The Starlite – can it be saved? By Erol Direkoglou

Starlite Eastcote Allendale Junction

The Starlite from the corner, to be demolished and replaced by anonymous flats?

It’s sad to witness with the loss of the local library (Barham park), local public house (Sudbury Arms), the local rugby club (Wasps) and now possibly the former Odeon /Starlite) the gradual erosion of Sudbury’s neighbourhood identity as a 1930s suburb.

The Odeon on Alllendale road designed by local architect A. P Starkey , opened in 1935. This art deco building was one of the originals on the Odeon Circuit. In the early 1960s it became known as the Starlite, an iconic venue for up and coming popular music bands. Bands that played there included The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd and the Small Faces.
In its latter days it became a popular Snooker club with rumours that Neal Foulds played there.

Starlite snooker club - Albertina McNeill

The Starlite ballroom was a snooker club in later years

It is this musical heritage that warrants its preservation possibly as a community asset. A resource centre providing an indoor amenity for local residents and in particular for children and older youths. The Starlite could form part of a musical/local history trail.

Recent planning permission for its demolition, a replacement block of flats may temporarily, superficially improve the blighted appearance of the street facade. As can be seen by the recent the pig ugly cheap slab appearance of Bridge House this does last long.

Increased housing on this block on Odeon Parade will mean will exasperate the existing problems of: inadequate waste removal facilities, dumping and blocked water pipes.

A local councillor has supported the proposal by claiming that it will enhance the street. He has however not told me how it will be enhanced. The block of flats will attract childless couples and not a mix of tenants. It seems that we are with this proposal and recent examples like the massive development on the former B&Q site in Alperton repeating the planning disasters of Housing in the 1960/70s.

Local residents are in the meantime attempting to list the building as a community asset. I hope this article will encourage more to join the campaign, ensuring its success.

Erol Direkoglou

Posted in Campaign, Greenford, Music Tagged with: ,

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