4 Things You Didn’t Know About the Golden Mile in Brentford
The Golden Mile, the 2.4 mile stretch of the London to Bristol Great West Road that links Chiswick to Brentford, is home to around 450 businesses, employing in the region of 24,000 staff. Lined with stunning Art Deco buildings of listed status, and playing host to a number of big-name multinationals including GlaxoSmithKline plc and JCDecaux, the Golden Mile forms a crucial economic asset for Hounslow, and for London in general.
But do you know where the Golden Mile name originated? That the area was officially opened by royalty? And that the factories and businesses that once lined both sides of the road formed one of the biggest Christmas lights spectacles in West London, and that they once held inter-factory football matches and boxing bouts? Join us as we reveal these and other interesting facts about Brentford’s famous Golden Mile.
1.The Golden Mile is so-called because it was the centre of significant economic abundance
After King George V cut the ribbon to open the Great West Road to the public in 1925, the area quickly witnessed major and rapid growth in industry, with businesses now able to thrive thanks to the new flow of traffic streaming through the area courtesy of the Brentford High Street bypass.
As significant social and economic changes raced through the district creating lots of job opportunities, so the area’s prosperity was sealed, and the Golden Mile was named.
2. Numerous factories in buildings of architectural importance made the Golden Mile their home
A host of factories, a lot of them of architectural note, were rapidly constructed during the area’s heyday. Many, although not all, were American manufacturers seeking to establish UK bases in order to avoid trade tariffs. Hudson-Essex Motors, Smith’s Potato Crisps, Firestone Tyre Company, Macleans and Gillette were some of the early names to be seen on the Golden Mile, with the renowned Art Deco specialists Wallis, Gilbert and Partners responsible for a number of the striking façades.
One of the most eye-catching of all the buildings that’s still in use is the GlaxoSmithKline headquarters. Primarily constructed of glass, this building sits at the junction with Boston Manor Road. It took over the site that was previously occupied between 1928 and 1992 by the Trico-Folberth Windscreen Wiper factory, which in fact continues to hold an annual staff reunion in Brentford.
The Grade II-listed Gillette Factory, opened by Lord Mayor of London Sir George Broadbridge, is one of the most iconic buildings on the Golden Mile, with its 150ft high clock tower with hands and digits that glow purple at night. Occupied by Gillette between 1937 and 2006, the building was constructed on the former 17th century Syon Farm, owned by the Duke of Northumberland who still owns the nearby Syon House and Syon Park.
3. The Golden Mile was aglow with Christmas lights until the 1990s
Until the 1990s, the factories and businesses along either side of the Golden Mile would decorate the fronts of their premises with lights, decorations and trees over the Christmas season.
The display proved a major draw for visitors, especially children who would pester their parents to go out of their way to drive along the Brentford road so that they could admire the show. The old Firestone Tyre factory proved a particular favourite, and the Beechams factory was also much-loved, with its row of brightly lit trees twinkling from the roof.
4. The Golden Mile was an early front runner for social networking
Early on, many of the local businesses along the Golden Mile would come together in a form of social networking of the day, interacting with each other on a regular basis.
Inter-factory football matches proved popular, as was the boxing club at the Sperry Gyroscope Co, manufacturer of compasses for the Royal Navy. Bouts were held at the Firestone Club House, with a notable star fighter being Charlie Osgood, who was related to the well-known Chelsea footballer, Peter Osgood.
Why locate your business on the Golden Mile in Brentford?
Aside from the commercial importance of the Golden Mile and its proximity to excellent transport links, including Heathrow Airport, the London to Bristol A4, and a raft of Tube and rail connections, there is much to attract business owners looking to rent an office in this area of Brentford.
Benefits include an extensive hub of educational institutions, business consultants, recruitment agencies and technology companies, providing ample support for the incoming business.
For office space on the Golden Mile, take a look at The Mille
The Mille is a recently refurbished landmark building situated on the Great West Road in Brentford. On the doorstep of the Golden Mile, this building offers exceptional quality office space, including a choice of co-working spaces; fully fitted, serviced offices, and open plan offices for rent on a traditional lease basis.
Boasting contemporary décor and bathed in natural light, The Mille features a range of in-demand home comforts, such as kitchens, an onsite café, a gym and shower facilities, lockers, and bicycle hire and storage.
If you are considering locating your business on the Golden Mile in Brentford, and you are looking at fully fitted, serviced office or co-working options, why not get in touch with one of our sole agents to arrange an exclusive viewing?