Sir George Barham (November 22, 1836 – November 16, 1913) was the founder of the Express Dairies who bought the whole Copland estate sometime around 1894, when its previous owner Robert Erskine Copland-Crawford died under a cloud of infamy. He used the property as a base for his business, which had boomed since he had the bright idea of supplying milk to London by rail during a cattle plague in 1865 which threatened the capital’s diary supplies. From 1908 to 1909 he served as High Sheriff of Middlesex. On his death the business was shared between his two sons – one occupying Old Court and the other the Sudbury Park mansion. When the elder son, Titus Barham, left the estate to Wembley Council on his death in 1937, it was on condition that his widow, Florence, could live in the Old Court house for the rest of her life and that they “maintain it with care”. But with the onset of the Second World War the house became a training ground for the home guard and by the time it was over it to become dilapidated. The council used other parts of the building for their parks department, and for a veteran’s club after World War II. In 1957, facing an £18,000 bill to restore it to its former glory the council decided to have it knocked down.
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