Volume 5 - From Stanmore Common to Chandos Country

R S Brown, 1976

page 28

Glebe Road

In this day and age, many members of the present generation travel around in cars, hugging the main roads, consequently failing to discover some of the interesting little local byways which could more adequately be explored on foot.

One such byway which is sandwiched between the bus stop in Stanmore Broadway and Bernays Institute is Glebe Road; it could be described as an innocuous highway and one that the passing motorist is unlikely to notice. Nevertheless it has a certain charm and its unobtrusive position permits the residents to enjoy a rare seclusion.

This little road has ecclesiastical connections as its name implies: 'Glebe' means land which goes with a benefice or church living. St John's Church owned a piece of ground adjoining the present 'S' bend in Glebe Road and it was the intention to build a church hall and use part of the land as burial ground.

Bishop Ingram, then Bishop of London, attended a small ceremony in 1907 to consecrate the ground and a cul-e-sac which now stems from Glebe Road was later named Ingram Close in honour of the Bishop's visit.

It proved to be a fruitless exercise however as the site was not used by the church and when local builder, Charles Montague, bought the land for development in the 1930's from the Reverend Hewitt, Rector of Stanmore, (acting on behalf of the Church) it was necessary to lay a private members bill before Parliament to enable the ground to be de-consecrated: Mr Montague subsequently built several bungalows in the area.

Cottages were built near the main road by the Stanmore Cottage Society when the first world war broke out and other semi-detached properties were added between the wars. On one comer was the garden of the Red House in which grew a large cedar tree.

In the previous narrative we mentioned that seven village shops once stood on the site now occupied by the AA offices: behind the shops were 12 old cottages called 'Hollands Square' (where the rents did not exceed 3/ - (15p) per week).

One of the shop·keepers was village baker George Smith, who had a bake-house at the rear. He was known as 'the midnight baker' because he set off daily in his pony and trap to sell bread in Edgware. Frequently he did not return until the late evening at which time, in the winter, it was quite dark.

George had two sons named George Thomas and Harry who are now both healthy octogenarians living in Ingram Close. Incidentally a relic of the past now does duty as a shed in their bungalow garden. It is the little wooden workshop once used for watch repairing by R J Leversuch (see preceding narrative).