Archive for the ‘Local History’ Category

“Revive!” custom artworks at St Mary Magdalene Crypt – For a short time only.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

St Mary Magdalene December 2016 flyer for Revive art eventRevive! invites a discovery and exploration of the mysterious crypt underneath St Mary Magdalene Church built by George Edmund Street, a highly original, influential and radical Gothic Revivalist architect.

The artists have created site-specific works to reinvent and reinterpret this intimate space exploring issues such as ritual and spirituality, memory and presence, death and transfiguration and work which challenges the notion of revivalism today in our post-Brexit Britain and post-Trump victory.

Revive! is the second part of a two-fold project began by Pompe and devised in reaction to Frieze Art Fair. The Dionysian procession led its followers along Regent’s Park canal via a series of performances and culminated in the crypt where Revive! will take place.

Participating artists: STASIS, Pavel Pepperstein, Adam Barker-Mill, Hans Rosenström, Carolyn Barker-Mill, Alan Magee, Jonathan McCree, Niklas Gustafson and Col Self.

Galitzine MacKenzie’s exhibitions are often motivated by a desire to draw attention to and include local communities. Revive! continues this ambition. The church, together with the Paddington Development Trust, are raising funds to create a community and heritage hub in order to enrich, regenerate and bring greater cultural cohesion to the local area as well as to support the restoration of the Grade 1 listed church building. Revive! aims to draw attention to this cause and the project will reach out to various vibrant community groups active in the area.

Please donate generously here to their cause here and help make this project a reality.

St Mary Magdalene Church Refurbishment Project

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Creative work in the churchIt’s time to stand up and be counted about one of the most exciting developments in Westbourne. Most local people will have heard of the plan to refurbish St Mary Magdalene Church (the one with the tall red and white stripy spire by the canal) and to build a new Heritage and Learning Centre in the small gap between this church and St Mary Magdalene School.

Now, after four years of design and consultation managed by Paddington Development Trust, architects’ plans are finally lodged with the Planning Department at Westminster Council. So, if planning permission is granted, the Mary Mags Project will be able to bid for significant sums from Heritage Lottery, who have backed the development so far. The central idea behind the scheme is to restore the church to its former important position in Paddington life, but in a way which will benefit all local communities, regardless of faith.

There are plans for a new classroom, a cafe, training schemes, apprenticeships and cultural and artistic programmes. With Lottery funding the Church can be restored (did you know it houses famous works of art by artists like William Morris?) and, with the addition of a new Heritage Centre, start to act as a social and cultural hub for Westbourne, thus helping to bring together our many communities.

Creative work in the churchReaders of this site are encouraged to make their views on this development known to the Council before the deadline date of 4th November. To do this:

Go to the Westminster City Council website:

  1. Click on ‘Planning applications and decisions’
  2. Click on ‘Search now’
  3. Enter the case reference number: 15/07195/FULL
  4. Click on ‘Make a Comment’, and follow the instructions

People Show 128: The Crypt Project

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

People Show presents show number 128: The Crypt Project in collaboration with The Paddington Development Trust, ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts) and The University of Roehampton featuring a choral sound piece created by Phil Minton.

Created and performed in and around the beautiful crypt of St Mary Magdalene Church in Paddington, the piece will explore how rituals define our modern sense of community, and will feature contributions from local residents.

The Crypt Project promises to be a very special promenade site-specific show in a magical space that is shortly due for redevelopment.

Due to the nature of the space, please be aware that it is not accessible for people who struggle with mobility nor is it disabled friendly. Audiences must be aware that there are no toilets in the venue and are encouraged to visit a nearby cafe, pub or restaurant prior to or after the performance.

Duration: 45-60 minutes

Dates: 20, 21, 22 May 2015


St Mary Magdelene Heritage Project

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

St Mary Magdelene Church Heritage and Arts Centre. Be Inspired community fun and consultation day Saturday 25th October 2014 at St Mary Magdelene Church, Rowington Close, Paddington, London W2 5TFPlans are afoot to open a new heritage centre of national quality at the magnificent St Mary Magdalene Church, where you will be able to discover the history of Paddington and all its communities, and enjoy arts, performance and other cultural activities.

Come along and tell us what you think about our plans so far.

Architectural features composite picture

Meet the architects and activity planners and enjoy arts, performance and cultural activities for all the family.

Music and dance
Free food and refreshments.
Free face painting & Henna art
Family arts and crafts activities
Free Family Learning Make and Take workshop – inspired by tiles and patterns in the building.

This will be a day for the whole community to enjoy and come together to help shape the future of the most historic building in our area.

Help us make it central to our community life by giving us your views and suggestions on the proposals for Paddington’s new Heritage and Arts Centre at St Mary Magdalene’s Church and see the architects’ model of the new Heritage Wing.

what you think about the proposals
what activities you want to take place here
what you want to know about the history of Paddington and its communities
what your personal heritage means to you
Westminster Adult Education Service logo - blue on white Paddington Development Trust logo

Major Improvements at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The latest phase of improvement work is just coming to an end at St.Mary Magdalene’s Church. English Heritage has provided the bulk of the funding for these major works to the Grade 1-listed Westbourne landmark.

The church has been given a complete new electrical installation, to replace the old system which was condemned as unsafe in the late 1990s, and a fabulous new lighting system, with custom-built Victorian-style chandeliers. The chandeliers, designed by church architect Colin Kerr, had to be approved by the London diocesan authorities as well as English Heritage before they were hand-made in a Soho workshop. The chandeliers incorporate uplighters which enable the church’s amazing painted ceiling to be seen better than ever before.

At the same time as the electrical works were being done, major drainage works were carried out on the north side of the church, to bypass Victorian drains that had become blocked or damaged by tree roots, and to carry away increasing amounts of ground water. The effect of the new drains has become obvious inside the building within weeks, as the north wall has begun to dry out. The drainage work was essential before any improvement work could be done in the crypt beneath the church, which had been liable to flooding.

The next phase of work at St. Mary Magdalene’s includes plans for a new building between the church and the neighbouring primary school, which will enable level access to the crypt as well as the main floor of the church, allowing the building to be used much more widely by the local community. A bid for funding for this next phase of the work is being made to the Heritage Lottery Fund this summer.

St Mary Magdalene Church open house

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Exclusive Viewing

Wednesday 3rd April, 6pm – 7pm,

St Mary Magdalene Church, Rowington Close, W2 5TF

St Mary Magdalene Church view over canalSt Mary Magdalene is not just a church, but also a historic building of national importance, right in the middle of Westbourne beside the canal. PDT and the church are currently fundraising to create a new centre for arts and heritage, which would provide activities for all sections of the community in North Paddington.

St Mary Magdalene Church nave St Mary Magdalene Church undercroft

We would like to invite you to take this special opportunity to see for yourself the splendid interior of the building, with a guided tour to explain its historical and architectural importance, and information about our plans.

Tea and cake will be served!

Everyone welcome.

View Map

Local history event, Wednesday 23rd November

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Join us for an informal and friendly talk about the history of the local area, from the times when canal was king to more recent changes such as housing and developments.

Come and share your memories of living here or find out more. We will also discuss ideas for a mural in the Stowe that captures life in Westbourne, so all ideas are welcome.

Wednesday 23rd November, 6.30-8pm,

The Stowe Foyer, 258 Harrow Road, W2 5ES

Unveiling the local history project

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Westbourne Forum would like to invite you to the Stowe Centre Foyer Launch Part 2!

To be held at The Stowe Centre 258 Harrow Road

on Tuesday 26th July 2011


6.30pm until 8.00pm

 There will be the official unveiling of ‘The History of Westbourne in 25 Objects’


To thank you for the support you have shown to the Forum we shall be also be having a social with food and drinks provided!

Help with the Stowe foyer!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

If you have been into the Stowe Centre over the last few weeks, you will see that some work is afoot…

Westbourne Forum are working with residents and the Stowe Centre to create a community hub and make the big space more usable. There will be space for meetings that can be booked, computers that can be used by anyone, a Westminster Council one stop info booth, or just space to relax and have a coffee.

We need your help! Over the next month we will be having a community meeting with anyone that wants to help out. There will also be a day of painting and decorating and we need volunteers! Dates to be confirmed, please check back.

We also still want suggestions and information for our local history board. Do you have an object or piece of history that you think sums up the area? Please get in touch if so!

The budget is limited so second hand donations of furniture would be most welcome! We need the following items:

  • Breakfast Bar stools x4
  • Lockable cupboard/cabinet
  • Coffee maker   
  • Meeting table and chairs
  • Chairs for computer desk x4
  • Sofa/ arm chairs
  • Coffee table 

If you can make a donation or would like to be involved, please email

Thank you!