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In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s

The 1980s were a time of transition and change in Harrow. The population of the town increased remarkably, and new facilities and services were built.

We recently took a trip down memory lane looking at photos from Harrow Weald in the 1980s, but this wasn’t the only part of Harrow that has changed significantly over the last 40 years. Harrow Town Centre was about to undergo some serious developments as it transitioned into a hub of shopping and local amenities for residents and visitors alike.

In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
Here you can see the bus stop outside the old Sopers/Debenhams building on Station Road, Harrow. Littlewoods is on the right-hand side. Credit: Jan Clark

The growth of the town’s transportation system was one of the most noticeable changes back in the 80s. Harrow-on-the-Hill station offered dependable and quick access to central London. This was a big change at the time, creating new chances for work, travel, and cultural pursuits.

Harrow Town Centre underwent extensive reconstruction in the 1980s. Around this time, the St. Ann’s Shopping Centre was constructed, opened in 1987 by Princess Diana, with St George’s built ten years later in 1996. The new centre provided the town centre with fresh retail and entertainment opportunities. St Anns in particular was built as part of a larger initiative to update Harrow’s town centre and make it more appealing to both locals and tourists.

In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
The Royal Oak, 1980s. Credit: Jan Clark

Built approximately 100 years before the 1980s, the Royal Oak, later renamed the Rat & Parrot, now the Royal Oak again, has largely remained the same. The pub is one of the most popular meeting spots for shoppers and residents of Harrow now as it was back in the 80s.

The creation of Harrow College during this time period was another significant event. The institution relocated to a new site in Harrow-on-the-Hill in 1983, giving students and staff access to cutting-edge facilities. The college’s new campus also aided in drawing in a more diverse student body, reflecting the region’s shifting demographics.

In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
The junction of Greenhill Way and Station Road, Harrow. Credit: Jan Clark

Notwithstanding these advantageous changes, Harrow faced difficulties in the 1980s. Like to many other boroughs in London at this time, the town saw considerable social and economic changes. The number of unemployed people increased, and there were growing worries about crime and social ills in some areas of the town.

In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
This is the spot now occupied by St George’s Shopping Centre. Credit: Jan Clark

At the site of St George’s Shopping Centre, today stood a shop called Adams Furniture. One of the most popular stores at the time, this was actually a former cinema before being taken over by Adams.

Generally, nevertheless, Harrow experienced positive expansion and change during the 1980s. The town’s infrastructure and transportation systems were greatly enhanced, and new services and amenities were created to cater to the requirements of a developing population. Harrow is still a flourishing, diversified community today with a rich cultural history and a promising future. Take a look at some more images of Harrow back in the 1980s below.

In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
A Woolworths delivery truck. Image Credit: Jan Clark
In pictures: Harrow Town Centre in the 1980s Harrow Online
Kymberly Road, Harrow. Credit: Jan Clark