Welcome to Greenford, a town with a strong community feel and a diverse population.
Discover the faces and places of Greenford featured within the mural designed and painted by Gail Astbury supported by students at William Perkin High School. This mural is featured at Greenford Quay, behind the infamous water fountain in the centre of the development.
Take a walk on the greener side with this walk from Tillermans at Greenford Quay, along the canal to the high street and back past Greenford Hall, the library and station. It’ll take you just over an hour to retrace Gail’s steps and spot buildings and landmarks we’ve included.
Enjoy our representation of your neighbourhood, have fun with it and use it to get to know a little about the places to visit, activities on offer and people to look out for.
The people and places
Pamela Bennett came to the first art classes Gail ran on behalf of Greenford Quay in August 2020 and had a lovely time painting the scene in front of her. She wouldn’t have painted the exact factory behind her, that represents Greenford’s industrial history, specifically J Lyons & Co.
Sir Joseph Nathaniel Lyons was a pioneer of mass catering and Chairman of J Lyons & Co for life. Coincidentally he was a successful watercolour artist and wrote some novels.
The path leads to Horsenden Hill where beavers will be reintroduced after more than 400 years. Martin Smith was a senior ranger with Ealing Council for many years and has given a lifetime of service to Horsenden Hill. He is a conservationist and wildlife expert. He’s inspired hundreds of people to get involved with natural history through his guided walks and Facebook anecdotes. Check out Friends of Horsenden Hill | Facebook for more!
Lashana Lynch, a former Twyford pupil, is an accomplished actress. Here she’s depicted with her sidekick in No Time to Die, Daniel Craig, coming out of the underpass.
This local resident was spotted when Gail went out on a field visit with the William Perkin students. His dog loved the attention!
We asked our collaborators at William Perkins High School who they thought of when you mentioned famous people associated with Ealing. Ranarco, a student at William Perkins High School thought of Freddie Mercury who studied graphics and illustration at Ealing Art College in the late 1960s.
Find out more here: http://www.mercury-and-queen.com/cultureshock.htm
Big Boys Cafe on Greenford Road has some great reviews about the atmosphere and their breakfast.
The Greenford Grocer at 193 Greenford Road - his store is listed on the Greenford Quay resident portal information page.
Did you know that Keith Moon met The Who at The Oldfield Tavern in north Greenford and they played many gigs there.
Elyar Afshari is better known by his stage name Elyar (previously Elyar Fox). His debut single Do It All Over Again was released in 2014 and reached number 5 in the UK charts.
Ealing’s long tradition with music continues to this day with buskers often performing on the high street.
Jourdan Dunn made her runway debut in 2007 aged 16. In 2014 she was declared an icon by models.com. In 2016 she designed and launched a children's wear collection for Marks & Spencer called Lil’ LonDunn.
George Lavender is a PE Teacher at William Perkin. In 2016 he founded a charity called Football Chance Foundation which makes a difference to children in London and Zambia. He is regarded as a true inspiration by the pupils and Nadin portrait of George with some of the children helped by his Foundation will be auctioned and the proceeds go towards their work.
William Perkin students painted by fellow pupil Sophie Norman
Dusty Springfield, raised in Ealing, was the only British female vocalist elected into the US Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. This portrait of Dusty was painted by Micah Chlbowski-Bhala.
Sir Michael Balcon is known for his leadership of Ealing Studios and his guidance of young Alfred Hitchcock. He was described in his obituary as a "pioneer of British films" who "had courage, energy and flair for showmanship". Sofia Borojerdi captured his likeness.
Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE is an actor, comedian and TV presenter with an extensive catalogue of work. He’s known as one of the funniest acts in British comedy. Qubah Divir painted this portrait.
Caroline Aherne aka Mrs Merton. The character first appeared as an agony aunt on radio shows across the north of England. Mya Bhachu-Blake chose to paint Mrs Merton.
Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) appears on a poster resplendent in his elaborate headgear for which he was known.
Reeta Chakrabarti by Sia Asher sits in the front of the bus. As a BBS correspondent she has reported on social matters, with stories relating to adoption, poverty, and social mobility in the UK
Eve Roginska not only owns Inksane Tattoo Parlour in Ruislip Road but is the current chair of the North Ealing Traders association who are keen to make the most of the local area and encourage people to shop local.
She is standing in front of Greenford Hall which was built after a 12 year campaign by local residents to have a public hall in Greenford.
Bukayo Saka started his football journey at Greenford Celtic around the age of 6 and made his debut for England at 17. Follow his TikTok account for the “Saka Spelling Challenge”. Appropriately he is sitting outside the library!
Blanche Bingley not only won 13 Wimbledon titles, she holds the record for time span between winning Wimbledon championships – 14 years between her first (1886) and last (1900).
Lynsey Storer is an artist and inspirational head of art at William Perkin School.
Panels 30 - 32
The Shree Jalaram Mandir & Community Centre
The Edward Betham C of E Primary School
Panels 34 & 35
Holy Cross Church of Greenford Magna is a small mediaeval church dating from the 14th century and a newer, larger church completed in 1941.
William Henry Perkin School named after the famous inventor to encourage their students to follow in his footsteps of asking Why & What For to become a critical enquirer and productive problem solver. J.Daniel created the portrait of the chemist and industrialist.
Henry Rzepa, now the chair of Friends of Perivale Park, was formerly a Professor at Imperial College where he adopted William Perkin as his hero and writes and talks about his work extensively.
Saj Mahmood ex England cricketer has established his own academy at William Perkin School where he is head of cricket.
Chloe Kelly credits her progression in her formative footballing years to playing street football. In 2022 she scored the winning goal in extra time in the UEFA Euro Final.
The inspiration behind the mural
First mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, the area was mostly farmland. This changed in 1857 when William Perkin founded a factory and was the first to produce purple dye (mauveine) by artificial means. After the end of WW1 several factories were built in Greenford, taking advantage of the railway and canal. J Lyons & Co were one of the most notable factories..
Although Greenford is now a suburb, there are wonderful open spaces like Ravenor Park and nearby Horsenden Hill; both places with something for everyone to enjoy. Ravenor Park has a playground, tennis courts, multi-use games area and adult exercise equipment. Horsenden Hill and Farm is the largest single nature conservation site in the borough with meadows, wetland and woodland habitat. There’s lots to discover and ways to get involved.
You’ll meet interesting local people: Eve who runs Inksane tattoo parlour also organised a recent public art initiative to brighten up the high street; Martin, a conservationist and wildlife expert, leads guided walks on Horsenden Hill and Henry who as a Professor at Imperial College adopted William Perkin as his hero writing and talking about his work - to name just three.