The 1980’s Hoover Advert Featuring Alan McDonald

Following on from the Gola and Cossack Hairspray articles that went up last year, QPR related adverts seem to have turned into a mini-series ! This latest one features Alan McDonald and appeared in the Official Club Newspaper, ‘Bush Ranger’ in the late 80’s. We lived next to the Hoover factory in Bideford Avenue for a while after the family had moved up the Western Avenue from the Bush.


Although Hoover’s became well known for making vacuum cleaners these iconic buildings really are an outstanding example of 1930’s Art Deco architecture.

The original building was constructed in 1932 and others were added throughout the decade and even after WW2. The factory joined the war effort and began to manufacture electrical equipment for aircraft and tanks. As a result the buildings had to be re-painted and camouflaged with netting.

Manufacturing ceased in the 1980’s and after Hoover’s moved out the site remained empty until 1989 when Tesco’s stepped in. As a consequence some of the buildings were demolished and although incorporated as a supermarket, Tesco worked closely with English Heritage restoring some of the original features.


It certainly inspired Elvis Costello who recorded ‘Hoover Factory’ in 1980 which was included on the flip-side of ‘Clubland’:

‘Five miles out of London on the Western Avenue,
Must have been a wonder when it was brand new,
Talkin’ ’bout the splendour of the Hoover factory,
I know that you’d agree if you had seen it too,
It’s not a matter of life or death,
But what is, what is?
It doesn’t matter if I take another breath,
Who cares ? Who cares ?
Green for go, green for action’

At night, the main building is illuminated with a fluorescent green light.

Steve Russell

4 thoughts on “The 1980’s Hoover Advert Featuring Alan McDonald

  1. Yes thanks for that and an iconic building. As you say there were some great buildings in the 30’s.

  2. I worked in the Safeway location planning department when Tesco went through the very long and expensive process of turning this landmark into a supermarket. The listed facade complicated the build process considerably with them having to prop up the frontage, demolish the old factory behind and then rebuild the supermarket behind. It was by far their most expensive store to build (not to mention what they paid for the site in the first place) at that time, they obviously thought that the good folk of Perivale were going to make it worth their while. All I know is that the figures didn’t add up for Safeway – but then look what happened to them!

  3. Every year many years ago there used to be a huge christmas tree there, used to sit and gaze at it for hours parked up by the A40 with our sandwiches…happy days! (-:

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