1900 - 1999

Alfred Lafone died in 1911, the shops and school in Hanworth all closed as a mark of respect and children lined the funeral route. When he died, Hanworth Park House seemed to be unoccupied until the second year of the war, when it was opened by the Red Cross to be used as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. Tudor House was also used. Queen Elizabeth stables, now known as Tudor Court, was used as the Hospital stores. On the wall of the stables is a wooden plaque, which stated this. The plaque is still there today, but is very difficult to read.

During the War, John Whitehead, of Whitehead Aircraft purchased Hanworth Park and the House. He already had a factory at Richmond, but they desparatly needed an airfield, and Hanworth fitted in nicely. Members of the Canadian Army felled the tress, and rumour has it that German prisoners of war rerouted the Longford River and covered it with concrete slabs, although there is no proof it was them. 

The end of the war bought the end of Whitehead Aircraft, and in 1919, the comany went into administration. They were owed thousands by the government for the aircraft produced during the war, which never materialised. John Whitehead then formed Whitehead Amalgamated Cars and intended to produce 2 cars, but again nothing materialised. He lived at Hanworth Park House until 1921, when bankrupt proceedings were taken out against him.

In 1936, the house became a country club and hotel for members of Aircraft Exchange and Mart who now owned the park, and used the old Whitehead facilities and hangers.

 

Aston Martin Victoria Road, Feltham 1926 - 1947 (INFO SUPPLIED BY ASTON MARTIN HERITAGE)

After Aston Martin was purchased from Lionel Martin by William Renwick and Albert ‘Bert’ Bertelli, the company moved from London into new premises. The new factory in Victoria Road, Feltham had previously been an aero plane factory during World War One. It was here that the company managed to build around 600 cars before production stopped shortly before the start of WW2 when war work took priority. After minor damage caused during the Blitz in 1940, the factory survived well enough for the prototype ‘Atom’ to be built. But in 1944, more significant damage was caused by a flying bomb. The next door factory was occupied a company of coach-builders owned by Bert Bertelli’s brother, Enrico, hence most Aston Martins of this pre-WW2 period have ‘Bertelli coachwork’ fitted.

Hanworth Park – (1947 – 1964) (INFO SUPPLIED BY ASTON MARTIN HERITAGE)

Shortly after David Brown took ownership of Aston Martin in 1947, he also purchased the business and assets of the nearby situated Lagonda company, but not the Staines factory. As the Victoria Road factory had sustained considerable wartime damage, David Brown needed to relocate both concerns – and leased some hangers on the airfield site of Hanworth Park, Feltham (just a half a mile away from Victoria Road).

 

 

This became the immediate post war home for both Aston Martin and Lagonda so the cars from the 2 litre sports through to the DB Mark III known as the Feltham cars, even though many were not actually built there (the engines, chassis and running gear were assembled in Farsley, Yorkshire and the bodies were built by independent coach builders such as Mulliners and Tickford. Assembled, drivable chassis were road-tested in Farsley and then shipped to Feltham to be married to the bodywork and then final testing on local roads.)

As David Brown had purchased the Tickford Works at Newport Pagnell in the 1955 and relocated AML there for DB 2/4 MkII, DB MkIII and ultimately DB4 production, Feltham was very much diminished. It remained the centre for service, engineering development and racing but, eventually closed in the mid 1960’s with the demise of the competitions department. NB: the importers of DAF cars took over the site during the late 60’s.

 

Bertelli Court, at the bottom of Victoria Road, now stands where the Aston Martin factory once stood. 

Hanworth Park Hotel continued after the war Second World War until 1953 when it was purchased by Middlesex County Council and in 1956, the house was opened as a nursing home. In 1965 its administration was taken over by the London Borough of Hounslow. The nursing home shut in 1992 and planning permission was granted in 2003 for the building to be converted into an 84-room hotel. This development never got off the ground and a further bid to open a 166-room hotel fell by the wayside in 2007.