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Lights, Camera, Acton

A favourite country retreat for rich people in the early 1700s with a large contributing factor being the mineral water from Acton Wells (which they hoped would up their health), Acton London has definitely been up to so much since then.

Now a buzzing and cosmopolitan neighbourhood, it is home to a vibrant mix of residents and businesses owners. The word “Acton” means oak farm and it definitely isn’t short of land: there is north, south, east, west and central Acton, plus Acton Town, Acton Green, and Acton Vale.

Neither does it lack interesting facts. From historic buildings, beautiful parks, modern retail zones (Boden, Carphone Warehouse, Jack Wills.. have bases here), cafés, bars and an active nightlife, there is definitely more to it than meets the eye.

Acton Lane Power Station, for example, may not come across as a hub of creativity. However, its abandoned gantries were used to film Aliens (1986) and Batman (1989), where the power station masquerades as the Axis Chemical Works.

It is there that Jack Nicholson’s character was knocked into a vat of acid, which leads to his memorable transformation into the Joker. Thus, the Joker was born in Acton.

Acton is also home to Park Royal, one of London’s primary industrial areas and the largest area of Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) in the city.

Located in North Acton, it supports around 1,700 businesses that employ 43,100 employees, across a range of sectors including food manufacturing, logistics, film and prop houses, car repair and vehicle maintenance.

It is also the birthplace of one of the first (and biggest) coworking spaces within the region. Launched in August 2015, Cowork Hub has been a major driving force towards helping business owners to make the entrepreneurship road a successful one.

At almost 10,000 ft2 , Cowork Hub provides affordable and quality office space on flexible terms. With up to 60 companies based in its spacious building, ranging from the creative industry to business coaches, it’s ambition is to simplify business needs.

Despite being the “new kid in town”, the business seems to have embarked on a promising path to stardom. On February 2, The West London Business Awards granted Cowork Hub 2 “Highly Commended” awards in the “Coworking Space of the Year” & “Park Royal Business of the Year” categories, respectively.

In it’s forth edition, the awards recognizes successful business in the area from all sectors.

Well, we could go on and on and on about all the cool stuff that Acton has in store, but just don’t take our word for it: check out some awesome facts about this growing area and we really hope that you enjoy the reading.

  • Acton was the birthplace of the English rock band The Who (formed in 1964), of which all members, except Keith Moon, went to Acton High School;
  • The Monty Python sketch ‘Bicycle Repair Man’ was shot on Churchfield Road, whilst part of the sketch ‘Hell’s Grannies’ was shot on Acton High Street;
  •  The first Waitrose store was in Acton. Originally called ‘Waite, Rose and Taylor’, it opened in 1904 at 263 Acton Hill;
  • All wax statues at Madame Tussaud’s 20 global locations are made in studios in Acton: they are then sent to their assigned location around the world;
  • Award winning documentary My Street by Sue Bourne was made in Goldsmith Avenue Acton;
  • The punk band Dustin’s Bar Mitzvah was born in Acton and they mention Acton in multiple songs and have tattoos with the Acton’s name;
  • During the mid 1960s, actor Earl Cameron lived in Hanger Hill Garden Estate in West Acton;
  • Signs of prehistoric settlement were found in Mill Hill Park where Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age burials were found and near Bollo Lane, where Iron Age coins were discovered;
  • Acton is also the only place in London to have stations named after all four compass points (North, East, South and West);
  • The museum in Gunnersbury Park was the one time residence of the Rothschild family, a wealthy family descending from Mayer Amschel Rothschild (a German banker);
  • Acton’s oldest building is The Elms on Twyford Crescent. Built in 1735, it has been Twyford Church of England High School since 1981;
  • A botanist called John Lindley has been commemorated with a blue plaque at his home in Acton Green;
  • British television presenter and writer, Konnie Huq was born in Hammersmith and grew up in Ealing;
  • Acton has a trampoline park that includes airborne fitness free running and a school of trampolining classes.

From the newsroom