The London Borough of Harrow is situated about 10 miles to the North West of London. The Harrow of today is an attractive, cosmopolitan suburb, which benefits from good transport links into central London, excellent schools and beautiful open spaces. Harrow has a busy town centre with two modern shopping centres, St. Ann’s and St. George’s, as well as numerous restaurants and other leisure facilities.
However, for much of its history, Harrow was largely agricultural and rural. In 1837 this peaceful idyll was disrupted when, for the first time, Harrow was served by steam train at a new Wealdstone Station. Wealdstone grew to become the industrial centre of the district. By 1903 electric trains arrived and a new station (now South Harrow) was built to accommodate the extension of the Metropolitan Railway. This began the process of urbanisation that would lead to the Harrow that we now know.
Following the end of the First World War London entered a new phase of unprecedented expansion, and would begin to spread as far as the once rural Middlesex. With the arrival of the Metropolitan Line Railway to places such as West Harrow, North Harrow and Rayners Lane, housing developments sprang up all over Harrow. The above places, once small hamlets, saw an influx of people wanting to combine countryside living with all the benefits of a train ride to the city for work
The constituency of Harrow West lies to the south of the Borough. It encompasses the following areas: Harrow on the Hill, North Harrow, West Harrow, South Harrow, Rayners Lane, the Town Centre as well as parts of Wealdstone.
Parts of Harrow on the Hill have not changed in centuries, with picturesque views and many pretty tea shops. It is particularly well known for Harrow School, former pupils include Prime Ministers Sir Winston Churchill and Sir Robert Peel: James Blunt, the singer and the writer, Richard Curtis. The beautiful St Mary’s Church with its feature spire can be seen for miles around.
South Harrow, in the south of the constituency, is a thriving residential area with a hectic high street which also boasts a popular market. South Harrow is also the home of Harrow Borough Football Club who play at the Earlsmead Stadium. North Harrow has a busy high street with lots of shops. Until the arrival of the Metropolitan Line tube and sprawling housing developments that sprang up North Harrow was actually called Hooking Green. A leafy road retains the name to this day. Rayners Lane retains its 1930’s art deco cinema, which is now the Zoroastrian Centre. It is the location of Ladbrokes’s head office. Rayners Lane Station benefits from services on both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines. It also has a range of shops and restaurants.