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Historic information about Hanwell

This Dutch-looking building in York Avenue, Hanwell (photographed Aug-2004), was the home of a violin factory. Or was it one to the left?

I recall it vividly from the early sixties when working in London but living in Hayes. As the Paddington-bound train pulled out of Hanwell & Elthorne station this was the first vista from the elevated track and although the building wasn’t marked, the windows plainly revealed violin bodies in various stage of manufacture, work benches and tools.

Violin factories must have been pretty unique in the early sixties - does anyone re-call the original building, or even worked there making violins or other string musical instruments?

Send replies to: Mike Abbott


Alfred Wallace Wheeler, one of the sons of Alfred Wheeler (pictured left), violin manufacturer, working at the violin factory in York Avenue, Hanwell.

John Alfred Wheeler (1821-1877) and Alfred Wheeler (1852-1932) both lived in Hanwell and were very well known artists of their time. They specialised in sporting subjects such as horseracing and foxhunting and animal portraints. They both received commissions from Baron Rothschild and the Prince of Wales. Many of their paintings are still around today, with many finishing up in America.

Send feedback to: Linda May