World War II

West End suffered during the Second World War, although not so badly as to necessitate large-scale rebuilding. Bombed sites included nos. 76-86 Sumatra Road and nos. 9-17 Solent Road, which were replaced by an open space and clinic, and on the corner of Dennington Park Road where a library was built in 1954. The council opened a terrace of eight three-storeyed houses on one bombed site in Agamemnon Road in 1952 and completed four flats in Gladys Road in 1953, when it started on eight dwellings in Broomsleigh Street and 18 fronting Dennington Park Road and West End Lane.

BAM Estate itself suffered some war damage, namely Marlborough and Buckingham Mansions at the intersection of Cannon Hill and West End Lane. We have a report from a resident who was living in Buckingham Mansions ( See "The Night The Bomb Struck").

The demolition of Broomsleigh and Ravenshaw streets and Sumatra Road was urged c. 1955, because of bad drainage and neglected houses. They had been overcrowded in the 1930s but survived in the 1980s. An ambitious scheme of 1963 for wholesale redevelopment along the three railway lines from Finchley Road to West End Lane had not been effected near West End by 1987. The Kingsgate general improvement area, planned in 1969, included the sites south of the railway and west of West End Lane, originally Nicoll's estate, but there had been little rebuilding in the West End section by 1984. As in many areas the main post-war trend was towards the refurbishing and conversion of old houses to flats, with young, single people replacing families. Other changes included the conversion of the Congregational church at the corner of Finchley and Burrard roads to a synagogue in 1947 and the building of a community centre by Seifert in Dennington Park Road for the synagogue there in 1964. In 1966 the Domestic Science college moved to Tottenham and Berridge House was demolished, to be replaced in 1972 by a police station. 

Source: From: 'Hampstead: West End', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington (1989), pp. 42-7. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22636.