choose to believe is, a flock of the birds escaped from Ealing studios during filming of The African Queen in 1951. Setting them free to begin their own colony in colder climes…  Seeing as you can spot these birds anywhere within our borough, just take a look at the QOS website to find the best location to pair this part of our sightseeing tour with. Or if you’re not into twitching, just visit one of our favourite cafe’s and follow this flock with a cheeky sense of humour on Twitter. TWEET!

@ealingparrot

The Bronze Horse

Ealing’s horse sculpture, named Small Workhorse certainly has star status amongst Ealing residents of all ages. Children desperately wish they were tall enough to sit on its back, teenagers take selfies sitting on its back… and it’s a great meeting point for everyone else! The sculpture was inspired by the large number of Drey horses that once helped deliver “essential” supplies to the many inns that were situated along the Uxbridge Road. This handsome Horse has stood on Oak Road in Ealing Broadway Centre since he was unveiled by The Queen herself in 1985. As with every local celebrity, the horse has its own Twitter account and despite his tough exterior, he’s definitely not short of a sense of humour! Once you’ve taken in this fine form, pop over to Rumbles Boutique gift shop and tempt yourself with their varied range of lovely gifts and greetings cards.

@ealinghorse

 

Famous Faces of Ealing Quiz

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