HARLESDEN CULTURAL HISTORY
The name Harlesden comes from the Saxon 'Herewulf's Tun' (farmstead). It was a Saxon settlement established prior to 1066 on well-watered woodland clearing on a hill.
Harlesden remained a rural community set in orchards with some inns in the village until the development of public transport. In 1866, Willesden Junction Station opened. This was the first train station in Harlesden. This has created some confusion as Willesden is a separate location to Harlesden. However before political boundary changes in 1965 Harlesden was located within the Borough of Willesden.
During the 1950s and 1960s the British Government created recruitment drives for workers to come from the common wealth countries and fill the labor shortages in Britain. In Harlesden communities mainly from India, West indies and Ireland moved into the area.
With the collapse of the Somali government and continued civil war from the late 1980s and onwards families slowly started moving into Harlesden. The Somali community along with the Caribbean community are one of the largest demographics in Harlesden.
With the Accession of the Eastern European countries to the European Union in the mid 2000s families have moved into Harlesden mainly from Poland and Romania. More recently we’ve had a growing number of Portuguese and Latin American families moving into Harlesden.
With Harlesden having such vibrant diverse community and coming together of cultures there is much to celebrate. From the music, food and drinks there is something for everyone to try.