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Original Text (Annotation: EPW034980 / 504227)

' Roe Green Village was built by the government's Office of Works towards the end of the First World War, to provide housing for workers at the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which had a sprawling factory and airfield at Grove Park, between the Edgware Road and Stag Lane. The "garden village" was designed by Sir Frank Baines, starting at the end of 1916, but by the time that work began on the 24 acre site at the start of 1918, "Airco" already had 4,400 workers, many of whom had to travel long distances to work on foot, by bicycle of on trams. The contractors for the project were Holloway Brothers, but because of a shortage of labour it is thought that German prisoners of war were used for some of the work. The first 150 of the 270 homes in the village, a mixture of flats and cottages, were not completed until early 1919 (see image attached). By the time the village was finished, the cancellation of government aircraft contracts had seen "Airco" go bust. Although the business was taken over by B.S.A., they had no wish to carry on building aircraft, so Airco's chief designer, Geoffrey de Havilland, moved up the road to Stag Lane Aerodrome to set up his own company - and the rest is history! '