Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hayes (Benlow Works)

I have often spotted this clock from the window of the train on the line from Paddington, on the north side of the tracks just to the east of Hayes and Harlington station. So I thought it was about time I found out what and where it was.

The building stands on Silverdale Road in the middle of an uninspiring industrial / trading estate.

The clock is only on the side that faces the railway.

The other, and more accessible, side of the building only has a plaque giving the date of construction, 1909.

The building turns out to be the only surviving part of the much larger Aeolian pianola factory. After WWII it was renamed the Benlow Works, and had various uses including for Kraft cheese and Walls sausages and pies.

It is now Grade II listed, but is in a bit of a dilapidated state.

The clock itself, not surprising, is not working. Viewed from the train I thought that the hands were severely damaged, but closer up shows that they are intact and showing 6.30 (I assume as a result of gravity).


The final picture is taken from the train window, which up to now had been my only view of this lovely building.



  1. I wish they could find a use for this building and bring it back into something useful, I think it would make a good space for a school. Currently it seems abandoned, what's the point of listing abandoned buildings?

    1. I hope someone finds a good use for this fine building too. Listing gives it more protection from demolition, and hence hopefully buys more time for a saviour to appear.

  2. Would be a hip and creative place for one of those start-up workspace type things, I think there is one already in Hayes the other side of the railway. I imagine inside is very open plan with large open spaces across whole floors.

    Alternatively with the arrival of Crossrail a conversion into nice apartments preserving some of the heritage would be great and help to rejuvenate the area a bit. We live in hope.

  3. To the right of the Benlow building, as seen from the train, was a record factory which produced (from 1920 to 1927) 'Vocalion', 'Aco', Beltona, Coliseum and Guardsman records, and (from 1927 to 1933) 'Broadcast' records.

    If the clock photos are examined closely, you can see that the deterioration of the face has been accelerated by the removing of an inverted-V shaped canopy to throw off the rain.