Before 1944 Heathrow was a hamlet lying in peaceful obscurity within the parish of Harmondsworth. It was in the heart of an area of agricultural land given over almost exclusively to market gardening to provide fruit and vegetables to the London market, which did little to disturb the peaceful scene. All this changed during the Second World War, when the decision was made to locate Britain's principal civil airport at Heathrow using wartime powers. Using old and new images Philip Sherwood focuses on the changes that have occurred to Heathrow itself and the villages to the north of the airport, namely Cranford, Harlington, Sipson, Harmondsworth and Longford, over the last 100 years. These are known collectively as the Heathrow Villages, and there can be few areas of the country that have seen such dramatic changes. This book will be essential reading for anyone familiar with area.
Philip Sherwood is a keen local historian who has lived in Hayes for many years. He is publications editor for the Hayes & Harlington Local History Society, and former chairman of both the local branch of CPRE and the local residents' association.