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The Moon Under Water

Discover the history of Colindale’s famous air races.

10 Varley Parade, The Hyde, Colindale, London, NW9 6RR

Several Wetherspoon pubs have ‘moon’ in their name, linking them with the ideal pub described in detail by George Orwell. The highly regarded author named his fictional pub ‘Moon Under Water’. This one was purpose built as a branch of the Woolworths chain. It opened in early summer of 1939, serving a fast-growing suburb. Woolworths traded here at Varley Parade for 45 years, closing in 1984.

Photographs of crowds gathering in Colindale to watch the air races.

Photographs and text about flying at Colindale.

The text reads: Flying began at the Hendon Aerodrome in Colindale in 1910, just seven years after the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight. Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly across the British Channel, started a flying school here in the same year.

In 1911 Grahame-White began to develop the Aerodrome and established the Grahame-White School of Aviation. He also inaugurated displays that brought in thousands of spectators.

A photograph and text about Claude Grahame White, c1879.

The text reads: In 1908 he learned to fly in France, and became one of the first Englishman to qualify as a pilot. In 1911 he established a teaching school at Hendon, which quickly became Hendon Aerodrome.

A photograph of Edgware Road, Colindale, c1917. Aircraft factories can be seen on both sides of the road.

A photograph of workers leaving the Aircraft Manufacturing Company’s factory, in 1917.

A photograph of crowds at Colindale station for an air show on the Aerodrome, in June 1935.

A photograph of crowds at Hendon Aerodrome, c1910.

A photograph of King George V and Queen Mary, at Hendon Aerodrome.

Photographs of Colindale in the early days.

A photograph of Edgware Road, Colindale, c1920.

Photographs of Edgware Road, Colindale.

A collection of photographs of Colindale in the past.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: